Week 2 of Advent

Sunday, December 10, Second Sunday of Advent

The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of His people, He will heal the bruises left by His blows. (Isaiah 30:26)

Reflection

Many people scoff at the idea of miracles. Unwilling to believe that Jesus could restore the sight of the blind when He walked on earth, they are unwilling to see the miracles that Jesus continues to work today. If we are open to the guiding touch of God's hand and willing to discover His plan for our lives, miracles will happen. What prevents us from seeing and being a part of God's miracles? Would we rather be blind?

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.

Prayer

Lord, clarify my vision that I may see You in others and sense You within my own soul.

December 11 - December 16

Monday, December 11

Say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you. (Isaiah 35: 4)

Reflection

In a world where political instability threatens long established order, where crime in our country seems out of control and unstoppable, there seems to be plenty to be afraid of. Isaiah reminds us that God's power is beyond anything on this earth that could frighten us. "Be strong" and "fear not" this Advent.

Is having a frightened heart different that just being afraid? The kind of fear we have in our hearts is usually fear for people we love. God's care encompasses them as well. Trust God's power.

Advent Action

Send a Christmas card to a young person you know and care for. Remind them that you are praying for them, and remind them of the faith significance of the upcoming holiday.

Prayer

Lord, You are my strength and with You here, my own fears fade right away.

Tuesday, December 12, Our Lady of guadalupe

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where the jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. (Isaiah 35: 5-7)

Reflection

In Advent we celebrate the miraculous transformations Isaiah talks about: the lame leaping and streams of water bursting forth in the desert. We also celebrate seemingly ordinary events, the birth of two babies, John the Baptist and Jesus, that are part of the unfolding of God's salvation plan. In every event of our lives, God is there, with His mercy and love and purpose. God desires that all should feel His mercy and love just as the desert sands would experience the overflowing spring.

Advent Action

Let God's mercy and love operate in your own life. Make up with a friend or family member you have been fighting with.

Prayer

Lord, may I joyfully overflow the confining boundaries I have set to my love.

Wednesday, December 13

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Reflection

Are there burdens I can let go of? Sometimes we make other people's problems our own. What burdens that are not my own can I give to God? Remember the old phrase, "Let go and let God."

But, at the same time Jesus offers comfort, He asks us to take on His yoke. To be "yoked" to Jesus means that we must walk in step with Him. If we are in step with Jesus, then we can hear any burden that comes our way. Jesus, and the graces we receive through His Church, share the load every step of the way.

Advent Action

Send a card to a friend or loved one who lost a family member during this year. Let them know you are praying for them and thinking of them this Christmas.

Prayer

Lord, I give over all my cares to Your most Sacred Heart that I may be at rest in You.

Thursday, December 14

From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it be force. (Matthew 11:12)

Reflection

Our world will never be bliss. We can say with Matthew, that from the days of John the Baptist until now, that God's kingdom suffers violence. That is why we celebrate Advent over and over. We reassert that the violence we suffer in this world is not the norm, but only a temporary condition. That mystery of our faith is proclaimed each time we celebrate the Eucharist: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again. We are grounded in this present world, but look to the world to come.

Advent Action

Renew your commitment to a special time of Advent prayer each day throughout the season.

Say a prayer sometime today for the Americas.

Contemplate on the miracle of the Cloak Of Juan Diego.

Prayer

Lord, may I refrain from all violent words and deeds, and help make my part of this world a more peaceful place.

Friday, December 15

Thus says the Lord, you redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence. (Isaiah 48:17-19)

Reflection

The use of water as a metaphor of God, or for any good thing, is common in Hebrew Scriptures. Who should know more about the preciousness of water than a desert people like the Israelites?

Isaiah says our prosperity will be like a river. Have we let God's love flow over us like a river, or are we stingy when we imagine it? Do we imagine God's love as a trickle or a torrent?

Advent Action

Send a get-well card to someone in the hospital.

Ask St. Lucy to help us not to be blinded our personal goals, but to always seek what the Lord wants us to do.

Prayer

Lord, wash me and I shall be clean, bathe me in Your loving mercy and I shall be truly forgiven.

Saturday, December 16

Then the disciples asked Him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" He said in reply, "Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that He was speaking to them of John the Baptist. (Matthew 17: 10-13)

Reflection

Some among those who followed Jesus would not believe that He was the Messiah. They were waiting for the reappearance of Elijah, who Scripture said must return before the coming of the Messiah. In the same way, many of us have set up obstacles that prevent us from living as if the Messiah has already come.

What are we waiting for? What obstacles have we set up to prevent us from living as if our Savior has already come?

Advent Action

Make a phone call. Call someone you have been meaning to speak to, but for some reason you have not done so.

May St. John Of The Cross intercede in our prayers for peace on Earth.

Prayer

Lord, in Your own way remove everything that makes it hard for me to see You clearly today.