Lord, I make you a present of myself. I do not know what to do with myself. So let me make this exchange: I will place myself entirely in your hands, if you will cover my ugliness with your beauty, and tame my unruliness with your love. Put out the flames of false passion in my heart, since these flames destroy all that is true within me. Make me always busy in your service. Lord, I want no special signs from you, nor am I looking for intense emotions in response to your love. I would rather be free of all emotion, than to run the danger of falling victim once again to false passion. Let my love for you be naked, without any emotional clothing.
St Catherine of Genoa, 1447-1510, Italian Catholic mystic
O Christ, as we walk through the land that you loved, in the country where you lived and taught, grant us the grace and wisdom to see clearly and understand deeply that all you suffered was for the sake of redeeming humanity. Through your life, death, and resurrection, you have made it possible for us to have life, and have it more abundantly.
O Christ, as we follow you down the Road to Calvary, Guide us to become active participants, not curious bystanders. O Christ, as we stand with the mourners at the Cross, Give us the love that can forgive those who trespass against us. O Christ, as we witness the new life given to us through your Resurrection, Empower us with faith to act and spread the Good News.
Servant Christ, Help us to follow you on the road to Jerusalem, to set our faces firmly against friendly suggestions for a safe, expedient life; to embrace boldly the way of self-offering, The way of life given for other’s gain.
Litany of the Disciples of Christ the Servant Andhra Theological College, India
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.