Archive for 2015

Reflection for the Feast of the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

like you, we are members of God’s family and the human family.

We pray that our family love

may reflect God’s love in its openness to all people.

May we forgive even when not forgiven,

and be patient with each other’s weaknesses.

 

Jesus,

give us peace, unity and strength

to meet the difficulties of daily living.

May we use our family resources

to respect the sacredness of life

and to improve the quality of life

for ourselves and all people.

Let us show joy in serving others;

for whatever we do for others,

we do for you.

 

Mary,

inspire us,

that our love may be strong, but not possessive.

Let our willingness to give

depend on the needs of others

rather than on the cost of giving.

 

Joseph,

help us to be attentive to God’s will.

Let us be ready,

as you were,

to act whenever God calls us.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

may we live in imitation of your life on earth

so that we may share for all eternity

in the life of God’s family in heaven.

Amen.

Prayer for the Family

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

in you we contemplate

the splendor of true love,

to you we turn with trust.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

grant that our families, too,

may be places of communion and prayer,

authentic schools of the Gospel

and small domestic Churches.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may families never again

experience violence, rejection, and division. 

May all who have been hurt or scandalized

find ready comfort and healing.

 

Holy family of Nazareth,

make us once again

more mindful of the sacredness

and inviolability of the family,

and its beauty in God’s plan.

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

graciously hear our prayer. 

Amen.

—Pope Francis

 

Bulletin – December 26-27, 2015

2015-12-26

Reflection for the 4th Week in Advent

In the strikingly beautiful story of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, Mary’s utter thoughtfulness stands out.  Though she is in the early stage of her own pregnancy, Mary forgets herself and tends to her cousin, Elizabeth, already in her sixth month.  Mary has reason for concern.  Elizabeth is “elderly”, and this is her first child.

 

By human standards, both women are “nobodies”.  They are just women in a patriarchal society.  They are poor, and they possess no economic leverage.  Also, they live in a country subjugated by a foreign military power — so they have no political clout either.  In addition, one of them is “too young”, and the other would be dismissed as “too old”.  Yet, it is precisely through these two women — these two “nobodies” — that salvation comes into the world.

 

Isn’t it amazing what God can do with the “nobodies” of this world?  Imagine what God wants to do through you.

 

The openness of Mary and Elizabeth to the possibility of God working in their lives continues to impact history — even today.  Be open to the possibilities in your own life.  Let God use you to perform great things.

Prayer for the 4th Week in Advent

Lord Jesus,

with wonder and praise

we have gathered as a family

to await that voice which announces your birth.

What wonders you work in our lives

as you become human, like us.

It is good to know that you walk with us every minute.

There are so many choices we have to make,

so many adventures ahead of each of us.

Help us to listen well.

What praise is yours

as you reveal the depths of your love for us.

Take good care of the ones we love so much

as they walk with you on their own journeys.

Thank you for this wonderful season,

and for the gift of sharing it with special people,

and for letting us know you better.

May we, like Mary, give you birth in our hearts

all the days of our lives.

We love you.

Amen.

 

Bulletin – December 19-20, 2015

2015-12-19

Bulletin – December 12-13, 2015

2015-12-12

Reflection for the 2nd Week in Advent

A voice crying out in the desert — in the wilder­ness of ignorance and hatred — John the Baptist heralded the coming of Christ, along with the dawning of a new age of justice and peace.  Stak­ing his life on a dream, John turned to the prophet Isaiah to articulate the power of that dream.

 

In living and dying for the sake of this dream, John the Baptist demonstrated what it is to make way for a new world order. Ahead of his times, he saw the obstacles blocking the fulfillment of this vi­sion.  Tirelessly, with faith and determination, he struggled to remove every rock, boulder and hill — leveling the stony places in people’s hearts.  As a result of his prophetic utterances, the world was, for a brief moment, ready to receive the Christ.

 

But this is 2000 years later — and God has asked each of us to that voice crying out to a world wrapped in fear and materialism.  Have  we awakened to the meaning of Christ’s message of love?   What will our contribution be?   Let us ask God to awaken within us the spirit of prophecy so that God’s work may be done through us.

Prayer for the Year of Mercy

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us to be merciful

like the heavenly Father,

and have told us

that whoever sees you sees Him.

Show us your face

and we will be saved.

 

Your loving gaze

freed Zacchaeus and Matthew

from being enslaved by money;

the adulteress and Magdalene

from seeking happiness

only in created things;

made Peter weep

after his betrayal,

and assured Paradise

 to the repentant thief.

 

Let us hear,

as if addressed to each one of us,

the words that you spoke

to the Samaritan woman:

“If you knew the gift of God!”

 

You are the visible face

of the invisible Father —

of the God

who manifests his power above all

by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church

be your visible face in the world —

its Lord risen and glorified.

 

You willed that your ministers

would also be clothed in weakness

in order that they may feel compassion

for those in ignorance and error:

let everyone who approaches them

feel sought after,

loved,

and forgiven by God.

 

Send your Spirit

and consecrate every one of us

with its anointing,

so that the Jubilee of Mercy

may be a year of grace

from the Lord.

And may your Church,

with renewed enthusiasm,

bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,

and restore sight to the blind.  

 

We ask this

through the intercession of Mary,

Mother of Mercy;

You who live and reign

with the Father

and the Holy Spirit

for ever and ever.

Amen.

 

Bulletin – December 5-6, 2015

2015-12-05