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First Week of Advent: Faith

Centering Thought: “Once the disciples’ eyes were opened to mystery and miracles, human history has not been the same.” 

— Lasallian Reflection 6

Welcome to Week One of our Advent Retreat.

This online retreat is offered with the hope that it will provide you with an opportunity to enter into a time of prayer, reflection and action during this season of Advent.

The retreat has three parts:

  1. Presence: You are invited to enter into the retreat through silence or by song. This is a time of preparation to receive God’s word into your heart.
  2. Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
  3. Participation: How is the Holy Spirit calling me to enliven the reign of God in my life, my family, my community, and the world? God’s reign—one that is reflective of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and justice.

Presence

Light the Advent Candle as you pray “Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.” or “Let me remember that I am in the holy presence of God.”

Centering Song: Come Lord, Maranatha! 

Prayer

Saint John Baptist de La Salle: Method of Interior Prayer. The Sunday Gospel as reflected in the process of De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer.

(DLS Method of Interior Prayer: Br. William Mann FSC)

First Movement

Remember God’s Presence

Pause for a few minutes to quiet yourself and to remember that God is, even in this very moment, present to you.

    • In all of creation, everything around you.
    • In your very self, keeping you alive.
    • In the midst of those with whom you are praying
    • In the Eucharist and in the Word of God
    • In you by God’s grace at work in your life.
    • In the young and the poor.

Second Movement

Contemplate the Mystery of God’s love at work in the world.

Read today’s Gospel a few times slowly. What word or words especially catch your attention? Listen to what is being said; watch what happens; try to become part of the Mystery; lovingly contemplate Jesus.

    • Reflect on the Mystery of God’s love at work in your own life.
    • Does today’s Gospel have any relevance to your life?
    • How do you try to share the message of this Gospel with those with whom you live and work? With those who have been entrusted to your care?
    • If you choose to allow this Scripture passage to come alive in you now, what would you have to change in your life? What are the obstacles to this change?

Founder’s Voice

“The miracles of God’s Providence take place every day.”

(Part of the Founder’s address to the first teachers about Providence, as quoted in Blain)

A Reading

from the Gospel of MK13: 33-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

Third Movement

Resolve to be open to the Spirit working in and through you.

Student Gospel Reflection: Lou DiPede, La Salle College High School

Reflective Question

How am I being called to be part of God’s ongoing creative miracle?

Contemporary Reflections

Lasallian Reflection 6: You Are Part of the Miracle

Fratelli Tutti: Brothers and Sisters to All: Human Dignity

It frequently becomes clear that, in practice, human rights are not equal for all. Respect for those rights “is the preliminary condition for a country’s social and economic development. When the dignity of the human person is respected, and his or her rights recognized and guaranteed, creativity and interdependence thrive, and the creativity of the human personality is released through actions that further the common good.” Yet, “by closely observing our contemporary societies, we see numerous contradictions that lead us to wonder whether the equal dignity of all human beings, solemnly proclaimed seventy years ago, is truly recognized, respected, protected and promoted in every situation. In today’s world, many forms of injustice persist, fed by reductive anthropological visions and by a profit-based economic model that does not hesitate to exploit, discard, and even kill human beings. While one part of humanity lives in opulence, another part sees its own dignity denied, scorned or trampled upon, and its fundamental rights discarded or violated.” What does this tell us about the equality of rights grounded in innate human dignity? (22)