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Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent and the message of the Gospel is ""Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come." We are called to live each day as if it were our last day on earth.
The alternate prayer sets the tone for the Advent season:
Father in heaven, our hearts desire the warmth of your love and our minds are searching for the light of your Word.
Increase our longing for Christ our Savior and give us the strength to grow in love,
that the dawn of his coming may find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth.

The first reading from Isaiah 63 is worth reflecting on and ends with "Yet, O Lord, you are our father; we are the clay and you the potter:we are the work of your hands. Let us all be alert as we begin these weeks of preparation for the coming of Jesus again! Let us spend the time with Mary and ask her to prepare our hearts to receive her Son! Above all, let us be alert, filled with desire, and remember that we are in the hands of our potter who is molding us!
I want to share this passage from Janet Erskine Stuart on Advent that is taken from our network schools website but quoted for the Virtual Community of Prayer for the Reflection this Sunday:
What kind of spirit is the spirit of preparation? It is alert, expectant, diligent,quiet, patient...Watchfulness for what is coming does not exempt us from present exertion, or allow us to become unsettled, but it impresses upon us all the more deeply the necessity to exert ourselves. Preparation is spoilt by impatience and want of resignation...Few things are so restless, unsatisfactory and useless as impatient waiting-especially following on hurried preparation, and one of the hardest and gravest lessons is to learn to wait with patience and resignation. If Advent adds any of these qualities to our spirit of preparation, it will have been well spent.

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