Praying the Word

December 6, 2021 Monday of the 2nd Week in Advent-C

Isaiah 35:1-10

Psalm 85

Luke 5:17-26

It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk.  Ps.. 85:9

When he saw their faith… Lk. 5:20

Lord, the first thing you noticed about this incident was the faith of those who were seeking you.  he second thing was the man’s sin. The third and last thing was the man’s physical disability. This story tells us how effective and powerful faith is. The faith of the four friends was not passive. They overcame many obstacles because they believed in you power to heal and restore. I can imagine everyone’s surprise when you forgave the man’s sins first then his body. We can sometimes give up when faced with difficulties. It would have been easy for the four friends to turn around and go home when they saw the crowd. What a tragic missed opportunity that would have been. I can imagine how pleased you were with their ingenuity and perseverance. Lord, thank you for those in our parish whose faith is active and creative.  Relentless faith gets your attention and you respond in surprising ways. Please Lord, grow my faith to not give in too easily to obstacles. Help me to walk by faith today in confidence that you are waiting for me to heal and bless.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

December 5, 2021 Sunday of the 2nd Week in Advent-C

Baruch 5:1-9

Psalm 126

Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11

Luke 3:1-6

…every mountain be made low… Bar. 5:7

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”  Lk. 3:4

Lord, this world provides so many obstacles to being ready for your coming. We are surrounded by the materialistic, commercial and entertainment world of distractions. Our minds are filled with so many diversions that can pull us off-track in our preparations for your coming. Lord, my prayer today is that I can focus on removing any barriers that keep me from being open to your presence. Help me to give up my usual rush and busyness and to keep my eyes on you and your dream for me. Lower any mountains of greed or selfishness you find in me. Make the road straight that I must walk to you. I will make a good effort to go to Confession this Advent and unload any baggage that I have been carrying for so long.  May I be open each and every day to your word in Holy Scripture that will light the path to your heart.  Lord, receive the prayers of my heart for those in my family who have lost their way and no longer seek you.  I know you love them even more than I do.  Make me ready, dear Jesus.  

Praying the Word

December 4, 2021 Saturday of the 1st week of Advent C.

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26

Psalm 147

Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8

“…lost sheep…”  Mt 10:6

Lord, our world is still full of lost sheep. Many have come home to you but so many more remain lost.  I have been lost too.  I chose to wander from your flock, to go my own way, to follow the shepherds of the world. I’m not at all proud of that time because I tried to live without you. I was lost but didn’t know it.  There was an emptiness in my soul I couldn’t explain. But you never gave up on me. The seeds of faith planted within me by my parents sprouted and grew and began to flower. There are probably still some ways I remain lost but I’m home where I belong. Lord, don’t let me wander away again for there are dangerous wolves in the wilderness that would devour me. In return, grant me the grace for me to use my experience to seek out other lost sheep and be an instrument to bring them home to you, their Good Shepherd. It is awesome to have a hand in your mission. Thank you, Lord, for your patience and your love.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

December 3, 2021 Friday of the 1st Week of Advent-C ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, PRIEST

Isaiah 29:17-24

Psalm 27

Matthew 9:27-31

“Do you believe I can do this?”  Mt. 9:28

Lord, whether restoring sight to these blind men, raising a dead girl to life, healing the skin of a leper, you always responded to faith. Seems like faith always got your attention. You teach us that even faith the size of a small seed can move mighty mountains. What do you see when you look at my faith? To be honest, Lord, it’s not the faith I want it to be. I confess that I sometimes doubt, and I sometimes give up when I don’t experience the result I was looking for. I look for your presence in the chaos of our world, the pain of one with cancer and the hurt of domestic violence. I know you are there. I accept that you don’t force people to change. My prayer for today, Lord, is that my faith will grow. I pray that my blindness to your power and presence in all areas of my life be healed.  Help me to see with the eyes of faith how much you love me and my family. I do believe that you can do this and so much more.  St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

December 2, 2021 Thursday of the 1st Week in Advent-C

Isaiah 26:1-6

Psalm 118

Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Trust in the Lord forever!  Is. 26:4

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  Ps. 118:8

“…a wise man who built his house on rock.”  Mt. 7:24

Lord, in building a house or office building we follow the local construction codes. If we didn’t we’d risk the safety of anyone who used the structure. The codes ensure we build the strongest and most secure building we can build. You tell us to build our lives on your words. Like the codes, we can trust that listening to and living your word will ensure our spiritual lives stay strong and secure. We will use the best guidance anywhere: your truth. The foolish among us trust in their own ability and human wisdom. The wise trust in you. Lord, may I always turn to your word for guidance with decisions, big and small. When the Cat 5 hurricanes of life strike I will stay faithful and rely on you for safety and security. Lord, protect us from all natural and spiritual disasters. I rely on you to show me the Father’s will in how I build my house on you, my rock. My prayer today is to make this Advent season a time of growth in faith and greater confidence in your word. I place all the storms of my life in your care.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

