Praying the Word

August 15, 2022, THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10

Psalm 45

1 Corinthians 15:20-27

Luke 1: 39-56

…in Christ all shall be brought to life.  1 Corinthians 15:22

“…The Mighty One has done great things for me…”  Luke 1:49

Lord, I don’t think much about my death. When I do, it seems to be a distant, fuzzy kind of thing, with uncertainty in how it will happen. I know with each passing day my life on earth is one day less. I don’t look at my death so much as an end but as a door to a new and wonderful life. A life you won for me and all who follow you by your death on the cross. Lord, as I place my life in your hands, I give you my death as well. Only you know the day or the hour of my death. I pray for the grace to be faithful to you each day until you call me home. I pray for the grace of a happy death. I pray for my family who remain not to be in sorrow for me or themselves. Just as you lifted up your Mother Mary to yourself, lift me up as well. I don’t know what lies ahead for me beyond the door of death, but I trust that if you have prepared it and gave your life for it, it will be fantastic beyond words. Lord, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this life and the one to come. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 14, 2022, Sunday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10

Psalm 40

Hebrews 12:1-4

Luke 12: 49-53

…persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus. Hebrews 12:1-2

“I have come to set the earth on fire…” Luke 12:49

Lord, a lot goes into being a gold medal champion in the Olympics. The athlete must sacrifice so much of their lives to focus on training. They must keep their eyes on the goal of reaching the finish line and winning the race. Your word today urges us to persevere in running the race of life. You warn us that trials await and that we may grow weary and be tempted to quit running. But with our eyes and hearts set on you we keep moving forward one step at a time, one day at a time. But we do not run alone. Lord, you came to light a fire in our hearts. A fire that helps us endure the fatigue, the hills, the heat and the wind that challenge us in the race. The fire of your word and your grace is enough to get us to the finish line. Lord, give me the strength I need as I look to you. Run with me, Jesus. Pace me to the joy of victory over sin and death. I can’t win without you. I look forward to the complete joy you have prepared for me. Amen.

Praying the Word

August 13, 2022 Saturday of the 19th week in Ordinary Time-C

Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32

Psalm 51

Matthew 19:13-15

“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.  Ezekiel 18:31

A clean heart create for me, O God… Psalm 51:12

Lord, in our day it seems there is a camera everywhere. Traffic cameras, security cameras, personal cameras on our phones, even cameras in space looking down at us. As good as all these cameras are in capturing human activities they can’t see into our hearts. Only you see and perfectly understand the hearts of your children. In your words to the prophet today you make very clear that you not only see all we do, you care that we live lives of virtue.  You describe the many ways we can sin against you and our brothers and sisters. You also tell us how to live just and holy lives as well. Lord, thank you for your care, love and mercy. You are not like a red light camera catching us in a crime. You judge us with understanding and love. You encourage us to seek forgiveness in the sacraments.  You invite us to become a new creature, leaving behind guilt and shame. Help my heart to become new and more like your Sacred Heart. Thank you, gracious Lord, for calling me to return and live.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 12, 2022 Friday of the 19th week in Ordinary Time-C

Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63

Psalm: Isaiah 12

Matthew 19:3-12

“Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.” Matthew 19:6

Lord, the beauty and harmony of nature is truly wonderful. I am in a forest of green trees, grass, and brush. All of it breathing out what I breathe in and breathing in what I breathe out. This is truly a miracle-a natural harmony of life. You made marriage for men and women to live in harmony too. We are your finest creations-all different yet formed by the same creator. Marriage reflects the love you have for all your people. As your people can rebel against you upsetting the balance of natural love-so can that balance become broken between husband and wife. Lord, continue to bless all married couples with the graces needed to maintain the harmony you intended for us. Bring peace to our families and heal the broken hearted. Protect women and children from violence. Make all marriages like the balance of nature in this forest. Keep those safe working to rebuild their relationships. Protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman as the Lord of all made it to be. Also help us all to respect and protect the life of the unborn.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 11, 2022, Thursday of the 19th week in Ordinary Time-C ST CLARE, VIRGIN

Ezekiel 12:1-12

Psalm 78

Matthew 18:21-19:1

“Lord, if my brother sins against me how often must I forgive him?  Matthew 18:21

Lord, Peter asked a question that we ask too. How far do we have to go in offering forgiveness and mercy to those who’ve harmed us? What are the legal limits and requirements of forgiveness? Must I forgive someone who hasn’t asked for it or even cares? Your reply that there are no limits to forgiveness must have surprised Peter. Lord, I am so grateful to you for forgiving all of my sins, without limits. I’d be a lost soul if there was only so much of your mercy to go around. Please help me to accept and embrace your love and compassion. And unlike the forgiven servant in the gospel, show me how to have pity on those who harm me. Help me to truly live a merciful life. Set me free from the prison of refusing to forgive.  Open my heart to be like your most Sacred Heart from which unlimited mercy flows. There’s only one way I can repay you for all you’ve done for me and that is to forgive as you forgive—as many times as it takes.  St. Clare, pray for us. Amen.

