Day 13: Friday 11 December 2020

Welcome to Day 13 of our Advent Calendar!

It is important to reflect on hope during this season of Advent, when we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Here are some words of encouragement from Pope Francis on hope in times of darkness: 

In our times, which seem so dark 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 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.

Let us allow ourselves, then, 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.

Readings for Friday of the Second Week of Advent

 Is 48:17-19. Ps 1:1-4, 6, R/ cf. Jn 8:12. Mt 11:16-19. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings

Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe shares a reflection on today’s Scripture Readings. Click here to watch. 

Advent Thought for the Day

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 Father Bryan Shortall, PP of Priorswood Parish in the Archdiocese of Dublin. Father Bryan shares a beautiful reflection on Saint Joseph as someone who personifies the great hope of Advent. He says ‘Joseph was someone who put Mary and Jesus first’. 

Click below to listen to the audio. 

The Words of Pope Francis 

Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world.  The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive!”.

Thus begins the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christus vivit (Christ is alive) by Pope Francis.  This year’s Advent Calendar is featuring Pope Francis’ words from Christus vivit which he has addressed to young people , and to the entire People of God and published on 2 April 2019. In the document, the Pope explains that he allowed himself to be “inspired by the wealth of reflections and conversations of the Synod” on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment which took place in the Vatican in October 2018.

Today’s excerpt is a cautionary word about adults not looking down on young people:

Let us also keep in mind that Jesus had no use for adults who looked down on the young or lorded it over them. On the contrary, he insisted that “the greatest among you must become like the youngest” (Lk 22:26). For him age did not establish privileges, and being young did not imply lesser worth or dignity. (CV 14) 

#LivingAdvent 2020 #SharingHope

During Advent we are sharing family prayers and suggestions for acts of kindness or charity that all of us are encouraged to undertake during the month of December. 

Advent Random Act of Kindness 

Do an extra chore at home for your parents or grandparents without being asked! 

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. 

#SharingHope

We invite you to share our message of hope each day of Advent on your social media or website. Here is today’s message of hope: 

Advent Prayers

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.

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.

A Resource for Bambinelli Sunday At Home 

The Blessing of the Bambinelli (Baby Jesus) is a tradition which began in Rome. Each year on the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), the Holy Father invites children to bring the Baby Jesus (Bambinelli) from the family Nativity scene to Mass for a blessing.

This year however many of us may not be able to gather in our local parish church for Bambinelli Sunday due to restrictions which may be in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Catholic Grandparents Association is offering this family blessing of the Bambinelli which can be used by families at home together or to connect families across Zoom.

It is a very simple blessing which can be prayed by the grandparents and parents over the Bambinelli. After the blessing the children are invited to wrap up their baby Jesus and to place him under the Christmas Tree. On Christmas morning the Bambinelli is the first Christmas gift to be unwrapped and placed in the family crib.

Click here to download a user-friendly version of the blessing for use at home and in a parish context:

Bambinelli Sunday at Home 13 December 2020

Bambinelli Sunday Parish Blessing 2020

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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