16 December, Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

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"And Elijah the prophet stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch" (Sir 48:1). The prophet Elijah figures prominently in today's Mass, making me think of all my dear Carmelite friends — you know who you are.

Las Posadas, the Christmas Novena to the Infant Christ, a devotion that Carmelites cherish, begins today, not only in Carmel, but also among Mexican Catholics everywhere. Humble contemplation of the Infant Christ is the best remedy against sins of arrogance, self–sufficiency, and intellectual pride.


Come, Lord, you who are enthroned upon the cherubim,
show us your face
and we shall be saved (Ps 79:4, 2).


Almighty God,
let the splendour of your glory, we beseech you,
rise like the dayspring in our hearts
to dispel every darkness of the night;
that the advent of your only-begotten Son,
may reveal us to be children of the light.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.


That the Church in every place
may burn and shine with the fire of Word and Sacrament
as the light of the nations
and the sign of God’s transforming love,
let us pray in silence — for the Lord is near. (Pause for silence.)

That world leaders of good will
may persevere in the struggle for justice and for peace
and that the darkness that threatens the world
may give way to the Light of all nations — Christ,
let us pray in silence — for the Lord is near. (Pause for silence.)

That those who have grown cold in this time of waiting
may be touched by the fire of God;
that those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death
may lift their eyes to the light that shines from the face of Christ;
let us pray in silence — for the Lord is near. (Pause for silence.)

That we who have assembled
to hear the Word of God and to partake of the holy mysteries
may be adorned in love by the action of the Holy Spirit,
and set ablaze with the fire of the prophets,
let us pray in silence — for the Lord is near. (Pause for silence.)


Almighty and ever-living God,
who raised up the prophet Elijah like a fire,
and caused his word to burn like torch,
purify our hearts
by the fire of your Holy Spirit,
that we may be found full of light
at the glorious advent of your Son,
Christ who is Lord forever and ever.


You will turn, O God, and bring us to life,
and Your people shall rejoice in You:
show us, O Lord, Your mercy,
and grant us Your salvation (Ps 84:7–8).


Lord, may the sacrifice by which we give ourselves to you
be a ceaseless offering,
that your purpose may be fulfilled
by these holy mysteries,
and your salvation accomplished mightily within us.
Through Christ our Lord.

(Ambrosian Missal, Tuesday I of Advent, trans. Alan Griffiths)

Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always, here and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

By the advent of his light
he scattered the darkness of this world
and in himself has revealed to us the way of truth
by which we walk
toward the blessedness of eternal life.

And so, with all the angels we give you glory,
in this, their joyful hymn of praise:


Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, says the Lord,
to render to each one according to his works (Rev 22:12).


Lord, we implore your clemency
that these divine gifts
may so cleanse us from sin,
as to prepare us for the coming feasts.
Through Christ our Lord.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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