Readings for Tuesday 22 December 2015 (4th Week of Advent)
1 Sm 1:24-28. Ps 1 Sm 2:1, 4-8, R/ v 1. Lk 1:46-56. www.catholicbishops.ie/readings
‘The Almighty has done great things for me’: both Hannah and Mary can sing this song to the Lord. So can all who have heard the good news of great joy. ‘Root of Jesse, set up as a sign to the peoples, delay no more.’
The “O” Antiphons – O Rex Gentium (O King of the nations)
The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil.
Today we focus on the sixth of the seven O Antiphons – O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations).
Latin: O Rex gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
English: O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth.
Click here to listen to O Rex Gentium.
Advent Thought for the Day
Each day during Advent we are bringing you an audio Thought for the Day on a different theme. Today’s Thought for the Day is the Christy Keneally poem The Present which is read by Cathal Tobin, a fifth class student from Saint Conleth and Mary’s Primary School in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Click below to listen.
The Words of Pope Francis
Pope Francis on the spirit of wonder engendered by the Gospel and especially by the Christmas season
Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with faithful pilgrims and tourists gathered in Saint Peter’s Square last Sunday, ahead of which he spoke of the spirit of wonder engendered by the Gospel and especially by the Christmas season.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the 4th Sunday of Advent, which recounts Mary’s visit to her cousin, Elizabeth, miraculously with child in her old age, Pope Francis indicated three loci of wonder in our lives: the other; history; and the Church.
“The other,” he said, “is [the first locus of wonder], in which to discover a brother, for, from the moment in which Jesus was born, every visage carries the features of the Son of God – above all when it is the face of a poor person, because it was as a poor person that God entered the world and it was by the poor that He allowed himself to be approached first.”
“Another locus of wonder in which, if we look with faith, we feel real wonder, is history,” Pope Francis continued. “So many times we think we see it the right way, and instead we risk reading it backwards: it happens, for example, when history seems to us to be determined by the market economy, regulated by finance and business, dominated by the powers that be. The God of Christmas is rather a God who “shuffles the deck” – He likes to do it, eh? – As Mary sings in the Magnificat, it is the Lord who casts down the mighty from their thrones and lifts up the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty (Lk 1.52 to 53). This is the second surprise, the wonder of history.”
“The third locus of wonder is the Church,” said Pope Francis. “To look on her with the wonder of faith means not just considering the Church only as a religious institution – which the Church is – but to feel her as a mother who, despite her warts and wrinkles – we have so many! – lets the contours of the bride beloved of and purified by Christ the Lord shine through.”
“At Christmas,” Pope Francis concluded, “God gives us all of Himself by giving His one and only Son, who is all his joy – and only with the heart of Mary, the humble and poor daughter of Zion, become the Mother of the Son of the Most High, that we can rejoice and be glad for the great gift of God and for His unpredictable surprise: may she help us to perceive the wonder, these three wonders: the other, history and the Church; so let it be with the birth of Jesus – the gift of gifts – the undeserved gift that brings us salvation, that it might also make us feel this wonder in meeting Jesus. We cannot have this wonder, however, we cannot meet Jesus, if we do not meet Him in the other, in history and in the Church.”
Source: Vatican Radio
Pope Francis on Twitter
“If Jesus is to become the centre of our life, we need to spend time in his presence, before the Tabernacle.” – @Pontifex
Praise for the Gift of Life
God of Love, we praise and thank you
for the wonderful gift of life.
Help us to cherish that gift in ourselves and in all
whom we meet.
Bless all young men and women,
be with them through these years
of change in their bodies, their priorities,
their relationships, so that nothing may damage
their joy and their hope.
Bless all couples preparing for marriage.
Help them to cherish each other more every day.
And give them the courage to put their love for
each other first so that their lives may
be full and their marriages happy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Source: Johnny Doherty CssR.
Family Table Prayer for Christmas Day
This is a Family Prayer for use at meals on Christmas Day and during the Season of Christmas. Click here to listen.
1. We pray for peace;
that enemies may lay down their weapons
and strive to build peace together.
2. We pray for all those who are travelling over Christmas
that each person may arrive safely to his or her destination.
3. For those for whom Christmas is a time of sadness, darkness
that they may receive our love, compassion,
healing and consolation.
4. We pray for our Holy Father Pope Francis and for
all Church leaders in our country and our community.
Father in heaven, you sent your Son to live among us as a man,
one who understands our needs. Grant us what we need today.
We make these, and all our prayers, through Christ our Lord.
God’s Love Has Been Given To Us
the Holy Spirit
been given to us.
Source: Rev Peter Murphy from The Family Prayer Book
Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
‘Round yon virgin , mother and child
Holy infant so, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glory streams from heaven afar
Heavenly, hosts sings Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.
Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.
Click here to listen.