Online Advent Retreat
On this page you will find an abbreviated version of my Advent Retreat on the Infancy Narratives -- the stories of the conception, birth and infancy of Jesus found in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Tailor this material (both print and audio) for your own needs. You can use it by yourself, with a small group, or even for a larger parish group. Feel free to print and distribute the printed materials.
Accessing the retreat is simple. Begin with the left column by reading the Introduction to the Infancy Narratives, which will draw your attention to the similarites and differences between Matthew's and Luke's accounts. Then move to the middle column to read and reflect on Matthew's account. Conclude with the right column by reading and reflecting on Luke's account of Jesus' birth and infancy.
A very blessed Advent and a very merry Christmas to you and yours!
Introduction to the Infancy Narratives
The Infancy Narratives of Matthew and Luke are very different. Matthew's Gospel tells the story of the visit of the wise men and the raging jealousy of Herod, who was determined to "destroy" the infant Jesus, a dark foreshadowing of the Cross to come. Luke's Gospel is a story of praise and hope in which God's faithful people look forward to the fulfillment of God's promises in the birth of his Son. The pdf below offers an introductory comparison of Matthew's and Luke's accounts.
Meditation: Matthew's Infancy Narrative
1) Read Matthew 1-2, focusing especially on Mt. 2, the story of Herod and the Magi.
2) Listen to the Meditation below.
3) Use the following Reflection Questions to guide your prayer time.