And the Word Became Flesh

Saint John's Bible, Gospel of John

Saint John’s Bible, Gospel of John

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Evening Prayer for Peace

From Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise

Invocation: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Mt 5:9)

Glory…

Psalm 112:1–9

Antiphon: We must be servants and subject to every human creature or God’s sake.

Alleluia! Happy are those who fear God
and joyfully keep God’s commandments!
Children of such as these will be powers on earth;
each generation of the upright will be blessed.

There will be riches and wealth for their families,
and their righteousness stands firm forever.
Even in the darkness, light dawns for the upright,
for the merciful, compassionate, and righteous.

These good of heart lend graciously,
handling their affairs honestly.
Kept safe by virtue, they are always steadfast
and leave an everlasting memory behind them.

With a trusting heart and confidence in God,
they need never fear evil news.
Steadfast in heart they overcome their fears;
in the end they will triumph over their enemies.

Quick to be generous, they give to the poor;
their righteousness stands firm forever.
People such as these will always be honored.

Glory…

Prayer: O God, may your peace be in our hearts and on our lips. Wherever we go, may we be living signs of your peace on earth and faithful witnesses of your saving love.

Psalm 122

Antiphon: Whatever house they enter, let them first say: Peace to this house.

I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of God!”
And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem restored! The city, united and whole!
Here the tribes come up, the tribes of God;
they come to praise God’s name,
according to the decree given to Israel.

Here are the tribunals of justice,
the royal throne of David.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem:
“Security to your houses!
Peace inside your city walls!
Security to your towers!”

Since all are my neighbours and friends,
I say “Peace be with you!”
Since the Lord our God lives here,
I pray for your good.

Glory…

Prayer: O God, as we proclaim peace to others, help us to have it even more within our own hearts.

Reading: Philippians 2:1–5

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.

Reading: The Rule of the Third Order Regular

If discord caused by word or deed should occur among them, they should immediately (Mt 18:35) and humbly ask forgiveness of one another even before offering their gift of prayer before God (cf. Mt 5:24). … Let all be carefully attentive not to become angry or upset because of another’s sin. For anger and disturbance impede love in themselves and in others.

Response:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit; look to the interests of others.
—Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit; look to the interests of others.

Regard others as better than yourselves;
—look to the interests of others.

Glory…
—Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit; look to the interests of others.

Canticle of Mary

Antiphon: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal 5:22)

Intercessions:

O God, in your will is our peace. We pray:

Hear us, O God.

  • For those who suffer from systemic violence, we pray:
  • For children whose lives are affected by violence in their homes and in their schools, we pray:
  • For all who live in the midst of war and suffer continual threats to their lies and well-being, we pray:
  • For families whose members have not been able to forgive one another, that they experience reconciliation, we pray:

Our Father…

Prayer: O God, in Jesus Christ you tell us of your love. Help us who believe in the sacredness of the human experience work for peace in our troubled world. Assist us in healing the hurt, fear, and resentments that promote conflict among us. We ask this in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

Blessing: May God bless us and keep us. May God look upon us with kindness and give us peace.

Morning Prayer for Peace

From Franciscan Morning and Evening Praise

Invocation: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Mt 5:9)

Glory…

Psalm 147:1–4, 7–18

Antiphon: In greeting others, say, “God give you peace.”

Praise God, who is good;
sing praise to our God, who is gracious.
It is fitting to praise God.
God rebuilds Jerusalem,
gathers the exiles of Israel.

God heals the brokenhearted
and binds up all their wounds.
God knows the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.

Sing to God with thanksgiving;
sing praise with the harp to God,
who covers the heavens with clouds,
who provides rain for the earth,

and who makes grass grow on the mountains,
who gives food to the cattle,
and to the young ravens
when they call.

God does not delight in the strength of the steed,
nor is God pleased with the fleetness of humans.
God is pleased with those who have reverence,
with those who hope in faithful love.

Glorify God, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For God has strengthened the bars of your gates
and has blessed your children within you.

God has granted peace on your borders
and fills you with the best of wheat.
God sends forth a command to the earth;
swiftly runs the word!

God spreads snow like wool
and scatters frost like ashes.
God scatters hail like crumbs;
before God’s cold, the waters freeze.

God sends a word
and melts them;
God lets the breeze blow
and the waters flow.

