20 Dec
Wed 3rd Week of Advent
Is. 7:10-14
Ps. 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Lk. 1:26-38
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     The prophets often call upon us to "listen to the word of the Lord". If we are to hear the word of the Lord, we must first listen to what the prophet has to say. Ahaz refused Isaiah's call to ask a sign from the Lord. His refusal may have arisen from pride, or from fear. He himself implies that it is from humility: "I will not tempt the Lord". True humility, however, would have led him to obey. Still, his refusal does not hinder the word of the Lord, and so the prophet continues to speak.

    Now we listen to the word of the Lord, not because we have never heard this word before, but because we have indeed heard it many times. We listen again to the great prophecy of Isaiah concerning Immanuel. We listen in order that we may grasp even more fully the revelation of God. We listen with our hearts because we wish to receive once again the consolation of God. Ahaz thought he could fight his battles relying on the might of his army and allies. Enlightened by faith, we know how little strength we have. We know that our strength and wisdom come frm the word of the Lord.

     Lord, by Your word enter into our hearts and lives, that we may rejoice in Your glory.
Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That the celebration of the Jubilee may become the source of a new commitment in men and women of good will to protect and promote human life.

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P R A Y I N G    W I T H    T H E    C H U R C H    

INTENTION : That the celebration of the Jubilee may become the source of a new commitment in men and women of good will to protect and promote human life.

In the threshold of the year 2001, it is our duty to renew our commitment to safeguarding the dignity of the poor and marginalised and to recognise in a practical way the rights of those who have no rights. This is the spirit of the new millennium which presupposes the following: The basic right to life which is inviolable which involves a positive choice for life. The development of a culture of this kind embraces all the circumstances of life and ensures the promotion of human dignity in every situation.

Recent developments in the field of genetic engineering present a profoundly disquieting challenge. In order that scientific research in this area may be at the service of the person, it must be accompanied at every stage by careful ethical reflection, which will bring about adequate legal norms safeguarding the integrity of human life. Life can never be downgraded to the level of a thing.

To choose life involves rejecting every form of violence. In every circumstance, the right to life must be promoted and safeguarded with appropriate legal and political guarantees. Let us raise our voices on their behalf.

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