Advent Suggestions for Discerners: A Journey in 3 Steps
Advent is a time of awaiting an encounter. Think of the warm and familiar image of waiting for friends to come over for dinner. While we are waiting, we prepare attentively, we take care of the details. Our Advent journey is like this. Sometimes the simplest things are the ones that turn out the best…at least, this is our wish and our hope for you—that you are in touch with the simple things this Advent and that they lead you to the encounter with Jesus—as we journey together this Advent.
We don’t like to wait! We are the generation of having everything, now; we want our desires to be fulfilled instantly. But we have to admit that for the things that are truly worthwhile, we have to wait…and the waiting has been good! Think about the things you have had to wait for…the end of school, the first snow, summer vacation, hearing back from a college or a job interview… Waiting is intense because we can be filled with fear and other emotions, but it is a time in which we construct a piece of ourselves.
Advent is also like this. Someone is coming, and this Someone loves us! In our walk together, we will live these weeks with the image of waiting and preparing to welcome a best friend to our house for dinner. Let us think of preparing ourselves for Christmas as we prepare our “house”, the intimacy of our heart. Let us recover the symbolic dimension of this preparation so that we see the profound meaning of our daily, concrete life, because for a God who became incarnate, everything that is human is important.
Beginning today, and for each of the four weeks of Advent, we invite you to join us for a weekly “appointment” online. Each Sunday on our blog you will find a reflection on the Sunday Gospel, inviting you to consider these three points:
1. Work in Progress
In preparing our house so that it will be comfortable for our guest, we have to take away the things that we do not need (just like when we prepare for guests, the first thing that we do is clean the house!). What will you take away that you do not need?
2. Preparing the Feast
Our whole life can be the place that is ready to welcome Jesus; this means living in an attitude of preparation. We prepare food; we decorate the house; we take care of the details for the guests who are coming. Each week the Gospel will suggest an attitude that we can connect to preparing food or decorations. What will you prepare?
3. A Whispered Word
So often we would like to say something to our best friend, or ask something of them… We will express these dreams in prayer. What desire or expectation do I carry in my heart, or what words would I like to say to my guest? Each week we will compose a prayer, a sign of the desire that we want to express to our Guest, Jesus. What will you say to Him?
Whom will you invite besides Jesus? Are you ready to journey together? We are praying for you as we take this Advent journey alongside you!
(Translated and adapted from the Vocation Team of the Daughters of St. Paul in Italy: http://www.paoline.it/blog/giovani).