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Advent week I : Listen to the Cry of the Earth

Advent Journey Guide 2015

Read


GOSPEL : Luke 21:25-28, 34-36


“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see ’the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Reflection and meditation

  • In the Gospel reading, God communicates through creation. Liberation and creation are interrelated. “The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us.
  • Soil, water, mountains : everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” (par. 84 – Laudato Si)
  • We are invited to be sensitive to the signs communicated by the creatures around us. Let us meditate by listening to the cry of the earth. “What is happening to our common home ?” Look around and connect with every creature.
  • How do you relate with creation ? “We understand better the importance and meaning of each creature if we contemplate it within the entirety of God’s plan.” (par. 86 – Laudato Si) “All creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God, in that transcendent fullness where the risen Christ embraces and illumines all things.” (par. 83 – Laudato Si) “A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.” (par. 91 – Laudato Si) Every act of cruelty towards any creature is “contrary to human dignity.” (par. 92 – Laudato Si)

Pray


Ask for the grace to see the Earth as a Gift, not a possession. Each creature has a purpose. There is interconnection and interrelatedness among creatures.

Act


In the First Reading from Jeremiah, we hear the Lord say : “The days are coming when I shall fulfill the promise I made.” The promise that salvation will be experienced and that we will live in safety. What can you personally do to make this happen ? What concrete actions will you take this week to help address the problems of pollution, climate change, the issue of water, loss of biodiversity, the decline in the quality of human life and global inequality ?
“May the Lord increase more and more your love for each other and for all people.” ( from the Second Reading : 1 Thes 3:12-4:2)

Celebrate


(par 87 – Laudato Si) When we can see God reflected in all that exists, our hearts are moved to praise the Lord for all his creatures and to worship him in union with them. This sentiment finds magnificent expression in the hymn of Saint Francis of Assisi :


Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
who is the day and through whom you give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour ;
and bears a likeness of you, Most High.
Praised be you, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and the stars,
in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be you, my Lord,
through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather
through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.
Praised be you, my Lord,
through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be you, my Lord,
through Brother Fire, through whom you light the night,
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong”.


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