DEVOTIONAL PRAYER FOR DECEMBER
Prayer to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, in you we contemplate the splendour of true love; to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth, grant that our families too may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth, make us more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family, and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph graciously hear our prayer. Amen.
The shepherds went in haste, and found Mary and Joseph and the Infant lying in a manger.
1st Reading (Gen 15:1-6; 21:1-3)
A reading from the book of Genesis.
The word of the Lord was spoken to Abram in a vision, ‘Have no fear Abram, I am your shield; your reward will be very great’. ‘My Lord,’ Abram replied ‘what do you intend to give me? I go childless…’ Then Abram said, ‘See, you have given me no descendants; some man of my household will be my heir’. And then this word of the Lord was spoken to him, ‘He shall not be your heir; your heir shall be of your own flesh and blood’. Then taking him outside he said, ‘Look up to heaven and count the stars if you can. Such will be your descendants’ he told him. Abram put his faith in the Lord, who counted this as making him justified. The Lord dealt kindly with Sarah as he had said, and did what he had promised her. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the time God had promised. Abraham named the son born to him Isaac, the son to whom Sarah had given birth.
The Word of the Lord.
The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
2nd Reading (Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19)
A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Hebrews.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going. It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise would be faithful to it. Because of this, there came from one man, and one who was already as good as dead himself, more descendants than could be counted, as many as the stars of heaven or the grains of sand on the seashore. It was by faith that Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He offered to sacrifice his only son even though the promises had been made to him and he had been told: It is through Isaac that your name will be carried on. He was confident that God had the power even to raise the dead; and so, figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac from the dead.
The Word of the Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia. In the past God spoke to our fathers through the prophets; now he speaks to us through his Son. Alleluia!
Gospel (Lk 2:22-40)
A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. Luke
When the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the Law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord – observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord – and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said: ‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel.’ As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected – and a sword will pierce your own soul too – so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’ There was a prophetess also, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer. She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom and God’s favour was with him.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Our God has appeared on the earth, and lived among us.
Next Week’s Readings
Is 60:1-6; Eph 3:2-3,5-6; Mt 2:1-12
Feasts of the Week
Mon, 1 Jan - Mary, the Holy Mother of God
Tue, 2 Jan - Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory
PARISH OFFICE CLOSURE
The Parish Office will close for the Christmas break starting Saturday 23 Dec and returning Tuesday, 9 January. Bulletin for 7 January will be a single sheet with mass readings. Normal bulletins will resume on 14 January, along with names for Death Anniversaries, Recently Deceased and Sick List.
NEW YEAR'S DAY MASS - FEAST MARY MOTHER OF GOD – MONDAY 1ST JANUARY 2024, 9:00AM
Since New Year's Day is a Public Holiday, kindly note that Mass will be celebrated at 9:00am.
DIVINE AUSTRALIA HALF DAY RETREAT – SATURDAY 20TH JANUARY
“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God” Rom 10:17
Come and join us for a half day retreat on Saturday 20th January, 12:30pm to 4:30pm. The retreat will be led by Rev. Dr. Antony Parankimalil VC.