During this challenging time, many of us may be unable to attend Mass.
The Word Among Us, with the help of the USCCB, is honored to provide complimentary access to the daily Mass readings and our entire website to help people pray from home. Find out more.
4th Week of Advent (Mass in the Morning)
Behold, when the fullness of time had come,
God sent his Son into the world. Cf. Gal 4:4
Come quickly, we pray, Lord Jesus,
and do not delay,
that those who trust in your compassion
may find solace and relief in your coming.
Who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8b-12, 14a, 16
When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!” Nathan answered the king, “Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you.” But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in?
“‘It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.’”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the Lord I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness. R.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.” R.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.” R.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Prayer over the Offerings
Graciously make your own, O Lord,
the offerings which we bring,
that, partaking of them, we be cleansed of our sins
and merit to stand ready with pure hearts
for the coming in glory of your Son.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. Lk 1:68
Prayer after Communion
Grant to us who find new vigor, O Lord,
in these your wondrous gifts,
that, as we prepare to celebrate in adoration
the festivities of your Son’s Nativity,
so we may possess in gladness
his everlasting rewards.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Luke 1:67-79
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High. (Luke 1:76)
In one sense, today’s Gospel is the story of an early Christmas gift. Upon having his mouth opened, Zechariah erupted in praise of God for his mercy and coming salvation. But right in the middle of his song of praise, he turned to John, his newborn son, and delivered a prophecy about him: “You, my child, shall . . . go before the Lord to prepare his way” (Luke 1:76). He spoke of John’s future and the important work he would do in preparing God’s people for the Messiah. You might say that by doing this, Zechariah gave John the gift of God’s words. He outlined the future that awaited his son and spoke of how God was going to bless him and guide him.
Today is Christmas Eve. Every-one can feel the excitement building, especially as children eagerly await the time when they can finally open their gifts. But what if, as we wait, we were to consider doing something for our loved ones that mirrors what Zechariah did for John? What if, in addition to giving the traditional Christmas gifts, we were to give our loved ones the gift of a special word from God?
It might sound intimidating. I’m no prophet! How can I presume to speak for God? But it doesn’t have to be grand or spectacular. Simply speak from your heart the words that you think God would want to tell them.
You don’t even have to say anything! Just write a little note that will encourage and uplift them. Remind them that they are a son or daughter of God. Tell them how much God loves them and how deeply he wants to bless them. Point out one or two gifts that you think God has given them, and encourage them to use those gifts to build his Church. Then give them the note before Christmas Day—or slip it in their stocking tonight before you go to bed.
Words of encouragement like these can make a powerful impact. Who knows? Your note might even spark a desire in them to take another step closer to the Lord!
“Lord, help me to bless and encourage the people around me.”
2 Samuel 7:1-5, 8-12, 14, 16
Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29
The Word Among Us’ response to the coronavirus crisis.
Free Access: The Word Among Us has decided to provide free access to all our magazine content on our website during this stage of the coronavirus crisis. wau.org/coronavirus
Daily Mass readings: We would like to thank the USCCB for their generous offer to allow us to post the daily Mass readings on our website and to the public.
Print & Digital Subscribers: Thank you for your continued support of The Word Among Us through your subscriptions. Without you, it would not be possible for us to offer the magazine without cost to other brothers and sisters in Christ who need encouragement at this time.
Prayer Center: From the very beginning, The Word Among Us staff has gathered three times each week to pray for all our readers and for anyone who submits prayer requests. Now, more than ever, we want to intensify our efforts to lift up you and your loved ones in prayer. While our staff cannot meet together in person for the time being, we are continuing to intercede remotely. So please, send us your prayer requests. We believe in the power of prayer! wau.org/prayer