Liturgy Alive Monday, December 19, 2011
People chosen by God for a special mission in his plan of salvation are constantly presented in the Bible as chosen and loved before birth, with their birth announced in a special way; they are moved by the Spirit of God; their mission demands sacrifices. Witness the call of Samson in his folkloric saga, or that of John the Baptist. The silence of Zechariah comes probably from the joy of an overwhelming message, too great to be put into words.
Underlying these vocation stories is that people are weak, that salvation is gratuitously given by God, that barrenness (the barren women) gives way to fertility, that sacrifices are demanded. And so, people are to be moved by the Spirit of God. All this holds true also for us as we are called to prepare the way of the Lord.
Lord, mighty God,
no angel announced our birth,
but we know that you loved us
even before we were born,
and that you call us to prepare
the fuller coming of your Son among people.
Reveal your strength in our weakness,
keep us hoping in your future,
that we may overcome all obstacles
to establish the kingdom
of Jesus Christ our Lord.
- For married couples who expect a child, that they may welcome the child as a present from God, we pray:
- For parents, that they inspire their children to put their talents at the service of people, we pray:
- For prophets of our day, that the Holy Spirit may move them to awaken us with God's word from our lack of concern for the good of the community, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father,
you had prepared your chosen people
to welcome your Son as the Savior
and yet his coming took them by surprise
and they did not recognize him.
Wake us up with the cry
of present-day prophets
to recognize and welcome him
not only in these signs of bread and wine
but also in the poor and the misfits
who hunger and thirst for food,
for justice and peace
and, perhaps without knowing it,
for the dignity of your children.
Grant us this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, God of hope,
we are your people today
and yet we often hide
the presence of Jesus, your Son,
by our compromise and conformity.
Let your Son pour for us
the young wine of hope,
to rupture with our settled ways
and to make us new people
who reveal in our littleness and fragility
the presence in our midst
of someone much greater than we are,
your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christmas is near. Let our prayers become more insistent that we may become more committed to bring the love and justice of Christ into our cold and harsh world. May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.