December 1, 2021 Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent-C

Isaiah 25:6-10

Psalm 23

Matthew 15:29-37

They all ate and were satisfied.  Mt. 15:37

Lord, the thousands came away from you healed and fed. They came away from their mountaintop experience satisfied and ready for their journey home. They were cured of their physical and spiritual ills. They were inspired by your words then fed with the bread. How happy they all must have been as they returned home. They would return to their lives different people. They were empowered to endure the trials and troubles of life and to spread the good news of the Father’s love to their families and neighbors. Lord, I experience the same mountaintop miracle each time I attend Mass. Healed, taught and strengthened for life’s journey I too am satisfied. Each time I encounter your power to heal, the relief of being forgiven of my sins and the nourishment of the bread of life I am changed. May I have a satisfying Advent season. Lord, like the bread that was more than enough, your mercy is abundant. With you as my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want. I thank you for providing all I need for the journey to you. Amen. 

Praying the Word

November 30, 2021 Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent-C ST. ANDREW, APOSTLE

Romans 10:9-18

Psalm 19

Matthew 4:18-22

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth… Rom. 10:18

He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father…Mt. 4:22

Lord, what did you see in Andrew and the others that day on the docks that said “these men have the potential to go forth and change the world?” What about them was different from all the other fishermen? You chose well because after they encountered you they took the bold step of leaving behind everything to follow you. They took a huge risk because they had no idea what was ahead for them. As they walked with you they learned the meaning of discipleship. They saw you heal, forgive, teach and pray. And they saw you suffer and die. They became the foundation of your church. They did not let you down. Lord, what do you call me to today? How can I be your disciple in my world? I pray for the grace to accept your will whatever it may be. I have confidence that you will not lay any task on me that you will not give me the means to accomplish. My work for you may not be as huge as you gave Andrew but it is what you ask and that’s all that matters. St. Andrew, pray for me in my work for Jesus.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

November 29, 2021 Monday of the 1st Week in Advent-C

Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalm 122

Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”  Mt. 8:10

Lord, the faith of the Roman soldier clearly amazed you. Here is a man of authority who has been somehow touched with the spark of faith. He also cared enough for his servant to risk his military career by reaching out to a Jewish rabbi whom he called “Lord.” He left behind his status as a military officer and came as a humble petitioner to seek healing for his servant. He truly believed in your power. The actual healing of the servant from a distance is kind of an afterthought in this story. Lord, may I have faith as great as this man whom we quote at every Mass just before Holy Communion. His humility and trust is a grand example of the grace of the Holy Spirit. I can imagine this man is now a saint in your heavenly kingdom for faith always gets God’s attention. May my trust in you not depend on visible, tangible outcomes of my prayers but on your constant love and presence in every part of my life. Dear Jesus, I believe, help my unbelief. St. Francis Xavier, pray for us.  Amen.    

Praying the Word

November 28, 2021 Sunday of the 1st Week of Advent-C

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Psalm 25

1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

“…your redemption is at hand.”  Luke 21:28

Lord, this is really good news!  The description of your second coming can fill us with fear or anxiety. Our ultimate end can come suddenly and catch us off guard. But we are encouraged and given hope because those end times will be but a prelude to our full union with you. Our redemption, our salvation is why you came into our world the first time. It’s been your plan all along. You have defeated the forces of evil and have opened heaven for all mankind. As I begin the Advent season I want it to be the best it can be.  With all the distractions of this time of year I want you to come more fully into my heart. May this season be a holy time to embrace your word in a new way. Open my mind to ponder how much you love me and my family. Come into my life and fill me with all I really need—your grace and love. I do not fear the end, Lord, for I will be in your hands.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

November 27, 2021 Saturday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-B

Daniel 7:15-27

Psalm Daniel 3:82-87

Luke 21:34-36

“Be vigilant at all times and pray…” Lk. 21:36

Lord, the Boy Scout motto is: Be Prepared. It makes good sense to keep vigilant and ready for the challenges of the world and the ups and downs of life. How much more important is it that we are watchful in the most critical things like our relationship with you. You warn us to stay awake and to pray for the strength to handle what the enemy and our weak human nature throw at us. How easy it is to become complacent and let our guard down especially when life seems to going along OK. On the other hand, worry, fear and anxiety can break our spirits and push us away from your consolation and our connection to you. Lord, I am so very grateful for all you’ve done for me in the past. Help me to call to mind today your faithfulness and your constant presence in my life. Lord, I owe everything to you. Keep me attentive to all you want to provide for me today. In prayer, I place any worry in your hands and trust you will help me be prepared for whatever is to come.  Amen