Tag Archives: Advent

2nd Sunday of Advent: Prepare the way of the Lord.

Study: Reflect on an experience where you were able to act in a strong and powerful way.  How did you prepare for this work?

Pray:  Do you see an obstacle in your life that is keeping you from the Lord or another person?  Pray for the grace to prepare the way.

Serve: How can you assist someone who is working on a difficult task right now?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent

This week we hear about John the Baptist who embodies the great call of Isaiah the prophet to “prepare the way of the Lord.”  John heralds the coming of the Messiah, urging us to change our ways and prepare our hearts.  Here’s a quick recap:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah comforts the people as God prepares the way.
  • Psalm – “Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”
  • 2nd Reading – We patiently await the Lord’s coming.
  • Gospel – John the Baptist preaches repentance and prepares the people for Jesus.

The stirring quality of these readings prompts us to respond decisively.  God calls us to action!  God comes with power!  The urgency underscored in these readings today emphasizes that eternal life is at stake; what we do here on earth leads to repercussions in Heaven.

Yet we also know that careful planning frequently precedes bold action.  As we follow Christ we take the time that Advent offers to reflect on how the Lord is speaking to our lives.  We pause in this season because there are critical times in life that demand stillness, silence, reflection and thoughtful attention.  Simply put, we slow down with the Lord so that we are ready to speed up when life switches gears.

What is God doing in our lives today?  What needs preparation?  How is the Lord working in and through our hearts?

Take this week and perform a simple internal spiritual inventory.  Consider this one question – If God called you home tonight, would you be ready?    If the answer is yes, then we live our faith with eagerness and zeal.  If the answer is no, then we take time to prepare the way for the Lord.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

 


1st Sunday of Advent: Preparing for the Lord…at home. Catholic Inspiration

There are many ways to get ready for Advent, but one place to begin is at home.  Consider entering into this holy season by examining where you live and determining if it is ready for Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Advent

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


1st Sunday of Advent: Are you ready?

Study: Consider an experience where you were able to be still, pause and reflect.  How can you make that pattern happen this Advent?

Pray: Carve out a few minutes this season for quiet prayer.  Reflect on your life and invite the Lord to dwell in your heart.

Serve: There are many opportunities this time of year to help others.  Look around for an activity that speaks to your soul.

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Advent

Advent is one of those seasons that has the power to surprise us.  Just like the relationship between Lent and Easter, Advent offers us a time to prepare our hearts for the great feast of Christmas.  In this short season we discover the themes of Preparation, Waiting, Expectation, Repentance, and Stillness.

The thing is…if we aren’t ready for Advent then the whirlwind rush of December can sweep us up into the frenzy of the commercial side of the holiday.  Many people are so busy – concerts, parties, family events, purchasing gifts and partaking of the “forced fun” of consumerism’s attempt at a Hallmark Christmas…

Whew!  Instead, we can take a deep breath, pray, and reflect on where the Lord is leading us at this moment in our lives.  Consider the readings this Sunday:

  • 1st Reading – Isaiah acknowledges that the people are far from God
  • Psalm – “Lord make us turn to you; show us your face and we shall be saved.”
  • 2nd Reading – St. Paul encourages the people of Corinth to be faithful to the end.
  • Gospel – The Lord exhorts us to be watchful and alert.

So in these short days of preparation here are a few questions to ponder:

  • Where I can find a little stillness and quiet in my life?
  • How is the Lord calling me to pray?
  • Is there anything or anyone that requires special attention?
  • Where is the Lord leading me right now?
  • What do I need to do as I prepare for Christmas?
  • How can I help someone in this quiet season of Advent?

You get the idea.  Step back, pause, and consider in the busy pace that many of us call normal how the Lord is directing your heart.  Advent has a beauty and power; our task is to enter into this season and allow God to speak to our souls.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Monday Conversation – Advent Preparations. Catholic Inspiration

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Monday Conversation: Great Advent ideas to prepare for Christmas (28 Minutes)

Fr. Andrew shares some of the Advent ideas that people shared with him on his Facebook page in the areas of Prayer, Scripture, Spiritual Reading, Liturgy, and Family Life.


