Prayers

Prayers for December 25, 2017

Nativity of the Lord

Introduction

Today we celebrate a light in the darkness. But not everyone can see it. John the Evangelist had to explain it, because the world did not recognize Jesus. God is indeed here among us, in human flesh. We are invited to see this amazing light and help others recognize it, too.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were with God from the beginning of the world: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you came to bring light to the world: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you gave us power to become children of God: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Readings for Christmas Mass During the Day

Prayers for December 8, 2017

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From: December 8, 2014

Introduction

Brothers and Sisters, we celebrate today the unique place of Mary -- our sister and the mother of Jesus -- among humans throughout history. The church affirms that Mary alone was conceived and born perfect and without sin -- chosen to be the mother of God. But this honor does not free her from the difficult choices in life. She shows us how to respond to whatever calling comes to us from God, whomever and wherever we are.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you are the one in whom we are chosen: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you entered the human race through Mary: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you have freed us from Adam’s choices: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for December 31, 2017

Introduction

Family life is always a challenge, and our religious ancestors had advice about how to make it work. Though many cultural values were different, we realize how family life was interwoven with faith. We don’t know much about Jesus’ family, but we hear today that they followed traditional Jewish laws. We tend to think of them as so different from our own families; but, like us, they would have struggled to understand what they were being called to. We are more alike than we think.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were raised in a humble Jewish family: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you were brought to the Temple by Mary and Joseph: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you show us that all families can seek God’s guidance: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for December 24, 2017

Introduction

This last week of Advcnt is brief, but the message is profound. The fulfillment of God’s promises is about to happen! This single day places us in a long line of yearning people. Christmas is upon us, yet the task of endless anticipation is a sacred reality we need to embrace. Just as with those who are inches away from relief, rescue or reversal of any kind, still hang on. All of life is like this.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were promised to Mary by the angel Gabriel: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you entered this world as a surprise: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you come to us who are yearning for your presence: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for December 17, 2017

Introduction

Today we are in the rhythm of both gratitude and yearning. Between the two, there is great space for hope. We are learning to be a patient people, continuing on, grateful but also impatient, in hope. We don’t give up hoping just because some of the things we long for in God’s reign of peace and justice have already happened. We’re there, and yet we’re not. So much remains unfinished; so many have not yet experienced what has been promised.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were promised to those waiting for you: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you were foretold as the coming anointed one: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you will come to us who yearn for you: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for December 10, 2017

Introduction

Today’s readings urge us to prepare for and be open to God’s presence in our lives. We have been taught that this presence is ongoing, yet it doesn’t always seem so. We need to work to overcome fear and doubt, especially in challenging times, but the task need not be a frantic effort. These readings carry warnings and longings, but the operative words are comfort, tenderness and hope. We wait and prepare because of the promise.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were promised in times of great turmoil: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you were foretold by John the Baptist: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you call us to prepare for your coming into our lives: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for December 3, 2017

Introduction

In the midst of pre-holiday hyperactivity, we are offered this quiet season of reflection on Christ’s coming among us, especially in unexpected moments. As with our ancestors in faith, his final return is unknown to us, so we probably don’t think about it very much. But how aware are we of his presence to us now? Have we thought about what our response might be whenever or however he makes himself known to us? Advent is our time to do this.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you told your disciples to be alert: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you warned us that your coming will be unannounced: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you call us to be ever watchful for you: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for November 26, 2017

Introduction

Some of the most dramatic biblical imagery comes on this last Sunday of our liturgical year. The overall imagery on this feast is striking: Israel’s rulers do not adequately care for their people; so, God will do it, as both shepherd and judge. But, the responsibility for the neediest shifts in the Gospel. When the Son of Man comes in glory, he will judge us for our acts of mercy. We cannot look to God to care for those in need. The job is now ours, and the King now judges us.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you declared that you will come again in glory: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you will judge us on our treatment of others: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you challenge us to care for the least among us: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for November 19, 2017

Introduction

The closing of the church year is an opportunity for deep reflection. We hear advice again today about paying attention and planning for what will inevitably come in each of our lives. Our readings speak of wisdom, courage and using the strengths and gifts given. As Thanksgiving and the onslaught of the coming holiday season collide, this may be a good time to take a breath, step back, and think about what really matters.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you taught your disciples the importance of being prepared: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you showed them that preparedness requires responsibility: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you tell us how to be wise and faithful servants: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

Prayers for November 12, 2017

Introduction

It’s easy to become complacent about life, our faith, and our commitments when we are caught up in the demands of daily life. As we approach the end of this liturgical year, we are called to pay attention to what really matters. Today’s readings remind us to focus on the bigger picture of eternal life and to question our focus, our energy and how we use our resources. We are called to look away from the superficial and to remember that time is not unlimited. We do not know the day nor the hour when we will be thrust into eternity. How are we preparing for it?

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you told the disciples to be prepared for what is to come: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you taught them how to live wisely in the present: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you call us to live today with tomorrow in mind: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

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