Praying the Word

March 21, 2023, Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent-A

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12

Psalm 46

John 5:1-16

“Do you want to be well?”  John 5:6

Lord, of course I want to be well! Who doesn’t want to be healed of cancer, arthritis, back aches or even a bad cold? Seems like a silly question. I have to believe there is more to this question than our physical health. You see into our hearts beyond our aches and pains. You see the health of our souls. So, Lord, it’s a fair question. You ask if I am willing to let go of whatever is holding me back from union with you. Do I want to be free from my stubbornness of heart, lustful thoughts, or resentment? You may ask me how much I want to empty myself of pride, unforgiveness, jealousy or selfishness. Lord, show me what really ails me. Reveal to me the darkness in my heart that your light can remove. My dear Jesus, I am so sorry of choosing my ways over yours. I do want to be well in body, mind, and spirit. Give me the grace to open my heart to your healing, life-giving mercy and love.  Amen. 

Praying the Word


2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16

Psalm 89

Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

Joseph, her husband, since he was a righteous man… Matthew 1:19

Lord, you broke the mold when you created this man, Joseph. He was the perfect choice for marriage to Mary. You prepared him so well to not just be a faithful husband and father but also a holy man who was loyal to the Father’s will. He accepted the will of God even when it seemed to go against all logic and everything he believed in. He had a plan to deal with this pregnancy situation. Because of his love of your Mother, he had a kind and generous plan to follow the law. But Joseph listened. He listened to the angel, and he listened to Mary. He turned away from the gossip of the neighbors and the human advice he was offered. With humility, courage and obedience, this great man chose a path that must have seemed crazy to most. Lord, when I am faced with a big choice help me to listen for your way. Help me to be flexible and peaceful and attentive to you whenever you speak. Show me your way, Lord, I’m ready.  St. Joseph, pray for me.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 19, 2023, 4th Sunday of Lent-A

1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13

Psalm 23

Ephesians 5:8-14

John 9:1-41

“Not as man sees does God see…” 1 Samuel 16:7

“…I am the light of the world”.  John 9:5

Lord, many people who have cataracts removed from their eyes report they can see so much more than before the surgery. They are amazed at how much better their vision becomes. You gave physical sight to the man born blind. More importantly you gave him the eyes of faith for he would begin to see who you really are and believe in you as his Lord. His life was changed completely as your glory was made visible to him. Lord, when I look only with my human eyes I miss so much. But when I see the world and my life in it with the eyes of faith, I see you and your works. I can see the beauty of your marvelous creation. I can see how you have blessed me in so many new and wonderful ways each day. I can see your grace transforming my life and the lives of others. I can even see the fruit of my suffering when I offer it to you.  Dear Jesus, help me to walk the path to your kingdom by your light.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 18, 2023, Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

Hosea 6:1-6

Psalm 51

Luke 18:9-14

“… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Lk. 18:14

Lord, your parable in today’s Gospel makes a powerful contrast between a person of faith and a person of self-righteousness. I think at one time or another I have been both. The Pharisee was so busy patting himself on the back that he couldn’t see that you were the source of all he had. You loved him and gave yourself for him on the cross. Hopefully he came to faith later on and turned to you in humility and repentance. The tax collector clearly saw his sins and begged you for forgiveness. None of us can absolve ourselves of sin. Thank you so much for the great Sacrament of Reconciliation and your unlimited mercy.  It is the healing balm we need for our failures, our weaknesses and our bad habits. I pray I can receive the Sacrament of your mercy worthy and humbly this Lent. I don’t need to exalt myself because you do that for me. I pray that I am not far from the Kingdom of God. St. Patrick is a good model for us to follow in his perseverance and dedication to doing your work in our world.  Amen.

Praying the Word

March 17, 2023, Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

Hosea 14:2-10

Psalm 81

Mark 12:28-34

I will love them freely; Hosea 14:5

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…”  Mark 12:30

Lord, in a way it’s a little sad that you have to command us to love you. I get it that love is the underlying foundation of all the commandments. I also understand that good relationships with you and others are necessary for peace and happiness. You first loved us. Freely and fully you created us and put all creation in our hands. When we sinned and moved away from the path of love you came among us and bled out every drop of your blood for us—for me. Lord, I do love you. But to be honest my heart can be divided when I choose to love what can damage my relationship with you and my brothers and sisters. I truly want to empty myself of whatever turns my heart from giving all of me to you. To love you is to enjoy the ultimate freedom. Jesus, move me to love more like you do today. I freely choose to love you, Lord. I won’t be needing a commandment, thank you.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 16, 2023, Thursday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

