2009_advent prayer_wk3


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This Christmas, Jesus comes slowly but surely… are you ready? Advent 2009 Praying with the Prophets

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Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Virgin Advent Week 3: 13 Dec to 19 Dec Anticipation. We are often awaiting something or someone. It could be the bus to school or work. It could be an expectant year end bonus. It could a loved one’s return this Christmas, or a friend whose company we look forward to this weekend. We are prepared to wait because we trust this will come to be. The Israelites never knew the time or date of the coming of the Messiah. But they waited in hopeful anticipation. They could wait a long time because they trusted in God’s faithfulness. God assured them he would send the Messiah; his Prophecy of the Virgin proclaimed this--“and the virgin will be with child,”and he shall be named, Immanuel. Hopeful anticipation characterizes our Advent waiting for Christmas. It should also mark our Christian lives for each day Jesus comes into our lives. In this Third Week of Advent, let us prayerfully reflect on Isaiah’s prophecy of the Virgin. As we do so, let us be open to sense when and how Jesus comes to meet us.

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Entering into prayer… Begin by remembering God’s holy presence in your life. Sense how good this is. Sense God loving you… Sense God smiling at the wonder you are to him… Smile… relish this moment… rest in God’s peace…

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Opening prayer: Loving Father, I eagerly look forward to your Son’s coming this Christmas. Prepare me well to receive your Son, Jesus, into my life. Send me your Spirit to create a space of welcome and joy for Him, who is my Saviour and Lord. Amen.

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The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. Word of God: Spend a few minutes reading this passage from Isaiah 7.14 Prophecy of the Virgin Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. What word or phrase strikes you? Why? What are you feeling? What are you thinking?

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Adoration of the Shepherds by Martin SCHONGAUER,, c. 1480 Van der Welden’s painting, Annunciation, is pregnant with surprise. The turn of Mary’s head as she prays tells us so: Angel Gabriel’s coming must have startled her. Her face is a mix of quiet surprise and humble acceptance; the news that she will bear the Son of God must have astonished and perplexed her greatly. Traditional paintings depict the Annunciation at daybreak. Here, however, the fullness of daylight pours in. Gabriel comes at a time least expected with God’s message. Jesus came into the world at a time no Israelite prophet could prophesize. They knew a Messiah would come to save Israel. They knew he would be of David’s line.They knew he would usher in the reign of God.Yet, they were surprised when when he came as a baby born of a lowly virgin and at a time of darkness. Indeed, the Good News of Jesus’ coming is surprising news! As you look at this painting and recall Isaiah’s words, consider your responses to these questions: how do you think Mary felt when Angel Gabriel came with God’s message? how do you think Mary really felt upon hearing that she would be Jesus’ mother ? do you sense this news changing her life? How so? if you could describe the Annunciation with an adjective, what would it be? Annunciation by Rogier van der WEYDEN

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Have you ever been surprised by Jesus’ presence in your life? How so? What do your experiences tell you about who you are to Jesus? Do you ever think about God inviting you to bring Jesus into your life? What does this mean for you? Can these moments be when God invites you to recognize Jesus beside you into the world… Annunciation by Rogier van der WEYDEN

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…in economically hard times?

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…in the happy and new?

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…in pain and death?

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…in the ordinariness of daily life?

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…in our moments of quiet?

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…in the Eucharist?

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Quiet Meditation: Spend a few minutes to share with Jesus your responses to the following questions: When does Jesus come to birth in my life?

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Quiet Meditation: Spend a few minutes sharing with Jesus your responses to these questions darkness am I struggling with today? How am I being invited to respond to God in the “Jesus moments” of my life?

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Quiet Meditation: Now, quietly re-read Isaiah’s Prophecy of the Virgin. Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. When has God blessed with the loving, joyful, even challenging moments when Jesus is with you? Allow God’s Word touch you.

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Quiet Meditation: Now, ask for a grace or blessing you wish Jesus to grant you this Christmas. Or, you may wish to use this short prayer. I sow is God’s light shinning Lord, Jesus, When I was busy, you came as peace. When I was troubled, you came as hope. When I was sad, you came as joy. And when I was happy, you came and laughed with me. This Christmas, come… come Jesus for I want to be with you. Amen.

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Advent invites us to create space in our lives for Jesus. Often, we are too focused on our worldly concerns. They become the more important things that fill our lives. This Advent, let us refocus on what matters most, Jesus, God-with-us.

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St Ambrose wrote that Christmas doesn’t mean anything unless we make room for Jesus to dwell in our hearts. This week, we invite you to create space for Jesus to come and be involved in your life… and for you to do likewise for another… by…. identifying one area in your life that Jesus can be more involved in…. and one way you can help another create space for Jesus….

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End by thanking and glorifying the Lord: You may wish to say or sing this Taize chant three times to close your prayer. Wait for the Lord Whose day is near Wait for the Lord Keep watch, take heart! Amen.

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Join us next week for our last set of slides to prepare spiritually for Christmas

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