November 30: Advent Reflections

Published November 30, 2015 by Unprodigal Daughter

Monday

It is not even December, and everyone is already running around, hanging decorations and buying presents. Christmastime is an exciting time. We get to spend time with our friends and family, we go to parties, we eat…and eat…and eat! 

Between the stressful preparation and the good times, we consume more than we give. We buy more than we share. We forget what we’re doing. In a recent homily, Pope Francis critiqued our society’s reception of Christmas, saying that it is a “charade” as long as we divide ourselves through violence. He said that “Jesus weeps…because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes — all decked out — while the world continues to wage war.”

In these tough times, it is difficult to remember that Christ is behind everything. Dorothy Day once said, “I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.” Let us see Christ in the person that we love the least–let us see Christ in the person that we think is undeserving, in the person that we think is egotistical, and in the person that we believe is a “bad Christian” because they do not follow _____ correctly. We must see His face in the billionaire and the impoverished single parent. We have to let ourselves see Him in the face of the terrorist and the murderer. It is only then that we will be able to remember why we are waiting for Christmas.

Opening Prayer

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ever faithful to your promises and ever close to your Church: the earth rejoices in hope of the Savior’s coming and looks forward with longing to his return at the end of time. Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness that hinders us from feeling the joy and hope which his presence will bestow, for he is Lord for ever and ever. Amen.

(taken from Catholic.org)

Daily Readings

Reading 1:     ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

———————————-
Responsorial Psalm:     PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
———————————-
Gospel:     MT 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

 

Multimedia

Today is the feast day of Saint Andrew–an apostle of Christ, and a fisherman who responded to his call when he was approached by our Lord. Let us pause and contemplate on how we can respond to Christ’s call as we eagerly wait for him.

Additional Activities

There are countless examples of Advent activities, but if you are looking for something more prayerful, try praying a St. Andrew novena from now until Christmas. There are many ways to do it, so follow the link and do what suits you best. The novena begins today, on St. Andrew’s feast day!

Closing Prayer

Jesus, protector,
I long for your coming.
The promise of new light is there
if only I can believe.

Protect me from dangers
and lead me through the gloom and darkness
to the joy I so long to find in you.

Lift me from my lowly sins
and give me the promise of salvation
with no more shame,
only the light and saving grace of your love.

Let the ancient dream be fulfilled in you
and peace come to this life and world.

(taken from http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/aweek1.html.)

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