Centering Thought: “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us.”
— Servant of God, Dorothy Day
Welcome to Week Three 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:
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.
Prayer: Following Saint John Baptist De La Salle’s Method of Interior Prayer reflect upon this week’s Sunday Gospel.
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.
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.”
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)
Remember God’s Presence
Pause for a few minutes to quite 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.
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?
“God inspires us to walk in the footsteps of his Son.”
— MTR 13.1
from JN1: 6-8, 19-28
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”
Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Make straight the way of the Lord,’ ” as the prophet Isaiah said.
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,
he one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.”
This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
Resolve to be open to the Spirit working in and through you.
Student Reflection: Marco Pantoja, La Salle Institute, Troy, NY
How am I being called to preserve in love?
“A Time to Break Silence” at Riverside Church
by Martin Luther King Jr.
“On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
Fratelli Tutti: Brothers and Sisters All: Persevere in Love
The story of the Good Samaritan is constantly being repeated. We can see this clearly as social and political inertia is turning many parts of our world into a desolate byway, even as domestic and international disputes and the robbing of opportunities are leaving great numbers of the marginalized stranded on the roadside. In his parable, Jesus does not offer alternatives; he does not ask what might have happened had the injured man or the one who helped him yielded to anger or a thirst for revenge. Jesus trusts in the best of the human spirit; with this parable, he encourages us to persevere in love, to restore dignity to the suffering and to build a society worthy of the name.