Sunday, December 29, 2013

Daily Prayer

Rise, take the child and his mother…

Heavenly Father,
as a culture,
we keep trying our best
to see Christmas as a warm,
child-centered family celebration
of gift giving and carols,
but the gospel keeps pulling us away
from the baby in the manger
and toward your Son’s
passion and resurrection.

Even today, Father, when
the focus comes back to family,
we don’t see Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
gathered around singing happy songs,
but as stressed-out, homeless refugees and
immigrants on the road, packing and repacking
their meager belongings and
setting out time and again—
Egypt, Israel, Galilee.
All the challenges Joseph and Mary
felt before Jesus’ birth are still with them,
except now they have a helpless baby to care for as well.

Father, help me to model myself and my family
after the Holy Family—
not in some simplistic ideal of holiness
in which they smile and pray all the time
and never get frustrated with one another,
But in how they survived life’s
hardships and stresses
and stayed faithful to each other
and to you.

When life is difficult for me,
Help me turn to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
confident that
they understand what
I am going through,
and are willing to share with me
their solace, fidelity, and strength.

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