Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 19 December

Dana smiles at one of her daughters who leans in close to her mother

Dana with one of her daughters in their rented home in Syria

“Some time later his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept to herself.” 

Luke 1:24

In today’s first reading we hear how Samson’s mother was told not to drink strong drink or eat anything unclean because she was to conceive.

Then in the gospel Zechariah has the power of speech taken from him because he struggles to believe that he and Elizabeth are going to be parents.

No matter where they are in the world, parents make sacrifices for their children. They do what they believe to be best to keep their child safe, healthy and give them the things that they need.

In Syria, Majid’s wife Dana talks about how difficult it was to leave their home when they came under fire.

With a sad smile she says, “Death would have been more merciful. We suffered a lot.

“We had to walk a day and a half in the desert. No food or drink. We slept on the sand. I covered the children with some clothes. We were not afraid of animals, reptiles or insects. We only feared that a missile might fall on our heads. There were all kinds of weapons falling around us.”

Although the rented house where they live now is small and crowded, it is safe. Dana does what she can to care for her children, while Majid goes out to work.

“I cook for them, clean and do chores. When there is school, I try to help them to study. Children need care, you know.”

This Advent, we remember all parents throughout the world who are trying to care for their children in the most challenging of situations.

Advent prayer

Heavenly Father, watch over all parents throughout the world, especially those facing poverty or conflict. Grant them strength to endure the challenges they face and hope for a better future for their children. Amen.

Act

Pray this children’s prayer for refugees and share the video with others.

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