Spirituality Office

Communal Reflection

Advent Prayer

Longing for Light  in the Darkness

Opening Prayer:

O Loving God, you invite us to seek the light of Christ, even in the midst of darkness. The prophets assure us that the darkness will not overcome us. They call us to watch for the light. We are called to hope, to trust in God. As we make this Advent journey in faith, we invite God’s light to dispel the darkness. We ask for grace to let go of any burdens or barriers that we may carry in our hearts as we search for the light. We ask for the gift of attentiveness that we may truly see God’s loving presence within and among us. Renew our hearts so that we may be light for others.

 

God who dispels all darkness,

Come to be with us, in each one of our situations;

Come to live among us, live with us and in us;

Come to reconcile us with You and with one another.

God of Light, open our hearts to the mystery of Your love and the invitation of Your grace. Let our complacency give way to conversion and our judgements to

compassionate acceptance of others. Turn oppression to justice and transform conflict to peaceful accord. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen

 

Song: Go Light Your World by                                   Christopher M. Rice

 

There is a candle in every soul

Some brightly burning, some dark and cold

There is a Spirit who brings fire

Ignites a candle and makes His home

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

Frustrated brother, see how he’s tried to

Light his own candle some other way

See now your sister, she’s been robbed and lied to

Still holds a candle without a flame

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

We are a family whose hearts are blazing

So let’s raise our candles and light up the sky

Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus

Make us a beacon in darkest times

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Carry your candle, run to the darkness

Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn

Hold out your candle for all to see it

Take your candle, and go light your world

Take your candle, and go light your world

 

Reading: Isaiah 40: 1-5 (Reading form the second week of Advent)

Prepare the way of our God

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the God shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes the power the Lord God, who ruled by God’s strong arm; here is the reward , God’s recompense before all. Like a shepherd, God feeds the flock; in God’s arms, gather the lambs, carrying them close to God’s heart, and leading the ewes with care.

 

 

Commentary: (read privately)

“The Christian knows that Christ has been working

In humanity for twenty centuries

And that person that is converted to Christ

Is the new human being that society needs

To organize a world according to God’s heart.”

  • Oscar Romero

Today’s readings seem made to order for the tumultuous times we are living through. From the opening line of the Prophet Isaiah: Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” To the Psalm: “Kindness and truth shall meet…” and finally, to the Gospel with John proclaiming: “One mightier than I is coming after me.”

All the readings seem to be specifically crafted to address the reality of our world today. If the events in our world are causing you grief and anxiety, read and reread the opening lines from Isaiah about comfort. So many of us need comfort right now with the pandemic worsening; fear about losing homes through foreclosures or evictions; and people refusing to accept the outcome of the election.

These are chaotic, uncertain times and the only true hope is the peace that comes from God. What do I need to do to stay grounded in God so that I can give comfort to others and not add to their unease and worries?

In the gospel, Mark describes how people from “the whole of Judean countryside and… Jerusalem” were traveling to have John baptize them “as they acknowledged their sins.” What are my weakenesses that I need to acknowledge during this Advent season? What barriers do I need to dismantle? What is preventing me from becoming someone who can “organize a world according to God’s heart”?

 

Selection by Julie Kalkowski- Creighton University

 

Reflection

 

CSJ Word

Nothing is impossible for God. Have confidence and trust in God. Do everything for the glory of God through God’s grace. (Maxim 8)

Steeped in our tradition we respond to the now, and with a sense of rootedness and courage with articulate our vision for the future. (CSJ Constitution Intro)

 

Quiet Reflection (10-15 min)

For Reflection and Sharing:

First Sharing: How do I come, what feelings are in my heart as I enter into this time of prayer?

Second Sharing: What came into my prayer as I listened to the readings and read the commentary?

Third Sharing: After receiving the fruits of one another’s prayer and sharing, what graces do we want to pray for?

 

Closing Prayer

Emmanuel, God with us, truly in this Advent Season we celebrate you and not hidden in some faraway cloud, but you chose to be with us in the blur and mystery of our lives.

In the midst of lists and rush, you are with us as a song that echoes in our minds, as the light of a candle, as a card from a friend. They are signs of your presence.

We turn to you this season and pray that you would birth joy and healing, blessings and hope in us. Let something wonderful begin in us- something surprising and holy.

May your hand be upon us. Let your light shine around us and within us. Let your love fill us. Let your joy overwhelm us. Let our longing for you be met once again. Emmanuel with us. Amen.

Prepared by Liturgy Committee Members: Suzanne Franck And Grace Edna Rowland