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Dec. 12th, 2005 | 09:28 am
posted by: pilgrimfool in advent_daily

Traditional readings For this day of advent:
Isaiah 24:2-7, 15-17a; Matthew 21;23-27

Today's prayer:
Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
ever faithful to your promises
and ever close to your Church:
the earth rejoices in the hope of the Saviour's coming
and looks forward with longing
to his return at the end of time.
Prepare our hearts and remove the sadness
that hinders us from feeling the joy and hope
which his presence will bestow,
for he is Lord for and ever.

Today's moment of reflection:
There is a story of a giraffe who wished for a long, slender neck. 'But,' said the little bird who lived on her back, 'You already have a long slender neck.' 'That doesn't matter,' replied the giraffe, 'I can't get rid of the wish.' This seemed to me a wonderful summary of the human condition, we are a people who 'can't get rid of the wish'.

Consider the huge pressure of consumerism at Christmas time. We are encouraged to wish for things and then we receive them beautifully, tastefully, gaudily packaged. We try to conceal it but we know as soon as we open the gift there will be an in­evitable sense of disappointment. 'Is that it?' the small child asks when all the presents have been unwrapped. The wish remains even if you get what you asked for, especially if you get what you asked for. The longing is unsatisfied....

In that sense this longing cannot cease at Christmas or any other time until we die into truth. And so we can answer the child, 'No, that's not it', 'No, that's not all there is.' 'And you won't get rid of the wish.' Perhaps much later the child will learn the lesson of Augustine and come to know that there is a space inside us that nothing but the uncontained God can fill. The restlessness will lead at last to rest.

Anne Thurston, A time of waiting: images and insights.
The Columba Press 2004, p. 77-79.

Recipe of the day:

Brandied Orange and Cranberry Sauce

2/3 cup orange zest
2 cups water
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups cranberries
1 tablespoon brandy

In a small pan over medium heat, combine the orange zest and water. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving zest and 1/3 cup liquid.
To the reserved liquid, add the sugar, orange juice and lemon juice. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes uncovered, stirring often.
Add cranberries; increase heat to medium-high and boil for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries have popped and a small spoonful of sauce sets on a cold plate.
Remove from heat, stir in brandy. Pour into 4 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/2 inch space from top. Place lids onto jars, and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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