Dinner Prayers for the Second Part of Advent
Alexander, Andy, S.J.
Waldron, Maureen McCann
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"Text from the first half of "Dinner Prayers"In the second part of Advent, the last eight days, from December 17 through Christmas Eve, our main attention shifts away from the first readings, although the Old Testament promises of God continue to be a part of each day. But now the readings return to the primary focus being on the Gospel, told by Matthew and Luke. It is Jesus' family story, and we are introduced to his mother, Mary, his cousins Elizabeth and Zechariah and their baby, John. We read of Joseph and Mary and of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. (More on the Two Parts of Advent.)If we find that we didn't create the daily time for Advent prayer we had intended to, these eight days are the perfect place to begin. All it takes is a few minutes over dinner or breakfast, one lit candle or four - or none - and a moment to hold up to God the desire in our hearts. It's good to remember that there is not a single right way to do any of these prayers and rituals — the point is to have some brief period in the day to focus our intentions on Advent, to feel the hopes and promises of our God for us and for this day. These prayers are a starting point. Feel free to re-write or adapt them so they work best in your situation. When it's hard to slow down:Loving God, the days are drawing close to the birth of your son. There is a lot we still need to "o" but help us to simply "be" and to slow down and savor these days. You know the anticipation we feel. Help us to deepen that sense and to allow it to build in our hearts. We are grateful for this great gift of your son in our lives. Continue to offer us the gentle nudge of your grace so we cherish that gratitude in the busy-ness of our days, and let it move us to be more generous to those around us.Reflect: Did I find an Advent moment in my day today?What do I want to slow down and savor in these days?