Liturgy Alive First Sunday of Advent (B)
I welcome you with the greeting of St Paul:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Lord, Let Us See Your Face
During this Advent we are confronted again with the question so vital for us Christians: what place are you giving Christ in your life? Are you close to him? One thing is sure: he is near to us. Do we try to see him, to recognize him in the many forms he is present among us: in our neighbor, in nature, in the events of life, even in our troubles and his own silence? We have to become vigilant to his presence, not only in our own little world but in the Church and in the wide world. Today we pray in the eucharist: come, Lord, show yourself; be visible among us.
B. Have the Door Open When the Lord Comes
It is good to have something to wait for, to look forward to, to hope in. People who have no more expectations are pitiable, for their life must be drab and monotonous. Of course, waiting for something to happen, for someone who is delayed, can make us impatient at times, like the better world which we are promised but which takes very long in coming. The Lord here among us asks us: what have you done to hasten the coming of a new self and of a better world? Why have you not made me and my gospel known and why do you not make me visible in yourself? Here is our task for Advent: We have to bring the Lord and his kingdom near. May the Lord give us this strength.
C. Hope in a Better World
People often dream about a beautiful world without worries or pain. We know that our world will never be such a paradise. Imperfection is the mark of our world and of every human being. But Advent reminds us of this: let God come into our world and let him enter our lives; then everything will be better. And God came: he is here with us in Jesus. With him we can make this world not yet a paradise but at least much better if with him we learn to bear the pain of the evil in this world and fight it with all our might. Then it may become a sign of the paradise of heaven. Let Jesus fill us with that hope and strength.
Do we look for the Lord?
And when we find him, do we point him out to others?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
Lord Jesus, awaken your might
and come to our help:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, bring us back,
let your face shine on us and we shall be saved:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, we shall never forsake you again;
give us life, that we may call upon your name.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
and take away all our sins.
Show yourself to us
and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray that we may be vigilant
to see the coming of our Lord among us
Our saving God,
long ago you sent your Son Jesus among us,
but we have been little aware of his presence
and we hide him even from others.
Wake us up, make us recognize him,
that he may be the light of our lives
and that eagerly we may lead people to him.
May he build up among us and with us
a world and a kingdom of peace and love
where we serve you in one another,
as we move forward in hope
to your home of endless joy and rest.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: Rend the heavens and come down
In the name of his discouraged and suffering people, the prophet voices his trust in God: they deserve their lot, but no situation is desperate when we can count on a saving God.
Second Reading Introduction: Waiting for the full coming of Christ
Paul sees the life of a Christian as someone already united with Christ and yet looking forward toward his fuller coming until the Lord's final return.
Gospel Introduction: Stay awake for the Lord's coming
Christians should always be ready for the unexpected, for they may encounter the Lord at any time in people, in the events of life and at death. Are we awake and ready to respond?
Let us pray to our Lord Jesus Christ that we may be alert to his presence and that his salvation may come to all of our world. Let us say: R/ Lord, come and save us.
- Enrich your Church with much tenderness, Lord, that it may show the way to all who seek, welcome sinners with compassion, and be the refuge and defender of the poor, we pray: R/ Lord, come and save us.
- Enrich the leaders of our world with your wisdom, Lord, that they may bring peace and justice to their own nations and on the international level, we pray: R/ Lord, come and save us.
- Enrich with hope in you those who suffer, Lord, that they may see how much you love them and that they may also meet people who follow you in your understanding and compassion, we pray: R/ Lord, come and save us.
- Enrich with your spirit of fidelity, Lord, husbands and wives who are getting estranged, priests and religious who have lost a sense of direction, friends frustrated in their trust and mutual support, we pray: R/ Lord, come and save us.
- Enrich our communities with your love, Lord, that we may respect and appreciate one another, be united in all our diversity, and be attentive to each other's needs, we pray: R/ Lord, come and save us.
Lord, Jesus Christ, you are the one who is coming to renew us and our world. Be our joy, our peace, all our hope, now and for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts (based on Pope Paul VI's "80 Years Later")
God our Father,
we pray you at this altar
for the coming of Jesus Christ in bread and wine.
Inspire us by the power of his Spirit
and sustain us in hope,
that we may fully commit ourselves
to build up among people a city
that is human, peaceful, just and fraternal
as an offering that pleases you,
our God and Father for ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
In the preface and the whole eucharistic prayer we express our longing for the Lord's coming among his people and in the world.
Note. It is fitting to use during Advent acclamation (b) of the Sacramentary after the consecration, because of the words: "Lord Jesus, come in glory."
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
Let us pray to our faithful God
in the words of Jesus his Son
that his kingdom may come to all: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from the evil of sin
which keeps us from seeing
that your Son already is among us.
Help us discover his presence
in our brothers and sisters.
In these times of trials and uncertainty
keep us watchful and reassure us
that even in our obscure toils
we are already preparing the new world
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
R/ For the kingdom..
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus the Lord,
he who was and is and will come,
the hope and salvation of all.
Happy are we to receive him
as our God-with-us.
R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
it was good to be here with your Son
and to receive from him the bread of hope.
Help us in our clumsy attempts
to bring to our cold world
the warmth of his love and friendship,
of his compassion and his integrity,
that people may see the day
when they can recognize among us
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Advent is our season of waiting
for the coming of Jesus, our Lord.
But long ago he came already.
So, what are we waiting for, then?
For his real coming to you, to me, to our world.
Where is his kingdom among us?
How can people see whether he is here?
Can they see him in us, in our communities?
This is what we are waiting for,
or rather, what the Lord is waiting for.
The Lord is waiting for our active preparing
of his love and justice among people.
But he will do it with us.
Let the Lord come and activate us,
with the blessing of almighty God,
that Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go with one another
the way of the Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.