Day 8: Sunday 4 December 2016 – Second Sunday of Advent

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Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent
Is 11:1-10. Ps 71:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17, R/ cf v 7. Rm 15:4-9. Mt 3:1-12. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.

John the Baptist is a prophetic voice for all ages: his message speaks to us today, for conversion is always part of the Christian way of living. Conversion to each other is called for by Saint Paul, so that we can be tolerant of each other, united in mind and heart. 

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Audio: Advent Thought for the Day 

Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for Today on a different theme. Today’s Thought for Today is from Brother Richard Hendrick OFM Cap, Guardian of Ards Friary and Retreat Centre, Donegal.  In this piece Brother Richard reflects on Advent and Christmas for those who have suffered a loss and shares how the balm of our faith can console us. 

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The Words of Pope Francis 

Pope Francis – Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) 
A Church which “goes forth” is a Church whose doors are open. Going out to others in order to reach the fringes of humanity does not mean rushing out aimlessly into the world. Often it is better simply to slow down, to put aside our eagerness in order to see and listen to others, to stop rushing from one thing to another and to remain with someone who has faltered along the way. At times we have to be like the father of the prodigal son, who always keeps his door open so that when the son returns, he can readily pass through it.

Pope Francis on Twitter 
Advent increases our hope, a hope which does not disappoint. The Lord never lets us down. – @Pontifex

Advent Appeals – Trócaire Global Gifts for 2016

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Trócaire recently launched its range of ethical gifts for Christmas 2016, whose purpose is to help families in developing countries build a better future. As Advent begins, we remember in our thoughts, prayers and actions, all those who face injustice, oppression and poverty. Trócaire gifts are one way in which we strengthen people’s livelihoods, so that they have more secure incomes, sources of food and better futures.

Check out this year’s range of Trócaire Gifts on www.trocaire.org.

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Advent Prayer for Peace in our World #prayforpeace

As we approach Christmas, the time when we celebrate the coming of Christ into our world we pray for peace for those in conflict anywhere in the world. At this time of year we pray especially for all Christians around the world who are persecuted and murdered because of their faith.

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

(Prayer of Saint Francis)

Advent Faithbytes

The mission to evangelise is never to be understood as a personal cause. We undertake it in the name of the Church and of Christ ….. Communion and Evangelisation are of one piece: ‘Communion leads to mission and mission itself to communion’. (Share the Good News, 30)

Advent Prayer Intentions
1. We pray for all who spread the gospel;
that they may preach with the zeal and integrity of
John the Baptist, speaking truth to all
who need to hear their voice.

2. We pray for tolerance;
that divisions in society may be broken down
and all people can live in harmony.

Advent Book Recommendation – Graced Horizons: A Journey through Mercy

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In Graced Horizons: A Journey through Mercy, Bishop Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick explores the many facets of mercy as illustrated not only in scripture, but in the writings and ‘concrete deeds’ of luminaries through the entire course of Christian history. This book offers an enlightening analysis of this core Christian value, as first evinced first in the early Church – under the aegis of figures such as St John Chrysostom and Gregory the Great – then down through the centuries to the present day.

Graced Horizons highlights the merciful example set by several Christian writers and visionaries, including the medieval mystics Julian of Norwich and Meister Eckhart; Sisters of Mercy founder, Catherine McAuley; Edith Stein and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose unwavering faith in the face of Nazism still inspires Christians today; and twentieth-century innovators such as Focolare leader Chiara Lubich and theologian Karl Rahner.  

By honing in on the experiences of Christians who have espoused mercy, often in the most testing of circumstances, Graced Horizons will galvanise readers into adopting qualities of forbearance, compassion and gratitude each and every day on their own journey with Christ.  

Advent Music

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People Look East by Marty Haugen. Click here to listen.

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