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 Saturday

St. Stephen - December 26

Daily Prayer
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Collect:
Grant, Lord, we pray,
that we may imitate what we worship,
and so l
earn to love even our enemies,
for we celebrate
the heavenly birthday
of a man who knew how to pray even for his persecutors.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 696

Daily Meditation:
The gates of heaven opened for Stephen, the first of the martyrs;
in heaven, he wears the crown of victory. Entrance Antiphon

We remember the first martyr today to emphasize the invitation we have
as followers of Jesus to witness to his presence in our world, even when
it is unpopular, counter-cultural, or may even cost us our lives.

May we ask for the grace today to pray for our enemies and to
surrender even our lives in sharing this Good News with others.

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercession:
Our Savior's faithfulness is mirrored in the fidelity of his witnesses
who shed their blood for the Word of God.
Let us praise him in remembrance of them:
You redeemed us by your blood.

Your martyrs freely embraced death in bearing witness for the faith,
- give us the true freedom of the Spirit, O Lord.

Your martyrs professed their faith by shedding their blood,
- give us a faith, O Lord, that is constant and pure.

Your martyrs followed in your footstep by carrying the cross,
- help us to endure courageously the misfortunes of life.

Your martyrs washed their garments in the blood of the Lamb,
- Help us to avoid the weaknesses of the flesh and worldly allurements.

Closing Prayer:
God of all great love,

you know how full of courage Stephen was
and how full of fears I am.

Help me to have the strength to be a witness for my faith,
standing up for those who are weaker,
speaking out for what I believe,
and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.

Also give me a share in your compassion and understanding
that I might pray for those who oppose me,
those who ridicule me,
and those who dismiss me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Sunday

Feast of the Holy Family - December 27
Daily Prayer

"Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise."


Entrance Antiphon
The shepherds went in haste and
found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in a manger.
Luke 2:16

Collect:
O God, who were pleased to give us
the shining example of the Holy Family,
graciously grant that we may imitate them
in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,
and so, in the joy of your house,
delight one day in eternal rewards.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 17

Daily Meditation:

Blessed are those that fear the Lord and walk in his ways.  Psalm 128

Every son or daughter can read the first reading and let it be a life long guide.
The second reading is a wonderful guide for family life.
We could all do well to prepare our New Year's resolution desires from here.
The gospel is from Luke and brings us back to Mary.
A sword will pass through her faithful heart.
May God bless all our families with fidelity and courage in loving as we have been loved.

And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,
the peace into which you were also called in one body.
And be thankful. Colossians 3

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:
Let us adore the Son of the living God who humbled himself
to become a son of human family, and let us beseech him:
Jesus, you became obedient; sanctify us.

Jesus, eternal Word of the Father, you made yourself subject
to Mary and Joseph,
- teach us humility.

You are our teacher, and your own mother pondered in
her heart every one of your words and deeds,
- make us attentive to your word, and let us ponder it in
hearts that are pure and good.

Christ, by your work the world was made, but you were
willing to be called a worker’s son,
- teach us to work diligently.

Jesus, in the family at Nazareth you grew in wisdom, age
and grace before God and men,
- help us to grow in all things toward you, our Head.

Closing Prayer:
God of such faithfulness,
we are a big and messy family;
both as humans - and in my own family.

Help me today to be especially patient and loving,
and to forgive those who have hurt me.
We may not look like "The Holy Family" I see in paintings,
yet we are united with Jesus, Mary and Joseph
because in your great love for us
you sent your son to live in this world
and to share in our human experience.

Sometimes I forget the sacredness of our family life
and the privilege it is to be together in this bond.
Help me not only love others as you love us,
but to be more aware of those families in the world
who struggle so much with poverty, war and disease.

Help me to pray with and for them today
and to carry an awareness of all families fleeing for safety,
longing for the peace you offer to us all.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

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Monday

Holy Innocents, Martyrs - December 28

Daily Prayer

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Collect:
O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed
and proclaimed on this day,
not by speaking but by dying,
grant, we pray,
that the faith in you which we confess with our lips
may also speak through our manner of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 698

Daily Meditation:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1

There are many messages in this day.
Exile and liberation are part of the story.
Greed and lust for power are also part of the story
as the innocent suffer and die as the result of injustice.

