Hello everyone, good morning.  Hope you are well.

Welcome to our Spiritual Lift on this Thursday.

May the Lord in His love keep you and your families safe and well as we break for the Christmas holidays today.  May you experience all the wonder and blessings of the festive season and the joy of Christmas. Wishing you all a safe, blessed and hopeful New Year in 2021.

Season of Advent 2020:

Weekly Scripture for Advent Week 3.

As we are now in Week 3 of Advent, and we are encouraged to rejoice! The Latin word for rejoice during Advent is ‘Gaudete’. Our God is coming to save us, and He will be called Immanuel, God-With-Us.   Our scripture reading this week for prayer and reflection comes from: St John’s Gospel (John 1:6-9) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.  St John the Baptist is the herald for Jesus to come.  St John speaks for Jesus Who is to come and points us towards His coming to us, the Messiah, God’s chosen and promised Ruler, our Lord and Saviour.

“A man came, sent by God.  His name was John.   He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him.  He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.  The Word was the true light, that enlightens all.”

Season of Advent 2020: Advent II.

The ‘O’ Antiphons Devotion.

The Advent Season has two parts.  From Advent Sunday until 16th December, it is Advent I.  From 17th December until 23rd December it is Advent II.  During Advent II, we pray the ‘O’ Antiphons. They refer to some of the ancient titles of Jesus and there are readings from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah for each one.   Here is some information and links about this devotion: Advent I focuses on Jesus’ first coming among us as He was born in Bethlehem and became Man for us – God becoming flesh.  Advent II focuses on Jesus’ Second Coming as King and Judge of the whole world and the Universe to establish God’s Kingdom at the end of time and all things.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Antiphons

https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/catholic-contributions/what-are-the.html 

https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/liturgical-year/advent/about-advent/what-are-the-o-antiphons/ 

Today, our ‘O’ Antiphon is: O Sapientia – O Wisdom.  The scripture reference today is: Isaiah 11:2-3, 28:29

You can access these devotions from now until 23rd December.  There are seven devotions in all.

Season of Advent 2020:

The joyful and hopeful Season of Advent.  Jesse Tree Devotions.

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

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: The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 23:5,6) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.

” ‘See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as a true king and be wise, practising honesty and integrity in the land.  In his days Judah will be saved and Israel dwell in confidence.  And this is the name he shall be called: the Lord-our-integrity.’ “

We are continuing to count down to the day when we remember Jesus’ first coming at Christmas. Our journey is nearly complete! Let us remember how 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. May we draw close to His loving heart as we journey through Advent to the Feast of His Birth for us at Christmas.

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, 17th December, the symbol and picture on our virtual Calendar is of the Infant Jesus sleeping in the manger full of hay surrounded by stars and light from heaven.

Our scripture verses today taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible come from: The Book of the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 9:5)

“For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace.”

Today as we open the window on our Advent Calendar, we see the lovely image of our Lord Jesus asleep in a manger full of soft hay, wrapped in cloths and surrounded by light and stars.  Our invisible God has become visible. Our immense, untouchable, Holy God has become small, a little baby, made flesh, made human for our salvation.  God the Father has revealed His heart of love for our world as He gives us His only Son, Jesus. The true gift of Christmas is the Eternal Gift of Jesus to us and for us. May we, this Christmastime accept this wonderful Gift again and give thanks for God’s love and care for us.

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 have a review of the alert-level tier system today.  (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 continued to see many people receiving the new Coronavirus vaccine.  

Our daily scripture reading today comes from: St Matthew’s Gospel (Matt 1:18) Quotation taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible.

” This is how Jesus Christ came to be born.  His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.”

Our prayers for today: 

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

Let us ask…..

O God, Ancient Wisdom, hear our prayers.  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.

Miss Downes

 

 

 

Categories: Catholic Life

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