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Liturgy Alive

December 30, 2020

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Wednesday December 30

 6th Day in the Octave of Christmas

 OPEN TO GOD’S MYSTERY

                                                           

Introduction

To thank God for the liberation he brings us in and through his Son, Jesus, is the core of every Eucharistic celebration. There we say: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.” With the prophetess Anna, let us express our thanks for our liberation to the Lord, our God, and praise him wholeheartedly.

Too easily, as St John says, we lose our heart to the world; we follow its ways of thinking and acting. Let us ask the Lord to forgive us.

 

Opening Prayer

Almighty Father,
you let humble, faithful people
recognize your Son
and welcome him as the Savior,
who brought freedom and life to his people.
May we, too, recognize and welcome Jesus
in all that is little and humble
and with him grow up in wisdom and grace
to the maturity of your sons and daughters,
so that we attain the full stature of Jesus.
We ask this through him, our Lord.

 

Reading 1: 1 JN 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.
I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.
Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

 

Responsorial Psalm 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10

  1. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
    Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
    give to the LORD glory and praise;
    give to the LORD the glory due his name!
    R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
    Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
    worship the LORD in holy attire.
    Tremble before him, all the earth.
    R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
    Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
    He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
    he governs the peoples with equity.
    R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

 

Alleluia

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    A holy day has dawned upon us.
    Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.
    Today a great light has come upon the earth.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: LK 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

 

Commentary

Growth comes in different forms. Returning with his parents to Nazareth, Jesus grows in stature, in intelligence, and, above all, in faith. Anna, too, experienced growth in her life. In the presen­tation account, she appears in the temple together with Simeon. Widowed after seven years of marriage, she grew into her eighty- four years by a life of faithful prayer and fasting. It was a steady, sustained growth, culminating in her encounter with Jesus the Messiah.

The letter of John today looks at Spirit growth in fathers and sons. The father, as the elder, has been gifted with a faith experi­ence of Christ, hidden from the ages and now revealed: God’s son

in the flesh. This is the cornerstone that, once accepted, leads to a growth in faith and love. John then addresses the sons, or chil­dren, whose lives have been involved in the struggle, conquering evil not with a single blow but by facing the daily challenge.

The elderly and the young face a common crossroad: one fork leads to growth and the fullness of God; the other, to chaos and destruction. John summarizes the choices. One may follow the enticements of a world that is passing away; it offers affluence, entrapment, sexual license, and corrupting forces. But it is inevitably misleading. Yet, put quite simply, true growth lies in taking the other fork, the route of Jesus and Anna, that of doing God’s will.

Choices face us every day of life. It may appear gratifying to choose the wrong path. But the right choice leads to a clearer vision, one that grows within us. It is the way of God. As Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child…; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways” (1 Cor 13:11).

 

Points to Ponder

Life in widowhood

Christian growth

Wrong choices

The right choice

 

Intercessions

–   For fathers and mothers, that they may give their children the freedom to be themselves and to grow up as mature, responsible Christians, we pray:

–   For all young people, that they may come to love Christ deeply and let his word take roots and grow in them, we pray:

–   For small children, that they may come to love God through their experience of their parents’ love, we pray:

–   For all of us, God’s children, that we may seek God’s will in all we do and form communities that care for one another, we pray:

 

Prayer over the Gifts

God, our Father,
through the food and drink of the Eucharist,
appease our hunger
and quench our thirst,
for all that is good in your sight.
We offer ourselves
together with your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Prayer after Communion

God, our Father,
here in this Eucharist,
your Son, Jesus has offered us
his liberation and victory
to overcome in this world
evil in us and around us.
Dispose us to receive always with gratitude
the life and the light of Jesus
and to follow in his footsteps,
for he is our Lord, for ever and ever.

 

Blessing

Old people, Anna as well as Simeon, women as well as men, often see with eyes the mysteries of God with a perspicacity that puts to shame theologians and holders of degrees. That is what they learn through prayer and reflection. May God bless these wise people, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Details

Date:
December 30, 2020