The phrase ‘a shot in the arm,’ meaning a sudden impetus for the good, seems to be just over a hundred years old. With COVID, it has mutated into something less clear-cut. For all the good that vaccines do, we know they can’t give us absolute protection.
Today’s Word of God is ‘a shot in the arm’ like that. Our spirits soar when we hear of Zephaniah’s dancing God and Paul’s blessing of happiness. But these wonderful words of encouragement don’t make us immune to the troubles of the church and the world.
What they do is give us the confidence and freedom to get out and about and join in God’s work of renewing the face of the earth.
THE WEEK’S PRAYER FOCUS
For young people setting out on their working life, that they will find satisfying employment that makes the world a better place.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, as the weeks of Advent pass, we look with growing hope for the coming of the Saviour. In peace and thankfulness, we pray for God’s blessing on our world.
For the whole human family, that a new spirit of hope and joy will come to birth in every heart and every home. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For all whose words and actions are good news for others, that their lives will be a leaven of love in our wounded world. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For the multitude of people risking their lives in the hope of a better life, that this week’s International Migrant Day (18 December) will address their need for safety and shelter. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For the peoples of Oceania, that Australia will do all in its power to help them deal with civil unrest and climate change. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For all sectors of Australian society, that they heed the Baptist’s call for an ethic of sharing, honesty and justice. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For family members and loved ones still separated by travel restrictions, that they will soon be able to meet again safely in person. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For all Christmas shoppers, that they will wisely choose gifts that support, not harm, a healthy environment. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For households under increased stress at this time of the year, that they will find ways of defusing anger and easing the threat of violence. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will share to the full in God’s eternal joy. (Pause) Let us pray to the Lord.
Bountiful God, you sent your servant John among us to baptise and preach. Keep us always on the way that leads to you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.