For those of us in the Catholic Church, today is Gaudete Sunday. We are now half way through Advent and before we know it Christmas will be here. I, for one, am NOT ready.
Those who have the traditional 3 purple and 1 rose candles on their Advent wreath will light the rose candle this week. At Mass last night, the Archbishop and our associate pastor both wore rose colored vestments.
For those who are not Catholic or maybe have not been to Mass today, the readings were Zephaniah 3:14-18a/Philippians 4:4-7/Luke 3:10-18. Zephaniah tells us to shout for joy for all the God has done for us and that he is a savior in our midst. Instead of the Responsorial Psalm coming from Psalms, it is Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6 which reminds us that God IS our savior. Philippians continues the theme of rejoicing and the reading from Luke gives us a glimpse at the ministry of John the Baptist and how he knew that his baptism with water was just a foreshadowing of Christ’s coming and the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Last week, I shared how I seemed to be missing the mark on so many of my expectations for this Advent Season. While I still feel like I have not reached my perceived level of spiritual activity, I do feel like a few adjustments have me feeling more at ease over things.
On Tuesday last week, we attended Mass as a family to celebrate the Solemnity of Immaculate Conception of Mary. For the Catholic Church, this day was also the start of the Holy Year of Mercy. I am still reading to understand what the Holy Year of Mercy entails and the place of Holy Doors at designated churches around the globe in this time. However, I do full embrace the belief that God is the source of mercy and we only need to seek it from Him.
This past week found me reading from A Word Among Us daily as well. The edition I have in house includes the daily Mass readings which I find so helpful both at home or if I am able to make daily Mass. To keep this particular post from going long, I’m going to be sharing on a few of the themes later in the week which have been jumping out at me.
This past week saw a tie for most clicks, both going to the blog No Pencils, Pens, Knives or Scissors.
The annual Christmas gift-giving dilemma is a post that really resonated with me as it can be easy to go overboard in buying items for others and lose sight of the season’s true meaning. Her post, Help me prepare, Lord, also struck a chord as it shares how easy it can be to have Christmas here just so we can be done. Yet, when in church, it can be so much easier to fully embrace the call to wait and long for the Lord.
There are two others that I wanted to draw attention to from last week.
Elizabeth at Theology is a Verb had a fabulous post Wit & Wisdom: Waiting.
She challenged herself to consider WHAT she is waiting for, especially when it comes to spiritual growth. There are some beautiful quotes from Saints or possibly soon to be Saints, holy men and women who have walked before us. I wish I could pick a personal favorite from the 10 she shared, but rather encourage you to pop over and read them all. Such wisdom!
Finally, I really enjoyed reading Alan’s post The Gift of Advent at Grow in Virtue.
>Beyond the excellent reflection with some ideas of ways we can prepare our hearts, what truly struck me is that he announced it to be his last post of the calendar year. In the professional blogging world, the idea of taking time off seems almost ludicrous. I have to admire someone who knows they need to set aside one part of life to become more fully immersed in another which has greater priority at the time. We all need to unplug and connect in ways outside the virtual world and I have to applaud his not only making the decision to do so, but to put it out there as he did. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what he is writing come 2016.
My friend Trish over at A House Upon the Rock is joining me in co-hosting this 40 day meme. We will not be doing a daily link-up, but rather a weekly one. If you blog more than once a week, please add each link to the link-up, we’d love to find you and read what you are doing and learning as you seek Him.
Please consider joining us as we Seek Him for the next 40 days. We will celebrate from the first day of Advent through Epiphany on Jan. 6th.
When joining us on the 40 Days of Seeking Him meme, please link directly to your post. Every week we will link up and share what we are doing, learning or how we celebrate the birth of our Lord. You are more than welcome to link up to more than one post each week if you’ve written multiple posts on the topic of Advent and growing closer to Christ.
If you would, please help us find each other by using the photo button in your posts. Grab the code on this page here. Also, we’ll be using the hashtag #40DaysofSeekingHim on social media!
We have a Pinterest board we will be adding participants posts to from the weekly link ups. If you want to follow it you can find it here. We will also be highlighting a favorite post from the previous week as well as the most visited post.
We’d love to have you join our Facebook Group/Page. We will be posting there and chatting through the season as well.
Thank you for joining us. I look forward to reading your posts (as many as I possibly can) as we share what we are doing to prepare our hearts for the most wonderful gift God gave us ~ Jesus Christ.
How are you making Advent A Time of Preparation in your life?