Prayers for January 7, 2018

The Epiphany of the Lord

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.

Penitential Act

  • Lord Jesus, you were born to a Jewish family in Bethlehem of Judea: Lord, have mercy.
  • Christ Jesus, you came for the Jews, the Gentiles, and the whole world: Christ, have mercy.
  • Lord Jesus, you call us to open our hearts to all people: Lord, have mercy.

Scripture Readings

  • Is 60:1-6 “Nations shall walk by your light.”
  • Ps 72 Lord, every nation will adore you
  • Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6 Jews and Gentiles are co-heirs
  • Mt 2:1-12 The Magi visit from the east

Prayer of the Faithful

Presider Let us pray today for our brothers and sisters across the entire world.

Minister For the church: that it may be a clear sign of inclusion, showing the world that Christ is not only for us, but for all people ... we pray,

  • For those who worship God under other names or theological understanding, especially in the Abrahamic tradition ... we pray,
  • For loving and compassionate attitudes that open us to people of other races, nations, cultures or beliefs, despite the risks ... we pray,
  • For the courage to confront those who practice exclusion because of fear, misunderstanding, a lack of knowledge, or political gain ... we pray,
  • For immigrants and refugees who seek safety in foreign lands and long for humane and compassionate care ... we pray, 
  • For those within this community, in our neighborhoods and beyond, who are overlooked, underappreciated or in any kind of need; and for the ministers and ministries that serve their needs ... we pray,

Presider God of the universe, you sent your beloved Son to show your love to every nation on earth. Give us the same generous love toward others, especially those who are judged unworthy and those we do not understand. Grant us the courage to shine your light beyond barriers and boundaries. We ask this in the name of Jesus, the Light of the world. Amen.