Advent Prayers – Dec. 10

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Thomas Merton (1915 –1968)

Thomas Merton pursued the ideals of pleasure and freedom in early adulthood only to reject them as an illusion and embrace a life of prayer and silence as a Trappist monk. His 1949 conversion story, The Seven Storey Mountain, was a surprise bestseller, introducing millions of modern people to the gifts of monasticism. A mentor to many activists in the Catholic peace movement, Merton became a prophetic voice for peace and nonviolence in the twentieth century, despite the fact that his “political” writings were censored by his order. Convinced that contemplative life must engage the world, he prepared the way for a new monasticism.

Invitation to worship

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Song of Praise

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Be Thou My Vision”

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Psalm 54:1 –6

Save me, O God, by your name: in your might, defend my cause.

Hear my prayer, O God: give ear to the words of my mouth. For the arrogant have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life: those who have no regard for God. Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life. Render evil to those who spy on me: in your faithfulness, destroy them. I will offer you a freewill sacrifice: and praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.

Call to Discipleship

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Isaiah 5:13 –17, 24 –25

13 Therefore, my people go into exile since they didn’t understand—
   their officials are dying of hunger;
   so many of them are dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore, the grave[c] opens wide its jaws,
   opens its mouth beyond all bounds,
   and the splendid multitudes will go down, with all their uproar and cheering.
15 Humanity will be humiliated;
   each person laid low,
   the eyes of the exalted laid low.
16 But the Lord of heavenly forces will be exalted in justice,
   and the holy God will show himself holy in righteousness.
17 Lambs will graze as if in their pasture;
   young goats[d] will feed among the ruins of the rich.[e]

Therefore, as a tongue of fire devours stubble,
   and as hay shrivels in a flame,
       so their roots will rot,
       and their blossoms turn to dust,
   for they have rejected the teaching of the Lord of heavenly forces,
       and have despised the word of Israel’s holy one.
God’s powerful hand
25 This is why the Lord’s anger burned against the people:
   he extended his hand to strike them,
   the mountains trembled,
   and their corpses lay in the middle of the streets like dung.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
   God’s hand was still extended.

Luke 22:1 –13

22 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the legal experts were looking for a way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. 4 He went out and discussed with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard how he could hand Jesus over to them. 5 They were delighted and arranged payment for him. 6 He agreed and began looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them—a time when the crowds would be absent.


7 The Day of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John with this task: “Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.”

9 They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus replied, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters. 11  Say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guestroom where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 12  He will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They went and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Prayers for Others

Thomas Merton wrote, “The monk does not come to the monastery to ‘get’ something which the ordinary Christian cannot have. On the contrary, he comes there in order to realize and to appreciate all that any good Christian already has. He comes to live his Christian life, and thus to appreciate to the full his heritage as a son of God. He comes in order that he might see and understand that he already possesses everything.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Walking with Jesus and Community

Lord, teach us to live as contemplative activists, trusting that your Spirit and your word provide all we need to dance with the angels on Jacob’s ladder between heaven and earth. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

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Advent Prayers – Dec. 9

Invitation to worship

Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639)

Martin de Porres was a Dominican brother who is often celebrated by mixed-race people and those committed to ending racism and segregation. He was born in Lima, Peru, the son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave from Panama. Having grown up familiar with poverty and prejudice, he became a passionate advocate for those on the margins, establishing an orphanage and hospital for children, and becoming well known for his compassion. Martin is often depicted with a broom because he considered all work to be sacred and was committed to service and sacrifice.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Song of Praise

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Servant Song”

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Psalm 48: 2– 7

Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion: the very center of the world and the city of the great King. God is in her citadels: he is known to be her sure refuge. Behold, the kings of the earth assembled: and marched forward together. They looked and were astounded: they retreated and fled in terror. Trembling seized them there: they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them. As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God has established her for ever.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Call to Discipleship

Isaiah 5: 8 – 12, 18 – 23

Sayings of doom
Doom to those who acquire
house after house,
who annex field to field
until there is no more space left
and only you live alone in the land.
I heard the Lord of heavenly forces
say this:
Many houses will become total ruins,
large, fine houses,
with no one living in them.
Ten acres of vineyard
will produce just one bath,
and a homer of seed
will produce only an ephah.
Doom to those who wake up
early in the morning to run after beer,
to those who stay up late,
lit up by wine.
They party with lyre and harp,
tambourine, flute, and wine;
but they ignore the Lord’s work;
they can’t see what God is doing.

Doom to those who drag guilt
along with cords of fraud,
and haul sin as if with cart ropes,
who say, “God should hurry
and work faster so we can see;
let the plan of Israel’s holy one come
quickly, so we can understand it.”
Doom to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who present darkness as light
and light as darkness,
who make bitterness sweet
and sweetness bitter.
Doom to those
who consider themselves wise,
who think of themselves as clever.
Doom to the wine-swigging warriors,
mighty at mixing drinks,
who spare the guilty for bribes,
and rob the innocent of their rights.

Luke 21: 29 – 38

Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until everything has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
“Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”
Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Prayers for Others

Cyprian of Carthage, a third-century North African bishop, said, “The Lord Christ did not want us to pray by ourselves in private or for ourselves alone. We do not say ‘My Father, who art in heaven,’ nor ‘Give me this day my daily bread.’ It is not for oneself alone that each person asks to be forgiven, not to be led into temptation or to be delivered from evil. Rather, we pray in public as a community, and not for one individual but for all.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father…

Walking with Jesus Daily

Lord, you have woven the threads of creation too finely together for any of us to exist as islands unto ourselves. Teach us to delight in your web of life and to know ourselves in community. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 8

Invitation

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you like the sun,
As the day rises up to meet the sun.

