Readings and Reflection for Thursday December 30, Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord

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FIRST READING
“He who does the will of God abides for ever. ”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint John (1 John 2:12-17)

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the Evil One. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the Evil One. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 96:7-8a.8b-9.10 (R.11a)
R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.

Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
Give the Lord glory and power;
Give the Lord the glory of his name. R/.

Bring an offering and enter his courts;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.
O tremble before him, all the earth. R/.

R/. Let the heavens rejoice and earth be glad.

Say to the nations, “The Lord is king.”
The world he made firm in its place;
He will judge the peoples in fairness. R/.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. Alleluia. A hallowed day has shone upon us; come, O nations, and adore the Lord; for today a great light has come down to earth. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“She spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 2:36-40)

At that time: There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity, and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshipping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem. And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon him.

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
Normally we think serving God has only to do with indulging in various form of good work. Today’s Gospel suggests that prayer and fasting are also forms of service to God. Anna spent time in the temple praying, and t she was as much a servant of God as these who served God by doing all kinds of good works. Mar, who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his word, was serving him as much as Martha was. To pray is to serve the Lord, because when we pray we give the Lord our time, our focus, our attention; we give him ourselves.

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