Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...

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seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – Luke 3:1-6
1. The manner in which Luke identifies in detail the time when John the Baptist started his preaching shows that Luke regarded this as a historic moment. Perhaps you can recall in detail the time and the circumstances of particularly significant moments in your life?
2. John called people to give expression to their desire for a change of heart by a symbolic baptism in the Jordan. When have you found it helpful to symbolise your desire to change for the better by some symbolic gesture, e.g. burning a packet of cigarettes, sending a card, making a phone call, etc?
3. Behind the quotation from Isaiah lies the practice of preparing festival routes for religious celebrations. Isaiah visualises such a celebration to celebrate the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem. Can you recall a particularly memorable Advent? What happened? Think of what you can do this Advent.  – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
Preparing for the arrival of someone important takes care and attention. Think of a family preparing to welcome a loved one home from abroad, perhaps a son or daughter who lives in Australia or someone who has been off traveling the world. They get their bedroom ready, buy their favourite foods, perhaps put up banners or even organise a ‘welcome home’ party. It is all done with great excitement and love, and is a way of easing the path home for the traveller. Or imagine new parents preparing for the arrival of a baby. There are practical considerations such as buying nappies and clothing and getting a cot ready, and of course the nerves and excitement as they prepare to welcome the new arrival.
On a larger scale, when an important dignitary visits a venue or a country there is also a flurry of activity in preparation. Such high profile visits often involve a literal preparation of the way – organising a welcome reception, planning the best route from the airport, clearing the streets of traffic, as well as much chatter and anticipation.
Today’s Gospel brings these two types of welcome to mind. During Advent, we prepare for the coming of Jesus by our actions, when we are generous with our time, patient with our families, and help those in need. And we do all these things with excitement and love, so that Christ will find the warmest of welcomes and a clear route into our hearts. 
– Tríona Doherty

(from Intercom)

 

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.Pope Francis has proclaimed a “Year of St Joseph”, running until 8 December 2021.

Prayer to St Joseph
.
Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.
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