The child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus," which means "God saves." So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.
In my darkest hour I felt like I would have to crawl to church that’s how low I was. Even through all of my grief, pain and feelings of having absolutely no one to turn to I knew I had to cling to The Lord. I had to be where I could possibly feel some comfort to go on. I found that comfort in His Presence. Once I felt His Presence I could not be without it. I cried out to God on my knees sobbing begging Him to never let His Presence leave me. I couldn’t understand it then but I cried often when I would feel His Presence because it was doing something on the inside of me.
Lord, God of Abraham, God of the Prophets, God of Love, you created us and you call us to live as brothers and sisters. Give us the strength daily to be instruments of peace; enable us to see everyone who crosses our path as our brother or sister. Make us sensitive to the plea of our citizens who entreat us to turn our weapons of war into implements of peace, our trepidation into confident trust, and our quarreling into forgiveness.
Holy One, you do not distance yourself from the pain of your people, but in Jesus bear that pain with us and bless all who suffer at others’ hands. Hallow my flesh and all creation; with your cleansing love bring me healing and strength; and by your justice, lift me up, that in the body you have given me, I may again rejoice. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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