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Welcome to Advent!

12-8-19 – 2nd Sunday Advent   

This Advent season might be a good opportunity to re-align our hopes and goals with what God wants us to become.  Can we slow down and savor the graces of Advent?  Amid the rush and anxiety of these weeks before Christmas, can we overlay a sense of gratitude for the blessings and gifts we already have?  Ask yourself: Am I grateful for God’s constant and active presence in my life?  Where do I find God in my everyday living: in family, work, church, social activities?  Am I open to the direction that God will take me?  In this time of waiting for Christ’s coming, do I share the journey with Mary, my model of hope and trust, who Feast of Immaculate Conception is celebrated this week?  Do I see this as an opportunity for my faith to grow and deepen? Refer to the reverse side of the Advent Calendar at church entrances for Advent resources.  Sign up to receive daily messages for Advent prayer and reflection.

12-1-19 – 1st Sunday Advent            

Advent, a season of hope, seems a perfect time to appreciate God’s presence in our daily living.  We trust in his love for all humanity, and this particular season echoes his generosity and constant care.  Hopes and prayers for God’s grace can shape our relationships and form our discernments in daily living. In our Advent prayer we might ask to live as God intended us to live: to see the good in people, to forgive and be patient with ourselves and others, to reach out to those in need, to unwind each day with an experience of the Examen, to adopt an attitude of gratitude, and to respond to God’s invitation to be aware of His presence. Inspired by a hallmark of Jesuit spirituality to find God in all things, let us be assured that he waits for us in the light and in the shadows, just as we wait for his coming.  Will hope be visible in your journey through Advent?

Reflection: We could look at Advent in the vein of that puzzle we solved by joining a sequence of individual dots to form a recognizable picture.  Perhaps the idea of "connecting the dots" translates to associating one part of our journey with another, to find our 'big picture.'  In considering what dots have connected to form me, I realize many significant cherished family members, ... to beloved friends that God has placed in my life, ... to my community of believers, ... to those who have gone home to God, ... to those not known-my family long ago, ... to all who knew someone, who knew someone, whom I have come to know.  So many connected lives shaping my 'big picture!'  ...with dots yet to be connected.  It's all about relationship, with my relationship with God at the core. Advent inspires me to view this journey of life with thankfulness and hope.


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