Day 13: Friday 15 December 2017

Readings for Friday of the Second Week of Advent
 www.catholicbishops.ie/readings.

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 the Day is from Kate Liffey, National Director for Catechetics, and Co-ordinator of the National Faith Development Team of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. In this piece Kate is recalling the time she introduced her little boy to the joy of puddle jumping for the first time and the importance of looking at Advent from a different perspective so as to try and experience Advent and Christmas as if for the first time.

Click below to listen to the audio. 

Pope Francis believes that in a world where humanity is often wounded, mistreated, and dominated by a lack of love, the family is the “yes” of God as Love. In spite of all the pressures and difficulties it faces, Pope Francis believes that the family is still good news for today’s world.

In 2016, he wrote Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), a document about love, marriage and family life, and now he has given Ireland a special responsibility. He has asked Ireland to host the World Meeting of Families in 2018 and to prepare for that event by offering families, parishes and groups a way of thinking about and sharing his message in The Joy of Love: that the Gospel of the Family continues to be a Joy for the World.  

The Amoris: Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family! programme is a response to Pope Francis’ request. The programme aims to support families and parishes as we set out on the journey of preparation to the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Dublin from 21st to 26th August 2018, and to continue that journey in the years ahead. 

During Advent we are reflecting on some of the themes from Amoris Laetitia as well as inviting you to ‘Let’s Talk Family! Let’s Be Family During Advent’. We are also offering reflections, a thought for the day, and suggesting practical ways we can be family wherever we are. These include daily random acts of kindness, charity and love that families, groups, school classrooms and parishes can take on during Advent. 

Let’s Talk Family – Thought for the Day 

Our family thought for the day for today is from Pope Francis. Please feel free to save this image and to share it across your social media pages. 

Let’s Talk Family – Pope Francis on Advent as a time to reflect on Christian Hope 

Pope Francis has used the Season of Advent to reflect on Christian Hope. 

In our times, which seem so dark, the Pope said we often feel “lost in the face of the wickedness and the violence that surround us.” We may even feel “discouraged, because we feel powerless, and it seems the darkness might never end.”

But we should never give up hope, he continued, “because God, with His love, journeys with us, He does not leave us alone, and the Lord Jesus has overcome evil, and opened up the path of life.”

It is important to reflect on hope during this season of Advent, when we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Pope Francis based his reflection primarily on a passage from Isaiah, in which God tells the prophet, first, to console his people, and then to “make straight the path of the Lord.”

This prophetic message was addressed to the people of Israel when they were living the tragedy of the exile in Babylon, when they had been taken out of their own land and deprived of their freedom and dignity, and even their trust in God. But the call of the prophet, the Pope said, “opens their hearts anew to faith.” It is precisely in the desert that they hear his call, it is precisely there that a new journey “can be made in order to return not only to their homeland, but to God.”

This passage, Pope Francis continued, was the starting point for the preaching of John the Baptist, “a voice crying out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord.” In Jesus time, the Israelites were once again living a kind of exile, living as strangers in their own land because of the oppression of the Romans. But it was not the powerful who made history, the Pope continued; rather, history is the story of what God has done together with his little ones, people like Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary, and the shepherds, the simple, humble people who gathered around Jesus at his birth. “These are the little ones,” Pope Francis said, made great by their faith,” the little ones who know that they must keep hope alive.

“Let us allow ourselves, then,” the Pope concluded, “to teach hope, to faithfully await the coming of the Lord, and whatever desert we might have in our life will become a flowering garden.”

Let’s Be Family – Random Act of Kindness 

Do an extra chore at home for your parents or grandparents. 

Let’s Be Family – Act of Charity 

Consider using one of the many Giving Trees available in shops. This is another way to share some goodwill with those in need at this time of year. 

Let’s Be Family – Our Prayer Intentions for the Day to Pray Together as a Family

1. For the poor, the hungry, the unemployed, for people without homes,
and all those still struggling to recover from natural disasters.

2. For the Church: that this Advent may be a time marked by simplicity, calmness and quietness
as we wait in hope and wonder for Jesus who is present in our lives now and whose future reign is coming.

Friday Penance during Advent 
Make a special effort at family prayer. Make the Stations of the Cross. Do something to help the poor, sick or lonely.

Pope Francis on Twitter

The family is a community of love where each of us learns to relate to others and to the world around us. – Pontifex.

Video: Blessing of the Christmas Tree in the Home 

This is a short video which offers a blessing of the Christmas Tree in the home. Click here to watch the video.

Advent Music
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. This piece is an original setting by composer Brian J.Nelson. The performers in this selection are: David Adams – Cantor, Sunny J. Sun – Organ and the Saint Lawrence Choir. Click here to listen to the piece.

wreath music

 

 

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