Prayers

Prayers for November 5, 2017

Introduction

Today’s readings are about abuse of power among those who profess to teach or lead others. These roles are especially open to scrutiny because of the power inherent in them. We could extend this idea to anyone in a position of authority, but our focus here is on the faith community. Those in leadership roles in the church are reminded of their responsibility, and we are encouraged to hold them accountable and to pray for them. We are all called to be responsible in one way or another.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you warned your disciples against burdening others: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you called them to be humble servants: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you challenge us to be responsible people: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

The Legacy of Pope Francis

Small but strategic changes have altered the trajectory of the church

When Pope John XXIII assessed the ability of any leader, even a pope, to change the tradition-laden Catholic church, he famously remarked: “See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.” Elected in 1958 at age 76 as a placeholder, John had only a few years to have impact on the church. His “little” correction was the Second Vatican Council. As the church ends the Jubilee Year of Mercy on Nov. 20 and Pope Francis approaches his 80th birthday in December, we might speculate on whether he also has had in mind some seemingly small but strategic course corrections that future historians will deem to have changed the trajectory of the church.

Music for Advent and Christmas

Deeply interrelated the seasons deserve to be considered together

Although the upcoming Advent and Christmas seasons are rich in themselves, they are deeply interrelated and deserve to be considered together, especially when preparing music for worship.

The celebrations of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tower over both of these seasons, with each of them moving gradually to and from the Nativity feast. Advent draws us in a progressive way over a period of four weeks from a focus on Christ’s future coming in glory to his historical coming as a child born of Mary. Beginning on Christmas Eve and continuing through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the significance of Christ’s coming expands ever outward to embrace not only his own nation, but people of every land and race, and culminates in the universal mission of God’s beloved Son to proclaim and inaugurate the reign of God.

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