On this fourth day of our preparation for Christmas, the liturgy introduces us to Zechariah’s experience and the announcement of the Birth of John the Baptist. It is a text that we must consider in relation to and in opposition to the Annunciation to Mary, one helps the other to acquire its proper meaning. On the one hand, Zechariah’s attitude of doubt and distrust; on the other, Mary’s attitude of openness and docility.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Fr. Chinaka: Our help is in the name of the Lord
Participants: who made heaven and earth
Fr. Chinaka: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Participants: As it was, in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen.
God of infinite goodness, who loved us so much and who gave us in your Son the best offer of your love, so that, incarnated and made our brother in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, we would be adopted as sons and daughters of God. We give you thanks for such an immense benefit, and we offer you back, Lord, the sincere effort to make this your world and ours, a fairer world, more faithful to the great commandment to love one another as brothers and sisters. Grant us, Lord, your help to be able to accomplish it. We ask that this Christmas, a feast of peace and joy, be a stimulus for our community so that, living as brothers and sisters, we seek more and more the paths of truth, justice, love, and peace. (You may add your private petitions here) Amen.
SCRIPTURAL READING/MEDITATION: Luke 1: 12-20
The Gospel of the Lord
POINTS FOR MEDITATION
Go deeper into today’s gospel text, consider the character details. Take time to listen to the Lord. See Zechariah’s attitude, his doubts, his distrust, what the Lord expects of him.
PRAYER TO THE PREGNANT VIRGIN & SAINT JOSEPH
Oh Virgin Mother, we are beginning to prepare for your Son’s Nativity. We want to be with you to accompany you in these last days of your pregnancy. To share with you the joy that you feel in these moments, and thus learn from you how to correspond to the Lord, how to act according to his will, so that we may find joy, peace, and fulfillment in your Son, of the life that only He can give us. O Blessed Virgin and Mother, intercede for each one of us, ask your Son to help us live these days with the joy that you had in those moments of your Son’s birth. Amen.
Blessed Saint Joseph, husband of Mary and father of the Baby Jesus, you were chosen by the Almighty Father to be the Father and Guardian of His choicest Treasure, Christ our Redeemer, in the home of Nazareth. Help the fathers of families; may they always be in the home the image of the heavenly father, following your examples; may they fulfill the great responsibility of educating and forming their children, giving them, with a continuous effort, the best of themselves. Help children to understand and appreciate the unselfish efforts of their parents. Saint Joseph, husband, and father, intercede for us. Amen.
Pray 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and 1 Glory be, seeking the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, while at the same time, contemplating on their “YES” in the mystery of Salvation (cf. Luke 1:26-38 and Matthew 1:19-24)
LITANY OF THE INFANT JESUS
Divine Baby Jesus, Bless us
Our Judge, forgive us
Well of Kindness, Feed Our Faith
Our hope, Sustain us
Our Protector, Defend us
Source of Our life, Refresh us
Alpha and Omega, stay with us
Divine Baby Jesus, in you we trust
LET US PRAY: Lord Jesus Christ, Lord, in some circumstances, I do like Zechariah, I doubt and distrust You, as I don’t understand what happens to me, yet you haven’t dealt with me like Zachariah. There are things that make me distrust Your presence with me. Many times, I don’t find you in the events of my day-to-day, and that makes me very sad, because I can’t see Your presence in some of the things I do. Therefore, Lord, I ask that this Christmas, give me an open heart and be sensitive to Your presence in my life. May I recognize You every moment in my day-to-day and may I interpret Your presence according to Your will and Your love. Amen.
CONCRETE ATTITUDE (Christmas Challenge)
– Make some concrete gestures or attitudes during the day. If you know someone from your neighborhood or community who is feeling depressed or abandoned, grant a listening ear, invite them to share in the joy of Christmas, and pay attention to their sentiments. Wish him a ‘Merry Christmas’ in a more practical way.
Dear Baby Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, You are descended from David, from Abraham; You have assumed our history, forming part of it. In the fullness of time, You wanted to be born of a woman and be one of us, to show us the great and beautiful value of having a Mother, a family, people of the same bloodline, with whom to share life, being loved and supported. Dear Baby Jesus, you who had a family, we beseech you to bless ours and grant that parents have feelings of self-giving, of love and affection, of interest and sensitivity, that they love each other and live for each other, and may this love be showered on the children at all times. Baby Jesus, bless every family and fill them with love and tenderness, as you had from your Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Amen.
Fr. Chinaka: The Lord be with you
Participants: And with your Spirit
Through the intercessions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, may the Baby Jesus (Christ Our Lord) born in a stable at Bethlehem, bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
Fr. Chinaka: Peace be with you
Participants: And with your Spirit
©Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Loreto, Vila Medeiros, São Paulo, Brazil
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?