First Sunday of Advent: Praying with Scripture

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Reading:

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be watchful! Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

It is like a man traveling abroad.

He leaves home and places his servants in charge,

each with his own work,

and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.

Watch, therefore;

you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,

whether in the evening, or at midnight,

or at cockcrow, or in the morning.

May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.

What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”

(Mark 13: 33-37)

Reflection:

We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.” She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven: 

Hope, O my soul, hope. You know neither the day nor the hour. Watch carefully, for everything passes quickly, even though your impatience makes doubtful what is certain, and turns a very short time into a long one. Dream that the more you struggle, the more you prove the love that you bear your God, and the more you will rejoice one day with your Beloved, in a happiness and rapture that can never end. 

 (CCC 1821, St. Teresa of Avila)

Responding:

Have I been watchful over my thoughts and actions?

Have I sought to love God above all things?

Have I been patient and kind to my neighbors?

Have I forgiven and prayed for my enemies?

Do I live ready to be with God at any moment?

Resting:

Spend time resting in the Holy Spirit. Listen to Him. Be open to His movements in your heart. 

Resolving:

What is God specifically asking me to do?

How will I carry this encounter with me into the day to influence how I think and act throughout the day and throughout this advent season?

 

Download Camila Malta’s guide to Lectio Divina, or “Discovery Prayer,” based on Dan Burke’s book Into the Deep here.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

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