After the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass on Sunday the Church prayed:
Having received this pledge of eternal redemption,
we pray, almighty God,
that, as the feast day of our salvation draws ever nearer,
so we may press forward all the more eagerly
to the worthy celebration of the mystery of your Son’s Nativity.
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Prayer after Communion
The icon above, stands above the traditional place of Jesus birth, in a cave beneath the 6th C Justinian basilica built to replace the earlier Constantinian basilica which was lost to fire. The basilica and its cave are among the most ancient Christian places of pilgrimage.
It depicts saints and angels who are connected with Bethlehem and who journeyed there in devotion to Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for God’s taking flesh for our salvation.
Sunday’s prayer engages with the matter of our pilgrimage in life, asking that we ourselves might press forward, journeying not to a holy place, but to a holy state in life.
- What would make our celebration more worthy? How might we achieve that?
- How might we more deeply integrate that quality into our daily life?
Icon, Bethlehem. (c) 2013, Allen Morris.