Loyola Press: A Jesuit Ministry
Sacred Advent


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.

Matthew 15:29–37 
After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
  • Lord, your compassion for all knows no bounds. No one who is brought to you fails to experience your healing touch in one manner or other.
  • Small is beautiful! You use the little resources offered and fill them with abundance. All are fed. May I offer today in freedom and in love all the resources available to me, to help alleviate a love-starved world.


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.

Advent Action

► Read Receiving Advent by Tom McGrath.
► Explore the Advent tradition of the Jesse tree.

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2019: A Book of Grace-Filled Days
Sacred Advent is a free e-mail series brought to you by Loyola Press. Based on the writings of Sacred Space—the trusted online prayer site by the Irish Jesuits—Sacred Advent will make this Advent a season filled with sacred moments.

Pray this way throughout the coming year with the help of Sacred Space: The Prayer Book 2019.

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