Advent: ‘The Lord is with you’26 Nov 2019
Suggested hymns and readings, a reflection and prayers of petition for Advent.
Hymns: As the Deer Longs, Bob Hurd; All That Is Hidden, Bernadette Farrell; O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, John Neale and Thomas Helmore; City of God, Dan Schutte.
Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever – Psalm 72; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12.
What was declared to the young Mary is a reality for us today: ‘The Lord is with you’ (Luke 1:28). When we let God’s presence resound within us, this becomes a beautiful song which wakes our soul. Soon we will find our way into a new enthusiasm for our days.
Our God so desires to bring life to the world that the earth is groaning with labour pains (Romans 8:22). As part of this creation, we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable in the presence of our ‘midwife’ God (Psalm 22:9-11, Psalm 71:6; Isaiah 66:9). This God seeks our good, and desires to birth within us a new fullness of life. God’s field hospital is spacious enough for us to feel at home. We can bring our wounded selves to God in trust.
Our God is attentive with care for persons. Ever an encourager, the midwife of our souls supports us in the midst of pain, helping us to see for ourselves the big picture of life emerging in time and history. Who can tell what the Spirit at work within us will do? Why limit God’s creativity at work within our hearts? Let us ask the God of life to move our memory, imagination and will day by day, that we may receive more deeply the grace God wishes to give us. God desires a new creation.
We were once small and dependent on our parents for everything. God’s humility in accepting this same human condition, patiently growing in time, shows the pattern of how the divine brings hope to our troubled world. The Lord is coming, maranatha!
Prayers of petition:
Tripersonal God, help us to see your leap of joy as
you send the Son to redeem the entire Creation.
Lord, hear us.
O God of Jesus Christ, you animate our days.
Be for us the centre of our church and the light at the heart of the world. Lord, hear us.
Spirit of life, help us attend to your grace at work
within us. Encourage us to be responsive to the invitations you send. Lord, hear us.
Spirit of freedom, you gave Mary courage to say ‘Yes’ to your call. Grant us the desire to do the same in responding to your personal call in our days.
Lord, hear us.
Christ our brother, give us a lively spirit of patience and trust, so that as Christmas comes, we may sing with joy to your name. Lord, hear us.
Lord Jesus, we turn our awareness to your presence at the heart of all reality. We ask for the grace to experience your healing presence in our days. Lord, hear us.James O'Brien is an Editorial Assistant with Jesuit Communications.