Hello everyone, good morning.  Hope your week has gone well for you.  May the Lord in His love bless and keep you throughout the weekend and give you His peace and protection.

Welcome to Friday’s Spiritual Lift.

Season of Advent:

As we have now begun our Advent journey, our weekly scripture to ponder this week has a strong Advent theme to it.  It comes from: The Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 11:1,2) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.

“A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots.  On him, the spirit of the Lord rests, a spirit of wisdom and insight, a spirit of counsel and power, a spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. (The fear of the Lord is his breath.)”

The Jesse Tree at the heart of our preparation for the joyful and hopeful Season of Advent.  

A lovely tradition within the Church is to pray and reflect on the Family Tree of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour.  It is called a ‘Jesse Tree’ and with prayers, scripture readings and reflections, along with symbols relating to each day of the devotion these are hung on a tree throughout December and the Season of Advent. The ‘Jesse Tree’ links us up with the Genealogy – the Family line -of Jesus as recorded in St Matthew’s Gospel, all the way from Abraham to Jesus Himself. (Matthew 1:1-16)

The ‘tree’ can be either a paper one, the main Christmas Tree in the family room or a special little tree, made from evergreens for this use.

It is called a ‘Jesse Tree’, because Jesse was the father of King David, and Jesus is related to King David because He is of the Family Line and House of David through St Joseph.  This was part of the Lord’s plan for our redemption and salvation through Jesus.  St Joseph, foster-father and guardian of Jesus and Husband of Mary, Our Lady, was of the Family Line of David, which is why Jesus was born in Bethlehem because David’s Line originated here.  Here is some information about this devotion and tradition in the link below.

Here is the link again for you to help you reflect and pray with the Jesse Tree devotions.

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=545

Today we remember Saint John Damascene, also known as Saint John of Damascus. Here is s video about Saint John from www.catholic.org.

https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=66

Month of December:

Following the cycle of the Liturgical Year and the Cycle of prayer link here:

https://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Calendar/Cycle/Index.shtml

During the month of December, we are encouraged to read and discover the many treasures of God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures and pray for Expectant Mothers, especially as we remember Our Lady as she carried the unborn Jesus, we pray also for Migrants and Refugees.  As we read and ponder the first Christmas and Epiphany with the journeys undertaken by the Holy Family, we remember that they too were migrants to Bethlehem from Nazareth and later from Bethlehem to Egypt and then from Egypt back to Nazareth many years later.

Our prayer this month:

(Mar’anatha – Aramaic – the language Jesus would have spoken – which means, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20 and c.f. 1 Corinthians 16:22d)

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! 

Our daily Advent scripture today comes from: St Mark’s Gospel (Mark 13: 35-37) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.

Jesus said, “So stay awake, because you do not know when the Master of the house is coming; evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep.  And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!”

We now begin to count down to the day when we remember Jesus’ first coming at Christmas. The Son of God chose to become a tiny baby, born in Bethlehem, wrapped in cloths and laid in a manger in a stable.  Although He is the King above all kings, Jesus chose to be born in poverty to make us spiritually rich.  He was there in the stable because there was no room for Him and Mary and Joseph in the Inn as the first Roman Census was taking place.

Advent Calendar picture today and scripture to help us pause, ponder, pray and reflect.  Our scripture is taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible. 

Today as we open our window on the Advent Calendar today,4th December, the symbol and picture on our virtual Calendar is of an angel appearing to St Joseph.

Our scripture verses today come from St Matthew’s Gospel. (Matt 1:20,21) “…the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.”  

Today as we open the window on our Advent Calendar, may it remind us of St Joseph’s prayers and trust in God, and his total obedience and faithfulness to God’s plan.  St Joseph trusted fully in the Lord even when the circumstances he found himself in were difficult.  During these days of Advent, may we ask the Lord for the gifts of prayerful trust, faithfulness and His help in our daily commitment to walking His path which leads to love, joy and peace.

Daily special candle offered for MAC Staff, pupils and their families – Autumn Term 2- November-December 2020.

As we continue to journey forth into a new Half Term and as we live in these uncertain and trying days both here in our school Communities and in our day to day lives in our families, neighbourhoods and wider communities, let us continue to place all our prayers and petitions into Our Lady’s hands.   Every day this week and throughout the whole of this Half Term, a special candle will burn again for us all in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes.  May she keep us all safe and well, under her protective mantle.  May your days and weeks go well for you, your pupils, and their families in these days within all the School Communities in our MAC.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Amen.

St Thomas More, pray for us. Amen.

St Peter, pray for us. Amen.

St Bede the Venerable, pray for us, Amen.

St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us.  Amen.

Our daily scripture reading today comes from: The Book of Psalms (Psalm 27:8,9) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.

“The Lord is the strength of his people, the stronghold where his anointed find salvation.  Save your people; bless Israel your heritage.  Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.”

Our prayers for today: 

Today, I will be keeping a candle burning for your intentions.

Let us ask…..

Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us.  Amen.

Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, pray for us.  Amen.

Our Lady of Lourdes, Patron of our Archdiocese and our MAC, Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us. Amen.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Luke, Beloved Physician (Doctor) and companion of St Paul the Apostle, Patron of Doctors and Healthcare professionals, pray for us. Amen.

St Jude Thaddeus, Patron of impossible or difficult circumstances, pray for us.  Amen.

St Raphael, Archangel, God’s healing Angel, pray for us.  Amen.

St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Nurses, pray for us.  Amen.

St Camillus of Lellis, Patron of the Sick, pray for us. Amen.

St Sebastian, patron of the sick and plagues of disease, pray for us.  Amen. 

St John Henry Newman, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us.  Amen.

St John Damascene, (St John of Damascus) pray for us.  Amen.

Blessings to you all on this day.

Miss Downes

 

 

Categories: Catholic Life

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