Monday, December 30, 2013


Christmas Prayer

Lord our God,
the heavens are the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars you made;
the earth and the sea,
and every living creature came into being by your word.
And all of us, too.
May this tree bring cheer to this house
though Jesus Christ your good and holy Son,
who brings life and beauty to us and to our world.
Lighting this tree, we hope in his promise.



The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas

1 JN 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth.

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.

R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

LK 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.


December 30

St. Egwin (d. 717)

You say you’re not familiar with today’s saint? Chances are you aren’t—unless you’re especially informed about Benedictine bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.

Born of royal blood in the 7th century, Egwin entered a monastery and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy and the people as the bishop of Worcester, England. As a bishop he was known as a protector of orphans and the widowed and a fair judge. Who could argue with that?

His popularity didn’t hold up among members of the clergy, however. They saw him as overly strict, while he felt he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose, and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine. The case against Egwin was examined and annulled.

Upon his return to England, he founded Evesham Abbey, 
which became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary, 
who had reportedly made it known to Egwin just where a church should be built in her honor.

He died at the abbey on December 30, in the year 717. Following his burial many miracles were attributed to him: 
The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.


O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Christ has been born for us:
come, let us adore him.


Jesu, the Ransomer of man,
who, ere created light began,
didst from the sovereign Father spring,
his power and glory equalling!
Salvation’s author, call to mind
how, taking form of humankind,
born of a Virgin undefiled,
thou in man’s flesh becam’st a Child.
The heavens above, the rolling main
and all that earth’s wide realms contain,
with joyous voice now loudly sing
the glory of their newborn King.
And we who, by thy precious Blood
from sin redeemed, are marked for God,
on this the day that saw thy birth,
sing the new song of ransomed earth.
O Lord, the Virgin-born, to Thee
eternal praise and glory be,
whom with the Father we adore
and Holy Ghost for evermore.

Psalm 84 (85)
Our salvation is very near

Faithfulness has sprung from the earth,
and justice has looked down from heaven.

You looked kindly, O Lord, on your land:
you ended the captivity of Jacob.
You forgave your people’s unrighteousness
and covered over their sins.
You reined back all of your anger
and renounced your indignant fury.
Rescue us, God, our saviour,
and turn your anger away from us.
Do not be angry for ever
– or will you let your wrath last from one generation to the next?
Surely you will turn round and give us life
– so that your people can rejoice in you?
Show us, Lord, your kindness
and give us your salvation.
I will listen to whatever the Lord God tells me,
for he will speak peace to his people and his chosen ones,
and to those who repent in their hearts.
Truly his salvation is close to those who fear him,
so that glory may dwell in our land.
Kindness and faithfulness have met together,
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness has sprung from the earth,
and justice has looked down from heaven.
Truly the Lord will give generously,
and our land will be fruitful.
Justice will walk before him
and place its footsteps on his path.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Faithfulness has sprung from the earth,
and justice has looked down from heaven.

Psalm 88 (89)
The Lord's kindness to the house of David

Love and truth walk in your presence, O Lord.

I will sing for ever of the kindnesses of the Lord:
to generation upon generation
my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said
“My kindness shall be established for ever”;
your faithfulness will be established in the heavens.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one.
I have sworn to David my servant:
To all eternity I will set your descendants firm;
I shall build your house to last for all generations.”
The heavens will proclaim your wonders, O Lord,
the assembly of your holy ones will proclaim your faithfulness.
For who in the sky can be compared to the Lord?
Who could resemble the Lord among all the sons of God?
God is to be feared in the council of his holy ones,
great and terrible above all who surround him.
Lord God of hosts, who is like you?
Yours is the power, and faithfulness surrounds you.
You subdue the pride of the sea:
when its waves rise high, you calm them.
You have trampled Rahab underfoot, like a wounded man;
through the strength of your arm you have scattered your enemies.
Yours are the heavens and yours is the earth,
you set firm the globe and all it contains.
You made the north and the south,
Tabor and Hermon will rejoice in your name.
Your arm it is that has the power,
your hand is strong, your right hand held high.
Your throne is founded on justice and right,
kindness and faithfulness are your attendants.
Happy the nation that knows the cry of praise!
They will walk in the light of your presence, Lord,
and rejoice in your name all the day –
for you are the splendor of their strength,
and by your good will our standard is held high.
For our shields belong to the Lord,
and our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Love and truth walk in your presence, O Lord.

