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?

Mothers and Sons

And Mary thanked Simeon for his lovely blessing.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that my eldest son has left home and returned more than once. The first time was to take up a position for one year as a Lay Clerk at Norwich Cathedral. He returned home for the following year to make an album. September he started his Music degree (finally). The house he was planning to move into fell through at the last minute and although he half moved out a couple of times he always came home.

Of all of my children, this DS is the one whom fills me with pride and irritation in equal measure. It would be true to say that the reverse is also (probably) true.

I am of the firm belief that to enjoy all that university has to offer, students should not live at home. I have supported all my children in their strive for independence. Or so I thought.

On the way to Mass on Sunday, he blithely informed me that they (the members of the band) had found a house and were all off to look at it this week. This should not have come as any great surprise. Over the last few months they had mentioned more than once that they had been looking at various houses in the hope that they could all move out of the parental home into their own. But it did come as a surprise and my heart stopped for just a moment. My son was moving out and I would miss him. All of him!

And when the Gospel was proclaimed an epiphany occurred, like Mary, my heart too was pierced, and will continue to be so. For that is the cost of being a parent. Not that I would want it any other way.

CPW 022

‘—and you yourself a sword will pierce—’ Luke 2:22-40

Picture is of a sculpture at Downside School, Bath.