Jeremiah 7:23-28

Psalm 95

Luke 11:14-23

Walk in all the ways that I command you, so that you may prosper.  Jeremiah 7:23

“…the kingdom of God has come upon you.”  Luke 11:20

Lord, every year in January the President of the United States describes the State of the Union to Congress and the American people. In this speech he tells how we are doing as a nation.  Lent is a good time for me to assess how I’m doing as a member of your kingdom. In Jeremiah, I read how the people had become disobedient and hard of heart. They no longer listened to the voice of God but insisted on doing their own thing. Your word tells me clearly the way to spiritual prosperity and happiness: walk in your ways and live the good news of your kingdom.  Lord, my prayer today is for a good examination of how devoted I am to you. Help me, Lord, to see how your grace is working in my life and how I may be resisting that grace. Forgive me for allowing my spirit to become divided and not listen to your voice. Thank you, Jesus, for calling me into your kingdom. I am yours. Speak to me, Lord, your servant is listening.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 15, 2023, Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9

Psalm 147

Matthew 5:17-19

“…teach them to your children…  Deuteronomy 4:9

Lord, I am so thankful to you for all those people who have passed on your gift of faith to me. Over the years you have placed parents, teachers, priests, friends and family that in large or small ways have helped to form my faith in you. By word and deed, I have been taught and formed in the truth of your love for me. They have helped me to know and to follow the will of the Father as Joseph and Mary taught you. Your word today reminds me that I have a role in ensuring that the next generation receives what I have been given. As times and cultures change the truths of salvation remain and these must be passed on. I am part of the chain of those who live the gospel and witness to those you’ve place around me. As others were a gift to me, so I am a gift to those who are seeking the love of their Lord. Help me today, Lord, not to forget all you’ve done for me. Fulfill your awesome law and write it on my heart.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

March 14, 2023, Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

Daniel 3:25, 34-43

Psalm 25

Matthew 18:21-35

Moved with compassion the master … let him go and forgave him the loan. 

Matthew 18:27

Lord, no sin is too great for your mercy. You forgive without limit or condition. All you ask is for me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. The normal human response is to keep count or score of who we think deserves our forgiveness. I don’t stop to remember that you carried all my sins to the cross. Your love for me is unconditional-so your forgiveness. I do not deserve such an outpouring of mercy. That’s a good thing because there’s no way I could ever earn it. There was no way the first servant in your parable could have repaid his enormous debt. Lord, you freed me from sin and death by offering yourself on the cross. My debt was paid in full by your blood. I come before you today in humble gratitude for freeing me from guilt and shame. Give me a compassionate spirit so I can forgive from my heart the debts of others like you have forgiven me. Then I will truly experience the freedom you won for us all on your cross. I’m so very glad, you don’t keep score.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 13, 2023, Monday of the 3rd Week of Lent-A

2 Kings 5:1-15

Psalm 42

Luke 4:24-30

But Naaman went away angry… 2 Kings 5:11

When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury.  Lk. 4:28

Lord, in our two scriptures today we see an angry and furious reaction to the ways of God. It seems our ideas of how God is working in our lives come up short when we contemplate his magnificent and unexpected blessings. Naaman almost missed out on being cleansed by his expectations of supernatural methods. You infuriated your friends and neighbors by your words. Why was that your message to them that day? I’m sure you knew what their reaction would be. Lord, it seems so difficult for us to disregard our stereotypes in the light of your truth. Sometimes your solutions to our problems seem too good to be true. What Naaman and your neighbors lacked was faith in the unbounded power to God. You bless, heal and restore us in so many ordinary ways in our daily lives. Encouragement from a friend when we are down, a visit to the Adoration Chapel in our local Catholic Church, the song of a bird early in a dreary morning. Please continue to pour out your grace into our lives as we go about our routine and ordinary daily chores. Give me the eyes of faith to see your love for me.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

March 12, 2023, 3rd Sunday of Lent-A

Exodus 17:3-7

Psalm 95

Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

John 4:5-42

…the love of God has been poured out into our hearts…  Romans 5:5

“Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty…”  John 4:15

Lord, the Samaritan woman you met near the well experienced an entire Lent in one afternoon. She went from a searching sinner to a believer in you so quickly. She was forever changed by this encounter with you. Your kindness and wisdom, but most of all your acceptance of her and transforming grace, satisfied her thirst. She became your witness by spreading your Good News throughout her village. You are a source of life that never runs dry. Lord, we can’t live without water and we can’t live eternal life without your grace. We must have a constant supply to survive. Like the woman at the well you want to bring me to the well of life-giving grace. Lord, I too am a sinner and fall short of your desire for me. You can look into my heart like you did the woman at the well. Transform my heart with your grace. I look for your love and your presence each day I come to the well of your mercy. Give me freedom from guilt and shame so I can live the abundant life you want for me.  Amen.