Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent, 2 December 2018

from Pax Christi France

Pax Christi France has put together a series of prayers and reflections for the weeks of Advent. Each Saturday, we’ll post those reflections on the blog for the upcoming Sunday. You can download the entire resource at this link in French. 

First Sunday of Advent, 2 December 2018

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25: 35-36)

Readings: Jer 33:14-16 | Ps 24:4-5, 8-10, 14 | 1 Thes 3:12-4:2 | Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

Extract from the letter of Pope Francis

Since the angels’ announcement of peace at Bethlehem, St. John Paul II interpreted the growing number of refugees as one of the consequences of an endless and horrific succession of wars, conflicts, genocides and ethnic cleansing that marked the 20th century. The new century has not yet reached a turning point: armed conflicts and other forms of organised violence continue to cause displacement of populations within and beyond national borders.

But people also migrate for other reasons, above all by a “desire for a better life, trying very often to leave behind the desperation of an impossible future to build anew.”

For reflection

  • Because we are created “in the image of God”, each person should be deeply respected. Am I attentive to this inner reality?
  • When Jesus sends his disciples on a mission, he asks them to enter the houses where his peace is welcomed and lived. Where are we in our own homes? Are we careful to cultivate this peace between us?

Prayer

Lord, disarm me, disarm us, disarm them!

Lord, disarm them of their kalashnikovs, their bombs, their belts, their hatred, their thirst for vengeance, their bitterness and their ignorance.

Lord, disarm us of our will to power, of our feeling of superiority, of our need to dominate, to be always right, to want to bring everything back to ourselves, to our achievements, to our knowledge, to our history.

Lord, disarm me of my pride, my excuses, contempt, anger, resentment, hypocrisy, envy, my self-assurance, my sufficiency, my arrogance. Help me to strip myself little by little because when I’m weak, then I’m strong. To reach Easter, I must accept being unarmed, naked with Christ on the cross.

AMEN

(Father Christian de Chergé)

For deeper consideration

“May the Lord give you an ever more intense and overflowing love between you and all people.”

  • How do we manifest this love towards our migrant brothers?

“Stay awake and pray at all times.”

  • In this time of Advent, are we ready to stand before the Son of Man?

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