There is an Advent calendar on our website 'Home' page and also in the 'Youth' section for children.

 

Advent is a time when we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas and when we renew our desire for His second coming at the end of time. We should be praying to God for the theological gift of hope that comes from of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and the renewal of that gift in our lives. Hope is essential to the Christian life – it gives us joy, energy, enthusiasm; it makes us smile; it puts a spring in our step; it assures us that with God the impossible can be possible, that obstacles can be overcome, that the gloom can be transformed into light. More, it is hope that enables us to glimpse the joy of our true home in heaven. The weekly reflections below can help us on our journey of faith.

A Prayer for Advent

WEEK 1 OF ADVENT

William Holman Hunt, “The Light of the World,” 1851

Arts and Faith invites you to take a deeper look at the Scriptures through artwork. Reflect, during Advent, from some of the work of great artists. At the start of Advent, the Gospel calls us to vigilance - to watch and be ready for the Lord of the house, awaiting his return. During Advent, we light the Advent wreath to prepare the way for the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. Let us pray to the Lord to guide us in our prayers and lives during Advent. Lord Jesus, you are welcome in our lives, but sometimes it is hard to open the door. Please give us strength to be open and welcoming, to see beyond the darkness, and to let the light into our own lives.

WEEK 2 OF ADVENT

Pieter Brueghel the Younger, “St. John the Baptist Preaching,” 1601

The voice of John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness and gathering great crowds invites us into the Second Sunday of Advent. We too are called to look beyond and see ourselves as part of a body of people who are gathered by the Good News. Like John, we are also sent to share the Good News so as to help open the horizon of possibilities that lead us all into God’s eternal love. Let us pray this week that the Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen us so that we can be true witnesses to Christ in the way that we live our lives.

WEEK 3 OF ADVENT

Anton Raphael Mengs, “Saint John the Baptist Preaching,” circa 1775

On this third Sunday of Advent, we witness the prophetic call of St. John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord. St. John’s intercession is as intense as his preaching was - a voice that is still crying out with urgency, this time for the Lord’s Second Coming. His urgent voice comes before God filled with love for the Body of Christ, a love that seeks desperately to rouse this Body to readiness. When people ask us about Jesus or our faith, are we as passionate? How do we show our faith to others in our gestures, actions, and speech?

WEEK 4 OF ADVENT

John Collier, “The Annunciation,” 2000

John Collier’s contemporary depiction of the Annunciation brings the story of Mary’s encounter with the angel Gabriel into our present reality. In bringing together past and present, Collier invites us to see the Gospel scene not as a distant story but as one unfolding in our lives here and now. Standing at the door with Mary and Gabriel, we are at a liturgy, gathered into one Body to encounter the real presence of Christ in our midst. Like Mary, we are called to say “yes” to this moment and offer ourselves to await his arrival.

CHRISTMAS REFLECTION

Geertgen tot Sint Jans, “The Birth of Christ,” circa 1490

In his painting The Birth of Christ, Geertgen tot Sint Jans tells the story of the Nativity through faces surrounded by the play of light and dark. What is the power that is granted to the children of God? It is the power of God made perfect in weakness, humility, and service - not the power of domination, oppression, or brawn. Jesus was sent by God, the Father, to bring light to the world and share his message. Jesus’ message is for all of us to live as good, faithful people. This Christmas, let us acknowledge Christ as our Saviour and play our part in spreading His Light to those aroud us.

© 2018 Parish of Our Lady & St Edmund of Abingdon
1 Radley Road, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3PL

The Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust
A Registered charity number 246871
Diocesan Office, St Edmund House, Edinburgh Road, Portsmouth PO1 3QA

Information provided on any forms, together with all other personal data held about these individuals by the Parish and the Diocese of Portsmouth, is processed in accordance with the Diocese's Privacy Notice, which can be obtained here.