Take time to reflect

Sunday 10th December
“A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.”(Mk 1:3)
Now beginning the second week of Advent, we are invited to seriously spend some time in the “wilderness”, the desert, our interior space where we can listen more attentively to the still, small voice of God. The voice that is inviting us to straighten out our lives, to expand our hearts so we can love more deeply and follow Jesus more closely. In the Synod of Synodality, which is currently taking place in the catholic Church, we are asked to “enlarge the space of our tents”(Is. 54:2).
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
I chose today to seriously review the ways where I am ‘lacking in generosity’ and ask God to give me a more Christ like heart.
Song: A voice Cries Out
A possible gesture: To do an examen of conscience and to prepare myself to celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation.

Monday 11th December

“He said to the paralysed man- ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’” (Lk 5:24)
We are all going to fall or fail at one time or another - whether it is physically, emotionally, spiritually or in some project or other. But the important point is whether we can get back onto the horse so to speak. Confucius says, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.” As Christians we have an added help, we have a loving, compassionate and caring Father who is forever extending His hand and encouraging us to get up. Or even ordering us to get up! He knows what is best for us.
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
I ask God for the grace to hear His encouraging and beckoning words ‘Get up!’ when I fall and allow Him to lift me to my feet again.
Song: You Raise Me Up
A possible gesture: To extend my hands to anybody who has “fallen” in whatever way.

Tuesday 12th December (Our Lady of Guadalupe)
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my Saviour…”( Lk. 1: 47)
Advent is a time for us to take into account all the blessings that we have received from God as Mary did in her famous Magnificat – a prayer that we pray every day in the Evening Office. Mary was only too well aware of the greatness of the Lord and as such wanted to proclaim it joyfully from the rooftops. She had been invited to be the Mother of Jesus - and that was something worth proclaiming. Just as the Lord had done great things for Mary, he does great things for us. Each of us has our own Magnificat, that will give us great reason to rejoice.
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
I chose to take time today to reflect on the many blessings that I have received from the Lord, joining with Mary in her Magnificat.
Song: The Magnificat

A possible gesture: Look for a way that you can be a blessing to someone today.

Wednesday 13th December
“ Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)
At times we feel tired, lacking in energy, even exhausted. At such times we need to acknowledge and accept our limitations. Maybe we have been pushing ourselves too hard, or we are feeling unwell or simply our age is telling on us! There can be a million and one reasons why we are feeling a little under par. The Lord is inviting us to rest in His arms until we recover our strength and energy to continue our activities, accompanied by a cup of coffee perhaps?, “My strength returns to me with a cup of coffee and the Psalms.”(Dorothy Day). A woman after my own heart!
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
If I am feeling weary, I ask God to take on my burden and show me what I need to do to recuperate my strength. If, on the other hand, I am bubbling with energy, I chose to pray for those who have an unbearable load to carry.
A possible gesture: Listen to relaxing music or give a hand to someone who is feeling pressurized

Thursday 14th December (St. John of the Cross)
“Do not be afraid, Jacob, poor worm, Israel puny mite. I will help you – it is Yahweh who speaks –the Holy One of Israel your redeemer” (Is41:14)
At first sight the words “poor worm” and “puny mite” can sound a little insulting. They are strong, descriptive words that Isaiah uses to emphasize our “littleness”, to show that we are merely creatures before our Creator God. At times I am sure we feel very small and insignificant when faced with the immense or not so immense tasks ahead of us or we see the sad state of our world today. St. John of the Cross faced his own fears and dark night of the soul, “Strive to preserve your heart in peace, let no event of this world disturb you.” He took heart, I am sure from the words of God, telling us not to be afraid and that help is at hand. God in His greatness is concerned for the smallest detail of our lives.
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
I ask God to show me in which ways I am most in need of His help today.
Song: Help me Lord
A possible gesture: Tend to a small living ‘being” i.e. a flower, a plant, a bird, a baby….

Friday 15th December
“We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges and you wouldn’t be mourners.” Mt. 11:17
Advent is a time for us to rejoice with those who are celebrating or to cry with those who are going through difficult times. St. Francis of Assisi had a spirit of joy, even in suffering; he used to exclaim ¨Perfect Joy!” His joy ran deep and sprung from his devotion to Jesus. We too are invited to be joyful Christians. Unfortunately sad things also happen, people grieve. Here all we are sometimes able to offer is a sympathetic ear, a shoulder to cry on or a compassionate embrace. And when the time is right, a consoling word. “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.”(Gandhi)
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
I chose today to give thanks to God for mine and others successes and to ask God to give me the grace to accept my losses and accompany others in theirs.
Song: Comfort My People

Saturday 16th December
“Come to us and save us.” (Psalm 80:2)
As we are fast approaching the celebration of Jesus´ birth, the Word made flesh that dwelt amongst us, we are only too well aware of our need to be saved. To be saved from our selfishness, our pride, our laziness, our rigidity, our inner complaining, and so much more. Mother Earth is also crying out to be saved: from the injustices of climate change, deforestation, contamination, eradication of species human and non human. All creation is crying out, ‘Maranatha, Maranatha’ (Come Lord Jesus).
Suggestion for prayerful reflection:
Today we ask God to show us the areas of our life that are in need of His mercy and redeeming love and something positive that we can do for Mother Earth.
Song: Ven Señor Jesus, Maranatha