The readings for this fourth week of Advent are full of familiar Bible stories. In the Old Testament, we read the stories of Samson and Samuel, and in the New Testament, stories of the Annunciation, the Visitation, and the birth of John the Baptist. All the stories we hear have one thing in common: God invites people to cooperate in his work of salvation, and even though this plan almost always seems impossible, we see men and women responding with open hearts. This drama of invitation and response continues today. God is inviting you to take part in his work of salvation. We are so close to the Birth of Christ. Be God’s instrument in someone else’s life: invite someone to Christmas Mass.
Week 3: Trust and Joy
The readings from the third Sunday of Advent have a definite theme of joy. We are reminded to be joyful because the Lord is coming to save us. As we draw closer and closer to Christmas, it can be easy to get caught up in all the preparation and forget why we are preparing. Yes, Christmas is a beautiful time to celebrate with family and friends, and preparing your home, food, and presents for guests is important. But if your heart is not prepared to receive Christ, what's the point of all the preparation? We lose the true meaning of Christmas if we forget to be joyful. This week, make a conscious effort to be joyful, no matter where you are. Joy is one of the defining characteristics of a missionary disciple.
Week Two: Healing and Repentance
The readings for this second week of Advent focus on Christ’s healing ministry. Not only do we witness Christ’s many miracles, but we also get to see the prophecies of Isaiah that foretold Christ’s work. Christ's ministry is twofold: he heals those who are physically ill and he forgives sins. Not all of us are physically ill, but we all need Christ's forgiveness. Acknowledging that we need to be healed is admitting that we cannot heal ourselves. Take time this week to go to Confession. It is the best way to seek Christ's healing and forgiveness. Once we are healed we can then invite others to repentance as missionary disciples.
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