REFLECTION FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
“The liturgical year is beginning, and the introit of the Mass invites us to consider something closely related to the beginning of our Christian life: the vocation we have all received. ‘Make me to know your ways, o Lord; teach me your paths (Ps 25:4).’
“We ask the Lord to guide us, to show us his footprints, so we can set out to attain the fullness of his commandments, which is charity.
“In considering the circumstances surrounding your decision to make every effort to live your faith, I imagine that you, like me, will thank our Lord. I know too that, without falling into false humility, this thankfulness will leave you even more convinced that you have merited nothing of this on your own. Usually we learn to invoke God as a young child from our Christian parents. Later, teachers, friends and acquaintances have helped us in many ways not to lose sight of our Lord.
“Open your own hearts to Jesus and tell him your story. I don’t want to generalize. But one day perhaps an ordinary Christian, just like you, opened your eyes to horizons both deep and new, yet as old as the Gospel. He suggested to you the prospect of following Christ earnestly, seriously, of becoming an apostle of apostles. Perhaps you lost your balance then and didn’t recover it. Your complacency wasn’t quite replaced by true peace until you freely said ‘yes’ to God, because you wanted to, which is the most supernatural of reasons. And in its wake came a strong, constant joy, which disappears only when you abandon him.
“I don’t like to speak of someone being singled out to be part of a privileged elect. But it is Christ who speaks, who chooses. It is the language of Holy Scripture: ‘He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy,’ St Paul tells us (Eph 1:4).
“I know that such thoughts don’t fill you with pride nor lead you to think yourself better than other men. That choice, the root of our vocation, should be the basis of our humility. Do we build monuments to an artist’s paintbrush? Granted the brush had a part in creating masterpieces, but we give credit only to the painter. We Christians are nothing more than instruments in the hands of the creator of the world, of the redeemer of all men.”
St. Josemaria Escriva
Image: “The Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew” (1481). Domenico Ghirlandaio. (Source: Wikipaintings)
PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY
Throughout Advent, we invite you to join us each day in praying the Prayer for the Family through the intercession of St Josemaria Escriva.PRAYER
O God our loving Father,Creator of all things, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, into the home of Mary and Joseph forming the Holy Family of Nazareth; inspire us by their example to imitate their selfless charity in our family life.
Through the intercession of St. Josemaria, help our families to be united in the heart of Christ, enjoying a loving communion with each other, recognizing and upholding the sacredness of marriage, generously welcoming the gift of life, and valuing the inestimable gift of each family member.
Help us dedicate ourselves in generous service to our families and to reflect the love that Christ had for Mary and Joseph, making our family a true domestic Church with Christ at its center.
Teach us to find Christ in the crosses that occur in family life and help us to find joy in them and unite them to him.
Watch over and protect our family so that each member will be faithful to the Gospel and never stray from the path of holiness. We ask you, through the intercession of St. Josemaria, to grant us the favor of (make your request).
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we give our hearts and souls to you.