Readings for Friday of the First Week of Advent
Is 29:17-24. Ps 26:1, 4, 13-14, R/ v 1. Mt 9:27-31. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings
One of the signs of the Day of the Lord is that the eyes of the blind will see. Jesus cures two blind men because of their faith in him. In Christ, the true light, we can truly see, have visions, discern with wisdom.
Audio: Advent Thought for the Day
Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Today’s Thought for the Day is from Father Michael Hinds, a Curate in Dunboyne Parish in the Diocese of Meath. In this piece Father Michael reflects on Advent as the season in which we can let go of our burdens, rediscover the sense of amazement and astonishment we had as children about the coming of Christ at this time of the year. Click below to listen to the reflection.
The Words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)
Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good. In this regard, several sayings of Saint Paul will not surprise us: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14); “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16). – Evangelii Gaudium, 9
Pope Francis on Twitter
Jesus calls us to be bearers of joy and consolation as his merciful witnesses. Follow Pope Francis in Twitter @Pontifex.
Advent and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
“The call to renewal of our Christian life is a central part of our preparation for the season of Christmas. The celebration of Advent, which began on Sunday last, should be an integral part of our preparation for the Feast of the birth of Our Saviour. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation (or Penance), we receive the gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Bishops strongly encouraged all Catholics to make time to avail of the gift of God’s love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the season of Advent.” – Statement from the Winter General Meeting of the Bishops’ Conference, 3 December 2014.
Make a special effort at family prayer. Make the Stations of the Cross. Do something to help the poor, sick or lonely.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we recognise ourselves to be ‘a pilgrim Church sent on mission’. The Gospel sets us free, inviting us to carry the light of Christ to others. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Christian community continually seeks to live and to proclaim the Word of God, expressing it in human words and deeds, giving it new life. (Share the Good News, 29)
Advent Prayer Intentions
1. We pray for all who spread the gospel:
that they may preach the good news fearlessly
and encourage people to rejoice in the Lord.
2. We pray for all those who are struggling as a result of poverty;
that they may receive what they need.
Advent Book recommendation – The Family Prayer Book
With a comprehensive collection of prayers and blessings for all occasions in family life, this beautifully-presented hardback volume from the Council for Marriage and the Family is ideal for use in the family home.
This prayer book can be used by both those preparing for marriage and married couples, and by individual family members or families who pray together. It offers prayers for daily use or it can be dipped into from time to time, and contains a section of prayers suitable for times of need and difficulty.
The Family Prayer Book is available from Veritas stores nationwide and online at www.veritas.ie
“On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry
announces that the Lord is nigh;
awake and hearken, for he brings
glad tidings of the King of kings.”
Click here to listen to On Jordan’s Bank.