God of the Whole World, we wait with Mary during this season of Hanukkah and thank You for our lives’ many miracles and blessings. We light one candle each day in recognition of the illumination and hope You bring into our homes and neighborhoods.
In this halfway point of Advent, we pray for those who are like Mary:
pure in spirit
We do not have to look far into this world to see travelers without shelter: those 11 million people who have fled Syria, many of whom have recently been welcomed into Canada, who has promised to shelter 25,000 refugees by the end of February.
We pause with Mary to reflect on all growing inside of us:
We see terror all around us:
-in Amsterdam, where nine people were found guilty of terrorism offenses
-in Australia, where police arrested 15- and 20-year-old males in a counter-terrorism operation
-in Rwanda, where a key genocide suspect was arrested
We pause with Mary to reflect on the world around us:
We hope that that the Vatican’s recently released document urging Catholics not to seek to convert Jews will carry into tolerance for other religions, particularly followers of Islam.
We wait with Mary to see what will happen with Syria, where a peace conference is scheduled. We wait with Mary to see if the new Argentinian president will be able to unite his country.
We wait with Mary for all persons to be citizens in their communities; Chinese officials have announced they will grant official status to its “unregistered” citizens, many of whom were children born illegally under the one-child policy.
Lord, thank you for this season of anticipation.
Thank you for giving us hope.
Thank you for giving us leaders dedicated to bringing us together.
May we continue to be patient while peace is wrought.