Children of the Light, preparing for Jesus’ return

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Advent Reflection 12/10/14

For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober. Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Thessalonians 5:2-9

During Advent, in addition to preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we also prepare for Christ’s second coming. We don’t know when it will happen, so we must be prepared at all times. I’ve heard it said that we should live each day as if it is our last, but also as if we will live forever.

How do you live each day as if it is your last? Don’t procrastinate the important stuff. Say “I love you.” Ask for forgiveness. Offer forgiveness to others. Give a helping hand.

If you went to sleep tonight and didn’t wake up in the morning, would you leave this life with any regrets? What can you do to fix those regrets today?

I’ve opened my heart to the light of Christ. Now what do I do with it?

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Advent Reflection 12/9/14

When the light of Christ fills our hearts, does that change how we act?

Listen to “Carry Your Candle” by Kathy Troccoli https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVqR6kTu8lE

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.

Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.”

Then the righteous will answer him and say, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?”

And the king will say to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

                                                 Matthew 25:34-40

Think of the people you encounter throughout your week. Who do you find the most irritating? Whom would you go out of your way to avoid? Maybe it’s a person who seeks out the negative in every situation or someone who consistently makes destructive choices.

Say a prayer for that person. Remember, that person is a beloved child of God, lovingly created in God’s image. Think of one thing you can do this week to bring God’s light into that individual’s life.

Embrace the light of Christ

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Advent Reflection 12/8/14

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”           John 8:12

Jesus brought light into the world. How can we embrace the light of Christ?

Listen to Learning to be the Light” by Newworldson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bRMemJf5EQ

I thought somebody called my name.

I spun around and caught a flame.

I gave into a God I didn’t know.

And now everything is falling into place.

A brand new life is calling and I owe it all to grace.

Have you heard God calling your name?

Is there darkness in your life that keeps you from being the light? Sin you need to confess? Hurt you need to forgive?

Are you ready to surrender your whole life to God?

Choose one thing that you can do today that will bring you closer to the light of Christ.

Jesus is the light of the world

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100_9208Second Sunday of Advent 12/7/14

As you prepare to invite Jesus, Light of the World, more deeply into your heart this Christmas, I invite you to pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, along with the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word:

Lord, have mercy on us.  Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.  Jesus, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,  Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,  Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the living God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, splendor of the Father,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, brightness of eternal light,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of glory,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, sun of justice,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most amiable,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most admirable,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, mighty God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Father of the world to come,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, angel of the great counsel,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most powerful,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most patient,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, most obedient,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, lover of chastity,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, lover of us,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, God of peace,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, author of life,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, model of virtues,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, zealous for souls,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our God,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our refuge,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, father of the poor,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, treasure of the faithful,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, good Shepherd,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, true light,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, eternal wisdom,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, infinite goodness,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, our way and our life,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, joy of Angels,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of Patriarchs,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, Master of Apostles,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, teacher of Evangelists,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, strength of Martyrs,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, light of Confessors,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, purity of Virgins,  Have mercy on us.

Jesus, crown of all Saints,  Have mercy on us.

Be merciful,  spare us, O Jesus.

Be merciful,  graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil,  Jesus, deliver us.

From all sin,  Jesus, deliver us.

From Your wrath,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the snares of the devil,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the spirit of fornication,  Jesus, deliver us.

From everlasting death,  Jesus, deliver us.

From the neglect of Your inspirations,  Jesus, deliver us.

By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Nativity,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Infancy,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your most divine Life,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your labors,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your agony and passion,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your cross and dereliction,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your faintness and weariness,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your death and burial,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Resurrection,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your Ascension,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your joys,  Jesus, deliver us.

By Your glory,  Jesus, deliver us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus, hear us.  Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord, Jesus Christ who has said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto you.” Grant, we beseech thee, to us who ask, the gift of thy most divine love, that we may ever love thee with all our heart and all our words and actions, and never cease from praising thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have both a perpetual fear and love of thy Holy Name, for thou never failest to govern those whom thou foundest upon the strength of thy love, who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

Conclude by praying along with “Light of the World” by Watermark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U-3Sh7QNdk

Let Jesus Fill Your Life with Light

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Advent Reflection 12/6/14

On the first Christmas, angels filled the night sky with light, announcing Jesus’ birth to the shepherds. The wise men found Jesus with the help of a star. Jesus brought light to the world to dispel the darkness. Have you allowed the light of Jesus to fill you?

Listen to Bebo Norman’s “Great Light of the World” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMDoyMsE2fc

Oh, great light of the world

come to impart

the light of your grace

to fill up my heart.

Is there a part of your life that is broken? Invite the light of Jesus to come in and begin to heal.

Do you have a secret that you are keeping in the dark? Something painful or embarrassing or sinful that you don’t want anyone to see? Let Jesus’ light fill the deepest corners of your soul, casting out the darkness.

Let there be light

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12/5/14 Advent Reflection

Light is a prominent part of our Advent and Christmas celebrations. We put lights up on our houses and Christmas trees. We light candles on a wreath to mark the passage of the four weeks of Advent. “Strings of street lights, even stoplights blink a bright red and green.”

Watch and listen to “Light Up the Sky” by the Afters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LQH6UDi15s

When the night is closing in,

it’s falling on my skin,

Oh God, will you come close?

Light, light, light up the sky.

You light up the sky to show me

you are with me.

I, I, I can’t deny,

no I can’t deny that you are

right here with me.

You’ve opened my eyes,

so I can see you all around me.

When you see the lights of the season, let them remind you that, no matter how dark your world seems, God is right here with you.

Can your life be the light that reminds others that God is all around us?