Third week of Advent: Preparing the way

By | December 10, 2009

Advent prayer around wreath:

Leader: Today begins the third week of the season of Advent, so we are halfway to Christmas! As we prepare our hearts for the birth of Christ and for the second coming of the Lord, we light three candles, including a special one of a different color.

Light the first two candles on the Advent Wreath again, and the third one — which is usually pink or rose colored.

(Optional) Read aloud the Sunday readings: Zeph 3:14-18a; Phi 4:4-7; Lk 3:10-18

Leader: We light the rose-colored candle this week as a sign of joy! We can hardly wait to rejoice and sing at Christmas. As St. Paul tells the Philippians, “The Lord is near!” Paul reminds us to be kind and not to worry, to ask God in prayer for what we need.

Ask everyone to share some special way they felt that the Lord was near this week. Or tell of some kindness that someone did for you this week.

Also in this Third Week of Advent, John the Baptist offers advice for how to prepare the way for Christ’s coming, but he doesn’t pull any punches. He’s crystal clear about how we ought to live — or else!

Take a moment to reflect on sharing. Here’s this week’s challenge: Is there anything you could do, individually or as a family, this week to share what you have with someone else?

Closing prayer: (Leader may read all, or others in the group may each read a segment)

• Father in heaven, help us hear again the voice of John the Baptist crying out in the desert. Help us make straight the pathways of our own lives, so that those paths lead us and others to eternal life with you.

•God above, “do good and avoid evil” is so easy to say, yet so hard to put into practice. Be with us in each moment of each and every day so that we remain blameless and worthy of your coming.

•Help us, Lord, not to dampen the joy of others. Remind us this week to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing.

•Holy Spirit, guide us so that our lives may be testimony to the wonders and the love of God, so that others might believe through us.

Zyskowski is associate publisher of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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