Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

Luke 2

Creighton University Online Ministries
Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer
Second Week of Christmas: Dec. 29 - Jan. 4, 2020

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The Second Week of Christmas

The Sunday that follows Christmas is always the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Family. It is also the sixth day in the eight days of celebrating Christmas. There are wonderful readings from the Book of Sirach, the First Book of Samuel, Paul's letter to the Colossians or the First Letter of John. The gospel from Matthew is the story of the angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, telling him to flee with Mary and their newborn son, Jesus, to Egypt so Herod could not find them. After a time, they returned and lived in Nazareth, "so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, he shall be called a Nazorean."

January 1 is the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Mother of God. It is also marks thethe World Day of Prayer for Peace. Wednesday is the Memorial of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors of the Church. Friday is the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Saturday is the Memorial of Saint John Neumann.

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 around the world of the Epiphany of the Lord. 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.

 

Daily Prayer This Week

This second week of the Christmas Season can be a great help for our daily connections with our Lord. On Wednesday 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 Benedict's words for the World Day of Prayer for Peace (see link below) 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.

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