Keeper of Promises

Christmas Tree Lighting

This Week at Home (Haga clic para esta semana en casa )

Welcome to the Fourth Week of Advent. With songs, time spent together, and the word of God, let us join in our homes to prepare for the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ! (Click here for a printable PDF)

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Sunday, December 19, 2021: Blessed Are You Who Believed

Mary waited for the messiah throughout her early life. But she waited for Jesus in a way unique to her. When she was invited to be part of this completely new thing God was doing, she said yes with her whole heart. And then she set out. Elizabeth’s words to Mary communicate something important. “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” Mary is blessed because she knew that God was a keeper of promises. As we wait in hope, we can meditate on this truth. Take some time to think about what we hope for. We often worry about the conditions of the world. The weight of its brokenness can be hard to bear. But God keeps promises. In the words of the prophets and in the life of Jesus, a new possibility is revealed.

Take some time today to meditate on the possibility of a world filled with God’s love, governed by justice and peace to the ends of the earth.

Click for today’s readings.

SING A CHRISTMAS SONG TOGETHER

PEOPLE LOOK EAST, BY MARTY HAUGEN

1. Holy Child within the manger, long ago yet ever near;
Come as friend to ev’ry stranger, come as hope for ev’ry fear
As you lived to heal the broken, greet the outcast, free the bound
As you taught us love unspoken, teach us now where you are found

2. Once again we tell the story, how your love for us was shown
When the Image of your glory wore an image like our own.
Come, enlighten with your wisdom, come, and fill us with your grace.
May the fire of your compassion kindle ev’ry land and race.

3. Holy Child within the manger, lead us ever in your way,
So we see in ev’ry stranger how you come to us today.
In our lives and in our living give us strength to live in you,
That our hearts might be forgiving and our spirits strong and true.

Monday, December 20: Nothing Impossible

“Nothing will be impossible for God.” It is easy to be discouraged when confronting a struggle. People have cried out to God throughout salvation history, longing to heal the brokenness in their lives and in the world. God’s solution came in a way beyond their comprehension: God coming to experience human life and thereby redeem it. Consider illustrating this Gospel passage or copying the Scripture. While you are reflecting, meditate on these words: “Nothing will be impossible for God.”

What are the seeming impossibilities in your life? Where might God provide solutions beyond your imagination?

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Tuesday, December 21: The Visitation

Imagine yourself alongside the newly pregnant Mary as she goes “in haste” across eighty miles of rough terrain, seeking out someone also experiencing a miraculous pregnancy. What did she see, hear, and think about as she was walking?

We know that John the Baptist leapt for joy within his mother at the sound of Mary’s voice. What do you think Elizabeth felt when John leapt for joy?

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Wednesday, December 22: He Has Lifted Up the Lowly

Mary proclaims the Magnificat, her song of praise to God, in Luke 1:46–56. Copy the Scripture. Which words particularly speak to you? While reading the Scriptures, we see how God has acted in history. This can help us to see what God is doing today.

How do you see God acting as Mary proclaims?

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Thursday, December 23: Great Mercy

In today’s Gospel, the birth of John is described as “the Lord had shown his great mercy toward” Elizabeth. When have you experienced God’s mercy? God kept the promise to Elizabeth, and in doing so, kept the promise of the prophets of old, that one would come who would prepare the way of the Lord.

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Friday, December 24: Nativity Scene

Laying out a Nativity can be a contemplative experience. If you have already set up a Nativity, spend some time sitting before it in silent prayer. What do you notice? Did you know that St. Francis of Assisi put together the first Nativity? Nativities have helped Christians to pray about the incarnation for hundreds of years.

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Saturday, December 25: Joy to the World!

Today we celebrate the incarnation, God becoming human that we might share in God’s divine life. We might wonder why God would choose to become something so vulnerable as a new baby. Why would God want to enter into the human condition, with all its limitations? Why would God enter into a world with sadness and suffering, and death? He came to open the way to a new possibility: a kingdom marked by justice, peace, and life. God’s love is more than anything we can imagine, and God’s will is for us to live in that love.

Click for Today’s Readings

Advent Songs Online

Here is a playlist of music that is focused on preparation with Advent songs found online. Consider more meditative instrumental music for the playlist as well. Listening to this music in the car or while making dinner can balance the excitement and bustle of December. As much joy as we have for the coming of Christ, we still wait in hope for something more, and music can help us be present to that reality.

© 2021 USCCB, additional text by Liturgy Training Publications. 800-933-1800 and Kathryn Ball-Boruff. Permission to publish was granted by the Archdiocese of Chicago on February 9, 2021.

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