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Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.
Reading 1 IS 40:1-5, 9-11
Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.
Reading 2 2 PT 3:8-14
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out. Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
Gospel MK 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Please click on the video link below to watch the homily for this week.
The Prayers of the Faithful
For the Church, that we may make straight the Lord’s paths, allowing his presence to permeate our lives and the lives of people around the world, especially those desperate for comfort and hope. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
For world leaders, that they may listen to the voices crying out in the desert, the voices of those who hunger and thirst for sustenance, justice, and peace. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
For those struggling to make their way out of rugged lands and rough countries—immigrants, refugees, and those seeking asylum—that they may find strength and confidence in their faith as Isaiah and the exiles from Jerusalem did centuries ago. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
For those battling to escape wastelands of addiction, despair, or depression, that they may know God’s comfort and forgiveness. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
That during this season of holy expectation we may prepare our hearts to receive Christ now, at Christmas, and at any time. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
For all who have been affected by COVID19, may God’s healing presence be comfort to them and bring health and well-being. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
For the departed, who remain with us in our prayers and our memories, and for the promise of a joyful reunion, and especially for: +Fernando Vinzons, Sr. We pray to the Lord. LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.
In many places in the world receiving Holy Communion is not possible. Catholics in these areas are encouraged to make “Spiritual Communion.” St.Teresa of Jesus wrote about this practice:
“When you do not receive communion and you do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion, which is a most beneficial practice; by it the love of God will be greatly impressed on you”
Replenished by your spiritual nourishment, we humbly beseech you. O Lord, that, through our partaking in this mystery, you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earth and hold firm to the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord. AMEN.
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