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.
Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgment and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart, and a fruit upon the tree of humility.
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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