Weaving the Word 4th Sunday Advent A

A straight to the point post this week as ttere are only 2 days of the 4th week of Advent.

Reflection points

Today we hear of the first of Joseph’s dreams that Matthew weave’s throughout the infancy narrative. How does God speak to you?

When we are tempted to ask for a sign, what sort of sign would you be prepared to receive?
How does it change your celebration of Christmas to know you are saved from your sins?
For Children
In the passage before just before this one we hear of Jesus’ descendants.
What do you know about your family tree?
How would you describe Joseph from today’s Gospel?
What does it mean to you to know that ‘God-is-with-us’?
For Families
Advent is almost ended. How prepared are you to bring Christ to birth in your community?
The lives of Mary and Joseph are turned upside down by accepting the will of God. How does their experience chime with your’s.
Prayer
Emmanuel
God-with-us
God-within-us
Here, now, every moment of our day.
Today, tomorrow and always.
Jesus our Saviour.
Amid the noise and bustle of what Christmas has become
May we anxiously await your voice in moments of silence
Inviting us not to be afraid to bring You to birth once more.
Amen

Weaving the Word: 3rd Sunday Advent Year A

Now that the dust has settled (here in the UK at least) I find myself reflecting on Gaudete Sunday.

This week the church calls us to rejoice and to keep on keeping on.
And yet for many (me included) will be finding it difficult to accept that invitation and to ponder on the point of carrying on.

But as a follower of Christ, a lover of Jesus, a beloved of God, baptised by fire and water full of the Spirit then accept it I must. Indeed I already have.
Despite my moments of despondency I know deep down that my Hope is in the Lord and I can Rejoice in God my Saviour.

The blush of a pink rose rather than deep purple,                                                            my yes to the Gospel,                                                                                                                to the Eucharist,                                                                                                                          to being dismissed                                                                                                                      to building the Kingdom,                                                                                                            to live by Gospel values                                                                                                    leads me to seek a deeper joy and                                                                                   tells of a hope yet to come.

I will rejoice in the small acts of kindness I see                                                                  and take time to thank the Lord for them.
I will rejoice in the many ways to make a difference                                                        and find inspiration to do likewise.
I will rejoice in the love of my friends whose laughter lightens my load                      and I am strengthened to help others carry their’s.
I will rejoice in the warmth and comfort of my family                                                    and I am encouraged to extend that welcome to others.

When I rejoice in all this (and so much more) then I know that there is hope. And if we all remember to be grateful, to find inspiration, to aid others and to extend a welcome then we will show the works of the Lord and bring His hope to the world.

And if that weren’t enough the O Antiphons begin today!

Reflection Points
Where do you hear and see the work of the Lord?
In what ways do your encounters offer you a sense of healing?
What do you notice about the way Jesus answers John’s question?

For Children
John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary went to visit her. He was Jesus’ cousin and in last week’s Gospel he baptised Him in the river Jordan.
Why do you think he told his disciples to ask Jesus if ‘He was the One?’
If you were Jesus’ messenger today what would you tell people about Him?

For Families
What one thing could you all do to make the world a better place?
Who do you identify as prophets in today’s world?
How can you encourage one another to speak truth to power?

Prayer
Lord of our everlasting joy and true hope – 
Strengthen us to do Your work
Give us a heart with a joyful song
that we may rejoice in building Your Kingdom.
Amen

 

Are You the One?

Weaving the Word: 2nd Sunday Advent Yr A

https://www.cbcew.org.uk/home/events/the-god-who-speaks/

In the need for transparency I feel I mush declare an interest.

This passage from Isaiah is is one of my favourites. In fact I would go further, I’ve never met a passage of Isaiah I didn’t like.

hope-painting-300x234 Balidon Methodist Church

Today’s passage speaks of such hope, a hope that only God can fulfil.

It paints an image that is almost impossible to imagine. Predators living peaceably with their prey led by a little child. This change will not effect just one hunter and hunted but all of nature will be at peace. The change does not always lie with the powerful predator: it is at the lamb’s invitation that the wolf becomes a guest. It is the one that has the most to lose that initiates change.

PeaceableKingdom-John-August-Swanson

http://www.johnaugustswanson.com/default.cfm/PID=1.2.9-2.html

When filled with the gifts of the Spirit we too can take courageous changes. Changes that are necessary for everyone to thrive,  that leaves no one isolated, hungry, thirsty, cold  or homeless in a peaceful world. A world that when stewarded well provides more than enough for all.

Knowing that we can claim Abraham as our father is to acknowledge that we hold a place of privilege.  That privilege must not be taken for granted but used responsibly to bring about the Kingdom. A Kingdom that is full of surprises, that makes the impossible possible, where repentance is not fearful but full of joy and leads to the production of good fruit that nourishes all.

 

Reflection points…
 
How do you feel when you hear this life changing call to repentance?
 
What good fruit will you produce as evidence of your repentance?
 
What difference is being baptised with the Holy Spirit make to you?
 
 
With Children
 
Can you draw a picture of John the Baptist from the description in the Gospel?
 
What do you do to show you are sorry?
 
Why are we baptised with the Holy Spirit?
 
 
With Families
 
How are you going to use Advent to prepare for the way of the Lord?
 
What does this Gospel tell you about how to be sorry?
 
Why not accept the invitation to the Sacrament of Reconciliation by going to your parish service together and maybe celebrating afterwards?
 
Prayer
 
Incarnate God
You promise 
that the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon us.
Gifts for our thoughts:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding;
Gifts for our actions:
a spirit of counsel and of strength;
Gifts for our worship:
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD;
with these gifts that blow through our lives 
May we be filled with delight 
to bring Your justice and peace to our troubled world.
Amen
 
dandelions-wind-holy-spirit-e1362618764957
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.

Weaving the Word

It’s been a while, I know, but I hope I’m still welcome.

This year the Church in England and Wales have been asked to focus on the Scriptures.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has called this initiative ‘God Who Speaks’. http://www.cbcew.org.uk/

This focus has encouraged me to return once more to share my thoughts and reflections on the Sunday Gospel.

Sometimes the reflections might come in the form of questions, or ideas for action, sometimes in a story form, while others might be examples of my lived experience.

All will come with a prayer and will I hope invite us to Weave the Word in to our daily lives.

I’d love to know how you are using these reflections, especially if you are sharing them with family, groups of friends, in a parish or school setting so please drop me a comment or two and of course if you could reference me too that would be wonderful.

1st Sunday of Advent

Year A Mass Readings

Weaving the Word

How will you awaken to the season of Advent?

Where were you surprised by Christ coming to you?
What ways will you use Advent as spiritual preparation for Christmas?
For Children
In the story of Noah, what did God send as a sign of His promise?
Where can you find signs of hope in nature for which to thank Jesus?
Instead of preparing to ask for what you want, How can you use Advent to help others?
For families
Imagine the sort of world do you want Christ to return to…
How can you work towards this during Advent?
What can you do together to prepare to birth Jesus in the world?
Prayer
Lord Jesus
Advent again!
As we await Your coming –
May we stay awake to the injustices that happen around us
and prepare to work for a fairer world.
May we stay awake to the many ways we steal from the beauty of creation
and prepare to care for the environment.

May we stay awake to those who break communities with violence

and prepare to bring your peace and hope to those we encounter.

Amen