Discovering Gods love of and longing to embrace our humanity.
I want a deep-felt knowledge of the unimaginable dignity and love that God bestows on my humanity in Jesus and Gods deep desires for all of the human family and our planet.
Prayer Material for days 1-3
1. Prayer of Consideration: See The Nativity -- Fleming
Luke 2: 1-7
2. Luke 2: 8-20 The shepherds hear the angels news. They hurry to find Mary, Joseph and the
baby. Then they go back to their flocks glorifying and praising God. Join the shepherds in the
countryside and then go with them to visit Jesus in the stable.
3. Prayer of Consideration: See The Birth of Jesus Tetlow
Mathew 2: 1-12
Lord Jesus, right from the moment of your birth, you lived with both the little and the great.
You charmed and challenged and won them all. Lord, let me feel your charismatic warmth, that tremendous welcoming grace that made the simple love you and their leaders seek you in the night. Teach me to rest easy where you select, as easy as hairy shepherd and smooth shaven savant , easy as the Lady Mary who bore you gently, your abba! Accept the homage of my heart along with the shepherds' adoring gaze and the gifts of the worshipful kings.!
Additional Scripture and Prayer Material
1. Prayer of Consideration see supplement, The Hidden Life - Bradley
2. Luke 3: 1-18 John the Baptizer, the precursor The people were filled with
expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Messiah.
3. Isaiah 52: 7-10 Rejoice,
4. Isaiah 7: 10-14 and who, born of a virgin, is named Emmanuel, God-is-with-us.
5. Zephaniah 3: 14-18 God, the savior, is in your midst.
6. Hebrews 1: 1-6 through the Son who is the reflection of God
Consideration for Days 1-3
What are my deepest desires for my own humanity?
What do I long for to help me to become more authentically human?
In what areas of my life am I being asked to say yes to God as Mary did?
How am I challenged in my life and work in contemporary culture by what I see as Gods choice of
poverty, vulnerability, and powerlessness in the birth of Jesus?
Discovering Gods love confronting the forces of evil
I want to know and recognize the false lights and reasoning of evil and the deep knowledge and understanding of true human living exemplified in Jesus Christ. I want the grace to live my life as Jesus lived his.
Prayer Material for days 4-7
4. Luke 4: 14-32 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me They were impressed with
him Then, they rose up, dragged Jesus out of town to throw him over the
cliff Be with Jesus as he experiences rejection from the people of his own town.
5. Prayer of Consideration: See A Meditation on Two Leaders, Two Strategies Fleming.
6. Mark 6: 17-44 The image of the two banquets is the image of the two
7. Prayer of Consideration: see Two Standards and Two Value Systems - Tetlow
Eternal Lord of all creation, humbly I come before you. Knowing the support of Mary, your Mother, and of all your saints, I am moved by your grace to offer myself to you and to your work. I deeply desire to be with you in accepting all wrongs and all abuse and all poverty, both actual and spiritual and I deliberately choose this, if it is for your greater service and praise. If you, my Lord, would so call and choose me, then take and receive me into such a way of life.
Additional Scripture and Prayer Material
1. Matthew 4: 1-11 The Three Temptations. Jesus is tempted to take care of
himself only (riches), to see himself as better than other (honors), and to see
himself as a god unto himself (pride).
2. Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43 Parable of the weeds and the wheat; both weeds
and wheat exist within us individually and within the social structures of our
3. Psalm 94: 17-23 There he experienced poverty of spirit empty of all resources except dependence on his Abba, and so over and over again, he places his trust in his nurturing God.
4. Hebrew 4: 14-16; 5: 7-10 This is a description of the kind of struggle Jesus
Sirach 51 This prayer might very well have been one that Jesus
prayed. Through his struggles he recalled,
relearned and received wisdom that was to guide
him through his three years of public life.
Friends? Peer pressure? Do I feel any need to change any of my values? Add, subtract, re-prioritize? How do I feel these values of mine are accepted by my peers? -- by true friends? -- by Christ? Can people surmise from my actions what my values are? What for me is success?
How am I being called to cooperate with others in developing a more caring world? If I am to be a follower of Jesus, and given my own personal story and gifts, what elements or nuances would characterize my following of Jesus? The tapestry of Jesus life is woven from many threads and colors. Which of these threads and colors need to be part of my own tapestry?
Poverty of spirit means that my confidence is in God alone, not even in my own talents or gifts or achievements. It is to open to God all the resources of my intellect, heart, possessions and time. It is to cooperate consciously with God's dream for planet Earth in my plans, endeavors and choices. It means I'm sufficiently detached from such things as my need for approval, esteem, possessions, etc. so that I am dependent only on God's spirit.
John Veltri, S.J., Orientations
We can rely on a power at work in nature and the human heart, a power, a truth that will heal and unite us. We will join the dance of the universe, find our common ground here in our garden home the earth.
-- from Wounded Earth, Wonder Earth, the 1989 calendar by Mary Southard
Failure is implicit in challenge. It wouldnt be a challenge if we knew we could do it.
-- from The Womans Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden
Luke 6: 17-23 The Beatitudes express the standard of Jesus. Enter into the event that is described. Be present and listen as Jesus is speaking. Allow his words to affect you. They set forth attitudes and not a list of what you must achieve before God. Rather, the are a description of how God sees you when you have entered a deep relationship with Jesus.