Advent calendar and prayer for 18 December

Shoes Westminster Cathedral Share the Journey refugees migrants

A display of shoes outside Westminster Cathedral. Reflecting the journeys of millions of refugees and the journeys you have made in solidarity with them

“They will call him Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’.” 

Matthew 1:18-24

In today’s gospel we are reminded of the courage of Joseph. An ordinary man who is asked to do something extraordinary.  

Filled with faith and courage, Joseph agrees to marry Mary and to follow what God has asked of him.  

We are also reminded that Emmanuel means God is with us.  

It can be hard to feel like God is with us in the hard times, although we might desperately pray for his aid. And in the good times we can sometimes forget that we ever needed him.  

But God is with us. Through the good times and the bad times. In the helping hand that reaches out to us when we fall. In the love that others show. In the beauty of Creation. God is with us.  

Remembering that God is with us can help us to be brave too – just like Joseph. We can answer God’s call and do extraordinary things.  

We can reach out to others. We can stand alongside people who are poor and help them as they work to build a better future. We can see God in one another.  

Advent prayer

God-with-us, help me to feel your presence in my life and to know you are with me always. Help me to see you in others and to answer your call of love for each person. Amen.


Remembering that God is with us always, we are called to stand alongside others in our world. Sign up to be a campaigner with CAFOD today and add your voices to those of the people around the world calling for change. 

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