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Loyola Press: A Jesuit Ministry
Sacred Advent


First Sunday of Advent

Wassily Kandinsky, The Last Judgment, 1912

The Presence of God

As I sit here, the beating of my heart,
the ebb and flow of my breathing,
the movements of my mind
are all signs of God’s ongoing creation of me.
I pause for a moment and become aware
of this presence of God within me.


Everything has the potential to draw from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom, may orchestrate my desires in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.


I ask, how am I within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form? If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word

I read the Word of God slowly, a few times over, and I listen to what God is saying to me.

Luke 21:25–28, 34–36  
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Be on guard that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”
  • Jesus is using traditional Jewish symbolism to describe what will happen when God’s final judgment occurs. He says that people will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud.” The cloud is a symbol for God’s presence. Jesus’ message bursts with hope and confidence because, unlike those who have reason to fear his coming, Jesus’ followers will be able to hold their heads high because their liberation is at hand.
  • Jesus urges me to be on guard so that my heart is not weighed down by the worries of life. What are the worries and cares of life that weigh me down today? As I prepare for a conversation with Jesus, can I bring my worries and cares to him in prayer?


I begin to talk with Jesus about the Scripture I have just read. What part of it strikes a chord in me? Perhaps the words of a friend or a story I have heard recently will slowly rise to the surface of my consciousness. If so, does the story throw light on what the Scripture passage may be trying to say to me?


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.

Image: Wassily Kandinsky, The Last Judgment, 1912

Advent Action

►  Start using an Advent calendar today for yourself or with your family.
►  Review a selection of Advent resources to learn more about the season and how you might spend this sacred season.

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