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Living in Hope: The Trinity. The first week of an Advent and Christmas Retreat by Becky Eldredge
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Living in Hope Retreat
Week 1 - The Trinity


Dear Friends, 

Happy 1st week of Advent!   

Each week for our retreat, we will focus on one person or persons who helps us live in hope.  For our first week, our focus is The Trinity.  Specifically, I want us to consider St. Ignatius' meditation on the Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises (#102-108).  

In this meditation, St. Ignatius invites us to imagine the Trinity looking down on Earth from Heaven.  As the Trinity pays attention to what is unfolding on Earth, they decide it is time to send the second person of the Trinity to Earth to "respond to the groaning of creation".  And the Incarnation is set into motion! 

The Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, help us live in hope because they continue to dwell within our hearts and in our world, through Scripture, through the Sacraments, and through each person on Earth.  When you think about it-- it's hard not to be hopeful, because God is everywhere!   

And the Incarnation, God becoming flesh, opens the path for Jesus to show us God's abundant activity, love, and mercy in our lives.  This week, let us pray for the grace to notice the dwelling of God within our daily lives! 

Know you are in my prayers!
Peace,
Becky
TEACHING US HOW TO LIVE WITH HOPE:  THE TRINITY
 
Living with Hope:  Week 1

PRAYING WITH HOPE: THE WORD OF GOD

The below Readings are from the Sunday Readings for the First Sunday of Advent.  Pick one reading each day for prayer.  Throughout the week, repeat the scriptures that capture your attention.  

If you would like to pray with the daily readings this week in addition to the Sunday readings, the USCCB posts them daily here.  


When praying with scripture, I invite you to try the prayer method of Lectio Divina.  Click here to download a guide.


First Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 3

Reading 1JER 33:14-16

The days are coming, says the LORD, 
when I will fulfill the promise 
I made to the house of Israel and Judah.
In those days, in that time, 
I will raise up for David a just shoot ; 
he shall do what is right and just in the land.
In those days Judah shall be safe 
and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; 
this is what they shall call her: 
“The LORD our justice.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14

R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day. 
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way. 
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction. 
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.

Reading 21 THES 3:12—4:2

Brothers and sisters:
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love
for one another and for all,
just as we have for you, 
so as to strengthen your hearts, 
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father 
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters, 
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us 
how you should conduct yourselves to please God
and as you are conducting yourselves
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

GospelLK 21:25-28, 34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, 
and on earth nations will be in dismay, 
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright 
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, 
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man 
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen, 
stand erect and raise your heads 
because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy 
from carousing and drunkenness 
and the anxieties of daily life, 
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times 
and pray that you have the strength 
to escape the tribulations that are imminent 
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

from www.usccb.org

 
REFLECTING ON HOPE:
 
1.  If the Trinity looked down on the Earth today, what would they notice? What do you notice about our world today? 

2.  Where do you feel God might want to enter the world and dwell? Where do you notice God entering our world? 

3.  Where in our own lives would God might want to enter and dwell?  Where do you notice God entering your life?

4.  How do you feel called by God to be part of spreading the light of the Incarnation?
 
5.  What are the concrete steps you will take to answer the call placed on your heart this Advent season? 
Putting Hope into Action:  The Advent Wreath

I remember the excitement I felt as a child when my mom would pull out our Advent Wreath and place it on our dinner table.  It symbolized to me that something important was happening.  As a young child, it meant the count down to Christmas and Santa could officially begin!  The older I got, though, I appreciated the way the Advent Wreath kept our family's focus on the reason behind Advent: counting down to celebrate Jesus' birth.

This Advent season, if you do not already own one, consider purchasing or creating your own Advent Wreath.  It is a beautiful way to ritualize the waiting we are doing in Advent to celebrate the light Jesus' birth brings into our lives and to symbolize the hopeful waiting we are still doing as we wait for the second coming of the Son of Man.  

Once your wreath is assembled and placed in its place of honor, offer a blessing for your wreath.  During the first week of advent, light the purple candle diagonally across from the pink candle.  During the second week, light the purple candle next to the first one.  During the third week, light the pink candle, and the fourth week, light the last purple one.  On Christmas morning, light the white candle in the middle, symbolizing the great light that was brought into our world at Christ's birth!  Each time you light a candle, offer a prayer such as this one here
 
Copyright © 2015 Becky Eldredge, All rights reserved.


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