Celebrating Christmas Home | Creighton University's Online Ministries

 Tuesday

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.


Creighton U. Online Ministries Home Page | Celebrating Christmas Home Page | Site Index

 

 

 

Celebrating Christmas Home | Creighton University's Online Ministries

Wednesday

St. John, Apostle and Evangelist - December 27

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

Collect:
O God, who through the blessed Apostle John
have unlocked for us the secrets of your Word,
grant, we pray,
that we may grasp with proper understanding
what he has so marvelously brought to our ears.
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

Daily Meditation:
What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you. 1 John 1

The “Beloved Disciple,” one of the Zebedee's fishing sons, is special.
He is surely one of the “innocents” that are honored with feasts
so close to our celebration of our Lord's birth.
John and his brother James were called “sons of thunder.”
Jesus had a special affection for him.
John must have spent his life caring for Mary and
sharing what he had seen and heard.

Let's pray today for the grace to be such a believing disciple of Jesus
that we can share with others the signs of his love that
we have seen and heard.

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed. John 20

Today's Daily Reflection

Intercession:
My brothers and sisters, we build on the foundation of the Apostles.
Let us pray to our almighty Father for his holy people and say: 
Be mindful of your Church, O Lord.

Father, you wanted your Son to be seen first by the apostles
after the resurrection from the dead.
- We ask you to make us his witnesses to the farthest corners of the world.

You sent your Son to preach your good news to the poor,
- help us to preach this Gospel to every creature.

You sent your Son to sow the seed of unending life,
- grant that we who work at sowing the seed may share the joy of the harvest.

You sent your Son to reconcile all to you through his blood,
- help us all to work toward achieving this reconciliation.

Closing Prayer:
Jesus, my brother,
I feel shy about calling you 'brother' as John did,
but I know that you invite me to love you as a brother
and I know I cannot comprehend
your unlimited love for me.

May my life be as focused as John's life.
Help me to be as loving and compassionate
to those who grieve
as John was to your mother.
Guide me in spreading the joy of the good news of your life
with courage and joy
and by the example of my own life.

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


Creighton U. Online Ministries Home Page |Celebrating Christmas Home Page|Site Index

 

Celebrating Christmas Home | Creighton University's Online Ministries

Thursday

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.

Creighton U. Online Ministries Home Page |Celebrating Christmas Home Page|Site Index

 

 

Celebrating Christmas Home | Creighton University's Online Ministries

Friday
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.

 

Creighton U. Online Ministries Home Page |Celebrating Christmas Home Page|Site Index

 

 

 

Celebrating Christmas Home | Creighton University's Online Ministries

Saturday

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.

 

 

 

Creighton U. Online Ministries Home Page |Celebrating Christmas Home Page|Site Index

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