Prayer for the Evening
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever!
Glory to the Father…. Alleluia!
When, in his own image,
God made humankind,
he enfolded freedom
in his great design.
For he loved us even
from before our birth;
granting us dominion
of our planet earth.
God entrusted to us
life as gift and aim.
Sin became our prison,
turning hope to shame.
Cain against his brother
lifted hand and sword,
and the Father’s pleading
went unseen, unheard.
Then in time, our Maker
chose to intervene,
set his love in person
in the human scene.
Jesus broke the circle
of repeated sin,
so that our devotion
newly might begin.
Choose we now in freedom
where we should belong,
let us turn to Jesus,
let our choice be strong.
May the great obedience
which in Christ we see
perfect all our service:
then we shall be free!
PSALM 107:1-3, 10-16
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives,/ to let the oppressed go free. (cf. Lk 4:18)
The notion that one gains freedom by rebelling against God has been a popular illusion since Eden. The paradox of the Gospel is that we are set free from the chains of our own making by choosing to yoke ourselves to Christ, who bursts our bonds by his own Death and Resurrection.
“O give thanks to the Lord for he is good;
for his love endures for ever.”
Let them say this, the Lord’s redeemed,
whom he redeemed from the hand of the foe
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south.
Some lay in darkness and in gloom,
prisoners in misery and chains,
having defied the words of God
and spurned the counsels of the Most High.
He crushed their spirit with toil;
they stumbled; there was no one to help.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need
and he rescued them from their distress.
He led them forth from darkness and gloom
and broke their chains to pieces.
Let them thank the Lord for his goodness,
for the wonders he does for men:
for he bursts the gates of bronze
and shatters the iron bars.
Glory to the Father….
Word of God (Matthew 11:28-30)
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3:17)
Canticle of Mary
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives/ and release to the prisoners. (cf. Is 61:1)
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father…
For freedom Christ set us free (Gal 5:1). In grateful trust, let us pray to him:
R/We cry to you, O Lord, in our need.
For those who are in prison,
– that they may learn the way to true freedom. R/
For those who are entrapped in addiction,
– that they may find the road to recovery. R/
For those who live in defiance of your Word,
– that they may discover the freedom of the Gospel. R/
For those who have been sent to minister in your name to all who are captive in body or spirit,
– that they may be rewarded. R/
To the one who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen. (cf. Jude 24-25)
Antiphon for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2
Today the Blessed Virgin Mary
presented the Child Jesus in the Temple;
and Simeon, filled with the Holy Spirit,
took him into his arms,
and blessed God forever.
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Evae.
Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos
ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.
Hail, holy Queen, mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve.
To you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, O most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us,
and after this our exile
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V/ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,
R/ That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Ave, Regina caelorum,
Ave, Domina angelorum,
Salve, radix, salve, porta,
Ex qua mundo lux est orta.
Gaude, Virgo gloriosa,
Super omnes speciosa;
Vale, O valde decora,
Et pro nobis Christum exora.
Hail, O Queen of heaven enthroned.
Hail, by angels mistress owned.
Root of Jesse, Gate of morn
Whence the world’s true light was born:
Glorious Virgin, joy to thee,
Loveliest whom in heaven they see;
Fairest thou, where all are fair,
Plead with Christ our souls to spare.