December 24

December 24

You are invited into a time of spiritual reflection and prayer in this Advent season—a season of waiting and listening, a season of expectation and hope.

O Lord, let me not conform to the ways of this world, but transform me by your Holy Spirit; renew me mind and heart that I may discern and do Your Will—what is good and acceptable and perfect. AMEN.


FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT
and CHRISTMAS EVE

December 24. Lightening up.

TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE as you begin

“Keep alert for you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:33
“Keep awake.” 1 Thessalonians 5:6

REFLECTION from Marie Wonders

My favorite Christmas Story is A Christmas Carol. I love the book, I love the movies. (I really love the muppet version.) I recently went to see The Man Who Invented Christmas, a movie about Charles Dickens writing A Christmas Carol. In the movie, Charles Dickens confronts the temptation toward his own inner Scrooge. When Charles remembers a traumatizing childhood event, the character of Scrooge rises up in Charles’ mind to taunt him, to entice him into Scrooge’s miserly ways. Charles is able to fight back and regain a generous spirit by telling this voice in his head, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”

The way of Jesus is the way of burden-lightening. Jesus tells us he will exchange our heavy burdens for his light ones. Out of love for God, we try to do the same for others. A Christmas Carol gives us some lovely guidance on burden-lightening with quotes like:

But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself…   Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

(I like to quote this one around the house.) Just like Scrooge comes to face the true business of his life, Jesus calls us to “keep awake” to not get sleepy and sloppy with the business of our lives. As we end the advent season, how has this time woken you to God’s presence? What does it mean for you to “keep awake”? If instead, an inner Scrooge has arisen in your mind this advent, one that makes you feel like, “ a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!” Remember that God, who doesn’t ever sleep, is ready to wake you up and be awake with you.

PRAYER.  Candle, burn with golden fire in the darkest night;
                 Jesus, help me follow you: make my whole world bright.

TAKE A MOMENT OF SILENCE as you close.

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