Advent

On Tuesday 8th December at 7pm, JRS UK will be holding their annual Advent Service online.Just like previous years, it will be a chance for refugees, supporters, volunteers and staff of JRS to come together and celebrate the beginning of Advent.The service will be led by Bishop Nicholas Hudson, with readings and performances from refugee friends, and carols and music by Eadaoin Hanrahan.Staff at JRS would be delighted if you, your family and friends would join them. When: Tuesday 8th...
Father Denis Blackledge SJ, parish priest of St Francis Xavier Church in Liverpool, provides a couple of minutes’ prayerful pondering each day, based on the scripture readings from that day’s Mass. They will be made available everyday on a digital advent calendar which you can view here.   
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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have dedicated 2020 to be a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. The prologue from John’s Gospel is read on Christmas day and famously speaks about ‘the Word’, and so we will be using these weeks of Advent, which begin the Year of the Word, to prepare to hear John’s familiar text in a new way. How do the scriptures for the Sundays of Advent invite us to a deeper engagement with what John will tell us about ‘the Word’ on...
Fr Peter Gallagher SJ reflects on the first week of AdventThe night is almost over, it will be daylight soon [1].  Advent draws us towards the light.  Let us arm ourselves and appear in the light [2].  What is this light?  It is the light of Christ.  Let your armour be the Lord Jesus Christ [3].In the holy season of Advent we allow ourselves to be equipped not only to see the light but to live in it.  Let us walk in the light of the Lord [4]. The light of Christ...
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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have dedicated 2020 to be a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. The prologue from John’s Gospel is read on Christmas day and famously speaks about ‘the Word’, and so we will be using these weeks of Advent, which begin the Year of the Word, to prepare to hear John’s familiar text in a new way. How do the scriptures for the Sundays of Advent invite us to a deeper engagement with what John will tell us about ‘the Word’ on...
Credit Lawrence OP
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. On the Sunday before Christmas we are all of us hoping to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What is the Spirit saying to us as we enter the last week of Advent in the year of Our Lord 2018?  The Spirit is urging us, moving us, to recognise our Saviour who is about to be born.  With the help of the Holy Ghost we are to know the One who has been so long promised, so long looked forward to, yet who can somehow, even by his friends, be missed,...
In the final stage of the Examen, having reviewed the recent events of our lives to see how God has already moved us, we imagine, with increased hope, how we might move with God and for God in the time to come. Frances Murphy concludes our Advent Examen by reflecting on how this mirrors our Advent experience.  Read the guide to the Examen on which the format of our Advent Examen is based.Advent Examen: 1. ThanksgivingAdvent Examen: 2. Prayer for the lightAdvent Examen:...
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As we reach the fourth stage of our Advent Examen, the focus is on sorrow, but it is not about wallowing or self-condemnation, as Stephen Hoyland emphasises. The preceding steps of the Examen have created a context of gratitude in which our sorrow, when we engage with it properly, can create space for us to receive God’s love and can lead us to new ways of loving.  Read the guide to the Examen on which the format of our Advent Examen is based.Advent Examen: 1. ThanksgivingAdvent...
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Examining your own experience might sound like a process of which you ought to be in control, but doing so in the Examen is not about trying to tell your own story. Instead, says Rob Marsh SJ, ‘we ask to hear a little of God’s story being woven from the fabric of our life.’ In third stage of our Advent Examen, take up St Ignatius’s invitation to ask an account of your soul.  Read the guide to the Examen on which the format of our Advent Examen is based.Advent Examen: 1. ...
Telling the story of the Christmas Goose
Farm Street Church this week witnessed a joyful start to the Advent season as it hosted the Jesuit Refugee Service's Advent service. The readings, which included both traditional scripture and poetry, read by JRS staff, volunteers and refugees, gave the packed church plenty to reflect upon.The service was led by Fr Damian Howard SJ, who asked in his welcome that we "think of those who are far from home, missing their loved ones, and make ourselves present to them as God makes himself present to...

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