It is difficult to look at but this is a day to remember how injustice works.
It is important for us remember that however horrible this scene is,
the injustices and violence of today are immeasurably worse.
Ultimately, Jesus himself will die at the hands of the unjust,
to stand with us, in injustice, so that no one will ever need to
suffer injustice.

If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercession:
We rejoice in the glory of Jesus Christ,
who conquered the enemy, not by force of arms,
but with a white-robed army of children,
and we cry out:
    The white-robed army of martyrs praise you

The Holy Innocents gave witness not by words but by their life's blood,
- give us strength to be your witnesses before all,
both by words and by actions.

They were not ready for battle, but you made them fit
to win the palm of victory,
- now that we are prepared for victory, do not let us despair.

You washed the robes of the Innocents in your blood;
- cleanse us from all sin.

You rewarded the child martyrs with the first share in your kingdom,
-do not let us be cast out from the unending heavenly banquet.

You knew persecution and exile as a child,
- protect all children whose lives are in danger from famine, war, disasters.

Closing Prayer:
Lord of Justice,
it is so easy for me to drift away in my own life,
caught up in my own problems and distractions.
Let me always remember those who suffer so much in this life
who are victims of violence and abuse, hunger and fear.

Let me remember that “those people”
are my brothers and sisters
and need me.
Give me the faith to pray for them,
the resources to support them,
and the strength to work to make their lives better.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Tuesday

Fifth Day in the Christmas Octave - December 29
Daily Prayer

"Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the Nativity of your Son
established the beginning and fulfillment of all religion,
grant, we pray, that we may be numbered
among those who belong to him,
in whom is the fullness of human salvation.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
ne God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 202

Daily Meditation:

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming. 1 John 2:28

John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."John 1:26

Jesus baptizes us the the Holy Spirit. All that has prepared us for his coming
give witness to his presence with us now.

May we remain in the one who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the one who promises us life.

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:

Let us direct our prayers to Christ,
the heavenly man and the new Adam,
who became a life-giving spirit:
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, Sun of Justice, you revealed your glory in our human nature
in order to bring to perfection the old covenant,
- we ask you to pour out your light upon us.

Christ, you were glorified by the angels, announced by the shepherds,
confessed and proclaimed by Simeon and Anna,
- let your Gospel be accepted by the people of the promise.

Christ, when you were born,
angels sang glory to God in the highest and peace on earth,
- we ask you to spread your peace throughout the world.

Christ, as the new Adam you gave new life to the old man
and prepared for us a dwelling place in your kingdom,
- may those overwhelmed by evil be encouraged by hope in you.

Closing Prayer:
I beg you, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see you in those around me
and welcome you into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize you as my savior
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that you help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for your incredible gifts to me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Wednesday

Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave - December 30
Daily Prayer

"Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the Nativity of your Son
established the beginning and fulfillment of all religion,
grant, we pray, that we may be numbered
among those who belong to him,
in whom is the fullness of human salvation.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 203

Daily Meditation:

And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming. 1 John 2

John answered them, "I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie."John 1

Jesus baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.
His baptism prepares us for his coming among us now
and it gives witness to his presence with us now.

May we remain in the one who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the one who promises us life.

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:

Let us direct our prayers to Christ,
the heavenly man and the new Adam,
who became a life-giving spirit:
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, Sun of Justice, you revealed your glory in our human nature
in order to bring to perfection the old covenant,
- we ask you to pour out your light upon us.

Christ, you were glorified by the angels, announced by the shepherds,
confessed and proclaimed by Simeon and Anna,
- let your Gospel be accepted by the people of the promise.

Christ, when you were born,
angels sang glory to God in the highest and peace on earth,
- we ask you to spread your peace throughout the world.

Christ, as the new Adam you gave new life to the old man
and prepared for us a dwelling place in your kingdom,
- may those overwhelmed by evil be encouraged by hope in you.

Closing Prayer:
I beg you, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see you in those around me
and welcome you into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize you as my savior
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that you help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for your incredible gifts to me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Thursday

Seventh Day in the Christmas Octave - December 31
Daily Prayer

"Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the Nativity of your Son
established the beginning and fulfillment of all religion,
grant, we pray, that we may be numbered
among those who belong to him,
in whom is the fullness of human salvation.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings - Lectionary # 204

Daily Meditation:

I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.
1 John 2: 21

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”John 1:15

Jesus baptizes us the the Holy Spirit. All that has prepared us for his coming
give witness to his presence with us now.