Psalm 88 (89)

He will say to me, ‘You are my father.’ Alleluia.

In a vision you spoke to your holy ones.
You said, “I have given strength to a warrior,
I have raised a chosen one from the people.
I have found David my servant,
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
For my hand will always give him support,
my right arm will give him strength.
The enemy shall make no headway against him,
the son of iniquity shall have no power over him.
I will crush his foes in his sight
and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and kindness shall be with him
and his strength will be triumphant through my name.
I shall extend his power over the sea,
and his right hand over the rivers.
He will call upon me: ‘you are my father,
my God and my safe refuge.’
And I shall make him my first-born,
supreme over all the kings of the earth.
My kindness to him will continue for ever,
my covenant with him will remain firm.
For all ages I shall establish his descendants,
and for all the days of heaven his throne will stand.”

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

He will say to me, ‘You are my father.’ Alleluia.

The Lord has made known, alleluia,
– the salvation he has brought, alleluia.

First Reading
Colossians 1:15-2:3

He is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.
As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.

Not long ago, you were foreigners and enemies, in the way that you used to think and the evil things that you did; but now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body. Now you are able to appear before him holy, pure and blameless – as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the Good News, which you have heard, which has been preached to the whole human race, and of which I, Paul, have become the servant.

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ. 
It is for this I struggle wearily on, helped only by his power driving me irresistibly.

Yes, I want you to know that I do have to struggle hard for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for so many others who have never seen me face to face. It is all to bind you together in love and to stir your minds, 
so that your understanding may come to full development, 
until you really know God’s secret in which all the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.


Christ is the head of his body, the Church;
he is the firstborn Son who was raised from death,
in order that he alone might have the first place in all things.

He existed before all things,
and in union with him all things have their proper place,
in order that he alone might have the first place in all things.

Second Reading
The treatise of St Hippolytus On the Refutation of All Heresies

The word made flesh makes us divine

Our faith is not founded upon empty words; nor are we carried away by mere caprice or beguiled by specious arguments. On the contrary, we put our faith in words spoken by the power of God, spoken by the Word himself at God’s command. God wished to win men back from disobedience, 
not by using force to reduce him to slavery but by addressing to his free will a call to liberty.

The Word spoke first of all through the prophets, but because the message was couched in such obscure language that it could be only dimly apprehended, in the last days the Father sent the Word in person, 
commanding him to show himself openly so that the world could see him and be saved.

We know that by taking a body from the Virgin he re-fashioned our fallen nature. We know that his manhood was of the same clay as our own; if this were not so, he would hardly have been a teacher who could expect to be imitated. If he were of a different substance from me, he would surely not have ordered me to do as he did, 
when by my very nature I am so weak. Such a demand could not be reconciled with his goodness and justice.

No. He wanted us to consider him as no different from ourselves, and so he worked, he was hungry and thirsty, he slept. Without protest he endured his passion, he submitted to death and revealed his resurrection. In all these ways he offered his own manhood as the first fruits of our race to keep us from losing heart when suffering comes our way, and to make us look forward to receiving the same reward as he did, since we know that we possess the same humanity.

When we have come to know the true God, both our bodies and our souls will be immortal and incorruptible. We shall enter the kingdom of heaven, because while we lived on earth we acknowledged heaven’s King. Friends of God and co-heirs with Christ, we shall be subject to no evil desires or inclinations, or to any affliction of body or soul, 
for we shall have become divine.

Whatever evil you may have suffered, being man, it is God that sent it to you, precisely because you are man; but equally, when you have been deified, God has promised you a share in every one of his own attributes. The saying Know yourself means therefore that we should recognize and acknowledge in ourselves the God who made us in his own image, for if we do this, we in turn will be recognized and acknowledged by our Maker.

So let us not be at enmity with ourselves, but change our way of life without delay. For Christ who is God, exalted above all creation, has taken away man’s sin and has re-fashioned our fallen nature. In the beginning God made man in his image and so gave proof of his love for us. If we obey his holy commands and learn to imitate his goodness, we shall be like him and he will honor us. God is not beggarly, 
and for the sake of his own glory he has given us a share in his divinity.


The Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.
We have seen his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father.

He appeared upon earth and lived among men.
We have seen his glory,
the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.

Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.

You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.

And so we ask of you: give help to your servants,
whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.

Bring your people to safety, Lord,
and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.

Almighty God and Father,
the human birth of your Only-Begotten Son
was the beginning of new life.
May he set us free from the tyranny of sin.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.