Good morning everyone. Hello, and I hope you are well.
Welcome to our Spiritual Lift for this Thursday.
Season of Advent 2020:
As we continue into Week 2 of Advent, our scripture reading this week for prayer and reflection comes from: St Mark’s Gospel (Mark 1:2-4) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.
“It is written in the book of the Prophet Isaiah :‘Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way: A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight’, and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Today we remember the Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto. Last year, the Holy Father Pope Francis declared 10th December each year going forward to be the date for this special feast during the joyful Season of Advent. Here is some information about this from the National Catholic Reporter.
Season of Advent 2020:
We are continuing our journey through 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.
Month of December:
Following the cycle of the Liturgical Year and the Cycle of prayer link here:
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: The Book of the Prophet Baruch. (Bar 5:7-9)) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.
“For God has decreed the flattening of each high mountain, of the everlasting hills, the filling of the valleys to make the ground level so that Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God. And the forests and every fragrant tree will provide shade for Israel at the command of God; for God will guide Israel in joy by the light of his glory with his mercy and integrity for escort.”
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, 10th December, the symbol and picture on our virtual Calendar is of the angels in glory who appeared to the shepherds in the fields the night Jesus was born.
Our scripture verses today taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible come from St Luke’s Gospel (Luke 2:8-11)
“In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today, in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’ “
Today as we open our window on our virtual Advent Calendar, we are met with the brilliance of the glory of God shining in the skies and surrounding the shepherds on the earth who saw and heard the message of the Gloria and good news of Jesus’ Birth. What a wonderful sight it must have been that night with the choirs of angels in heaven proclaiming the birth of the Light of the World, Jesus, our Lord and Saviour! As our days and nights draw in and things get darker, let us remember that light is more powerful than darkness. By the light of our Advent Wreath, our Christmas Tree and Christmas lights outside and in our homes, in whatever we face, we proclaim that God’s light, hope and love have the last word. Our King, Jesus, Radiant Dawn and Light for all People is our God-With-Us, our Immanuel.
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.
Keeping Jesus company in the Blessed Sacrament – Holy Hour for Coronavirus Pandemic this evening. We will be meeting together tonight in a spirit of community and prayer from 8-9pm.
I will be holding my Holy Hour with the Lord online in the Blessed Sacrament again this evening. You can access Eucharistic Adoration online by simply typing in “Eucharistic Adoration” into your browser or click on the site I use which is www.savior.org. As before, you are most welcome to join in with me if you are able. Please do consider joining in yourself at home if you can, even if it is only for a few moments to offer a prayer or thought during 8-9pm.
Tonight, let us remember before the Lord those who are struggling in these days and who carry heavy burdens because of the pandemic. Let us remember those parts of our world where the virus is quickly spreading and is causing great suffering. Let us remember to keep all the peoples in our world and global Community affected by the virus in our prayers. Let us pray especially for the people of India, Russia, Latin America, particularly Brazil, the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. We continue to pray for those in the UK who have recently tested positive for COVID 19 and for the Administrations/Governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as they consider the way forward amidst the increase in the number of cases being reported each day. We pray for our Nation as new restrictions continue to come into force and we commit into Our Lord’s loving Hands the next six months. We pray for those parts of the UK which are currently under tighter Social Distancing measures. We ask Him to be especially close to those in the toughest restricted areas in Tiers 2 and 3. May the Lord protect those who live in these areas and give them His peace and encouragement in these days.
(i) We continue to hold up in prayer those who are sick, suffering and those who have died. (ii) We pray for those who care for them, their friends and families. (iii)We pray for those who suffer also in mind and spirit and ask that they may receive the help and support they need from the Lord and His Church on earth and those dedicated to care for them in the Medical profession.(iv) May people be caring and mindful of others as they remember to observe social distancing and safety guidelines. (v) We pray for England as we continue another week in our National Lockdown. (vi) We pray for those businesses which have yet to reopen or which had to close down again (vii) We give thanks for the breakthroughs in medical research and tests as the pilots for the many vaccines which are being put forward at this time. We ask that the Lord may continue to bless and inspire our Medical Researchers, Doctors and Scientists as they work together for the good of all people. May He grant them success so all can receive a vaccine in the future. (viii) We give thanks for the news that an effective Coronavirus vaccine has now been approved and will begin to be given to those most in need and at risk of this awful virus in the next few days, weeks and months. (ix) We give thanks to God that this week we have seen the first vaccines being given to those who need it most, those people over 80 years of age, nurses and Medical Staff in Hospitals.
Our daily scripture reading today comes from: The Book of the Prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 41:13) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.
“For I, the Lord, your God, I am holding you by the right hand; I tell you, ‘Do not be afraid, I will help you.’ “
Our prayers for today:
Today, I will be keeping a candle burning for your intentions.
Let us ask…..
Our Lady of Loreto, pray for us. Amen.
Our Lady, Mary, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us. Amen.
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.
Blessings to you all on this day.