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Prayers of the people: Fourth Sunday of Advent Year C, 23 December 2018

13 December 2018

Introductory reflection

Luke’s story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth is heart-warming. A young woman, disconcertingly pregnant, hastens to visit her older cousin, joyously expectant late in life. Their encounter unleashes joy and praise. But this is much more than a human interest story. Luke wastes no words, for example, on the hardships of Mary’s journey from distant Nazareth up to Jerusalem. His primary interest is to demonstrate the working out of God’s all-embracing plan of salvation in and through these two faithful daughters of Jerusalem. How beautifully he paints this cameo of affection and makes it an icon of divine purpose. With Mary we too are prompted to “glorify the Lord.”

The week’s prayer focus

For a just resolution of the conflicting claims of Israel and Palestine for sovereignty in the land of Jesus’ birth.

Sample intercessions

These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns

Presider

Dear friends, the time of fulfilment is near at hand. With Mary and Elizabeth’s faith in God’s word, let us pray in peace for a new heaven and a new earth.

Reader

  1. We pray for the leaders of the world’s peoples, that they may govern with integrity and justice and work for a new era of peace. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for the Christian churches, that like Mary and Elizabeth they will testify to God’s power to bring unexpected life to birth. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for parish communities around Australia, that in these final days of Advent they will become more and more ready to contemplate the birth of Christ. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray in thanks for all who work on projects of social improvement, that their commitment to the good of the community will bear much fruit. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for indigenous peoples in Australia and other lands, that their history, culture and gifts will be respected and honoured by the whole nation. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for the thousands of asylum seekers living in Australia without rights, security or access to services, that the trauma of uncertainty will come quickly to a positive end. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray for expectant women who have lost a child late in pregnancy or at birth, that they will be accompanied with love through their grief and loss. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for those who are seriously ill or dying, especially loved ones and those who feel alone, that they will receive the nursing and pastoral care they need. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that Christ the good shepherd will guide them safely home. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

Presider

Ever faithful God, by the power of your Spirit and the consent of Mary and Elizabeth you brought the longing of your people to fulfilment. Help us to be truly open to all that you ask of us. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

 

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