May we remain in the one who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the one who promises us life.

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:

Let us direct our prayers to Christ,
the heavenly man and the new Adam,
who became a life-giving spirit:
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, Sun of Justice, you revealed your glory in our human nature
in order to bring to perfection the old covenant,
- we ask you to pour out your light upon us.

Christ, you were glorified by the angels, announced by the shepherds,
confessed and proclaimed by Simeon and Anna,
- let your Gospel be accepted by the people of the promise.

Christ, when you were born,
angels sang glory to God in the highest and peace on earth,
- we ask you to spread your peace throughout the world.

Christ, as the new Adam you gave new life to the old man
and prepared for us a dwelling place in your kingdom,
- may those overwhelmed by evil be encouraged by hope in you.

Closing Prayer:
I beg you, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see you in those around me
and welcome you into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize you as my savior
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that you help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for your incredible gifts to me.

 

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Friday

January 1
Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

World Day of Prayer for Peace

Pope Francis' World Day of Peace Message, 2016
"Overcome Indifference and Win Peace"

Daily Prayer

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.

Collect:
O God, who through the fruitful vir
ginity of Blessed Mary
bestowed on the human race
the grace of eternal salvation,
grant, we pray,
that we may experience the intercession of her,
through whom we were found worthy
to receive the author of life,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings

Daily Meditation:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! Numbers 6
When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus,
the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luke 2 The beginning of the New Year gives us an opportunity to reflect upon so much.
We begin by dedicating this new year to Mary.
And because she gave birth to the Prince of Peace
it is a wonderful day to join with one another around the world to pray for
peace. Let us all make our resolutions in light of the graces that have been offered us
throughout this Advent and Christmas Season. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 
Mt. 1

Today's Daily Reflection - Lectionary # 18

Intercessions:
Let us give glory to Christ who was born of the Virgin Mary
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and let us pray to him:
Son of the Virgin Mary, have mercy on us.

Christ born of the Virgin Mary,
you are the Wonder-Counselor and Prince of Peace,
- give your peace to the
world. Our King and our God, you have raised us up by your coming
- help us to honor you all the days of our lives,
by our faith and our deeds.

You made yourself like us,
- in your mercy, grant that we may become more like you. You made yourself a citizen of our earthly city,
- grant that we may become citizens of our true homeland, your Kingdom in Heaven.

Closing Prayer:
Gracious God,
what a gift Mary is in my life.
I run from humility -
and yet I am touched by her response to you.
I am headstrong and arrogant -
and she shows me how to say Yes.

By her spirit, her example, her love
she helps bring peace into the world.
Help me to be just a small glimmer of your light
in the midst of a dark world.
Oh, Lord, let your face shine on me!

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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Saturday
January 2
Daily Prayer

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Collect:
Grant us, almighty God, that the bringer of your salvation,
who for the world’s redemption
came forth with newness of heavenly light,
may dawn afresh in our hearts
and bring us constant renewal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
*

Today's Readings: - Lectionary # 205

Daily Meditation:
And now, children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence
and not be put to shame by him at his coming.
1 John 2

John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” John 1

Jesus baptizes us the the Holy Spirit. All that has prepared us for his coming
gives witness to his presence with us now.

May we remain in the one who has come to be with us.
May we place our trust in the one who promises us life.

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:
Let us joyfully invoke the Son of God, our Redeemer,
who became man in order to restore man:
Be with us, Emmanuel.

Jesus, Son of the living God, King of glory, and Son of the Virgin Mary,
- brighten this day with the glory of your incarnation.

Jesus, Wonder-Counselor, Mighty-God, Father of the future, Prince of peace,
- direct our lives according to the holiness of your human nature.

Jesus, all-powerful, patient, obedient, meek and humble of heart,
- show the power of your gentleness to all.

Jesus, Father of the poor, immeasurable goodness, our way and our life,
- grant your Church the spirit of poverty.

Closing Prayer:
I beg you, Lord, give me the sight I need
so that I can see you in those around me
and welcome you into my heart
with the joy of celebration.

If only my eyes could be opened!
Give me the wisdom and internal vision to see
and I will recognize you as my savior
not only in my heart today
but in my life every day.

I ask that you help me to open my heart more fully
to your own dizzying love for me.
Help me to be grateful for your incredible gifts to me. 

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.


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* New English translation according to the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal. 2010,
Copyright International Commission on English in the Liturgy.