Advent: Week 4, Peace

Advent is a four week season of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas and it always has a theme of looking towards the future coming of Christ at the end times. One of the prayers of the early Church which is linked with the season of waiting and longing, was the Aramaic word 'MARANATHA', which means 'Come Lord'. Use this prayer often this week as one way to begin preparation for Christmas.

Advent Theme: God shows his mercy through the face of Jesus We need to be the face of Jesus in the world today. During this  Advent season we are waiting "for all the individuals and nations on earth to grow into the kind of relationship with each other that will encourage mutual help instead of competition and conflict. Then the Kingdom of God will be established!".

Advent and the wreath meaning:

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Week 4 - Peace

Prayer at the lighting of the fourth candle

God of our waiting,
We light this candle to remind us that the birth of Jesus is imminent.
We pray that you may deepen our spirit of love, so that our hearts will be open to warmly welcome your Son, Jesus into our lives, into our families and into our world

Jesus was born of Mary, the betrothed of Joseph, a son of David.
Matthew 1:18-24

Try to be intuitive to God’s voice this week. What is being communicated to you at this time in your life?

The Mary Candle

Today we honour Mary’s role in our Salvation: She gave Jesus to the world. Among our many Advent traditions is that of the Mary Candle - A white candle tied with blue ribbon - which stands witness to Mary’s many months of expectancy and hope. In your home you might also light a Mary Candle as an added reminder of your hope in Jesus, the light of the world.

Mary's place in our heritage

Pregnancy and birth are among the most common experiences of life - yet almost every pregnancy is extraordinary. We think of our Mothers who are expecting, and today too, of many Mothers who have lost their babies. Like all mothers, Mary experienced the hope and expectation of her new child along with great physical and lifestyle changes. She was also on the threshold of a unique relationship with her God.

What does Mary mean for us?

Firstly, Mary was human. She accepted God’s call, but she still struggled with the meaning of much that she experienced. It is clear that faithfulness does not mean an easy path, free of doubt and struggle. Such example is relevant today in a world of many changes and challenges.

Secondly, it is also an appropriate time to acclaim the place of the feminine in our Church, as Mary exemplifies; the place of care and constant support, the willingness to remain faithful in times of trauma as well as times of joy. In a world that is thankfully growing in the recognition of the place of the feminine, we of the Church can look to Mary’s response as a source of inspiration.

Week 4 Theme: Let our Church be Jesus Christ's visible face to bring peace in the world today

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