Praying the Word

August 10, 2022 Wednesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST LAWRENCE, DEACON, MARTYR

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Psalm 112

John 12:24-26

Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you… 2 Corinthians 9:8

“The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  John 12:26

Lord, how can I ever repay you for all the abundance you’ve given me? I’m not talking so much about material goods or wealth. I’m talking about the loves and friendships that surround me. I’m talking about the time you’ve given me on this earth and the opportunities to grow in ways that are pleasing to you.  You have so blessed me that if I lived a thousand years I could never repay you. I’m so grateful for your forgiveness of my sins and of your extravagant mercy. Your word today urges me to follow you in generosity. I’ll never match your good works but I know I must do what you’ve called me to do. Lord, I confess sometimes I’d rather do for me than for you. Help me to overcome any self-centeredness I have for it does not belong in your Kingdom. Help me to reorganize how you place people and situations in my day to serve you. Let me never doubt that your grace will be sufficient to do your will. Multiply my sometimes half-hearted work for you so that I’ll never be sad in your service.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

August 9, 2022, Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Ezekiel 2:8-3:4

Psalm 119

Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14

“…unless you turn and become like children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Matthew 18:3

Lord, it seems on this journey of life as we grow in wealth, wisdom and positions of power, we can become more self-sufficient. We look to ourselves for success and security. The standards of independence so valued in our world are not the standards of your Kingdom. You used the example of a child, the lowest member of Jewish society at your time, to make your point. No one expected a child to be the model for entry into your Kingdom. How precious and wonderful are all children. A child is the very personification of love. Their love is complete, uncomplicated and total. Becoming child-like in faith and love is the goal of our journey with you. As we rise in sophistication in life, we can realize you as the source of all we have and are. Lord, teach me today to love like a child. Help me grow in dependence on you. Bring to my mind this day one way I can be more child-like in faith. May I and our society respect the gift of life from the unborn child to the aged child.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 8, 2022, Monday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. DOMINIC, PRIEST

Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28

Psalm 148

Matthew 17: 22-27

…I saw what looked like fire, he was surrounded with splendor.  Ezekiel: 1:27

“…and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day”.  Matthew 17:23

Lord, to encourage the exiles you gave the prophet Ezekiel a vision of reality. He glimpsed a bit of your greatness and glory. To encourage your disciples, you assured them that after your cross will come the resurrection. They apparently didn’t hear the resurrection part, or they couldn’t understand because they were” overwhelmed with grief.” They had seen the vision of your Transfiguration so why the grief? We are human, Lord, and can be fooled by appearances. Their faith was not yet ready for what would come.  Lord, help me to see your splendor in the beauty of a sunrise. See your power in the swirl of an immense galaxy of stars. See your healing of bodies and spirits. Most of all, Lord, help me to see and appreciate you in the bread and wine of the Mass. How ordinary appearing, yet greater than the prophet’s vision.  Help me to not get sidetracked by the crosses of life and look forward to my resurrection. Come to me, Lord, and live within me.  Build my faith to see you as you truly are Lord of all.  St. Dominic, pray for us.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 7, 2022, Sunday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Wisdom 18:6-9

Psalm 33

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

Luke 12:32-48

By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.  Hebrews 11:8

“…your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

Lord, we all want to join you in heaven. That’s why we were made in the first place. By your blood, shed on the cross, we have been redeemed, purchased, ransomed and saved.  You have fully completed your side of the bargain–your covenant with us. What’s our response? What’s our responsibility to receive our inheritance? Abraham’s response was faith that you would keep your word.  Faith that you would do the impossible. Because of that faith he lived a life of complete obedience to your will. Abraham was ready for the kingdom. The servants in your story were ready when the bridegroom returned.  While awaiting his return they kept busy doing their work faithfully, every day. They were building up the kingdom on earth for their master. What an honor to be entrusted with the Kingdom on earth! Lord, may I today respond to you with obedient faith. May I go where you send me. May I and my family, be vigilant and ready when you return. I trust in your grace and am confident you will never let me down.  You have given me so much; may I return all of it to you.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 6, 2022, Saturday THE TRANSFIGURATION OF THE LORD

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Psalm 97

2 Peter 1:16-19

Luke 9:28-36

“This is my chosen Son, listen to him.”  Luke 9:35

Lord, what an awesome gift to Peter, James and John, –to witness your divine glory on the mountain. I wonder how I would have reacted if I was on the mountain with you and your followers that day. I hope I would have no fear but would fall down in worship and adoration before you. You had just taught them of the coming cross and the cost of discipleship. Maybe you saw fear or worry in their eyes as you described the suffering that awaited you in Jerusalem. So, you gave them and us a vision of your glory.  This incident shows us that you are among us. The Lord of the universe is here among us, is one with us.  We have nothing to fear for you are truly greater than anything that could come upon us. Lord, your Father said to listen to your words. May I be transformed by your word. May I today receive encouragement because you are present to me in all my hopes and sufferings. I am indeed encouraged that little by little my trust and confidence in your divine grace will grow and one day make me glow like the sun too.  Amen.