When the kings of God’s people had not fulfilled their mission of guiding the people to God, the prophet Jeremiah announces that God would do away with them and become himself the shepherd of his people. But he will make this new beginning through a man, a virtuous shoot of the house of David. Through him, God would become his people’s integrity, the cause of our fidelity. In the New Testament, as Matthew tells us, Jesus is this Son of David through Joseph and Mary and at the same time, God’s own Son. He is indeed “God our integrity,” and Immanuel, “God-with-us,” Jesus, whose name means “Savior.”
Lord, faithful God, in Jesus, you have given us someone taken from our human flesh and blood, a man, yet your Son, through whom you want to restore integrity and fidelity among us. With him, help us to give to you and also to one another, the proper and adequate response of faithful, serving love, that you expect from your people. Be our God for ever through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Lord Jesus, give us the integrity and the sense of justice that keep escaping us, we pray: – Lord, may we learn from you to have pity on the weak and the needy, as you are good to us and merciful, we pray: – Lord, as you are with us, make us also stand by the side of our brothers and sisters in their spiritual and materials needs, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father, only someone untouched by sin could love you as you deserve and make us, sinful people capable of responding to your love as your sons and daughters. Let these offerings be the sign, that we expect your Son with hope and that we are willing to follow him on his loyal way of obedience to your will and commitment to your justice and love. Accept us in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, saving God, we give you thanks for accepting us in your Son, Jesus Christ. In him, you make us both those who are saved and those who have to save themselves and their brothers and sisters. Make us fully aware that we are your messianic people. Help us to respond to your initiative of love with all our cooperation. So that one day all humanity may belong to you and honor you as the Father of all through our brother, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Do not be afraid, God is with you. We live in his hands, for he has given us Jesus, our Savior and friend. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Government is a noble profession. The fact is, however, that it often disappoints. Advent points to the arrival of a new and different government, the reign of God, our heavenly king. It is repeatedly asserted that this future monarch will be just and will rule with wisdom. These characteristics appear clearly in the Jeremiah reading today. The repeated emphasis on qualities of honesty and uprightness only highlight the fact that these attributes were absent in kings of the past. The era of the messiah was to be clearly God directed. The name given to the child of Mary is Emmanuel, “God with us.” Jesus will be a king of a different kind. While presiding over a realm, he will be, as another prophet states, a king mild and humble, seated upon a donkey. This is a king who spent his life doing good while teaching what true goodness means. As our “window on God,” this is a king who avoids any form of pomp or acclaim; he is die champion of compassion, forgiveness, and concern. These qualities in God were known to Israel in the past, as Jeremiah states today, when he brought his people out of Egyptian bondage and centuries later freed them again from the captivity of Babylon. But never was the nature of God more evident than in these final days, with die Word incarnate who gave his life that we might live. To aspire to public office is certainly highly commendable. It has its inherent dangers—compromise of principles, graft, corruption in different forms. But it is always heartwarming to see men and women elected to public office who maintain a posture of faith and moral principle. In the face of temptation, such men and women stay their moral course. Public office is a chance to enhance the reign of God, especially in concern for the neediest people in society. It tells us that Emmanuel is still with us.
Points to Ponder
Faith and politics The reign of God today Jesus as Emmanuel Jesus as son of Mary Joseph, the upright spouse.