Good morning, everyone, hello and I hope you are all well today.

Welcome to Thursday’s Spiritual Lift. May it bless and encourage you as you read today.

Today we remember Saint Juan Diego. Here is some information about him from

St. Juan Diego – Saints & Angels – Catholic Online

Weekly Advent Scripture:

Our Scripture reading for this week continues to reflect the Season of Advent.  Our reading comes from Saint Luke’s Gospel this week. (Luke 3:4-6)  We have now begun a new Church year and so our Gospel writer focus is now on Saint Luke as we are in Cycle C of Sunday Mass readings.  Our verses speak of the King’s herald – Saint John the Baptist who is the forerunner to God’s Chosen One – Jesus, Our Messiah and who will prepare His way for Him to come and save His people.

“A voice cries in the wilderness; Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in. Every mountain and hill laid low, winding ways will be straightened and rough ways made smooth.  And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.”

Daily Advent Calendar:

Every day we shall open our Advent Calendar which has a scripture which tells the story of the first Christmas, and we can reflect in each of the readings upon during this lovely Season of Hope, Light and expectation!  .

On our Advent Calendar today, 9th December, the symbol and picture is of an Innkeeper with a lantern. 

Our scripture verses today taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible come from St Luke’s Gospel (Luke 2:7) “While they were there the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first-born.  She wrapped him in swaddling-clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the Inn.” 

Today as we open the window on our Advent Calendar, we are reminded that Our Lord Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords was born, not in a Royal palace or great Hall, but in a cold, draughty, smelly stable.   He was laid, not in a beautiful soft bed made from the finest materials of crafted wood decorated with gold and precious stones, sleeping on fine linen and warm blankets, but in a rough wooden manger – an animal feed-trough- full of straw and in strips of cloth.  Jesus is the humble Servant-King who identifies Himself with the poor, those on the edge of society and those excluded.  There was no room for Him in the Inn on that first Christmas.  As we approach this lovely feast of Our Saviour’s Birth, are we ready to welcome Jesus in our hearts and make a special place for Him to stay or will we, like the Inn, turn Him away and say there is no room for Him, just as there was no room at His first coming? 

Our Advent prayer during this month:  Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!  

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

Advent 2021:

We continue on our Advent journey.   We are encouraged to prepare our hearts for the Birth of Our Lord Jesus at Christmas and we look forward with joy and hopeful expectation in the days ahead.  May we grow closer to the Lord in this lovely Season and remember God’s love for each one of us as He gave us His Son, Jesus to be our Saviour. The special colours of the Season are purple/violet and rose pink. Here is some information from the Liturgy Office.

Cycle of Prayer- Liturgy Office Advent:

Liturgical Calendar | Season of Advent (

Liturgical Calendar | Season of Advent – Liturgy Office

Advent has a twofold character: for it is a time of preparation for the Solemnities of Christmas, in which the First Coming of the Son of God to humanity is remembered; and likewise when, by remembrance of this, minds and hearts are led to look forward to Christ’s Second Coming at the end of time.

Advent Jesse Tree:

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.   May this help you reflect and pray with the Jesse Tree devotions. It is taken from Catholic Culture all about this beautiful Advent devotion.

Liturgical Year : Activities : Jesse Tree Symbols | Catholic Culture

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions – December. Let us join in prayer with Pope Francis during this joyful Advent Season. 

Pope’s Prayer Intention – December 2021 – Missio

Our MAC Prayer: 

Our Lady of the Magnificat, Mary the Mother of Jesus, pray for us.  Amen.

Our prayers for today: 

Today, I will be keeping a special prayer candle burning for you and will remember you and your prayer intentions before the Lord.

Let us ask…..

Our Lady of the Magnificat, pray for us.  Amen. 

Our Lady of Sorrows, Mother and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.  Amen. 

Our Lady of Walsingham, 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, 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 Joseph, 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 Juan Diego, pray for us.  Amen.

Blessings to you all on this day.

Miss Downes



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