Pope: May Advent awaken us to God’s presence in our daily lives – Vatican News – English

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By Thaddeus Jones
Welcoming pilgrims in Saint Peter’s Square on the first Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis offered his customary reflections and catechesis before leading the recitation of the Angelus prayer. Today’s Gospel, he recalled, reminds us that the Lord is coming to be with us, marking the “foundation of our hope,” a fact that should give us consolation even in the most difficult times of our lives.

The Pope pointed out that the Lord always visits us in our lives, “makes Himself close, and will return at the end of time to welcome us in His embrace.” But we naturally ask ourselves, how will the Lord come to visit us and how will we recognize and welcome Him?
The first question the Pope asked requires us to reflect more deeply, as we often hear the Lord is present in our daily lives, accompanying us in our journey. This reality may get lost at times, he observed, as we become “distracted” by the many concrete aspects of our daily lives; or perhaps we only look for spectacular and miraculous signs of the Lord’s presence. The Pope pointed out how Jesus in today’s Gospel reminded His listeners that God will come when we least expect it and in our normal, everyday lives, as in “the days of Noah.”
The Pope underscored that “God conceals Himself in the most common and ordinary situations in our life,” and we need to be constantly aware of this reality, not awaiting extraordinary events. This can be when we face someone in need, a chance encounter, or even in what might seem quiet or dull moments of daily life. “It is right there that we find the Lord, who calls to us, speaks to us, and inspires our actions.”
The Pope said the second question regards how we can recognize and welcome the Lord.
“We must be awake, alert, vigilant. Jesus warns us: there is the danger of not realizing His coming and being unprepared for His visit. I have recalled on other occasions what Saint Augustine said: ‘I fear the Lord who passes by’… that is, I fear that He will pass by and I will not recognize Him!”
The Pope recalled how Jesus spoke about the people in the time of Noah, who were living their ordinary lives until they were swept away by the floods, as they were absorbed in their own matters. We need to always discern God’s presence in our daily lives and not miss this big picture, as can happen when we are distracted by earthly matters only.
The Pope said Advent is the time we can be “shaken out” of our lethargy and awakened "from our slumber” to be vigilant always. We can ask ourselves if we are alert and vigilant, and if we “recognize God’s presence in daily situations,” saying that if we are unaware of this reality today, we will be unprepared when He arrives at the end of times.
“May we be helped by the Holy Virgin, Woman of waiting, who knew how to perceive the passing of God in the humble and hidden life of Nazareth and welcomed Him in her womb.”
The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.
Angelus Dómini nuntiávit Mariæ.
Et concépit de Spíritu Sancto.
Ave Maria…
Ecce ancílla Dómini.
Fiat mihi secúndum verbum tuum.
Ave Maria…
Et Verbum caro factum est.
Et habitávit in nobis.
Ave Maria…
Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génetrix.
Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.
Grátiam tuam, quǽsumus, Dómine,
méntibus nostris infunde;
ut qui, Ángelo nuntiánte, Christi Fílii tui incarnatiónem cognóvimus, per passiónem eius et crucem, ad resurrectiónis glóriam perducámur. Per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum.
Gloria Patri… (ter)
Requiem aeternam…
Benedictio Apostolica seu Papalis
Dominus vobiscum.Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sit nomen Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus,
Pa ter, et Fi lius, et Spiritus Sanctus.
The Angelus Prayer
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, etc…
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to Your Word.
Hail Mary, etc…

And the Word was made Flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc…

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord,
Your Grace into our hearts;
that as we have known the incarnation of Christ,
Your Son by the message of an angel,
so by His Passion and Cross
we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Through the same Christ, Our Lord.

Glory be, etc… (3 times)
Eternal rest…
Apostolic Blessing
The Lord be with you.
And with your spirit.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Now and forever.
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Who has made Heaven and Earth.
May Almighty God bless you.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
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