Morena/Good morning, Team
Well, another week passes but this one is full of expectation and joy. The Auckland border opens on the 15th of December. Some will be fearful of this but if we keep our heads and hearts in the right place we can do this. I cannot but feel joyous for our Auckalnd brothers and sisters and this theme resonates with the celebration of this coming Third Sunday, of Advent.
Last week, I caught up with an old friend and after some sharing and discussion he told me how important ‘gratitude’ is to him. He said, too many people forget to be thankful for what they have and where we are living. He said, when he looks at his life and the leadership shown in this country he is thankful that there was someone thinking beyond the economics and the politics. It was good seeing someone leading with kindness and compassion rather, than greed and selfish motives. All this can be argued as we both agreed .But, the spirit and reality of where New Zeaand is was due to a woman who stood up made the tough calls. There is still a lot of unknowns so, it is easy to critisise and there is plenty of that as there is plenty of misinformation.
For me, more importantly, this was an..ah! ha! moment!! For only a couple of weeks before I had the good fortune of listening to Fr Kevin Dance a Passionist presenting to the Passionist Institiute and speaking on this same theme, Gratitude. From there, I have been fronted with experiences that have endorsed a view that to feel real joy is to forget myself and rejoice in others, I rejoice in the beauty around me, II nrejoice in the way people look out for to others; I rejoice in the unselfish commitment of oir nurse, doctors, police and other frontlie workers, rejoice in the ways I see God at work and play, I rejoice as I look at the night sky and find I am uttely drawn outside of myself. In these moments I am present to life, people and the world.
We can keep treading the path of fear where we tear down others or we can build recognising that all around is the beauty of creation that brings us and calls into the present. We have like the rest of the planet been through a tough time. Yet, as I look beyond New Zealand we are very fortunate and in some way we need to be present to that. Myannmar, Australia, Africa, UK, Europe, USA all tell different stories of hardship, injustice, prejudice. The recent refugee crisis highlighted by Pope Francis call us to be present to the world as it is.
As we move to Christmas we would do well to practice being ‘present’? Acknowledging and celebrating difference. How can we do this? Be open to the other cultures around us, welcome the stranger and acknowledge the stranger within yourself. Be hospitable and invite others; just as God invites us into relationship with him and all creation. Call your family group members, ask them what they are doing? Organise a get together in whatever form that gets them to connect. Plan a function so that all the group has something to plan and look forward to. This place will be where your holidays, family time, disappoinment and losses are shared, loved and celebrated.
Christmas is approaching and this means ‘Emmanuel ‘, “God with us”. This joy of presence is essential in tough times and we are humbly thankful for who and what we have in our lives.
It is in these moments, our ‘gratitude’ overwhelms us, as we celebrate the goodness in our lives and the good people in it, as well. It is indeed, despite all the drawbacks, mistakes and selfishness a ‘wonderful world’. Do not fear or be afraid – God is near! This presence will shine a light for our path as we go forth. You have done well as members of our Passionist Family Group Movement. Thank you for taking care of others and being a support to others. This greatness demonstrates the worthiness of being, a gift to others.
https://youtu.be/ddLd0QRf7Vg (What a wonderful world) Click on the link
This was a talk given by Chris on the occasion of a Passionist Institute celebrating 300 years. Chris is a Scripture professor and he opens us to great insights on prophecy.
Third Sunday of Advent Year C
Scripture reflection: The Lord is near: Rejoice!
How do I prepare for the coming of the Lord this Christmas? Have ‘gratitude’ in your heart and be ‘present’ to one another…
First reading: Zephaniah 3:14-18
Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-6
Second reading: Philippians 4:4-7
Gospel: Luke 3:10-18
Link to readings – click here
This Third Sunday of Advent the theme is JOY! We light the pink candle on the Advent Wreath
It is as though, like small children, we can barely wait to celebrate the wonder and joy of Christmas, the coming of Christ Jesus into our world. Indeed, we rejoice now because he is already here in the midst of us. We see that God exults in us, his people, renewing us by his love (First Reading).
We might want to pray using the words of the Psalm: ‘The Lord is my strength, my song, he became my saviour’. ‘Give thanks to the Lord, Praise his name!’. ‘Sing and shout for joy!’
St Paul (Second Reading) encourages us to have confidence in God, to be happy in the Lord. We do not need to worry, because if there is anything we need, we can ask God for it. God will give us a peace of heart and mind that is far greater than we can grasp or understand, keeping us safe in Christ Jesus.
In the Gospel, the people come to John the Baptist to ask him, ‘What must we do?’ to prepare for the coming of the Christ. The answer is not the same for everyone, but all are asked to share with those who have less than themselves. Perhaps I ask the Lord: What must I do to prepare for your coming this Christmas?
Coming to my prayer, I do not rush; taking time, I allow myself to become still in body and mind in the presence of God. I ask the Holy Spirit to help me to pray.
In last week’s Gospel, we heard that John came as ‘A voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord’. Remembering this, I read the Gospel passage, perhaps several times, noting anything that appears to stand out for me.
The different people ask John, ‘What must I do?’ Perhaps I ask the Lord to show me what I am called to be or do to prepare a way for God in my life, in my family, in my community? I may like to consider the sacramental gifts that have made me one with Christ by water and the fire of the Holy Spirit. What does this mean for me? I share my thoughts and feelings with the Lord.
Perhaps I ask for light to see what God finds in me that is both wheat and chaff. I talk with the Lord about what I see, remembering always to look less at myself and more to the love of God whose coming to me is always ‘Good News’. I ask for whatever graces I need and end my prayer giving thanks.
Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham
- Q: How does the moon cut its hair?
- Q: What did the grape say when he was pinched?
Nothing, he gave a little wine.
- Q: If you have 13 apples in one hand and 10 oranges in the other, what do you have?
A: Big hands.
- Q: Where do fruits go on vacation?
- Q:What did the man say when he walked into a bar?
- Q: What starts with E, ends with E, and has only one letter in it?
A: An envelope
- Q: Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?
A:It’s okay. He woke up.
- Q: Why can’t you trust an atom?
A:Because they make up everything.
- Q: What do you call a pig that does karate?
A:A pork chop.
Have a good week God go with you.