Thursday in the Fourth Week of Advent
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening Sentence – (In the preparation days of Celtic Advent)
+ We have waited long for You. Deep has been our darkness.
+ We long for You to shine right here among us where we are.
+ We will not fear the shadows that surround us if only You will come among us!
+ We wait for the sound of a cry in the night, the joy that follows pain, the coming of hope.
Reading: 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8 (NLT)
Then Hannah prayed:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
“The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away. The Lord gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up. The Lord makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up. He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.”
Reading: Luke 1:46-56 (NLT)
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me. He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped his servant Israel and remembered to be merciful. For he made this promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and his children forever.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
O King of all nations and head of the Church: come and save us, whom you formed from the dust! In a world divided by fear and greed, Lord Jesus, come to us in love.
+ Help us to set our hearts where they will find fulfillment and not betrayal.
+ Keep us on the path to eternal life as we proclaim your saving power to others.
+ Flood our world with the grace of your coming: let us experience the fullness of your joy.
+ Enable us to live our lives to the full in this world, and transfigure it with the hope of future glory.
God and Father, you looked with pity on fallen man and redeemed us by the coming of your Son. Grant that we who profess our firm and humble faith in the incarnation of our Redeemer may have some share in his divine life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
“The Magnificat, Canticle of Mary” – Latin Hymn, Daughters of Mary
Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo, quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae. Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius, et misericordia eius in progenies et progenies timentibus eum. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, dispersit superbos mente cordis sui; deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles; esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes. Suscepit Israel puerum suum, recordatus misericordiae, sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini eius in saecula.
Make your heart ready for the King of Glory to come in. Pray: come dwell in me and be my peace today.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holly Spirit. Amen!