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Friday, 26 November 2021 07:50

Celebrating At Home - 1st Sunday of Advent

Stay awake! Your liberation is near

The great Advent journey begins. The Advent readings are a rich tapestry of images centered on the truth that God has come among us. We do not pretend that we are waiting for Jesus to be born in a stable. That happened once, a long time ago, and it will not happen again. We remember that birth as we remember our own birthdays.

The God who came among us is still among us. Advent’s invitation is to become aware of the all-pervading presence of the risen Jesus as Emmanuel – God among us.

In the first reading this Sunday Jeremiah looks forward to the coming of one who will save God’s people, one who acts with honesty and integrity. In the second reading St Paul encourages the people of Thessalonica in their following of Christ. He prays that their love will grow and that their hearts will be ‘confirmed in holiness’. The early Christians believed that Jesus would return very soon as the Lord of Glory.

As time passed, they had to re-think this belief and work out how to live in the meantime, the time in between the first and final comings of Christ. That’s our challenge, too.

Today’s Gospel from St Luke warns Christians not to be distracted by the cares and snares of the world, but to be ready to stand confidently before the Son of Man when he comes. Remaining constant in love and attentive to our calling we become the living presence of Jesus until he comes again.

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This resource is presented by the Carmelites of Australia & Timor-Leste at a time when we cannot gather together as we usually do to celebrate the Eucharist. We are conscious that Christ is present not only in the Blessed Sacrament but also in the Scriptures and in our hearts. Even when we are on our own we remain part of the Body of Christ.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. During Advent it is particularly appropriate to have an Advent Wreath in the place where you pray. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

This text is arranged with parts for a leader and for all to pray, but the leader’s parts can be shared among those present.

As you use this prayer know that the Carmelites will be remembering in our prayer all the members of our family at this time.

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