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

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Second Week of Christmas: Jan. 1-7, 2017

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Celebrating Christmas

The Second Week of Christmas

Sunday, January 1st this year, New Year's Day, is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. In addition, it is a celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Peace.

Monday is the Memorial of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church. Wednesday is the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Thursday is the Memorial of Saint John Neumann.

The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on January 6th in most of the world. It is celebrated on Sunday, the 8th in the U.S. The light has come into the darkness of the world and our salvation was made known to the Gentiles. Matthew's Gospel brings us the story of the Magi and their encounter with Herod on the way to "do homage" to the newborn King of the Jews.

The first reading during the week continues from the First Letter of John, encouraging us to make our home in the one who makes his home in us. In Jesus, we have eternal life and we are called to love one another.

The Gospels for this week show Jesus manifesting himself in his life on earth, following John's Gospel, from the testimony of John to the calling of Jesus' disciples from their everyday lives.

Sunday is the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord in the U.S. It is the Baptism of the Lord in the rest of the world.


Daily Prayer This Week:

This second week of the Christmas Season can be a great help for our daily connections with our Lord. We have the full and wonderful Solemnity in honor of Mary, in her role as "Mother of God." We can ask her to be our guide all week as we desire to grow closer to her Son. We can read Pope Francis' words for the World Day of Prayer for Peace and ponder them from time to time this week.

As we go through our daily, and often very busy lives in these days after Christmas, we can continue a sense of this brief season by continuing to ask that our Lord come to us in the ways we still need light and healing and peace. For some of us, this will be an easy prayer this week Waiting faithfully can continue into the Christmas Season.

A special grace to ask for this week would be the gift of celebrating our Lord's presence with us. We can ask for it every morning, as we get going and we can enter into brief conversations with our Lord, in the background, as we encounter some of the places in our life in which we can see more hope, more of an opportunity for peace. This week, we might hold up each member of our family, close friends and neighbors, and those we might work with, seeing and celebrating how our Lord is manifest in them. For some of us, there may be real epiphany moments, when we see what we haven't been seeing, feel what we haven't been feeling or experience a call we haven't felt before. Being watchful for and open to these special post-Christmas moments of grace is very important.

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, these days are short and darkness comes early. Perhaps we can light a candle every evening this week at dinner just to celebrate the Light of Jesus that comes into the darkness of our lives. In the Southern Hemisphere, there is so much light, we can rejoice with it.

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