Once a Palestinian village, but since the war of 1948 a suburb of Jerusalem, Ein Karem is popularly viewed as the site of Mary’s visit to Elizabeth and her canticle of praise, the Magnificat.
Pilgrims arriving in the church courtyard see its words displayed in scores of languages. The hymn is both profoundly personal and universal. In her unique role as the mother of the messiah, Mary gives voice to the ancestral faith of her people. She acclaims Moses’ mysterious ‘I am who I am’ as one and the same God who sows the seeds of revolutionary reversal in the world.
Her ‘Yes’ paved the way for Jesus’ ‘Here I am!’ Now’s the time for us to say the same.
THE WEEK’S PRAYER FOCUS
For the human family, that this Christmas will herald a revolution of kindness, mutual respect and hospitality in every heart and home.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, with bold faith in God, Mary and Elizabeth brought everlasting joy to birth in the world. Trusting in God’s word as they did, let us pray for the rebirth of creation.
For all women of faith, that they will be clear signs of God’s fierce love for the whole human family. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For church communities around the world, that they will be joyful centres of hospitality, grace and peace. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For all the peoples of the earth, that Human Solidarity Day will break down barriers between them and promote lasting harmony. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For all survivors of forgotten conflicts and disasters, that efforts to bring them relief will be sustained for as long as needed. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For expectant mothers, especially those who are alone and unsupported, that they will give birth safely and bond lovingly with their child. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For families coming together for Christmas, that their gatherings will be graced with love, peace and thankfulness. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For all travelling far to be reunited with loved ones, that their journeys will be safe and peaceful. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For our faith community, that in this last week Advent we will prepare prayerfully for the birth of the Saviour. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord.
For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that God’s promise of eternal life will be fulfilled in them. Pause. Let us pray to the Lord
All-holy God, Mary placed her life in your hands and acclaimed the greatness of your name. Help us to make her faith our own. We ask this through Christ our Lord.