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

December 13th – Third Sunday of Advent

Posted on December 11, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

13Today’s Gospel

“‘Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise,’ (Luke 3:11).”

Daily Advent Reflection

All that we are and all that we have are gifts from our generous God. Our call is to Steward them in a responsible manner and return them with increase to the Lord.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will recognize one gift that God has graced me with and try to share that gift with all those with whom I come into contact. At the end of the day I will thank God for giving me that gift.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 12th – Second Saturday of Advent

Posted on December 11, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

12Today’s Gospel

“Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, (Matthew 17:12).”

Daily Advent Reflection

We are all very blessed that we have met or have a desire to meet God in prayer. When Elijah came, he was not recognized. Jesus was also not recognized universally for who he truly was; this is still true today.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today, I will try to help people see that I am a Christian and I will not be ashamed of saying that if the opportunity arises.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 11th – Second Friday of Advent

Posted on December 11, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

11Today’s Gospel

“The Lord will come; go out to meet him!” (Gospel Acclamation)

Daily Advent Reflection

Advent is a season when we wait; when we have a chance to connect with our expectancy. We are confident that the Lord will come. Our challenge is to have the courage to go out to meet him. We have already had this encounter and yet we wait.

Daily Advent Challenge

  • “Today I will be Christ to another – I will decide on a small way that I can bring the Lord to someone who has not encountered him. I might do this in word or in deed.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 10th – Second Thursday of Advent

Posted on December 10, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

10Today’s Gospel

“Whoever has ears ought to hear, (Matthew 11:15).”

Daily Advent Reflection

We all live in the knowledge that Jesus did come. Do we have ears to listen? We have the capacity to be the listening ears of Christ – to be co-workers with God in the building of the Kingdom. Sit with that thought for a few minutes.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today when someone speaks to me, I will really try to have ‘ears to listen’ and witness to my faith either implicitly or explicitly.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

 

December 9th – Second Wednesday of Advent

Posted on December 9, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

9Today’s Gospel

“’Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,’ (Matthew 11:28).”

Daily Advent Reflection

This can be a mad time of year – and even if we are not preparing for lots of visitors at Christmas, we are aware that there is lots of busy-ness and focus for the feast that is just over two weeks away.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will take time to ‘just’ sit before God for 10 minutes and relish the fact that it is God who can give us rest and inner peace.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

Three Things You Can Do to Celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy

Posted on December 8, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

Pope Francis ushered in the Jubilee Year of Mercy today by pushing open the great bronze doors of St. Peter’s Basilica and declaring that mercy trumps moralizing in the Catholic Church. Over the next year, an expected ten million pilgrims will make their way through those doors and cathedrals across the country will celebrate God’s mercy by opening their own “doors of mercy.”

As Catholics, the Jubilee Year of Mercy offers us a unique opportunity to open our own “doors of mercy” in our everyday lives and embrace opportunities to share the grace that has been given to us through Jesus Christ.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy in your daily life:

Confession1. Make Confession a Priority

One of the primary focuses of the Jubilee Year of Mercy is to place the sacrament of God’s mercy (penance and reconciliation) at the forefront of Catholic life. Making confession a priority shows that we recognize that God’s mercy is essential for our salvation and reminds us that we are forgiven for our sins, dependent on God’s mercy, and surrounded by his love.

If you haven’t gone to confession in years, make a commitment to go. If you regularly attend confession already, talk to others about how the gift of God’s mercy has transformed your life and encourage them to commit.

 

forgive2. Forgive Those Who Have Wronged You

“Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ,” (Eph 4:32).

As humans, we struggle with the idea of forgiveness. Our pride deceives us into believing that we deserve to carry grudges and that holding onto that pain is our right. But we are wrong—unforgiveness is a burden, a weight that only harms us, and we need to release it.

Jesus taught us this lesson over and over again to the point where he forgave the very men who put him to death. And as God has shown us mercy through the cross, through confession, and through every day of our lives, we must show mercy to others every day.

Forgive someone who has wronged you. Invite God into that situation and ask for healing where it is needed.

 

kindness-of-strangers-montreal-983939493. Show Mercy and Kindness to Strangers

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus speaks of how anytime we feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, or visit those ill or in prison that we are doing those things unto him (Matt 25: 31-46). One way to open our own “doors of mercy” is to seek out opportunities to do those things Jesus told us to do.

Those little acts of kindness create habits of mercy and kindness in our daily lives that God can build on to transform us even more into his likeness.

We can and should embrace ways to show mercy daily. For some of us, that might mean volunteering at a homeless shelter, a food pantry, or another organization. For many of us, it can be something as small as letting a car merge on the freeway rather than speeding up or paying for a stranger’s coffee the next time we’re at Starbucks.

December 8th – Second Tuesday of Advent

Posted on December 8, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

8Today’s Gospel

“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word,’ (Luke 1:38).”

Daily Advent Reflection

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It reminds us of how Mary said “Yes” to God despite the consequences of this “Yes” and how people would respond to her. She said “Yes” in gratitude and lived as a witness. Today is also the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy during which Pope Francis hopes that all will experience a true moment of encounter with the mercy of God.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will try to be a person of healing, bringing peace to those with whom I am in contact.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

December 7th – Second Monday of Advent

Posted on December 7, 2015 by - Advent Reflections

7Today’s Gospel

“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?,” (Luke 5:23).

Daily Advent Reflection

In this well-known story, a paralyzed man is lowered through a roof because a large crowd has gathered in front of Jesus making it impossible for the man to get through to see Him. It is hoped that Jesus will cure the man’s paralysis but instead Jesus tells him “My friend, your sins are forgiven you.”

Was this because the man’s soul was in greater need of healing than his body? In the story Jesus goes on to show that he has the power to heal both and the man gets up and walks away. What in your life needs healing? Ask God to bring healing to this part of your life.

Daily Advent Challenge

“Today I will try to be a person of healing, bringing peace to those with whom I am in contact.”

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark