Living In Hope: The Trinity

November 30, 2019

Advent and Christmas are my favorite seasons of the year.  They capture the very reason I hope in the first place. For the next 6 weeks of Advent and Christmas Retreat, we will be Living in Hope!  Each week, we will focus on one person or persons who helps us live in hope through reflection questions, suggested action, and prayer — including the text of the Sunday readings for easy access.

WEEK 1: The Trinity

For our first week, our focus is The Trinity.  Specifically, I want us to consider St. Ignatius’ meditation on the Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises (#102-108).  

In this meditation, St. Ignatius invites us to imagine the Trinity looking down on Earth from Heaven.  As the Trinity pays attention to what is unfolding on Earth, they decide it is time to send the second person of the Trinity to Earth to “respond to the groaning of creation”.  And the Incarnation is set into motion! 

The Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, help us live in hope because they continue to dwell within our hearts and in our world, through Scripture, through the Sacraments, and through each person on Earth.  When you think about it– it’s hard not to be hopeful, because God is everywhere!   

And the Incarnation, God becoming flesh, opens the path for Jesus to show us God’s abundant activity, love, and mercy in our lives.  This week, let us pray for the grace to notice the dwelling of God within our daily lives! 

Reflection:

1.  If the Trinity looked down on the Earth today, what would they notice? What do you notice about our world today?

2.  Where do you feel God might want to enter the world and dwell? Where do you notice God entering our world?

3.  Where in our own lives would God might want to enter and dwell?  Where do you notice God entering your life?

4.  How do you feel called by God to be part of spreading the light of the Incarnation?

5.  What are the concrete steps you will take to answer the call placed on your heart this Advent season? 

Action:  The Advent Wreath

I remember the excitement I felt as a child when my mom would pull out our Advent Wreath and place it on our dinner table.  It symbolized to me that something important was happening.  As a young child, it meant the count down to Christmas and Santa could officially begin!  The older I got, though, I appreciated the way the Advent Wreath kept our family’s focus on the reason behind Advent: counting down to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

This Advent season, if you do not already own one, consider purchasing or creating your own Advent Wreath.  It is a beautiful way to ritualize the waiting we are doing in Advent to celebrate the light Jesus’ birth brings into our lives and to symbolize the hopeful waiting we are still doing as we wait for the second coming of the Son of Man.  

Once your wreath is assembled and placed in its place of honor, offer a blessing for your wreath.  During the first week of advent, light the purple candle diagonally across from the pink candle.  During the second week, light the purple candle next to the first one.  During the third week, light the pink candle, and the fourth week, light the last purple one.  On Christmas morning, light the white candle in the middle, symbolizing the great light that was brought into our world at Christ’s birth!  Each time you light a candle, offer a prayer such as this one here

Praying with the Word of God:

The below Readings are from the Sunday Readings for the First Sunday of Advent.  Pick one reading each day for prayer. Throughout the week, repeat the scriptures that capture your attention.

If you would like to pray with the daily readings this week in addition to the Sunday readings, the USCCB posts them daily here.

When praying with scripture, I invite you to try the prayer methods of Lectio Divina or Ignatian Contemplation. Here’s a one-page guide to Praying with Scripture and a handy Lectio Divina prayer card. 

First Sunday of Advent

Reading 1: Isaiah 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!


Responsorial Psalm:
 PS 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

2nd Reading:
 Romans 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Go Deeper?  

Inviting you Deeper as We Walk with Christ: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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