Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 3 December – First Sunday of Advent

CAFOD Help a refugee child World Gift

Amar's family fled Syria. Now her children are happy to go to school.

You, Lord, yourself are our Father... we the clay, you the potter, we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 63:16-17; 64:1,3-8

On this first Sunday of Advent, we bring all our weariness, our tiredness, and our brokenness before the altar of the Lord. And together in stillness, we watch as the first candle of the Advent wreath is lit, rekindling the fire of God’s hope in our hearts.

Today’s reading reminds us of the mercy of God. Our Father who moulds us into life. Our Redeemer who sets us free. 

Each one of us has been lovingly created by God’s hands. When we meet a stranger, are we filled with wonder at what God has formed? Or a we tempted to think of ourselves as worthier than others?

This Advent, let us allow ourselves to be shaped by God’s mercy. We are compelled to love the stranger as our neighbour, because every person is precious to God.  

We pray especially for our neighbours who are forced to flee from poverty, war, and persecution.

“Love keeps the flame of hope burning”

Amar and her three children fled Syria with just the clothes they were wearing. This young family are now living in a tiny flat in Jordan.

When they first arrived, Amar’s children were traumatised by what they have seen and heard. Even the sound of aeroplanes was terrifying; it reminded them of the rockets that destroyed their home.

Thankfully, Amar’s children now have reason to hope. Our partners are helping Dania, Omar and Rama, and many children like them, to go to school.

"The children came home telling me everything they learned in school," Amar said. "I was so happy because my children were happy. Learning is light."

Samar, who works for our partner in Jordan, explains why this is so important for refugee families. "Education is an act of love,” she says, “it keeps the flame of hope burning."

Let us keep the flame of hope burning this Advent, by the love we share with our worldwide family.

Advent prayer

God of love, every person is precious in your sight. Move us to profess our love for our sisters and brothers through our actions, bringing the light of your hope to the world. Amen.


You can show your love through our help a refugee child World Gift. Your gift will help refugee children who have fled from conflict to go back to school and start a new life. Thank you.   

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