Monthly Prayers December 2016

CAFOD PRAYERS: 6th December 2016: Feast of St. Nicholas

Opening Reflection
Sing of the one who is coming,
whose advent cannot be expressed in words,
only in “silent music”. (John of the Cross)

Sing of the one who is coming,
whose greatness cannot be grasped by words,
only in “invisible light”. (Denys)

Sing of the one who is coming.
Find him in the “deep but dazzling darkness”
of that first Christmas night. (Henry Vaughan)

Opening Prayer
God of our desire and longing,
we await your coming with eager expectation
and with joyful hope.
Strengthen our hearts and minds
with the beckoning light of your redeeming love,
that we may earnestly work
for the coming of your Kingdom
and be ever ready to receive you in those we meet.
(Annabel Shilson-Thomas)

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3 A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.

7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.
9 Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord GOD comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Intercessions
We bring before you, O God,
the troubles and perils of people and nations,
the frustrations of prisoners and captives,
the anguish of the bereaved,
the needs of refugees,
the helplessness of the weak,
the despondency of the weary
Aad the hopelessness of the starving.
O God, draw near to each,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(after St Anselm, 1033-1109)

closing-prayer

Notes

This reading is the joyful song that opens the 2nd part of Isaiah. After the 70 years of the Exile, the Israelites are looking forward to the return to Jerusalem, aware that they are soon to be released from their captivity.  The Lord will lead them in joy across the great desert, as he led them at the Exodus, and will manifest his glory again.

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