Celebrant: With confidence in the God who always hears us, let us offer our prayers and petitions to the Father.
That the Church may grow in grace through this season of Advent as we prepare to greet the Lord Jesus when he returns, we pray to the Lord…
That leaders of nations may work together to attain peace with justice in our world, we pray to the Lord…
That we may prepare for the new heaven and new earth by fostering respect and protection for all human life, including the unborn, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have separated themselves from the grace of God may find this season a time of reconciliation and peace, we pray to the Lord…
That the sick, the lonely, and the depressed may find strength and hope in the love that God has for his wounded children, we pray to the Lord…
That those who have died may find the fulfillment of their hope and rejoice eternally in heaven, we pray to the Lord…
Father, you are kind and merciful.
We ask your blessings on us as we present
our needs and renew our faith in you, through Christ our Lord. 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."
Is 40:1-5, 9-11
2 Pt 3:8-14
Mk 1:1-8 (5)
Watch a video with homily hints
The theme of repentance again is stressed in today’s readings. As John the Baptizer prepared the people for the coming of Christ by proclaiming repentance, so the Church prepares the world for his second coming by likewise proclaiming, and opening the way, for repentance. The Church not only gives the message of repentance, but gives us all the grace we need to live it out. The straight path that has to be prepared in the wasteland, the lowering of the mountains and filling of the valleys, all represent the arduous task of making our own hearts right in the sight of God, and also the task of making the “terrain” of society and culture right with God.
Here, the building of a Culture of Life is central. It is, in its essence, a preparation for Christ’s coming. We make straight the way for welcoming him by welcoming all who are created in his image, particularly the poor, the marginalized, and the unborn. We strive “to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight” (2nd reading) by being at peace with all our brothers and sisters, including the unborn, and not stained with the sin of rejecting them.