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21 Dec 2017

Advent Retreat 2017

The Assumption Team was delighted to welcome young adults for an all-day Advent Retreat on Saturday 18th December. 

Advent is a season of anticipation and holy waiting, characterised by active hope. The recent retreat day offered space for spiritual preparation for Christmas through talks, prayer, silence, sharing, confessions and activities. It was organised part of the 'Your Kingdom Come' retreat series together with the Assumption Sisters, Fathers and Oblate Sisters of the Assumption.  All were enriched by the grace of God, the exchanges and the shared experience!

The theme of the retreat was taken from the Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent:  ‘Prepare the Way of the Lord’.  Paricipants both looked back to how John the Baptist had prepared the way of the Lord, and took time to reflect upon how they prepare the Way of the Lord, both for themselves and for others. "How are we preparing ourselves for Christ’s coming at Christmas, and how do our lives help (or hinder?) others encountering Christ?" - asked Sr Cathy, who gave the talk about the theme at the beginning of the day.  

 

John bears witness, and in doing so, prepares the way for Jesus’ coming. His words and actions (baptising) make people more receptive to Jesus, more prepared to encounter Jesus. We see something similar when Jesus sends out his disciples ‘ahead of him’ to prepare the way for him. For example, in Luke 10:1 when Jesus appoints 72 disciples and sends them out two by two “ahead of him to every town and place he was about to visit.” This is usually how the Gospel is spread; Christians, by their witness, of word and deed, prepare the hearts and minds of those who have not encountered Jesus, so that they are receptive to God’s grace and the gift of faith. 

God calls each one of us to bear witness ‘to the light’ – to bear witness to Jesus, and to the truth, light & justice, that Jesus is, so that others may come to know Jesus. As Christians, the desire to share our faith is not an optional extra but a core part of our identity.

John the Baptist, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies, calling people to prepare themselves to meet the Lord; he is making ‘a way’ for Christ the Lord, who is Himself the Way. 

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