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First Sunday of Advent
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, as we begin this new season of Advent, awaken my spirit within me so that I may be ready at every moment to recognize your presence in my life today and every day.
- Pay Attention: Jesus had just given his discourse on what seemed to be the end of times, and his own passion and death. He does not intend to frighten us, but to call us to repentance and spiritual alertness. Jesus knows we can grow tired very easily….not just physically tired, but spiritually tired. Prayer can become routine–not a heartfelt conversation with him. As we go through the motions of our prayer, we might miss the movements the Lord wants to make in our soul. Jesus is inviting us during the season of Advent to regroup and “pay attention” when we pray.
- Make Time for Christ: The Lord is always speaking with us, but because of our fallen nature, we are not always paying attention. We busy ourselves with the day-to-day worries and allow ourselves to be distracted over and over again. Jesus is asking us to be intentional in our prayer time, to cultivate an interior and exterior silence. For any task that requires our complete attention, including prayer, we need to create an environment that is conducive and aids our focus. Do you have a designated place and/or time for prayer?
- Expect the Unexpected: Every day is full of opportunities to watch for signs of Our Lord’s presence in our lives. As we strive to live according to his will, he shows us the way. Let’s prepare in this special season of Advent to encounter him in small moments: in prayer, in contact with others he places in our path, and in those unexpected moments he provides for us, so as to prepare a heart worthy of him for Christmas.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, thank you for calling me into relationship with you. Help me to use this time of Advent well, so that I can be prepared, stay awake, and be attentive when you make your presence known to me.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will examine my day to make note of all the times you spoke to me in prayer and through the circumstances and people I met today. Then, I will say a short prayer of gratitude.
For Further Reflection: Servant of God Chiara Corbella Petrillo was able to recognize God’s action in her life even through her suffering. She was prayerful and attentive in everything. Look for her story or quotes online or read Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy, a book written about her life.
Tima Borges lives out her vocation as a wife and mother of four in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys the outdoors, reading, writing, and working in apostolate. More of her writing can be found on her personal blog at https://timaborges.wordpress.com.