The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Second Week of Christmas: Dec. 31 - Jan. 6, 2017
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Second Week of Christmas
Sunday is the wonderful Feast of the Holy Family, and there is a wonderful variety of readings from which to choose. Luke's Gospel is the story of the teen aged Jesus teaching in the temple while his parents searched for him. Jesus goes back home with his family. “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”
New Year's Day, is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. In addition, it is a celebration of World Day of Prayer for Peace. It marks the mid-point in the Christmas Season.
The week continues with a Memorial of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen. In the US, we remember Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and the memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop.
For most of the world, January 6, is the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord, although the US celebrates it on Sunday. That is why this year the closing feast of the Christmas Season, the Baptism of the Lord, is celebrated on Sunday, in most of the world, but in the U.S. it is moved to Monday.
The first reading until the Epiphany 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 manifestation or sign at the wedding feast of Cana.
The Epiphany of the Lord celebrates the light that has come into the darkness of the world and that our salvation was made known to the Gentiles.
The Baptism of the Lord is another epiphany. The divine voice from heaven manifests, reveals, points Jesus out as God's “beloved Son.”
Daily Prayer This Week
This second week of the Christmas Season can be a great help for our daily connections with our Lord. We begin the week with 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 the Holy Father's words for the World Day of Prayer for Peace and chew them from time to time this week.
As we go through our daily and often very busy lives, in this time 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 throughout 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.
The Baptism of the Lord ends this Christmas Season and reminds us of the rest of our lives. As Jesus fully enters our world, by becoming one with us in the waters of baptism, we can ask for a renewed sense of our union with him in baptism - for our salvation and for our mission in this world.
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