December 24, 2006 4th Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80
Luke 1; 39-45
Hebrews 10:5-10

These 4 Scripture Readings are a fruitful inspiration for deeper prayer. In Micah and Psalm 79 the promised Savior is seen as a shepherd - i.e. one who really cares and looks after each one of His flock. The Gospel shows Mary not thinking of her own convenience or things to be done for herself but goes on a 4 day journey to help her cousin Elizabeth. Indeed Mary is an example for us.

But let us look at the words in the reading from Hebrews. "Lord! here I am". These words are just what we can say when we start to pray. Prayer is simply meeting God and talking honestly to Him. First we address Him and say "Lord". That gives our prayer both direction and focus. Then we say:"Here I am", which means we come before God as we are, we do not decorate ourselves up, we come as always fragile (and sometimes broken) human beings. God understands our fragility and our brokenness - our God has experienced the same humanity. So, the words "Here I am " have a deep meaning. But, as in this reading from Hebrews, we add: "I come to do your will". That means: "Lord, I know you really care form me so I leave everything in your hands."

Try this way of praying in your own words. What is in your heart now is your raw material for prayer.