Celebrant: With readiness to welcome Christ, who comes each day by His grace, we now present our needs to the Father.
That the Church, like a herald's voice in the desert, may never cease proclaiming what is true and just, even when unpopular, we pray to the Lord...
That God, the source of all patience, may enable the nations of the world to live in harmony with one another, we pray to the Lord...
That our nation may heed the Gospel call to reform our lives by ending the practices of abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment, we pray to the Lord…
That our troops, who defend our freedom and peace, may be strengthened by the God of all encouragement, we pray to the Lord...
That the Spirit of the Lord may rest upon the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the dying, we pray to the Lord...
That all who have died may be raised to new and eternal life, we pray to the Lord...
we hear your call to repentance
and rejoice that our salvation is near.
Make our hearts and our world
ready for the coming of Christ your Son
Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
The Divine Child’s Birth
Advent leads the Church to the Silent Night when God Himself is revealed as one of us. This season leads us to the joy of His birth. If God has joined His nature to ours, how can we ever allow our nature to be despised? If He has come to bring us Divine Life, and will return to take us to the skies, how can it be all right to throw people in the garbage? May His birth shed protection on all about to be born, and as we work to end abortion, may we "wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ."
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Preaching on today’s readings to bring out the theme of life would focus on two themes of the readings: justice and welcome.
The promised Messiah brings justice. The first reading and the psalm indicate that this involves “deciding aright for the land’s afflicted.” It means that the negative “judgment” imposed upon some, whereby they are deemed less worthy of protection or of other human goods, is reversed. Now, with right judgment, their dignity is recognized and they are treated accordingly. This justice is accompanied by peace. “There shall be no harm or ruin…” The obvious application to the culture of death in our day is that the coming of the Messiah, the preparing of the way of the Lord, the making straight of his paths, and the demands of repentance involve restoring the rights of all who are marginalized, most notably the unborn and the disabled.
Closely connected to this theme of justice is the theme of “welcome,” stressed by St. Paul in the second reading. “Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you.” Welcome means that we recognize the dignity of the other person and make room for that person whether that person was anticipated or not, planned or not, convenient or not. This stands in contrast to the concept of “wantedness.” When someone is “wanted,” they meet some need or expectation of somebody else, and the temptation is to think that their value rises and falls with their degree of “wantedness.” Welcome, on the other hand, recognizes that their value is intrinsic to them. They are welcomed whether we want them or not. While some (like Planned Parenthood) say “Every child a wanted child,” we say, “Every child (and every person) a welcome child.”