Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 19, 2021
On this last Sunday of Advent, we join with Mary in anticipation of the birth of your Son and ask that we may put aside our earthly cares so that we may receive him into our hearts and lives.
- That the Church may be an effective agent in enabling the greatness of God, who is peace, to reach to the ends of the earth. We pray to the Lord.
- That the tendencies in society to focus on self-interest and jealousy of others’ good fortune will be replaced by the joy of Elizabeth who exulted at the visit of her cousin who is blessed among women. We pray to the Lord.
- That Pope Francis, who celebrated his birthday this past Friday, will be granted health, courage, humility, and wisdom as he leads the Church and the world in the way of the Gospel. We pray to the Lord.
- That the heartbreak of those whose lives have been torn apart by the tornadoes in Kentucky will be replaced by hope based in the prayers and assistance of compassionate people throughout the world. We pray to the Lord.
- That pregnant women will experience the infants in their womb jumping for joy; and may they nurture the lives of those entrusted to them along with dedicated fathers, their families, their communities, and a deep respect for all life. We pray to the Lord.
- That as Elizabeth received Mary even when wondering why this pregnant, unwed girl would come to her, we may receive refugees, the impoverished, and victims of violence who surprise us by their presence among us. We pray to the Lord.
- That our sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings, may be made meaningful by inspiring us to do the will of God. We pray to the Lord.
- That the joy of Elizabeth in encountering Mary will inspire the local bishop in his dealings with Fr. Christopher and the refugees from St. Isabel Church to live the mission of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “to encounter the mercy of Christ and to accompany His people with joy.” We pray to the Lord.
- That we may reach out to those who are alone this Christmas season and are saddened by the divisions caused by covid so that all may rejoice in the knowledge that the Lord comes to save us and give us new life. We pray to the Lord.
- That even as Bethlehem-Ephrathah was considered to be too small to be among the clans of Judah yet became the birthplace of the Messiah, may we not consign the small events of our lives to insignificance but may there find the Lord who stands firm and shepherds his flock. We pray to the Lord.
- That those who are ill will turn to the Lord and be given new life as they call upon his name. We pray to the Lord.
- That those who have died in the tornadoes, through bus accidents in Kenya and Mexico, in prison or refugee camps, and all whose lives have been suddenly lost during this Advent season will rest in the peace of heaven for all eternity. We pray to the Lord.
Oh God, during this last week of anticipation of the celebration of the birth of your Son, may we no more withdraw from you but prepare ourselves for the new life of Jesus offered to us. We make these prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.