First Friday of Advent

Posted on December 2, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

IS 29:17-24, Psalm 27, MT 9:27-31

Daily Advent Challenge 12-02Everybody has a little blindness that needs to be healed. Jesus gave sight to two blind men in today’s Gospel reading, but their blindness was only physical. They were not blind to the fact that Jesus had the power to heal them. You and I may be able to see with our own eyes, but sometimes we can suffer with a greater blindness than those in the Gospel story, due primarily to the distractions of daily life. Daily preoccupations can block our sight to the call of Jesus that is taking place right under our noses.

Being mindful, a characteristic of an Everyday Steward, allows us to see more clearly the world around us. We become less likely to miss the times when Jesus crosses our path disguised as others in need. Being mindful means we focus on the present and take in all that is around us. It is easy to become preoccupied with thoughts of the past or worries about the future. But with practice and commitment, we can become more fully aware of all that God has given us and has in store for us each day.

Daily Advent Challenge

Reflect on the blind spots of faith in your life: those areas where you have a hard time seeing the presence of God. It can be in a place, person, or situation. Pray for healing so that you may see and be blind no more.

Reminder: This is also the First Friday of the month. Many parishes have Eucharistic Adoration or special devotions on this day. It could be a great addition to your Advent.

First Thursday of Advent

Posted on December 1, 2016 by - Advent Reflections

Readings

IS 26:1-6, Psalm 118, MT 7:21, 24-27

Daily Advent Challenge 12-01I remember years ago when the outer edge of a hurricane hit our neighborhood. The next morning my neighbors and I walked the streets looking at the aftermath. Trees were down. Roofs were damaged. House siding was in the street. Even though we saw much damage, all the houses were standing. We could only imagine what it would be like to have your home destroyed by this power of nature.

Our faith is like a house, that unless it is built solidly, the forces of this world can easily destroy it. For some, stewardship consists of parish ministry fairs and commitment cards. It is about the parish getting you and me to give more money and do more stuff. If that is our stewardship house, winds will blow it right down with no problem. But if our stewardship house is built on the foundation of mature discipleship and a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ, that house can withstand just about anything.

Daily Advent Challenge

In your prayer today, offer up as an intention your parish community. Pray that they see stewardship not as a way of just getting more people engaged, but as a pathway for people to grow in their love of Jesus Christ.