Week by week our Advent hope has gathered strength. Today our expectation grows even more intense. We look with longing hearts for the appearance of God’s anointed one among us, as others have done in times past. The Preface sums it up: “all the oracles of the prophets foretold him, the Virgin Mother longed for him with love beyond all telling, John the Baptist sang of his coming and proclaimed his presence when he came.” Now it is we who “rejoice in the mystery of his Nativity . . . watchful in prayer and exultant in his praise” – all the while in company with the young woman of Nazareth.
The week’s prayer focus
Mary’s “yes” changed the course of history and we add our own every time we say the Lord’s Prayer. More than ever this week we pray “Our Father, your will be done on earth as in heaven.”
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, Mary responded with willing faith to the message of the angel. With her spirit of openness, let us pray for God’s loving purposes to be fulfilled in us and in our world.
- For the whole human family, that amid all their struggles and suffering the peoples of the world will not lose faith in their common humanity and the goodness of life, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all who are striving to protect the health of the global environment, that we may heed their call to conversion and work together to care for the earth, our common home, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For minority Christian communities surviving in hostile environments, that they will be given the inner strength and the outer support they need to keep practising their faith, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the Christian churches of Australia, that amid the growing power of secular and commercial forces they will bear clear witness to the mystery of the Word-made-flesh, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the homeless, the unemployed and the chronically ill, that they will find the strength to deal with the closure or reduction of services over the holiday period, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For families and friends, that the bonds of love that unite them will be deepened around the table of Christmas joy through these festive days, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all still mourning the loss of a loved one in the past year, that they will have the company they need to pass through these special days and begin a new year in peace, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For ourselves, that we will grow in thankfulness for the many blessings we enjoy and share them freely with those less fortunate than ourselves, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will join Mary and all the saints in praising God forever, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
God of all grace and goodness, you have revealed the mystery of your love in Jesus your Son. Open our eyes to see his face in every person we meet. We ask this through Christ our Lord.