Advent and Christmas are a time to make straight the paths of your life,
and prepare a place in your heart for the Prince of Peace to come and abide.
Old-fashioned, Spiritual Christmas? John R. Brokhoff
“What has happened to the old-fashioned, spiritual Christmas? The cause is our disregard of Advent. The church set aside this four-week pre-Christmas season as a time of spiritual preparation for Christ’s coming. It is a time of quiet anticipation. If Christ is going to come again into our hearts, there must be repentance. Without repentance, our hearts will be so full of worldly things that there will be ‘no room in the inn’ for Christ to be born again.…We have the joy not of celebration. Which is the joy of Christmas, but the joy of anticipation.”
Memory Awakens Hope Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
“Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…
It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.”
Fire of Advent Edward Hays
“Advent, like its cousin Lent, is a season for prayer and reformation of our hearts. Since it comes at winter time, fire is a fitting sign to help us celebrate Advent…If Christ is to come more fully into our lives this Christmas, if God is to become really incarnate for us, then fire will have to be present in our prayer. Our worship and devotion will have to stoke the kind of fire in our souls that can truly change our hearts. Ours is a great responsibility not to waste this Advent time.”
Take Time to be Aware Edward Hays
“Take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehem of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present.
“An old abbot was fond of saying, ‘The devil is always the most active on the highest feast days.’
“The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos—the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all.”
An Advent Examination Edward Hays
“Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
“Daily we can make an Advent examination. Are there any feelings of discrimination toward race, sex, or religion? Is there a lingering resentment, an unforgiven injury living in our hearts? Do we look down upon others of lesser social standing or educational achievement? Are we generous with the gifts that have been given to us, seeing ourselves as their stewards and not their owners? Are we reverent of others, their ideas and needs, and of creation? These and other questions become Advent lights by which we may search the deep, dark corners of our hearts.
Life Is an Advent Season CONNECTIONS
“Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfil. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfilment are all part of our Advent experience.
“The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.
“May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfilment into the Advent of our lives.”
St. Andrew—Nov. 30 Priscilla Marck
“The feast of Saint Andrew invites us to ponder his response to Christ’s call: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets…” (Mt. 4:19-20). With his brother Peter, Andrew immediately left his fishing nets to catch souls for the Kingdom.
Are we hesitating to respond to Christ this Advent because we are waiting for just the right moment, those perfect circumstances that will allow us to be just as quick as Andrew? Sadly, we may discover that while we were waiting for that illusive moment, we failed to be attentive to the here and now invitations of everyday life, missing opportunities to respond with the generosity of a true follower of Christ.”
Called to be Witnesses CONNECTIONS
“…[W]e are called to be witnesses of God’s by the love we extend to others; precursors of his justice by our unfailing commitment to what is right and good; lamps reflecting the light of God’s Christ in our forgiveness, mercy and compassion; harvesters of souls through our humble and dedicated servanthood.”
An Advent Reflection Fr. Brian Cavanaugh
“During Advent opportunities for works of charity abound calling out for Christians from every side: a sack of food for a needy family, money dropped in a Salvation Army kettle, a donation to an Indian school, a toy for ‘Toys-for-Tots,’ etc. Unfortunately, these works of charity so easily can assuage the Christian conscience, while doing nothing to being about a solution to the root causes of the problem.
“Works of justice, on he other hand, follow the road less travelled of Advent’s hope to pursue solutions for difficult problems. Hope comes through works of justice rather than simply performing works of charity.”
Gift of Wonder Rev. Alfred McBride
“Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.
“The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.
“Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.
“The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive. Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.
“Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’
“…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves.”
Some articles about advent. Just click on the link.
Advent is the time we especially look forward to the second coming of Jesus to the earth.
No one knows when this will happen, but we must be sure that we are ready by staying close to Jesus every day.
A few verses of Scripture to encourage us. Philippians 1 New International Version (NIV)
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God’s holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons
2 Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you.4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God.29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.
Second Coming of Jesus
Jesus promised His disciples He would come again.
It’s in the Bible, John 14:1-3, TLB. “Let not your heart be troubled. You are trusting God, now trust in Me. There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly. And you know where I am going and how to get there.”
Christ’s return will be literal and real.
It’s in the Bible, Acts 1:10-11, TLB. “It was not long afterwards that He rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after Him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as He went, He will return!'”
How will Jesus come again?
It’s in the Bible, Luke 21:27, NIV. “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
How many will see Him when He comes?
It’s in the Bible, Revelation 1:7, NIV. “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.”
What will we see and hear when He comes?
It’s in the Bible, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, NIV. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
How visible is His coming to be?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:27, NIV. “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
Christ’s coming will be unexpected and dramatic.
It’s in the BIble, 2 Peter 3:10, NKJV. ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
What warning has Christ given so we won’t be fooled about the second coming?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:23-26, NIV. “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There He is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.”
Does anyone know the exact time of Christ’s coming?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:36, NIV. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Knowing how human it is to procrastinate, what does Christ tell us to do?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:42, NKJV. “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
What warning has Christ given that we might not be taken by surprise by this great event?
It’s in the Bible, Luke 21:34-36, NKJV. ” But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthyto escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Why is Jesus second coming taking so long?
It’s in the Bible, II Peter 3:8-9, NIV. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
While we wait for Jesus, how should we live?
It’s in the Bible, Titus 2:11-14, NKJV. ” For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
What will the world be like when Jesus comes?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 24:37-39, NIV. “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Will Christ’s coming be a time of reward?
It’s in the Bible, Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12, NIV. “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.” “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”
Why is Jesus coming back?
It’s in the Bible, Hebrews 9:28, TLB. “So also Christ died only once as an offering for the sins of many people; and He will come again, but not to deal again with our sins. This time He will come bringing salvation to all those who are eagerly and patiently waiting for Him.”
At Jesus’ second coming, we will fully experience the reality of our salvation.
It’s in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:7-8, TLB. “Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing His will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. And He guarantees right up to the end that you will be counted free from all sin and guilt on that day when He returns.”
What is the last promise Jesus gives us in the Bible?
It’s in the Bible, Revelation 22:20, NKJV. “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus”
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A color drawing of the famous Bible verse- Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2 verse 9