The four festivals of the Christmas season – Holy Family, Mary, Mother of God, Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord – tend to escape our notice, being at the mercy of summer holidays and the vagaries of the calendar. The feast of the Epiphany may be an exception. The story of the wise men, the star they followed, and the exotic gifts they gave the child, captured Christian imaginations from early times and inspired countless legends. It remains a story for our times. The quest for truth and wisdom is a human imperative. Whatever the path, sincere searching leads, we believe, to the light of Christ.
The week’s prayer focus
Amid the clamour of competing claims and the lure of the easy option, it takes courage to stay on the path of wisdom. Spirit of truth, guide me to Jesus, reveal his wisdom to me, and keep me close to him.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, the mystery of God’s eternal love has been gloriously revealed to us in Christ Jesus. Let us pray for the light of that love to dawn upon the whole of creation.
- We pray for Orthodox Christians around the world celebrating the feast of the Nativity at this time. May they rejoice together in faith and be blessed with lasting peace. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the ancient Christian churches of the Middle East as they face increasing decline and danger. May they be given the courage to stay true to their traditions. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the island peoples of the Pacific under threat from rising sea levels. May the risk they face spur the international community to effective action on climate change. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for young people searching for meaning and direction in their lives. May they, like the wise men of the gospel, be led to discover Christ, the light of the world. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for those whose minds are darkened by ignorance, prejudice, anger or hate. May the light of Christ dawn within them and move them to a life of mercy. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who have been driven into exile because of war or persecution. May they not lose the hope of returning to their homeland once again to rebuild their lives. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray in thankfulness for those whose lives of scholarship or service have shed light on the mystery of Christ for us. May the flame of faith they have kindled stay alight in our hearts. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for holiday-makers enjoying a summer break, especially families away together. May their time of leisure be safe and relaxing and renew them in body, mind and spirit. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they see the glory of God and be filled with everlasting joy. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Eternal God, at the dawn of time your light brought life to the world, and in the fullness of time you sent your Son to be light for all peoples. Come to our aid, and help us walk always as children of the light. We ask this through Christ our Lord.