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, 2022

Prayers of the People: Fresh Awakening ~ 1st Sunday of Advent '22 Yr A

For Sunday, November 27, 2022, 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]

    Now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem…built as a city that is at unity with itself…Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  [Psalm 122:2-3, 6a]

       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]

       It’s a brand new Liturgical year in the denominations using the Revised Common Lectionary [RCL]. In the RCL we have a schedule of 4 readings appointed for each Sunday in the Liturgical/Church year, and for the 2-year Daily Lectionary. We use an Old Testament reading, a Psalm, an Epistle, and a Gospel specific to a liturgical season of the year. Last Sunday we completed the appointed readings for Year C in the three-year Sunday cycle and begin again now with Year A. 
      The name of our new season, Advent, comes from the Latin “adventus” which means coming, and that derives from the Greek parousia [pa-roo-see-a] which is a term used for the Second Coming of Christ. Advent is a season of preparation for the Nativity of Jesus through repentance and joyful expectation. 
       In a series of booklets for group study called Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton, editors Jonathan Montaldo and Robert G. Toth, writing in the Advent and Christmas volume, say that Advent disposes us to conversion...
Conversion? That's a term, a thought, a sensation which often makes more than a few of us who were born into Christianity uncomfortable. After all, I don’t need to be converted if I already believe – or, do I? Montaldo and Toth say further that Advent is a time for judging the choices we make for living our lives. This season is a ritual moment for confronting discomforting truthsIt catches us in the act of living unconnected from the Gospel... It would appear that a little refreshment of our conversion is in order. 
       The Trappist Monk, author, and mystic Thomas Merton, said, 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 Merton, who died in 1968, think of the excess and indulgences of this day and age, the addiction to smart phones and social media, 24 hours of non-stop, never-ending everything?! 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, now is 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. As Paul also reminds us in this week's excerpt from the Letter to the Romans, “Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light…live honorably…” With Christ as our armor of light, hope is more than fantasy. Hope shines on the path ahead and propels us toward the House of God. 
     It’s time for a fresh awakening ~ get busy, prepare yourself. Jesus is coming!


Leader:  ~ O Lord our God, jolt us awake from contented sleep and expose us in our self-imposed wilderness of plenty. Set us on a conscious and urgent quest for Christ’s Salvation, expecting that in an unknown hour, we will be called to answer for the paths we choose, or ignore, in this life. 

                                                             Jesus, Son of Man                        
RESPONSE:                     Grant us Your Armor of Light

~ O Lord our God, awaken and restore goodness to the souls of those who do evil in this world, and prod all leaders of this Planet, globally and locally, into the dignity and decency necessary to govern for and prosper all. We pray especially for: Joseph, our President; Kamala, our Vice-President; Tom, Chris, and Lisa, our Members of Congress; John, our Governor; Matt, our County Executive; and Mike, our Mayor.

                                                            Jesus, Son of Man
                                                            Grant us Your Armor of Light

~ O Lord our God, grant peace and quietness to all in chronic pain of body, mind, or spirit, and renew the strength of those who provide support. We now join our hearts to pray for those in need…  add your own petitions

                                                            Jesus, Son of Man
                                                            Grant us Your Armor of Light        

~ O Lord our God, as our own salvation is nearer to us each moment, we rejoice for those now on the highest mountain, inside the gates of Your House, in glory forever. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                            Jesus, Son of Man
                                                            Grant us Your Armor of Light

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

                                                            Jesus, Son of Man
                                                            Grant us Your Armor of Light                   

~O Lord our God, inspire and refresh our Pastoral Guides as they teach us to transform this temporal life through Christ’s eternal Gospel. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                            Jesus, Son of Man
                                                            Grant us Your Armor of Light                             

The Celebrant adds: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, excite our souls as we begin again to prepare ourselves for Your Kingdom. Make us ready to transform weapons of dominance into implements of peace, to confront ourselves in repentance, and experience the joy of conversion anew. We ask through the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom; and the Lord, the God of Jacob, who together with You are the One Eternal God, now and forever. Amen

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