DECEMBER 4 Wednesday the First Week

Surprised by God

He took the seven loaves and the fish… gave them to the disciples… (and) to the crowds.  Matthew 15:36

Bread&Fish
I asked Abby, my seven-year-old great-niece, what she would like for her birthday. She replied, “If I tell you, then it won’t be a surprise.”

That sense of surprise and wonder, which certainly pervades the season of Advent/Christmas, is also the foundation of our constant and deepening relationship with God. In today’s gospel, imagine the surprise and wonder within the crowd when all were fed.

Sometimes I wonder and think about how I pray. Am I always telling God what I need, what I want, laying out all the steps of what I would like God to do? Or is my prayer one of being aware and grateful for all the ways God is already surprising me?

Jewish prayer in the Old and New Testament (the prayer that Jesus prayed) is not primarily asking God for something. It is predominantly a prayer of thanks, recalling the presence of God among them personally and in their history and expressing gratitude for God’s surprises.

DAILY PRACTICE: Listen to your prayers. Are they giving God advice on how to run the (your) world? When you pray, are you open and trusting of God’s surprises in the daily occurrences of life?

ADVENT PRAYER: God of Surprises, thank you for your continuing amazements. Deepen my trust and wonder as I pray and as I live. Help me to recognize your wondrous gifts, which are greater than I could ever imagine.

From: ADVENT 2013. Daily reflections, practices and prayers.
The Promise of Peace. Janet Schaeffler, OP.
Twenty-Third Publications

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