Prayers

Prayers for January 1, 2018

Introduction

Today’s feast focuses on the role of Mary in the wonderful miracle of the Incarnation. She was closest to all that happened, and it was she who came to know that God is here with, for and among us. As we celebrate this feast of Mary as the Mother of God, we, too, pause to ponder. What does it mean to be the Mother of God? What does this title say about Mary? About God? About us? And about the church that gave her this title? We begin this new year with fascinating questions.

Prayers for January 7, 2018

Introduction

In this time of increased nationalism, erecting barriers, and labeling others as threats or enemies, this feast calls us to a powerful counter-message. Our field of vision and inclusion must be much larger than that of the status-quo. It must have been shocking to learn that God’s love extended not only to the Gentiles, but to the whole world. It may be equally shocking to realize that our boundaries are also too narrow. This feast is an epiphany about God’s will for Christ’s impact and ours on the world.

Prayers for January 14, 2018

Introduction

What does it mean to be called, and how should we respond? Today we hear two powerful stories about God’s call and those who heard it. In both stories, the call comes without warning, offers no explanation, and requires openness and risk from the ones called. It is safe to assume that we, too, will be called over and over again. When, where, how and why remain unknown. But we can also assume that God is behind it. The rest is up to us.

Prayers for January 21, 2018

Introduction

When God works with the world, it involves a call to repentance. Over the centuries, that call has been issued by many, from prophets to Jesus himself. And the call continues today. Wonderful new things happen in the reign of God, and that always involves our acting in new ways. “The time of fulfillment” is always at hand, because we are not yet totally there; and we are invited once again to be a part of it.

Prayers for January 28, 2018

Introduction

Throughout his ministry, Jesus responded to and addressed the needs around him. Today we hear of his early teaching and confronting evil with authority through an exorcism. We recognize his profound actions as miracles. We, too, are called to respond to the needs around us with compassion. We rely on him for the support we need to address what we see, including dark and difficult issues. Doing that is a kind of miracle in itself.

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

Pages