December 23rd – Fourth Wednesday of Advent

Posted on December 23, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

23Today’s Gospel

“All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, ‘What, then, will this child be?’ (Luke 1:66).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Today’s Gospel reading shows Zechariah naming his son John. This week we are moving towards the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Thursday. The theme is anticipation and expectancy – although the media is changing its focus from Christmas presents to post-Christmas sales. We need to try to sustain our focus on Advent as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child. We know what he will turn out to be – we have the familiar narrative. There is an opportunity here to reflect on our own journey through life.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will spend some time reflecting on my own life journey. Who have I turned out to be? For which parts of who I am today am I grateful? Are there things I need to change – things that don’t resonate with the Christian life?”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 22nd – Fourth Tuesday of Advent

Posted on December 22, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

22Today’s Gospel

“‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly,’ (Luke 1: 46, 52).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Today’s Gospel is the Magnificat, where Mary reflects on God in the world. God turns the world upside down – God casts down the mighty, exalts the humble, feeds the hungry and sends the rich away hungry. This is the God we profess.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I commit to doing something for those on the margin – it might be to buy the Big Issue or do something about famine in the world or Ebola. It might be to Steward my treasure or it might be to Steward my faith by praying for those in need. It might just be to pray for the grace to act in the ways of God.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 21st – Fourth Monday of Advent

Posted on December 21, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

21Today’s Gospel

“‘How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?’ (Luke 1:43).”

Daily Advent Reflection

The Gospel reading today is the same as yesterday, the account of the Visitation from Luke’s Gospel. Elizabeth feels honored that Mary, the mother of God, has come to visit her. We too feel honored when we become aware of God’s presence in our lives, guiding us towards Him.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I pray that I can continue to feel honoured by God’s presence in my life and in thanksgiving for that faithfulness and love, I will visit someone in need or phone someone who would appreciate that call. I will then reflect on the gifts that I received through doing that.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 20th – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Posted on December 18, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

20Today’s Gospel

“‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb,’ (Luke 1:43).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Today we hear the account of the Visitation from Luke’s gospel. It is a familiar, yet deeply moving, account. We hear of Elizabeth’s reaction to Mary when she first realises that Mary is carrying Jesus in her womb; we also hear the reaction of Elizabeth’s unborn child.

It is through this extraordinary witness that we can appreciate the significance of what has happened.

Daily Advent Challenge

“I will spend some time today thinking about ways in which I can give greater witness to God through my words and actions.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 19th – Third Saturday of Advent

Posted on December 18, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

19Today’s Gospel

“Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home, (Luke 1:23).”

Daily Advent Reflection

This short quotation from today’s gospel refers to Zechariah returning home to Elizabeth after the angel has appeared to him. However, it can also be seen as being true for our life journey – that when our time of service in this world comes to an end, we return home to God.

Daily Advent Challenge

“What service can I do today? How can I prepare for my journey home through service today?”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 18th – Third Friday of Advent

Posted on December 18, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

18Today’s Gospel

“‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us,”'(Matthew 1:23).”

Daily Advent Reflection

There is just one week before Christmas Day. We are surrounded by images of gifts and may be caught up in last minute present buying. Our material world sometimes envelopes us. Our Christian faith calls us to be counter-cultural. Today we might think of the great gift of God – sending his son to be ‘with us’.

Daily Advent Challenge

  • “Today I will spend time thanking God for the gift of Jesus, ‘God-is-with-us’. I will think about how I am viewed by others and how I can be a Steward of that Good News? Is there something practical I can do today to spread that News?”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 17th – Third Thursday of Advent

Posted on December 17, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

17Today’s Gospel

“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,” (Matthew 1:1).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Today’s gospel reading is the genealogy from Matthew’s gospel. We are given the family tree of Jesus, which is made up of a diverse range of characters, with all kinds of people from different traditions and with different abilities.

We are an integral part of that family – part of the diverse Kingdom of peoples and all created, as Blessed John Henry Newman said, for some “definite service”.

Daily Advent Challenge

“What are the gifts and talents that God has given me? How am I called to serve God with these gifts? Today I will think of one practical way that I can use one of these gifts for the building of the Kingdom today – at home, at work or in my community.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 16th – Third Wednesday of Advent

Posted on December 16, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

16Today’s Gospel

“‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me,” (Luke 7:22-23).”

Daily Advent Reflection

John the Baptist sends his messengers to find out if Jesus is the one he has been waiting for – but after seeing Jesus, they are left in no doubt. We do not physically see Jesus performing miracles; instead we are asked to have faith and to persevere when we are experiencing difficulties.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will ask God for the grace and courage to persevere in my faith especially during the times when my faith is challenged.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 15th – Third Tuesday of Advent

Posted on December 15, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

15Today’s Gospel

“‘When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him,’ (Matthew 21:32).”

Daily Advent Reflection

One of the challenges for us in our Church and parish life is to be accepting. We might be tempted to hide ourselves in ‘holy huddles’ and be content with ‘our kind’. To live in the Kingdom means to mix with and accept all.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I pray for a heart that is open to all. I become aware of people I find difficult, either individuals or groups. I try and be open to what I can learn from them.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 14th – Third Monday of Advent

Posted on December 14, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

14Today’s Gospel

“‘Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things,’ (Matthew 21:27).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Jesus did not engage in discussion that he felt was inappropriate. In this season of goodwill, am I tempted to listen to idle words about other people or to spread something that might be seen as gossip? Is that an appropriate way to prepare for the coming of Jesus?

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will pay someone a compliment and recognize a gift that God has chosen for them. I will thank God that I can receive that gift through them.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark