If you have 10 minutes and a connection to the Internet, you have time for this retreat. Titled “Holy Family, Refugee Family,” the retreat focuses on ways we can prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming. As Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines notes in the first of two short videos included in the retreat, “The Incarnation is the deepest type of solidarity that could happen between God and humanity, in the form of a loving human person, Jesus Christ.” Advent is our opportunity to focus on our relationship with our loving God.
To begin, prepare with a moment of silence (noise-cancelling headphones can create instant silence in just about any situation). The retreat includes prayers, videos, Scripture readings, an audio reflection and questions for prayer that will make wonderful journal prompts during the Advent season.
The most fascinating part of the retreat, for me, was the audio reflection by Rev. Tom McQuaid of CRS and the Archdiocese of Chicago, which focuses on Joseph’s dream, in which he was instructed to take Mary and Jesus and escape to Egypt. Father McQuaid refers to it as “Joseph’s nightmare,” and any parent listening to the one-minute audio clip will instantly understand why. I’d never thought of Joseph’s dream in those terms, but now I’ll be unable to think of it any other way.
Linking the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt with the experience of modern refugees around the world, this retreat reminds us that there are still people around the world suffering for their faith.
Are your headphones, journal and soul ready for a short but powerful Advent retreat? If you have 10 minutes, you can change your heart.
Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS