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Fourth Sunday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 21/12/2014

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49)

Advent is that special season when we long for Jesus to take on form in us. Mary’s mission is to care that this really happens. She is the “masterpiece” of God’s creation, she is the “mirror of hope”, she is the “Advent dawn” that leads us securely to the true light of the world, Jesus Christ. During the days of Advent we always celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (on 8th December). She shows us, and gives witness to, what grace can do in someone’s life. When we look at her, we can understand what the Lord also wants to achieve in us – the fully redeemed Christian person. She is a sign of the Lord’s light; we can be signs of light as well. She is a sign of the Lord’s peace; we too can spread peace, and dispel unrest and anxiety. Mary is a sign of the Lord’s victory; we too can be “success stories” of grace, and not necessarily some kind of “failure”. Mary, the Dawn, gives witness in her life to the three elements that nourish our Advent hope: Longing for the Lord, trusting in the Lord, and working with the Lord. Let’s look at each in turn. They can be an inspiration and help to us… (more…)

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Third Saturday in Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 20/12/2014

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. (Psalm 118:1,25-27)

Each one of us is an original image of God. We are like “photographs” of God. If we want to appreciate the photograph better, we need to look closely at the “original”. The original image is God himself. The more we see the original clearly, and love and recognize the original, the more we can value and appreciate the photos. What does this mean for daily life? If we want to be able to value each other properly, if we want to be able to understand each other better, and have a deep respect for each other, then we need to have a closer look at God, the original, and learn to see him and understand him better. For example, husband and wife in marriage, parents and children, colleagues at work. The more we look upon the original, the more light falls on the photos. We can see everyone and everything in a new and amazing light.

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Third Friday with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 19/12/2014

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.” (Romans 15:4-9)

God created us in order to love us. He is love – his essence is to love eternally. None of us can say: “No one cares about me” or “no one is interested in me”. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, attractive or plain, young or elderly, we are always the focal point of God’s love. What does he ask of us in return? Nothing less and nothing more than to love him in return! This gives our lives meaning and purpose – God becomes the focal point of our love. Everything in heaven and on earth is a continuous call, an opportunity and invitation to love. We are set on fire with love from the moment that a lasting and passionate love embraces us – and we feel it. Always the same exchange – love for love!

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Third Thursday in Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 18/12/2014

All you have made will praise you, O Lord; your saints will extol you. They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made. (Psalm 145:10-13)

We cannot imagine the importance of learning to see ourselves and every human being as God Himself sees us. If only we could become aware again of how great and special each and every human person is in the sight of God! In spite of all our weaknesses and inner poverty, we all are extremely valuable in God’s sight. We are not “products of chance”, we are not “accidents”, but products of the never-ending love and wisdom of God. Enjoy it!

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Third Wednesday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 17/12/2014

This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains…” (Isaiah 48:17-19)

God has always thought of us as an original reflection of Jesus. Each one of us is called to imitate Christ in a completely unique and original way. Each one of us reflects God in a special way – each according to his or her own possibilities and personality. For this reason, every human being has an individual dignity as an original reflection of Christ. Every child in the womb is already an original reflection of God. We may not and dare not kill God, therefore we may also not kill the original and unique image of God, the unborn child. We are not interchangeable parts of a huge machine, to be used and discarded at will. We are images of the God who created us and called us into being. We are not the “spare parts”, we are all an original “thought of God” from eternity. Someone was thinking about us even before we were ever born or existed – and that someone was the Lord. Can anything or anyone stop us from being extremely happy today?

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Third Tuesday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 16/12/2014

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. (Psalm 34:1-3)

God has a plan of love, power and wisdom for us. Advent graces should make us sensitive so that we can see God behind the events of our lives, even when these experiences are difficult or painful. God knows that he cannot place a cross on our shoulders if we are not able to carry it. There is a popular story about someone who had a very heavy cross to bear. He spoke to the Lord about it, and God told him to put his cross down and look for a cross that he could carry. Around him he saw a huge collection of crosses. He took his time and examined the different crosses; he tried one and then another. One cross was far too heavy, another was far too light. Finally he found a cross that fitted perfectly. He knew he would be able to carry that cross with dignity. When God saw which cross he had chosen, he smiled with a great love at the man. Then he said: “The cross you have chosen is the same one that you came in with originally!” The cross that God gives us is the only one that will really “fit”. In these Advent days we ask God to give us the peace and openness we need to discover him in every experience of our lives. When we discover him, we find again the amazing heart of God – a heart full of love, a heart full of wisdom, a heart full of power. Can we offer our shoulders to carry someone else’s cross?

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Third Monday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 15/12/2014

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. (Psalm 71:3-6)

We are all a unique “result” of God’s plan – his plan of love, wisdom and power. God has an original purpose for each one of us. In general terms, his purpose is that we imitate Christ to the best of our abilities here on earth, and then share in God’s divine life forever in heaven. The original way in which each of us “becomes like Jesus” unfolds according to his plan for us. Consider, for example, the life and times of Joseph of Egypt – the famous interpreter of dreams (see Genesis Chapters 37-50). At the beginning of his story he had a dream in which God showed him his destiny in life. The sun, moon and stars all bowed before him. He told this dream to his brothers, who for obvious reasons were not particularly happy at the thought that they should bow before him. So they sold him, made him a slave of the pagans. But they didn’t change God’s plan for Joseph. In fact, they were actually realizing his plan by doing this. He was put into prison. He had to suffer, and must have asked himself if this was truly God’s plan for him. Our human reasoning questions: Well how can this be fulfilling God’s plan when everything seems to be going wrong? However, we know how the Lord uses every situation, even when it looks dire and hopeless, to realize his plan step by step. God is not easily put off. Joseph then interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and his destiny was fulfilled. He became, after Pharaoh, the most important and influential man in Egypt and later ended up saving his own family from famine and death. God took him by the hand. He guided him in wisdom. There is so much we do not understand in our lives: Fate, sorrow and happiness, health and sickness – they are all mysteries. The wisdom of God is behind each and every event of our lives. He has a purpose for us and his plan will reach its final conclusion in eternity. Sorrow and the cross, suffering and sin, failures and guilt – God can use everything to reach the purpose he has foreseen for us. He knows us inside out, he knows what our passions are, what motivates us, as does no one and nothing else on this earth, he knows what our choices and decisions will be. All this is included in his plan.

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