A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Unexpected Wilderness of Plenty, First Sunday of Advent, Yr A

For Sunday, November 27, 2016, 1st Sunday of Advent, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44

       Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord...that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths...He shall judge between the nations...they shall beat their swords into ploughshares...neither shall they learn war any more. [Isaiah 2:3b,4]

      You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first became believers...let us live honorably...put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires [Romans 13:11, 13a, 14]

      Jesus said to the disciples, "But about that day and hour no one knows...Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." [Matthew 24:36a, 44]


       The name of our new liturgical season, Advent, comes from the Latin adventus which means coming, and that comes to us from the Greek parousia [pa-roo-see-a] which is a term used for the Second Coming of Christ. It is also the beginning of the new liturgical year of the church in many denominations in the west. Typically, Advent is a season of preparation for the Nativity of Jesus through repentance and joyful expectation. 
       In a series of group-study booklets called Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton, editors Jonathan Montaldo and Robert G. Toth, writing in the Advent and Christmas volume, First Week of Advent session, say that Advent disposes us to conversion and further describe Advent as a time for judging the choices we make for living our lives. The season is a ritual moment for confronting discomforting truths. It catches us in the act of living unconnected from the Gospel... 
       Thomas Merton, quoted in the same session from his 1966 book "Raids on the Unspeakable" says, We are numbered in the billions and massed together...worked to the point of insensibility, dazed by information, drugged by entertainment, surfeited with everything...there is no room for thought. There is no room for attention, for the awareness of our state... What would he think of the excess and indulgences of this day and age?! It all speaks to me of being exiled in a wilderness of plenty where too much is still not enough and we are unexpectedly unconscious of all that we have and all that we are, or, are not.        
       In this Advent, it is now the moment to wake and discover the faith choices we have yet to make. NOW, for as Jesus reminds us that day and hour no one knows...Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. Get busy, Jesus is coming! Happy New Year. 

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Lord God Almighty, wake us from the sleep of contentment and bring us out from our wilderness of plenty to a conscious quest for Christ’s salvation. Fill us with the urgency of expectation for the unknown hour when we will be called to answer for the paths we chose or ignored in this life.

                                                God of Hope
RESPONSE:             Let us live and act for Christ

~ Lord God Almighty, exhort the leaders of this World, this Nation, and this Community to govern for all peoples, to beat swords and weapons of war into ploughshares, and work together for the prosperity and well-being of everyone. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Hope
                                                Let us live and act for Christ
                                               
~ Lord God Almighty, grant peace and comfort to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and renew the strength of those provide support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                God of Hope
                                                Let us live and act for Christ
           
~ Lord God Almighty, release the hearts of all who are trapped in the bondage of grief, and turn us all toward the time when there is no death but only the glory of Life everlasting. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Hope
                                                Let us live and act for Christ

~ Lord God Almighty, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                God of Hope
                                                Let us live and act for Christ
           
~ Lord God Almighty, inspire and refresh our Pastoral Leaders whose life work strives to teach us Your ways, and to transform our lives, through the message of the Gospel. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Hope
                                                Let us live and act for Christ
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  Lord of Love and Mercy, excite our souls as we begin again to prepare for the coming of Salvation. Grant us courage to confront ourselves in repentance and the willingness to experience the joy of conversion anew. We ask through Jesus our Redeemer, the Son of Man, and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom and our Strength, who together with You are our One Eternal God, now and forever. Amen.




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