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We wait with Joy and Hope - Global Virtual Recollection for Advent 2021

Global Advent Recollection for Educators
Welcome to the “We wait with Joy and Hope” – Global Virtual Recollection for Advent Page. This Advent Recollection invites us to be open to the gifts that come with this season. It can draw us into the mystery of being not only waiting and preparing but also being hopeful for a better future.

Silence is so alien in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to be in touch with our interior movements. This recollection is an inward journey, listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior recollection so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives. Advent can take us way beyond preparing for Christmas. It prepares us to be open to the gifts that come with this season. It can draw us into the mystery of being not only waiting and preparing but also being hopeful for a better future. We are in the Ignatian year. The cannonball moment of St. Ignatius invites us to look within during this Christmas Season, and have our own ‘Cannonball moments’ that lead us to a hope-filled future.

Sessions and Facilitators

The first session of the recollection was facilitated by Fr. Leon Ó Giolláin SJ who is Director of Ignatian Formation and Delegate for Spirituality for the Irish Jesuit Province.

The second session of the recollection was facilitated by Fr. Sunny Jacob SJ who is Assistant to the Secretariat of Jesuit Education on Mission and Identity and Service to Faith (Rome) and Faith Formation Facilitator for Educate Magis, Galway.

Format of the Sessions

Each session consists of a video presentation by the Facilitators and some reflection questions to guide your reflection process (in a group or individually). The Reflection questions are presented in the section under the videos.

“Whatever our particular place in God’s vineyard, as Christians, we are each called uniquely to be ‘bearers of hope’.  This is surely one of our main tasks as educators today – to be bearers of hope and to instill hope in our young people. During this period of Advent, we as educators and evangelizers reflect on the gift of faith we have received and the deep consolation it engenders within so that we can be authentic and convincing announcers of the Good News and ‘bearers of hope’ especially for the young people we serve. We might ask ourselves if the following opening salvo of Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, rings true in the depths of our being.”

Questions for Group Reflection

You will be invited to join a group to reflect on your experience in this session using the method of Spiritual Conversations. Think about any of the following questions and discuss them with your group.

  • How have you been affected by what you have heard?
  • Did any insights occur to you? What were they?

Questions for Personal Reflection

  • What most moved or touched me in this presentation and why? What in particular draws me to further prayer or reflection?
  • Can I identify my ‘deeper desires’ – for myself, my community, the world? What hopes (small ‘h’) and Hope (capital ‘H’) do I have in my heart right now?
  • How do I awaken and instill the hope of the Gospel in the young people I serve?

In your personal life, perhaps a close friend, relative, or spouse has betrayed you, leaving behind wakes of bitterness and confusion that make it difficult to get through another day. Perhaps a failure in your teaching profession, too much workload in your school, or the political climate and culture of hatred and violence harshly remind you that all isn’t right with the world, that total justice has yet to be served, that we need the rule of Christ who is the prince of peace. Or are we hearing a deeper and more intimate call?”

“Perhaps we are being called not be afraid of leaving familiar shores; courage to walk into the mess. Maybe we are called to be hope-filled risk-takers in a messy world. To be a prophet of our time! Hope casts us into the future, connects us with the eyes of faith with what is yet to come. It enables the practice of Christian love, enables the practice of justice. Hope enables the practice of reaching out in compassion to the poor, the migrant, the homeless as Pope Francis exhorts us to do.”

Questions for Group Reflection

You will be invited to join a group to reflect on your experience in this session using the method of Spiritual Conversations. Think about any of the following questions and discuss them with your group.

  • How have you been affected by what you have heard?
  • Did any insights occur to you? What were they?

Questions for Personal Reflection

  • What is the meaning of ‘Waiting in Hope’, during the Advent, in your personal and professional life? ​
  • How can you be a hope to the hopeless, in your profession as an educator?​