Every day, we will post a few brief prayers inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours.
O Lord, open my lips. And my mouth shall declare your praise.
How great is the goodness, Lord, that you keep for those who fear you, that you show to those who trust you in the sight of men. You hide them in the shelter of your presence from the plotting of men: you keep them safe within your tent from disputing tongues. Blessed be the Lord who has shown me the wonders of his love in a fortified city. “I am far removed from your sight,” I said in my alarm. Yet you heard the voice of my plea when I cried for help. Love the Lord, all you saints. He guards his faithful but the Lord will repay to the full those who act with pride. Be strong, let your heart take courage, all who hope in the Lord.
Reading: From a Sermon by St. Peter Chrysogolus
Today the Magi gaze in deep wonder at what they see: heaven on earth, earth in heaven, man in God, God in man, one whom the whole universe cannot contain now enclosed in a tiny body. As they look, they believe and do not question, as their symbolic gifts bear witness: incense for God, gold for a king, myrrh for one who is to die. So the Gentiles, who were the last, become the first: the faith of the Magi is the first fruits of the belief of the Gentiles. Today Christ enters the Jordan to wash away the sin of the world. John himself testifies that this is why he has come: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Today a servant lays his hand on the Lord, a man lays his hand on God, John lays his hand on Christ, not to forgive but to receive forgiveness. Today, as the psalmist prophesied: The voice of the Lord is heard above the waters. What does the voice say? This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Today the Holy Spirit hovers over the waters in the likeness of a dove. A dove announced to Noah that the flood had disappeared from the earth; so now a dove is to reveal that the world’s shipwreck is at an end for ever. The sign is no longer an olive-shoot of the old stock: instead, the Spirit pours out on Christ’s head the full richness of a new anointing by the Father, to fulfill what the psalmist had prophesied: Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows. Today Christ works the first of his signs from heaven by turning water into wine. But water has still to be changed into the sacrament of his blood, so that Christ may offer spiritual drink from the chalice of his body, to fulfill the psalmist’s prophecy: How excellent is my chalice, warming my spirit.
The Canticle of Mary
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My spirit rejoices in God, my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
Let the Church be rooted in love and gifted with growth. Christ, our Light, hear us! Let all priests be genuine ministers of your saving work. Christ, our Light, hear us! Graciously transform the mortality of our deceased brothers and sisters into eternal life. Christ, our Light, hear us!
Heavenly Father, Let the light of your glory shine within us, and lead us through the darkness of this world to the radiant joy of our eternal home. We ask this in the name of Jesus, your Son who lives with you and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.