Advent Sunday 4 B -Liturgical Prayers

Greeting (see Second Reading)
Glory to God who is able to give you
the strength to live according to the Good News
about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
This Good News is now proclaimed to all.
May you accept this Good News
and may the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant
1. Servant of the Lord
To what extent are we available to God and do we see what he wants to do in us and through us? Today we are shown the marvelous example of Mary. Even if she did not see clearly all it implied, she accepted her mission to become the mother of the Savior. Jesus wants to be born in our world through us too, with our cooperation. We too have to say our Yes to God and to his plans with us and with the world. Let us say our Yes with Jesus and Mary.

2. Reliable Words from God and Mary
How reliable are our words? How often do we keep our promises? Many times in the past God had promised to bring joy and happiness and freedom to his people. He kept his word and promise in a way surpassing by far what people expected: he sent his own Son as one of us: God’s Son, yes, but also the son of a human mother. A few days from now, on Christmas, we shall celebrate how God gave us Jesus. Today we hear an angel announcing to Mary that God would keep his word through her, and Mary gave her word that she would cooperate with God’s plan. Like her and with Jesus may we also say our Yes to God here in this Eucharist.

Penitential Act
Our indifference and our refusals
have been obstacles to God’s plans.
Let us ask the Lord to forgive us.
Lord Jesus, with you and with Mary
we want to be open to the word of God:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, with you and with Mary
we are willing to face the risks
of committing ourselves to God and to people:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, from you and from Mary
we want to learn to serve:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

In your mercy, Lord,
speak to us your word of forgiveness
and make us respond to your words of life.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray to our Father
that we may be receptive to the coming of his Son
God, who are the Most High Lord of all,
you have a surprising preference
for people who are small and humble
and who expect everything from you.
You chose Mary, the unassuming virgin from Nazareth,
to become the mother of your Son Jesus.
Through your Holy Spirit
make us aware of the poverty of our hearts,
that we may be open to you and welcome you,
be ready, like Mary, to serve you and your plans,
and expect everything from you.
Come to us and give yourself to us
through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

First Reading: A House That Will Stand Forever
David proposes to build for God the house of a temple. But God chooses the house of the dynasty of David, from which a Savior would be born for his people.

Reading 1: 2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
"Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!"
Nathan answered the king,
"Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you."
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?'

"It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever."

Responsorial Psalm 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Second Reading: God Shows Himself in Jesus Christ
With Paul, let us praise God, who remained hidden for a long time, but now, in his wisdom, has shown himself in Jesus Christ. This is the Good News to be preached to all.

Reading 2: ROM 16:25-27< /strong>
Brothers and sisters:
To him who can strengthen you,
according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: Your Will for Me Be Done
God’s plans are fulfilled where people, in all humility like Mary, receive God on his own terms.

Gospel: LK 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

Let us open our hearts to the Lord Jesus that he may live in us and stay with us. Let us say: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
– Lord, feel at home in your Church, that it may be open to you in the poor and that those who seek you may find in it your forgiveness, your life and truth and joy, we pray: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
– Lord, feel at home with priests and religious, that they may live up to the word once given to you and that they render you humble service in the people you have entrusted to their care, we pray: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
– Lord, feel at home in our world, that peoples and cultures may understand one another, seek peace together and promote justice and love, we pray: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
– Lord, feel at home in our families, unite them in fidelity and tenderness, guide parents to raise their children toward your own mature adulthood, we pray: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
– Lord, feel at home in our communities, where we welcome everyone in need, where we serve one another with joy and make you visible by our untiring love. we pray: R/ Lord, make your home in us.
Lord, it is good to be with you, to be aware that you live among us. Like Mary, may we not keep you for ourselves but take you to others, that they may know and love you, now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Faithful God,
we are aware of our limitations
and the insufficiency of these gifts
we bring before you.
May our very poverty dispose you
to fill our empty hearts
with the wisdom of your Holy Spirit
and with the presence of him
whom we expect with great longing,
your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Soon we will pray in the Eucharistic prayer that by the power of the Holy Spirit bread and wine may become Jesus himself. By the same Holy Spirit, may Jesus be born also in our hearts and in our world.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
By the power of the Holy Spirit
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary
and we have become God’s children.
Let us pray with him the prayer of Jesus
to our Father in heaven: R/ Our Father...

Prayer for Peace
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles:
I leave you peace, my peace I give you.
But we are each seeking our own little peace
at the expense of others;
peace is often on our lips,
but we do not know how to live in peace.
Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,
and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom
where you live for ever and ever. R/ Amen.

Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord,
from our pride in our own achievements
which closes us to your gifts.
Keep us from building for you
splendid buildings in which to confine you,
that you may choose us, your people,
rather than a building of stone
as your home in which you want to live
through him whom we expect with joy and hope,
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus Christ,
the Son of the Most High
born by the power of the Holy Spirit
of the virgin-mother Mary.
Happy are we to receive him. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
you fill the hungry with good things
and send the self-satisfied away empty.
In this Eucharist you have filled us
with the word and the bread of life
of your Son Jesus Christ.
Make us hunger now for his coming
in the hearts and the homes of all.
Fill us with his spirit of service
and self-forgetting love,
that through us he may become near to people.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

Christmas is now very near.
With the Blessed Virgin Mary
we wait for the Lord’s coming.
With her we say:
We are the Lord’s servants;
we want to do his will
and to give his Son for all to share.
May almighty God bless you:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Go in peace and live in the joy of knowing that the Lord is near.