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5 Ways to be a Christmas Apostle: Weekly Message for 11-21-17
Dear Friends in Christ,
Thanksgiving is almost upon us (at least here in the United States) and what a perfect opportunity to reflect on all of the Lord’s blessings in order to help us either fortify or regain an attitude of gratitude and get ready to start Advent.
Gratitude shapes the way we see and face everything. For us here at RCSpirituality we rely entirely on the prayerful and generous support of so many who make our ministry possible. It is to you we are most grateful and encouraged. Our way of saying thanks is to continue our commitment to serve your need for spiritually enriching content that helps you to grow, persevere, and share in your faith and friendship with the Lord.
The Advent season too is such a wonderful, fascinating, and amazing time to marvel with gratitude at the extraordinary event of God becoming man and living among us.
During the Thanksgiving and Advent season, many of us will gather with family members who at various stages along their journey of faith. At times we might feel powerless and wonder what we can do to light a spark within the one who has checked out and at other times be consoled to find deep connection with those who share in a relationship with Christ.
With numerous family gatherings trips to the store, and Christmas parties over the next several weeks it is worth asking “What does God want me to do? How does he want me to witness to preparing for his coming this Christmas?
Here are 5 simple ways to announce his coming as a ‘Christmas Apostle’ to ‘love others as Christ has loved us’:
1. Be grateful and accept the people and circumstances that God’s providence permits in our lives. Love others with our patience, gentleness, and understanding. (1 Cor 13:4-8) Do not judge others but rather offer mercy and compassion just as the Lord has extended to us!
2. Take an interest in others—their interests, their joys, their sorrows. With the many opportunities, we will have to catch up and share with family and friends imagine how enriched we can be by the lives of others! Be open to learning and discovering how to see the world differently outside of the comfort and limit of our own perspective. Try to find out what motivates others. It is an invitation to ask more and speak less!
3. Be joyful! Let joy radiate from you. We can be joyful even in the midst of sorrow since we have a God who lives within and who walks with us in the challenges of life. Do not hesitate to share that joy with everyone with whom you come in contact.
4. Share your faith and speak about Christ and how he is present and at work in your life. Give witness to the impact, importance, and influence of Christ in your life. Look for those God moments and share your story. Don’t be afraid to share your experience of pain, frustration, joy or sorrow to prompt a conversation about the action of God and how you are growing and drawing closer to him.
5. Pray, pray, and pray some more! Commit time every day to pray for those we love to know and deepen in their own relationship with the Lord this Advent. Ask God to lead you or lead someone else to reach out and put the loving hand of God into the hand of those we love who may be lost, misguided, or searching for meaning in their lives.
Advent is a great invitation for us to be renewed in understanding Christ’s incarnation; that is, his immersion into man’s mortal nature to transform it into his divinity. St. John the Evangelist, more than any other of the Eleven Apostles understood deeply this act of profound love and what it meant to ‘love others’ in the same way. Our upcoming Retreat Guide, The Christmas Apostle: An Advent Retreat Guide on St. John the Evangelist takes advantage of Advent to renew our awareness of the Lord’s true purpose for our lives and discover more how we are called to witness and make present the infinite love of God for each one of us.
Wishing you a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving! Please keep counting on our prayers for you. May Christ, who came to bring lasting peace and everlasting joy to the world, find a home in every heart this Advent!
With the assurance of our prayers,
Director, RCSpirituality Center
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