Prayer based on today’s gospel, Matthew 1:18-24
Jesus, our awaited Savior,
Your human family began in great conflict.
Mary, your mother, was pregnant out of wedlock.
Joseph bore the responsibility of divorcing her.
They were anxious about their identity in God.
They wanted to keep the law but they listened to an angel.
We are no different today.
Our identities have grown into political battles.
Our families carry these identities to holiday tables.
We struggle to find the meaning of brother and sister.
Help us focus on true and beautiful human connection.
Help our families not implode in fear.
Help us speak wisdom this week around hectic tables.
Reveal in our divisions the unity of love and faith.
Release us from worry.
Release us from intolerance and blame.
Joseph received an angel’s assurance that his fear was useless.
Send us an angel’s word this week as we gather around favorite foods.
Give us grace to listen to the pain of those we love.
Give us patience to enjoy our differences and our common humanity.
Help us speak with tenderness as we enjoy a newborn child and grieve a grandparent.
Send us an angel to change hatred into empathy.
This week reveals our greatest desires.
We come to know that God-is-with-us.
Real family love is revealed in our humility.
Faith opens a new door to life beyond our own.
God’s love sets a new table so we may feast upon forgiveness.
May grace come and our divisions cease in the promise of Christ Jesus.