Advent 2013: Pray - Study - Act
In This Issue
PRAY: Reflection for the Third Sunday of Advent
STUDY: An Untraditional Advent Meditation
ACT: Call for peace wishes and prayers for Bethlehem
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Third Week of Advent, Dec. 15-21, 2013
While this current week, the second week of Advent, has been busy with multiple days of observance (and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Fast for Immigration Reform is still to come tomorrow and a day of action on gun violence marking the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy on Friday), next week, the third week of our Advent season, is a particularly quiet one.  For me personally, and for my family--especially when my kids were younger--the cultivation of quiet and slowness and stillness during Advent were central to our experience of the season. There is something counter-cultural in this practice, maybe specifically for this time of year in our country. In her reflection for the third Sunday of Advent, December 15 (below), my friend Kim Mazyck writes about patience, waiting, thoughtfulness and stillness as practices which give strength and clarity to our action when the time comes. I like that sentiment and find this to be the right time of year to recommit to such practices. A week like this upcoming one, when the frantic-ness of our culture seems to reach a fever pitch at shopping malls across the nation, provides a good opportunity to be deliberate about going in another direction. 
   By the numbers of people visiting the website during these past few weeks, it seems that many of you are enjoying and utilizing the resources we've provided on our Advent resource page. Any time you want to recall something you read earlier or if you're looking for an idea for your family, local group, church, or school to incorporate into your practice this season, you can find it on this page. I hope that the rest of your Advent is peaceful and meaningful. 


In peace,

Johnny Zokovitch
Director of Communications, Pax Christi USA
 PRAY: Dec. 15, Third Sunday of Advent

By Kim Mazyck


Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10 | James 5:7-10 | Matthew 11:2-11


Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of God... Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of God is near (James 5:7-8).



Patience often feels like the last word anyone wants to hear when they have energy about a particular issue and/or thought. Patience does not mean inaction; it is a call to be still, to think, and then to act. In the nonviolent movement, many leaders exhibited patience that they practiced as part of their faith traditions. As they thought about the issues and the systems to be addressed, they did not choose to remain quiet and do nothing; they prayed and developed a plan. Their plans provided a way to respond and eventually led to significant changes in history....


To read the rest of this reflection from Unshakeable Belief: Advent 2013, click here. 

STUDY: An Untraditional Advent Meditation

by Rev. Jim Hug, S.J.

The Incarnation of God began billions of years ago when the earliest forms of matter were ignited and began the vast cosmic expansion that is home to us all today.

 Billions of years passed as God patiently worked, preparing creation to bring forth the divinely human Jesus. When that work was complete, in the sacred Fullness of Time, there was an eternally important but little noticed event in which, as Elizabeth Johnson noted,


"Real blood was shed at this delivery, by a poor woman of peasant society far from home, laboring in childbirth for the first time. And it was holy."


The centuries since Jesus began to open our eyes to our deeper humanly divine reality have witnessed God quietly continuing to develop the Incarnation slowly among us, building communities of trust and hope that may one day evolve with our help into a world of peace with justice and love for all....


ACT: Call for peace wishes and prayers, messages of peace for Bethlehem

from Pax Christi International


All members of Pax Christi International and all people of good will are invited to write a message of hope and encouragement to our friends in Bethlehem. The season of Advent and Christmas reminds us of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace.

    The expectation of a just peace in Israel - Palestine is still alive, locally and globally. Pax Christi International supports all those in the Holy Land who show enormous courage in choosing peaceful ways that leads to a just peace. They raise their voices and speak truth to power, acting out inspirational stories to restore peace and build bridges between communities and religions in countries throughout the world.


Share your Prayers and Wishes!


We invite all of you to send your prayers and wishes of peace, justice and solidarity.

  Your messages will be used in Bethlehem, Palestine and elsewhere in educational and religious settings. They are also expected to become, over time, a helpful resource for peace spirituality and peace building.

    No matter how small this gesture may seem, the sending of an inspirational prayer/wish provides genuine support to those who receive them. It is a sign of hope. It is a sign that people outside the region care about them and that they should not give up. It is a sign that change for a real peace is possible.


Please e-mail your Christmas peace prayers and wishes before 25 December 2013 (Western Christmas) and/or 7 January 2014 (Eastern Christmas).


While English is the preferred language, non-native English speakers may use their mother tongue. 

    Messages can be emailed to the Arab Educational Institute at the following address: [email protected]. You can read all messages at