Advent 2012: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for Third Sunday of Advent
STUDY: Reflecting on nonviolence in this season of peace
ACT: Take action to protect the most vulnerable
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Third Week of Advent, Dec. 16-22, 2012
Greetings of peace!  
As we enter more deeply into this Advent, we hope that the resources and reflections we have been sending to you are helpful in deepening the experience of this season. We have been sending out these Pray-Study-Act e-bulletins (PSA's) five days or so ahead of the week for which they are prepared so that you will have time to look them over and incorporate them into your own life, or the experiences of your family, church or local group. 
Our Lady of Guadalupe Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In this year's Advent reflection booklet, Sr. Dianna Ortiz writes for this day: 

"So often Mary is depicted on a throne of gold, looking down upon us. Her radiant glory obliterates even the stars in the sky. But is this truly the Mary who speaks to us today? When the Angel first came to her, she sat on no throne. She was young, poor, and seemed no different from others around her. The Angel's glad message mentioned nothing of her impending homelessness, exile, or how she would bear witness to the torture and execution of her son. She was chosen not only to be the mother of Jesus, but to have a searing understanding of the pain and the sorrow that those who are poorest among us may feel.

    "It was not Jesus alone who was sent to carry a message to us. Mary too brings us knowledge born of cold reality and the courage to confront it."

I love what Sr. Dianna says of Mary: that she bears witness to and understands the pain of all those who know violence, poverty and injustice, and that she models for us the courage to confront this reality. May we imitate Mary this Advent, and throughout our lives.
For additional Advent resources, we hope you'll visit our Advent resource page on the website.


In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Dec. 16, Third Sunday of Advent
By Mary Jo Iozzio  
Justice shall flourish in those days
and fullness of peace forever


"Exhorting them in many other ways, [John] preached good news to the people" (Luke 3:18).


Only last Sunday our readings directed us to the "voice crying out in the desert" (Luke 3:4). Yesterday too we heard Jesus confirming John in the line of the great prophets of Israel. And now we are reminded once more to do justice, to love mightily, to know our place before others and God.


Today the presider wears rose, we light the rose candle of the Advent Wreath, and we break into song: "Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! . . . your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior." The good news that John, the prophets, and psalmists preach is Emmanuel, God-with-us. Our joy, symbolized with a simple color of rose, anticipates the Incarnation made complete by the Nativity of our Savior and the Epiphany of God for us to all the world.


Uncover the scriptures for more. Zephaniah prophesied in the period between the fall of Samaria (the capital of Israel) and the fall of Jerusalem (the capital of Judah). Under the oppression of Assyria and then Babylonia, the people feared what imperial policies and their enforcement might impose. But Isaiah, whose words form our responsorial psalm and who himself experienced the insecurities of Samaria's fall and expedient political maneuvers with subsequent occupational forces, reassures them: "With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3). Fears will be relieved and oppressions lifted.


STUDY: Reflecting on nonviolence 
in a season of peace

From Pax Christi International


Woven into the fabric of Pax Christi International's work for peace is a rich and vibrant spirituality and a commitment to respond to complex and destructive human behavior out of a deep well of moral and ethical principles. At times, the theological reflection that grounds our work is overt, visible, well-articulated. Often, however, the faith that guides and motivates us remains in the deepest places in the hearts of each one. For the past few years, Pax Christi International has been collecting stories from persons and communities engaged in our movement around the world. Having faced situations of violence, often personally, they were asked to share the meaning of nonviolence in a specific violent context and whether/how God was present or absent to them in that context.


In Advent, as we prepare to welcome the Prince of Peace, the initial collections of these reflections on Pax Christi International peace spirituality will nourish your hope. 

Take action to protect the most vulnerable

from Catholics Confront Global Poverty


You can't turn on the television or the radio and escape hearing about the fiscal cliff. Join Catholics Confront Global Poverty as we ask our leaders to resolve our nation's debt and deficits through bipartisan action that will include shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly. It is a critical time, but we cannot abandon our brothers and sisters living in poverty now. Remember that drastic cuts to poverty-focused international assistance--which represents less than 1% of the budget--will barely impact the deficit but will have life and death consequences for millions of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. 


Perhaps you still have questions about the impact of cuts to foreign assistance. Click here to watch a Catholics Confront Global Poverty video that explains how cuts will cost lives.


Now is the time to act. Tell your elected officials not to cut this life-saving, life-changing aid for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. Call and write your Senators and Representatives. Make your voice heard in your community and share this video with your friends, family, fellow parishioners so that they too can make a difference.