2nd Sunday of Advent – Baptized in Spirit and Fire

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Study:  Is there anything keeping you from God or another person right now?  What steps do you need to take to make it right?

Pray:  Call upon the Lord for the strength to repent and seek forgiveness.  Remember – the harder it is the more powerful the healing!

Serve:  Is there some way you can be an agent of forgiveness?  How can you bring people closer to God and one another?

Mass Readings – 2nd Sunday of Advent 

John the Baptist comes on the scene blazing like a torch as he exhorts the people to repent of their sins.  He minces no words with the Pharisees and Sadduccees; rather, he makes it clear that the path to God leads through the good fruit of our actions.

John is blunt and direct.  There is no spin in his message, no soft touch.  He comes to us as a verbal bulldozer, seeking to carve out a direct route that leads to the Lord.  I can only imagine what it was like to be in his presence, eager to hear his words yet feeling the sting of his speech.  After all, repentance is a great thing to talk about…but often painful to put into practice.

And yet nothing brings about healing faster than forgiveness.  When relationships are wounded and we find ourselves in a broken and fragile place, repentance clears the ground and allows us to rebuild our lives in an honest and direct fashion.

Repentance has some key components:

  • Knowing good from bad
  • Taking ownership for when our actions have been bad
  • Seeking to turn away from the bad and strive to embrace the good
  • Claiming the mercy and grace of God to renew our lives
  • Asking for forgiveness and putting it into practice

As we prepare in this Advent season for the birth of the Messiah, we have the opportunity to examine our hearts and consider what is not worthy of the Lord.  Using a good examination of conscience or just the common sense in our souls we have the chance today to repent of our sins, seek forgiveness from God and one another, and live each day in the light and power of Christ.

John tells us that while he baptizes for repentance, the Lord will baptize us in Spirit and fire – allowing us to draw into the very heart of God’s love.  Only through repentance will we be able to encounter the burning intensity of divine charity; for when we stand before the Lord whatever is not fitting will burn away.  May we cast out whatever is not worthy, and prepare to welcome His holy fire with open hearts.

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St. John the Baptist Preaching, Luca Giordano, 1695.


1st Sunday of Advent – Be prepared! Catholic Inspiration

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Fr. Andrew’s Homily Podcast

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Advent

All of the Scripture readings evoke a call to action; we are invited to get ready, be prepared, and attentive to the Lord and one another.  May this Advent season – a gift of the Church – help us all to get our hearts and minds ready for the birth of Jesus Christ!


1st Sunday of Advent: When the Son of Man Comes.

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Study: Consider one thing you can do today to live your faith.  What would it be?

Pray: Do you have any unfinished business that you need to complete?  Ask the Lord for the strength and conviction to finish it.

Serve: Is there someone in your life who struggles with depression, fear, or doubt?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 1st Sunday of Advent

We start a new liturgical year in the Church (that’s “Year A” if you need to use the Lectionary for Sunday readings and “Cycle I” for daily Mass) with a vision of the end of time when the Son of Man comes in glory.

Several key points emerge:

  1. It will happen suddenly, when no one expects it (Gospel)
  2. All nations will come and be taught God’s ways (1st Reading)
  3. It is the Lord who makes peace possible, not humans (1st Reading)
  4. In God’s house there is great joy (Psalm)
  5. We live each day fully prepared, ready if the Lord call us (2nd Reading)

Advent gives us a rich – but very short – opportunity to prepare our hearts for Christmas.  All of these points listed above serve as excellent reminders regarding how we live each day fully invested in the present moment.  We live for the Lord, following his commands, so as to be ready whenever and wherever our lives will take the next turn in the road.

For when God calls us into eternity we hear that the unity, peace, and joy we glimpse in precious moments in this life will come to fulfillment.  United in the Lord, we will join the heavenly host when this world passes away.

I invite us all to consider how we might do one thing better each day – to be more focused, more aware, more present – so that we can give glory and honor to Jesus Christ.  We follow the Lord with all our hearts; may we make the most of every day to live our faith to the fullest.

May this Advent be a time of blessing for us all!