Here are the materials for our final adults’ Advent group.
We began by hearing another poem by Chris Goan
A time to love
So now is the time
Reaching deep into
Her bulging bag of loves
And carefully selecting
One that squeaked
And in the circle of her arms
His wide world wobbled
In the safety of the moment
Glorious out of control
But if he falls
He will land softly
In the clover
Of his mother’s lap
For now is the time
In this final week, we had one set of readings and gave people 20 minutes for their own personal prayer and meditation before discussing what we had noticed.
We looked at the Gospel and more quotes on our theme of Love by Blessed John Paul II:
“God is love (1John 4:8) and in Himself He lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image and continually keeping it in being, God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion. Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being”
(Familiaris consortio, no.11).
“The family is the domestic Church. The meaning of this traditional Christian idea is that the home is the Church in miniature.
The Church is the Sacrament of God’s love. She is the fellowship of faith and life. She is the mother and teacher. She is at the service of the whole human family on the journey to its final destination.
The family too is a fellowship of life and love. It trains and guides its members towards full human maturity and serves for the good of all along life’s road. The family is the ‘vital primary cell of society’ (Apostolicam Actuositatem II). The future of the world and the Church thus pass through the family”
(Homily for the Holy Mass, Perth, Australia, November 30, 1986).
“Mary Most Holy, the highly favoured daughter of the Father, will appear before the eyes of believers as the perfect model of love towards both God and neighbour. As she herself says in her Canticle of the Magnificat, great things were done for her by the Almighty, whose name is holy (Luke 1:49). The Father chose her for a unique mission in the history of salvation: that of being the Mother of the long awaited Saviour”
(Coming of The Third Millenium [Tertio milliennio adveniente], no.54).
“God’s love for us as our Father is a strong and faithful love, a love full of compassion, a love that allows us to hope for the grace of conversion, when we have sinned.
“God loves all of you, boundlessly, without distinction. He loves the oldest of you who feel the weight of your years. He loves the sick and those suffering from AIDS and the problems linked to this. He loves the relatives and friends of the sick, those who look after them. He loves us all with an unconditional, everlasting love. Cast away your doubts and fears and let God’s compassion draw you into his heart”
(Homily, San Francisco, USA, September 17, 1987).
We finished with an Examen of the whole of Advent, so far and used Ephesians 3:14-21 as a prayer.