Advent Journey - Day 5 - Love, the Greatest Commandment
10 days of Advent A series of ten articles in preparation for Christmas. We set out to meet the Lord and be prepared. Day 5. Love - The Greatest Commandment. When a lawyer and expert of the law asked Jesus what the most important commandment is, Jesus responded, "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind...The second is to love your neighbour as yourself."
All of Christianity comes down to how we love God and how everything we do - relationships, work, entertainment, education, displays our love for God. No success, status, or possession will matter at the end of our days. How we loved God and loved others will be our victory.
Make no mistake this seems a simple request from Jesus. Yet in our human natures we can find this at times very difficult to do.
In Matthew 5.23–24, Jesus says: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
He is very clear and gives us clear direction in what we must do. If on so doing your are rejected in your advance there is not much more you can do. If however your brother does come to be reconciled at a later point accept him as Jesus wants.
This Christmas is there anyone in my life I need to be reconciled with?
Father, it is so easy to forget that your Son, Jesus, is always the good news and that he has given us the remedy for our brokenness. “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” He spoke so clearly. We ask your Holy Spirit to remind us of this again and again. We ask you for the gift of hope in our lives and know that we need to turn to one another for the confidence and assurance that we will emerge from situations, that, in the short term seem hopeless. Banish fear and anxiety from our hearts.
Help us remove the barriers that seem to sour our relationships and keep us at a distance. Heal the short tempers, the crabbiness and the grudges we hold, against one another.
Prompt us to be beacons in the present darkness, and especially beacons to one another. We are all guilty of some selfishness, many of us have lived beyond our means and we become angry and irrational and embrace ideologies that protect our acquisitions.
We believe in the power of your grace to change our lives and we promise tonight to be once again open to that grace. Bless us with a peaceful spirit and a desire to be reconciled with one another.
Lord, I’m here today with open hands and an open heart,
ready to depend on you to help me through the day
and all it will bring my way.
Help me live today in a way
that brings honour to Your holy name. Amen
TODAY is 4th Sunday of Advent
(optional commemoration of Saint Fachanan, Bishop)
He is the patron saint of Kilfenora diocese. Little is known about him but he is associated with the foundation of the first monastic settlement in Kilfenora.
We remember at this joyful time those who are displaced, suffering from the effects of natural disasters, those in pain, those suffering from loneliness or depression. May the Lord help them, bless them and give them the strength to overcome. We pray to God for them.
WORD OF OUR LORD
Luke 1:26-38 - 'I am the handmaid of the Lord'
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
O Miraculous Infant Jesus! We prostrate before your image and beseech you to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let your tender heart, so inclined to pity, be softened by our prayers, and grant us that grace for which we ardently implore.
Always Remember - JESUS LOVES YOU
The Angel said to Mary:
Behold, you will conceive and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in our hour of conflict. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Only in God is my soul at rest. In Him comes my salvation.
We finish as we begun
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Catholic Doctrine, Gospels, Catechism - onlyingod.com
Catechism taken from Catholic Catechism - catechismonline.com
The Complete New Testament - thewordofourlord.com
The Rosary with Scripture - theholywordrosary.com