The Blessed Hope of Jesus (Dec. 20, 2015)

I’m not really a fan of the Missal translation we’ve been using these last couple of years. The sentences and words are so stilted and unnatural. But there is one prayer that has really been growing on me. It is a perfect prayer for everyday use, but an especially good prayer for Christmas and New Year’s. It comes right after the Our Father.

Deliver us Lord, from every evil. The evil of tyranny because of our fear, the evil of cruelty towards one another in thought, word and deed, the evil instigated by those who pander to our negative emotions, the evil of those who see war and violence as a solution to problems.

and graciously grant peace in our day. Need I say more? At every Eucharist, every day, I pause at this point, so that all can truly enter into this prayer for our world, our country, and our Church. Peace will only come when no human being is treated as “other”, when we see how our common humanity weaves us together, when we cherish diversity, respect differences, and revere the presence of God in every human soul.

By the help of your mercy Every single one of us, without exception, has sinful impulses that conflict with the teachings of Jesus. We sin seventy times seven a day. Unless we are aware of our need for God’s mercy, there is no way we can be merciful to others.

may we be always free from sin This is impossible for a human being. So my prayer at this point is to pray that I never do or say (or fail to do or say) something that ends up destroying the life or the spirit of another man, woman, or child.

and safe from all distress whether it comes from outside me or from within. Terrorist attacks, life-threatening illness, financial difficulty, ruptured relationships, accidents; the mental or physical illness that stem from overwhelming anxiety or panic, total lack of trust in others and cynicism. Human life is so frail. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. To have hope in these difficult times is truly the work of the Spirit, and truly the mark of a Christian who trusts in the Providence of God. We never have to wait long, for each day, in so many ways, seen and unseen, the Lord Jesus God-with-us touches our life.

Merry ChristmasHappy New Year. Thank you for being you! Through you, God touches me!

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