Advent Prayer

The word "Advent" comes from Latin and means "coming." Its purpose is to look forward to the coming of Christ. Through prayer, we can enter into God's world and ask Him to prepare our hearts the way He prepared all of history to receive the gift of Christ. Each week, we will share a new Advent Prayer with our community to help you make sure there's "room at the inn" of your heart this year.

“This is the time to open our hearts, to ask ourselves concrete questions about how and for whom we spend our lives." - Pope Francis



Sunday, December 23 | Vince Rubertone '13

Scripture

You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah too small to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel; … He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God.

Reflection

This year, five years after graduating from Prep, I came back to work in the Alumni Service Corps. The buildings, faculty, and traditions of this place always made it seem timeless to me. Applauding the freshmen processing into the chapel at the year’s first school Mass, watching the Gridiron football game from the sidelines (and helping Prep win, at least, the pull-up competition against our rivals), and tripping on one of the many fabulously festive holiday decorations in every season transported me back to being a student, at times too abruptly. It should comfort us that wherever we are, Prep stays constant in some ways.

However, this past semester, I felt something new. Prep imparts an incredible momentum to every student. Every day in classrooms and residential dorms, on athletic fields and retreats, students really do build on what they’ve learned. Every day, they better themselves. This development may not seem as fast as desired—probably to both teachers and students—but here at Prep accumulates the force that will carry students far into life. We work to prepare students for anything they may encounter, and I believe in our ability to do so. I am thankful to have the chance to do so.

Vincent Rubertone '13
Alumni Service Corps

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help us focus on you during this busy season. May we stay aware of the joy you bring into our lives. We want to find you in the everyday moments and come with hearts of gratitude to your manger on Christmas. Amen.



Sunday, December 16 | Susan Myers

Scripture

Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
- Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6

Reflection

‘Tis the Season for Waiting and Discernment

In the crazy hustle and bustle season of decorating, socializing, shopping, wrapping, baking, mailing, taking exams and checking all the “to dos” off our year-end lists, it is a challenge to pause and take in the real meaning of Advent.

Every year I must remind myself to prioritize and let some things remain undone. I cannot help but reflect back to the Advent thirteen years ago that I gave birth to my third child and due to complication with the delivery, I was sent back to the hospital. That Advent, my community and family surrounded me with a big protective hug. That one Christmas that came and was beautiful and perfect, even though my checklist did not get completed. Not only did Christmas come in 2005, but it came powerfully. It came beautifully. It came just as it promised. It made me value the presence of my loved ones and my community. That Advent was a special one. It was truly what Advent is supposed to be -- a holy waiting period, a sacred preparation, a re-focusing, an awakening to the undeniable truth that the only thing we need is that swaddled baby boy.

This Advent season, if you feel that building anxiety and the stress of the world’s to-do list, maybe it is a good idea to just stop. To be still. To give your list over to the Lord. And then, go on into the stable; kneel down next to Mary; close your eyes; and in joyful expectation, wait with her by the empty manger. Just wait.

Wishing you an Advent season with time to pause, discern and be filled with Christ’s sweet love. Let’s not miss it!

Susan Myers
Development Gifts Officer

Prayer

Dear Jesus, help us focus on you during this busy season. May we stay aware of the joy you bring into our lives. We want to find you in the everyday moments and come with hearts of gratitude to your manger on Christmas. Amen.


Sunday, December 9 | Kurt Kaufmann

Scripture

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
- Psalm 126:3

Reflection

At this time of year, I often focus on all the great things God has done for me. To begin, God sent His only Son who entered into this world to guide us on our journey to heaven. This relationship with the Lord has grounded me in my faith to reveal what is most important in life. God also led me to my wife with whom I share this journey and relationship. God has blessed us with a loving family where we share our faith and together seek to do His will. Finally, God directed me to Georgetown Prep where I have an opportunity to teach awesome young men, and more importantly to open their eyes to recognize the Lord in the marginalized and their hearts to serving them with dignity and love. All of this fills me with tremendous joy. For St. Ignatius being mindful and thankful of the great things that God has done for us is essential to experiencing joy. During this Advent season, consider what great things God has done for you. Give thanks and be filled with joy.

Kurt Kaufmann
Christian Service Director

Prayer

Lord, in this Advent season, we want to take time to thank You for sending Your Son to be born as a baby and to become our Savior, so that He can bring peace into the hearts of those that believe and joy to those that find their hope in Him.


Sunday, December 2 | Fr. Van Dyke

Scripture

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
and for you I wait all the day.
- Ps. 25:4-5

Reflection

One of the harder truths we face as human beings is that we don’t always know what we are doing, we don’t always know where we are going, and we don’t know how to get there. It takes a lot of humility to admit that. One of the great gifts of Advent is the realization that God knows this about us, which is precisely why he sends his Son. This is the reason Jesus says of himself “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Learning God’s way is not a matter of picking our way through the minefield of life, but rather coming to know Jesus as friend and brother, and learning to love and forgive the way he loves and forgives, learning to have a heart like his.

The process of coming to know Jesus—coming to know how he hopes I will love and respond to others and to challenges in my life even as he learned to love and respond to others and to challenges in his life—is the process of discernment. It is not following in Jesus’ footsteps per se—I do not live in the dusty wastes of 1st Century Palestine—but rather pondering how I might try to do the Father’s will as Jesus did here in the busy 21st Century DC Metropolitan area. It is a matter of trying to see others through the Father’s eyes, even as Jesus did, and of imagining how I might respond to them. In this we find our joy, for here and only here we find the purpose for our being and the way in which our life finally and eternally makes sense—when we live for that for which we are created, which is ultimately for God’s love. And that can only be responded to with gratitude—not just “saying thanks,” but living gratefully.

This year at Prep has been designated the Year of Discernment. Our theme grows out of our experience over the past few years, beginning with the Year of the Examen that asked us to attend to the work of God in our communal and personal lives, followed by the Year of Reconciliation in which we grappled with the reality of slavery in our institutional past and with some contemporary issues of injustice. In this year we have already been called to respond to questions about our institutional culture, some of them fair, some not. But the deeper call is not just to respond to this or that issue of the day; the deeper call is one to commitment—a commitment to discern as Jesus did, trusting that the Spirit of God will work in us and amongst us and will lead us if we are willing to listen in prayer and to each other.

Rev. James R. Van Dyke, S.J.
President

Prayer

Lord, giver of all good gifts,
Give us the light to see your way, and your eyes to see it in our lives.
Give us the ears to hear your call, and your mind to form our response.
Give us your heart to leap in ours when we meet any one of your children,
And give us your love to love them as our sisters and our brothers. Amen