Glory to the father, and to the son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is not, and will be forever. Amen

Song of Praise

Come let us sing to the: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our Salvation.

Song “Ubi Caritas”

Your glory, Lord, lights up the world:

Where love is real, it shines.

Psalm 41:1-3,13
Happy are they who consider the poor and the needy! The Lord will deliver them in the time of trouble.
The Lord preserves them and keeps them alive, so that they may be happy in the land: he does not hand them over to the will of their enemies.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed: and ministers to them in their illness.
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: from age to age. Amen.

Your glory, Lord, lights up the world:

Where love is real, it shines.

Prayers for others

Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities, has written, “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’ We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining on them.

Prayers for others

Our Father…

Walking with Jesus Daily

Lord, help us to minister to others in ways that validate and authenticate them as fellow children of God. Keep us from daring to assume that our good fortune is of our own doing or that our ability to serve is anything other than a gift. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing; once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 6

Nicholas of Myra (Fourth Century) 

The original “Old St. Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We recall this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Song “The Kingdom of God”

Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

Psalm 33:18 –21

Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who fear him: on those who wait upon his love, to pluck their lives from death: and to feed them in time of famine. Our soul waits for the LORD : he is our help and our shield. Indeed, our heart rejoices in him: for in his holy name we put our trust. Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

1st Reading

Isaiah 3:8 –15

Yes, Jerusalem has stumbled
    and Judah has fallen,
        because the way they talk and act in word and deed insults the Lord,
        defying his brilliant glory.
Their bias in judgment gives them away;
    like Sodom, they display their sins in public.
    Doom to them, for they have done themselves in!
Tell the righteous how blessed they are;
    they will eat the fruit of their labors.
Doom to the wicked; they are evil.
    What they have done will be done to them.
As for my people—oppressors strip them
    and swindlers rule them.
My people—your leaders mislead you and confuse your paths.

The Lord arises to accuse;
    he stands to judge the peoples.
The Lord will enter into judgment
    with the elders and princes of his people:
You yourselves have devoured the vineyard;
    the goods stolen from the poor are in your houses.
How dare you crush my people
    and grind the faces of the poor?
    says the Lord God of heavenly forces.

2nd Reading

Luke 21:5 –19

Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end won’t happen immediately.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other.There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. But before all this occurs, they will take you into custody and harass you because of your faith. They will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will provide you with an opportunity to testify. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance. I’ll give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to counter or contradict. You will be betrayed by your parents, brothers and sisters, relatives, and friends. They will execute some of you. Everyone will hate you because of my name. Still, not a hair on your heads will be lost. By holding fast, you will gain your lives.

Remember your little ones, Lord: and give us courage to stand for them.

Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and a passionate advocate for children, said, “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”

Prayers for Others 

Our Father

Lord Jesus Christ, you welcomed the little children to come unto you and invited us to come like them. Help us see how we can welcome children as you have welcomed us into your body. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 4

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. 
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. 

Song “Magnificat” https://youtu.be/6_iixWJo-7k

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Psalm 22:22–25 Praise the LORD, you that fear him: stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel; all you of Jacob’s line, give glory. For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither does he hide his face from them: but when they cry to him he hears them. My praise is of him in the great assembly: I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him. The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: “May your heart live for ever!” 

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Isaiah 2:1 –11  

Peace that Lasts Forever

This is the message that I was given about Judah and Jerusalem: 

In the future, the mountain 

with the Lord’s temple 

will be the highest of all. 

It will reach above the hills; 

every nation will rush to it. 

Many people will come and say, 

“Let’s go to the mountain 

of the Lord God of Jacob 

and worship in his temple.” 

The Lord will teach us his Law 

from Jerusalem, 

and we will obey him. 

He will settle arguments 

between nations. 

They will pound their swords 

and their spears 

into rakes and shovels; 

they will never make war 

or attack one another. 

People of Israel, let’s live 

by the light of the Lord.
Our Lord, you have deserted 

your people, Israel, 

because they follow customs 

of nations from the east. 

They worship Philistine gods 

and are close friends 

of foreigners.  

They have endless treasures 

of silver and gold; 

they have countless horses 

and war chariots. 

Everywhere in the country 

they worship the idols 

they have made. 

And so, all of them 

will be ashamed and disgraced. 

Don’t help them!
Every one of you, 

go hide among the rocks 

and in the ground, 

because the Lord is fearsome, 

marvelous, and glorious. 

When the Lord comes, 

everyone who is proud 

will be made humble, 

and the Lord alone 

will be honored.

Luke 20:27 –40 

The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So some of them came to Jesus and said: 

Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother. 

 There were once seven brothers. The first Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned. married that woman and died without having any children. At last the woman died. When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? All seven brothers had married her. 

 Jesus answered: 

The people in this world get married. But in the future world no one who is worthy to rise from death will either marry or die. They will be like the angels and will be God’s children, because they have been raised to life. 

 In the story about the burning bush, Moses clearly shows that people will live again. He said, “The Lord is the God worshiped by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. ” So the Lord isn’t the God of the dead, but of the living. This means that everyone is alive as far as God is concerned.

Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things. 

Commenting on the activities of the early church, Roman Emperor Julian said, “The godless Galileans feed our poor in addition to their own.” 

Prayers for Others 

Our Father Lord, keep us from trying to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Help us work to alleviate suffering and injustice wherever we find it, trusting that the rest is up to you. Amen. 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.