Glory…

Prayer: O God, the peace you give surpasses all our understanding. Make us open to this gift and help us to be instruments of your peace on earth.

Psalm 62:5–12a

Antiphon: Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

For God alone my soul waits;
for my hope comes from God,
who alone is my rock,
my stronghold, my fortress.
I stand firm.

In God is my salvation and glory,
the rock of my strength.

All you people, take refuge in God.
Trusting at all times,
pour out your hearts before God, our Refuge.

Common folk are only a breath;
those of rank, an illusion.

Placed in the scales, they rise;
they weigh less than a breath.

Do not put your trust in oppression
nor in vain hopes or plunder.

Do not set your heart on riches
even when they abound.

For God has declared only one thing;
only two do I know:

that to you alone belongs power,
and that you, O God, are steadfast love.

Glory…

Prayer: O loving God, where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Reading: Philippians 4:4–7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Reading: The Rule of the Third Order Regular

Let the brothers and sisters be gentle, peaceful and unassuming, mild and humble, speaking respectfully to all in accord with their vocation. Wherever they are, or wherever they go throughout the world they should not be quarrelsome, contentious, or judgmental towards others. Rather, it should be obvious that they are “joyful, good-humored,” and happy in the Lord as they ought to be (c. Ph 4:4). And in greeting others, let them say, “God give you peace.”

Response:

You have shown strength with your arm and have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
—You have shown strength with your arm and have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

You have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly,
—and have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

Glory…
—You have shown strength with your arm and have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

Canticle of Zechariah

Antiphon: Preach to people the Gospel of peace and salvation.

Intercessions:

You, O God, have promised special blessings to those who make peace. Hear us, we pray:

Have mercy on us, O God.

  • In these times of global violence and war, make us effective peacemakers in our own places, we pray:
  • For all who are suffering from the chaotic situation of international or civil conflict, we pray:
  • For families caught up in violence and danger, we pray:
  • For all who mediate peace in situations of war or conflict, we pray:

Our Father…

Prayer: O God, in Jesus Christ you tell us of your love. Help us who believe in the sacredness of the human experience work for peace in our troubled world. Assist us in healing the hurt, fear, and resentments that promote conflict among us. We ask this in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever. Amen.

Blessing: May God bless us and keep us. May God look upon us with kindness and give us peace.

Pray for Syria, Pray for Peace

On 7 September, in Saint Peter’s Square, here, from 19:00 until 24:00, we will gather in prayer and in a spirit of penance, invoking God’s great gift of peace upon the beloved nation of Syria and upon each situation of conflict and violence around the world. Humanity needs to see these gestures of peace and to hear words of hope and peace!

Our (Only) Father

Jesus sometimes characterizes his community as the family of those who know God as Jesus’ Father and as their own Father. On an occasion when Jesus was with a group of his disciples, he was told that his mother and siblings were at the door, asking for him. Evidently they thought that his activities were getting out of hand and had come to persuade him to go back home to Nazareth with them. The apparent harshness of Jesus’ reply stems from his absolute commitment to his mission from God. ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he said, and, looking around him, added: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother’ (Mark 3:31-33). Jesus, who does his Father’s will, constitutes those who join him in this a family related to God as their Father. Consequently, there are no human fathers in the community. Elsewhere, in the same vein, Jesus speaks of disciples who have left mothers, fathers, siblings, and children for the sake of the kingdom. In the kingdom, they are compensated by finding their fellow disciples to be mothers, siblings, and children—but fathers are not listed. The patriarchal status, with its distinctive authority, is reserved for God. Instead of the fatherhood of God being the paradigm of patriarchal privilege, it excludes it.

—Richard Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction  [emphasis mine]

Jesus: A Very Short IntroductionI highly recommend this little book. As the Jesus Blog puts it, it is “thoroughly sane and balanced.” I think Christians and non-Christians alike will find that it cuts through a lot of agenda-driven nonsense on both sides of the “historical Jesus” debate with a deep knowledge of scriptural and non-scriptural sources that both builds up and tempers its portrayal of Jesus the man. Bauckham does not try to tell you whether or not to believe in Jesus as the Son of God; he just tries to explain who Jesus was and what he said and did, to the best of our knowledge. The rest is a matter of faith.