Scripture Readings: Advent Week Four (December 24)

First reading
2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-12,14,16

Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’
    But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan:

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Scripture Readings: Advent Week Three (December 17)

First reading
Isaiah 61:1-2,10-11

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me,
for the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring good news to the poor,
to bind up hearts that are broken;

to proclaim liberty to captives,
freedom to those in prison;
to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.

‘I exult for joy in the Lord,
my soul rejoices in my God,
for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation,
he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity,
like a bridegroom wearing his wreath,

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Scripture Readings: Advent Week Two (December 10)

First reading
Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11

‘Console my people, console them’
says your God.
‘Speak to the heart of Jerusalem
and call to her
that her time of service is ended,
that her sin is atoned for,
that she has received from the hand of the Lord
double punishment for all her crimes.’

A voice cries, ‘Prepare in the wilderness
a way for the Lord.
Make a straight highway for our God
across the desert.
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low.

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Scripture Readings: Advent Week One (December 3rd)

First reading
Isaiah 63:16b-17,19b, 64:2-7;

You, Lord, yourself are our Father,
‘Our Redeemer’ is your ancient name.
Why, Lord, leave us to stray from your ways
and harden our hearts against fearing you?
Return, for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your inheritance.

Oh, that you would tear the heavens open and come down!
– at your Presence the mountains would melt.

No ear has heard,
no eye has seen
any god but you act like this
for those who trust him.

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Christmas 2011 - Laurence Freeman

Talk by Laurence Freeman OSB in preparation for Christmas 2011, the Benedictine Center for Spirituality in London

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Advent Message from Fr. Laurence - Week 4

"From a divine son will rise a human race and a hero will dominate the world and his fame will spread over the earth." These words from a 7th century Tibetan hymn suggest how deep and universal is the anticipation for one among us who will come and lead us beyond ourselves in order that we may at last find ourselves.  This one we await will be both familiar and a stranger.

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Advent Message from Fr. Laurence - Week 3

John the Baptist was a wild man. He felt drawn to the wilderness. He was himself there. “I am a voice crying in the wilderness.’ It was where he felt at home, with his locusts and wild honey, rather than in the best restaurants and hotels.

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Advent Message from Fr. Laurence - Week 2

In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’ (Mk 1:8)

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Advent Message from Fr. Laurence - Week 1

Stay Awake. This is the teaching of Jesus in the gospel for the first Sunday of Advent – the preparation time for Christmas.

I have been travelling in S America and Asia in the past few weeks and have seen the various effects of the global financial crisis. In retrospect it’s obvious that we slept-walked into the crisis, allowing the oscillation between greed and fear that controls the market place to induce a dangerous dream state.

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