by Fr. Bryan Cunningham on 03/12/2013
During this first week of Advent Sarah-Leah Pimental invites us to reflect on our journey to wards Christ, that we may give him our hearts as a manger and our homes as a simple stable of welcome. (Thanks to Keith Stober from Cape Town for sending us a copy) Praying with Pope Francis we ask that this Christmas we may become more and more Apostles of his Joy drawing from the deep well of our Faith. The following are the first three days of Advent reflection.
1 December – First Sunday of Advent
I rejoiced because they said to me: “We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot within your gates, O Jerusalem. (Ps. 122:1-2)
Our hearts are also joyful because we’re on our physical and spiritual pilgrimage to the Original Shrine. There, the Blessed Mother and the Christ-child are waiting to welcome us with open arms, pouring out their gifts of grace and love.
In my life: What joys have I experienced this year? Today, I will make a physical or spiritual pilgrimage to the shrine where I’ll give thanks for all the good things God prepared for me this year. What special joyful gift can I offer our MTA this Advent?
2 December – Monday of the First Week of Advent
For over all, the LORD’s glory will be shelter and protection: shade from the parching heat of day, refuge and cover from storm and rain. (Is 4:6)
In the storms of our lives we find a home in the shrine. It is our safe house and our resting place. As we go on our pilgrimage to the Original Shrine, we take also with us the things that trouble us, the things that bring us sadness or anxiety. We take these with us, trusting that God will give us the strength to overcome all adversity, the same strength that He gave to our Blessed Mother as she waited for the birth of the Saviour.
In my life: Which struggles have I not been able to overcome this year? Do I trust that God’s grace will help me to face the fiercest storm? Let me take some time today to speak to the Lord about the things that trouble me and go with Him in faith to see the way that He has prepared for me.
3 December – Tuesday of the First Week of Advent
I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. (Lk 10:21)
As we look at the MTA picture in the shrine, we see the absolute trust of the Child Jesus as he lies in his mother’s arms. Fr. Kentenich often spoke about childlike trust and through his life, gave us wonderful testimonies of what it means to trust in God’s Divine Providence, even in situations that to human eyes seemed hopelessly desperate.
In my life: My own life often seems a mystery and I find it so difficult to discern which way God wants me to go. Very often I try to do things my own way because it seems easier than to trust. Which impossible situation can I take with me on pilgrimage this Advent and throughout this Jubilee Year? Let my attitude today and everyday be one of childlike trust that God’s hand rests in every moment of my life.