Jesus exhorts us to be ready for His coming: “Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming” (Mt 24:42). To watch means to have your heart ready to give and to serve, to be attentive to our neighbour in difficulty. – Pope Francis.
Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent
Is 11:1-10. Ps 71:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17, R/ cf v 7. Rm 15:4-9. Mt 3:1-12. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings
John the Baptist is a prophetic voice for all ages: his message speaks to us today, for conversaion is always part of the Christian way of living. Conversion to each other is called for by Saint Paul, so that we can be tolerant of each other, united in mind and heart.
Lighting the Second Candle on the Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath is a reminder that we are preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus. The light of the world in darkest winter. There are four candles at the centre. The four candles represent the four Sundays of Advent. During the first week of Advent, we light one candle, on the second Sunday, the second candle etc.
Like the wedding ring, the circle is a sign of god’s love, which includes all of us. The evergreens point to God’s unchanging love, constant in every time and season and mood.
There are three purple candles. Purple is the Advent colour for repentance and change of heart in preparation for the coming of Christ into our hearts and lives.
There is also a Pink or ‘Rose’ candle which is lit on the third Sunday of Advent (Gaudate Sunday), when the joy of the forthcoming Christmas event is celebrated.
The white candle in the centre is the Christmas candle. This is lit on Christmas Eve to herald the birth of Jesus.
Audio: Advent Thought for the Day
Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for Today on a different theme. Today’s Thought for Today is from Bishop Michael Router, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh. In this piece Bishop Router reflects on the tradition of sending a card at Christmas and asks us if we are open to the many messages that Jesus is sending us as we go about our daily lives.
Click below to listen to the reflection:
Visual Thought for the Day
Today’s Thought for the Day visual that we invite you to share on social media is from Pope Francis.
The Words of Pope Francis
“Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”.
Thus begins the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus vivit (Christ is alive) by Pope Francis published in April. This year’s Advent Calendar is featuring Pope Francis’ words from Christus vivit which he has addressed to young people , and to the entire People of God and published on 2 April 2019. In the document, the Pope explains that he allowed himself to be “inspired by the wealth of reflections and conversations of the Synod” on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment which took place in the Vatican in October 2018.
Today’s excerpt is a further reflection on our vocation:
“To respond to our vocation, we need to foster and develop all that we are. This has nothing to do with inventing ourselves or creating ourselves out of nothing. It has to do with finding our true selves in the light of God and letting our lives flourish and bear fruit. “In God’s plan, every man and woman is meant to seek self-fulfilment, for every human life is called to some task by God”. Your vocation inspires you to bring out the best in yourself for the glory of God and the good of others. It is not simply a matter of doing things, but of doing them with meaning and direction. Saint Alberto Hurtado told young people to think very seriously about the direction their lives should take: “If the helmsman of a ship becomes careless, he is fired straightaway for not taking his sacred responsibility seriously. As for our lives, are we fully aware of the course they are taking? What course is your life taking? If it is necessary to give this more thought, I would beg each one of you to give it the highest consideration, because to get it right is tantamount to success; to err is quite simply to fail”. (Cv 257)
During Advent are sharing family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity that all of us are encouraged to undertake during the month of December. The Advent Calendar is also also offering tips on how families can care for our common home by having a more sustainable Christmas.
Advent Random Act of Kindness
Smile often at those around you. A simple smile can often be enough to change the outlook of someone’s day!
Let’s Be Family – Act of Charity
Support the annual Saint Vincent de Paul appeal which helps to lift those out of the spiral of poverty. Their work is especially welcome at Christmas when there are so many extra pressures on household budgets.
Living Advent by Caring for Our Common Home
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle what you can in the run up and during the Christmas period.
Living Advent by welcoming Migrants and Refugees
At home, at school, at work, wherever we go today, let us be committed to welcoming the vulnerabilities of our brothers and sisters with whom we come into contact.
Our Prayer Intention for the Day to Pray Together is an Advent Prayer for Peace in our World #prayforpeace
As we approach Christmas, the time when we celebrate the coming of Christ into our world we pray for peace for those in conflict anywhere in the world. At this time of year we pray especially for all Christians around the world who are persecuted and murdered because of their faith.
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(Prayer of Saint Francis)
People Look East by Marty Haugen.