Tag Archives: Advent

John the Baptist, Precursor of Christ

In the lead-up to Christmas, the liturgy reminds us repeatedly of the important role of St John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus in preparing the people to receive him. In this meditation we consider:

  • The similarities between the annunciations by the archangel Gabriel to Zechariah and Mary  of the birth of a child
  • The importance of John’s role as the last and greatest prophet to announce the way of the Lord
  • John’s virtues of detachment from comforts and humility that make him so efficacious in carrying out his role
  • John’s efficacy in announcing Christ to two of his own disciples: John the Evangelist and Andrew
  • Our own mission of making Christ known to the people of our day

Journey to Bethlehem

 

 

 

 

 

In this season of Advent we accompany Our Lady and St Joseph as they make their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. In this meditation we learn from the many aspects of their journey and from their preparations for Jesus’ birth in the stable in Bethlehem how we can live Advent better. It can become a “little Lent” where we find practical ways of improving our:

  • Life of prayer
  • Spirit of penance
  • Details of charity with those around us

 

The spirit of Advent

 

In Advent we look with hope and expectation towards the celebration of Christ’s birth at Christmas and his second coming at the end of time. But we can also prepare for his daily coming into our soul in prayer and Holy Communion and his coming at the end of our life to welcome us into eternity. In this meditation we consider:

  • How much God loved us in taking our human nature in order to redeem us
  • How from the earliest centuries the Church has lived Advent as a season of penance
  • How in Advent we can struggle to improve in the same three areas as we do in Lent: prayer, fasting and almsgiving
  • How through this struggle we clean out the stable of our soul so that Our Lord finds it a more worthy dwelling place

Preparing for Christmas with Our Lady

Now that we are in Advent, we want to prepare well for Christmas. A good way to do this is by the hand of Our Lady. After all, she too prepared for the birth of Christ. In this meditation we consider nine lessons Our Lady gives us about how to prepare for this great feast:

  • Avoiding sin and going to confession
  • Docility to the will of God
  • Charity with others
  • Spreading joy
  • Presence of God
  • Not complaining about hardship
  • Penance
  • Contemplation and meditation
  • Bringing Christ to others