Today the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest. Many are busy with last-minute preparations for family meals, gift-giving and perhaps summer holidays. Amid all this activity, dare we take to heart Jesus’ rebuke to Martha for worrying and fretting about so many things (Lk 10:41)? God’s word today puts things back in perspective for us. It returns us to Jesus, light of the world, and to our mission. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, we have been anointed to take the good news to the poor, to bind up broken hearts, to set captives free, and to proclaim God’s grace and favour. Now’s the time.
The week's prayer focus
In the very first letter he wrote, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to “be happy at all times, pray constantly, and for all things give thanks to God” (5:16). Throughout this week, dear God, keep my heart filled with a spirit of joy and prayer and thankfulness.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, in the waters of baptism we have been enlightened by Christ. Let us pray for the light of Christ to dispel all darkness of sin and death from the face of the earth.
- We pray for religious leaders around the world, both global and local. May they be faithful witnesses to the light that shines forth in their faith traditions. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for Pope Francis, bishop of Rome and missioner to the world. May his pastoral visit to Myanmar and Bangla Desh bear fruit in effective assistance for Rohingya refugees. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the people of Palestine. May their hopes for peace and justice in their homeland be heard and recognised by the international community. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the Catholic church in Australia. May the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse play a strong and positive role in preparations for the national synod of 2020. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for community-builders across the nation. May they never cease in their efforts to connect minority groups and the disadvantaged with mainstream society. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all whose sporting skills win public admiration. May they be role models not only of dedication and achievement but also of fair play and integrity. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for children completing their primary school education. May they make a successful transition to secondary schooling next year and progress with confidence. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for ourselves. May we proceed through this last week of preparation for Christmas in a peaceful and prayerful spirit, grateful for all we have. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May God clothe them in the garments of eternal salvation. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
Source of all that is good, holy God, you have anointed us with your Spirit to bring good news to the poor, healing to broken hearts, and liberty to captives. Keep us true to our calling. We ask this through Christ our Lord.