00:00-00:43 = Intro
00:44 – 05:44 = Topic Introduction and Context (Preparing for Christmas).
05:45 – 12:23 = God becoming Man.
12:24 – 14:51 = Celebrating Christmas.
14:52 – 20:44 = Difficulties faced on Christmas.
20:58 – 24:04 = Closing Prayer
Preparing for the 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day
Padre: Prepping practically for the Parish, and Doing ‘Adore’ the book.
Stina: Reading ‘No greater Love’ by Dr Edward Sri – Biblical walk through of the Passion
Worked out able to read one chapter a day leading up to Christmas.
The 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas day are right next to each other this year and complement each other beautifully!
The Gospel of Luke is read on the Sunday and its excellent! It deals with the Annunciation, essentially the moment of the Incarnation. The following day, Christmas celebrates the coming of Christ into the world – the Nativity. So this is a Christmas episode which will take in these themes of incarnation and birth.
Perhaps we can start with a simple reflection for this Christmas. What do you think about when you think about God becoming man for our sake?
He came in Humility, for you and I – the juxtaposition, the way He came into the world and the crucifixion.
- Wrapped and laid in a manger. Nobody expected this humble beginning
- Nobody saw Him being wrapped into the cloth and lid in the tomb.
- Relying in God to provide – lay in a feeding trough vs laid in a new tomb
The juxtapositions continue to this day
- Christians call for silence and contemplation amidst this noisy world.
- Christ calls on being poor in spirit and material possessions, living simply amidst a world that is very materialistic with several gifts under the tree.
- Christ calls on preparing our interior lives and hearts to receive him in amidst a world that is focused on the external and environmental readiness of decorations
- Christ calls on temperance and breaking bread in community amidst a season of feasting and embracing gluttony.
- A green tree with baubles and fake snow instead of recalling the wood of the Cross that this child came to carry.
I’m struck by the way we see love conquering darkness in this season.
The reading for the midnight Mass is all about light and dark, and the darkness conquering the night.
Isaiah Chapter 9 comes up which reads: The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light. On those who live in a land deep shadow, a light has shone.
That last line always gets me. The whole world lay in the grip of sin and death, in essentially a land of deep shadow. But when Jesus becomes man, a light pierces this shadow, this is light is a person, the one who is personally untouched by the shadows of sin, yet allows himself to be assaulted by it, by merely making himself a vulnerable little baby. Thus both the Cross and the resurrection hang over this little baby, and we see the consistently returning theme throughout his life of light overcoming darkness. And his absolute vulnerability.
Reminds me in our own lives there always a shadow – and the solution to that shadow is always the light of Christ.
Gives us something – what does this season actually mean to us.
Not being ina ‘do do do’ mindset and to have time to sit and pray.
How are we celebrating Christmas?
Celebrating with friends and then going down to Ballarat to spend time with a friend and then spending time with her cat. Time for a spiritual retreat.
Spend a week at home with family.
Then go to Sydney to do some writing on the thesis.
However we spend Christmas, with friends, family, a combination, or alone, all these opportunities can have a way to encounter Christ this season – find that way. How to maintain the peace.
Keeping the Grinch at bay during the Christmas season:
How to deal with some of the difficulties of Christmas:
Sit with the beauty of Christmas. To sit with the decorations and what they mean. They are symbolic of something.
Take breaks – From all the social gatherings, the idea of preparation for this season isn’t so that we let go of everything once Christmas day arrives – the fruits of the spirit don’t expire Christmas morning, but we need to be docile to His promptings which means we have to continue to pay attention to them and to the things we need to make space for.
Have a place where you can spiritually recharge. Might be in front of the Christmas Tree, might be in front of a homemade altar, maybe it’s at a chapel. But have a space you can go to recharge with God. And keep in mind that there is a purpose for all this celebration and prevent us from falling into ‘Grinch land’
Conclude with a prayer.
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