Fr Tom Lavin
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Please note the following invitation from St Teresa’s School
Sunday, Dec 2nd
(Meditations with permission from Intercom magazine)
SEEING YOUR LIFE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
1. This passage can be taken as a metaphor for personal experiences when it seems that your world is collapsing around you: plans thwarted, deep disappointment, something out of your control altering the course of your life, etc.? When have such experiences been a prelude to something new? Allow the dramatic language of the passage to remind you of this experience, making sure that you recognise the double movement of collapse and liberation.
2. Jesus himself is the model in this gospel story as he taught his disciples the spirituality of ‘waiting in joyful hope’. What difference has watchfulness (in the sense of being watchful in prayer) made to you in facing difficult situations?
3. Advent is a time that calls us to be alert to the signs of the hidden presence of God in our world. What reminds you of this presence of God? Have there been occasions when something woke you up in an unexpected way to the presence of God in the world, e.g. through love, beauty, nature, etc.?
John Byrne osa
THE DEEP END: Be prepared …
Have you ever heard the story of the ant and the grasshopper? It tells the tale of a grasshopper who has spent the summer singing and so is not prepared when winter comes, whereas the ant has been working hard all summer and has stored up enough food for winter. Like many of Aesop’s Fables, it has a stark moral lesson, in this case about the virtue of hard work and being prepared for the future.
Of course, Advent is about looking forward to Christmas and our celebration of the birth of Jesus. It is a special time of preparation to welcome him anew into our lives. But today’s readings remind us that Advent is also about looking ahead to another time, the second and final coming of Jesus at the end of time. ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning ‘coming’.
The problem, of course, is that we have no idea when this will happen. Unlike the ant and the grasshopper, we have no way of knowing when the seasons will change. We don’t even know when the sun will set on our own individual lives. All we can do is to be prepared and to ‘stay awake’ – to live now in such a way that when we meet Jesus, we will be ready. This readiness is less a practical skill than a condition, or a way of life. Look at how St Paul describes it: he talks about increasing our love for one another, and continually making progress in living the life that God wants. That is how we store up treasures here on earth to make sure we are ready for the heavenly things to come.
Athlone, Co Roscommon