November 29, 2023, Wednesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A
Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28
Psalm Daniel 3:62-67
“…praise and exalt him above all forever.” Dan. 3:62
“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Lk 21:19
Lord, I admire my neighbor’s vegetable garden. He has done everything needed to tend to this garden, so it produces the fruits and vegetables he enjoys. It takes constant attention in good weather and bad. Storms, insects, weeds, and neglect can destroy a garden in a short time. You encourage us to persevere in tending to the garden of our spiritual lives. You advise us to be aware of the threats that come to us from the world, the flesh, and the devil. If we neglect the care of our souls, we will not produce the fruit for which we were created. My neighbor can do everything but supply light from the sun. You supply the light of grace to strengthen me, to guide me, to inspire me and to protect me from harm. So, Lord, I pray to be open to that grace so I may grow strong and sturdy in good times and bad. Whatever trial or trouble enters my life I can still “praise and exalt” you forever. At every moment of my life, in every circumstance, and at every time I give you praise. Amen.
November 28, 2023, Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A
Psalm Daniel 3:57-61
“The God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…” Dan 2:44
Lord, today we hear of the rise and fall of the kingdoms of the earth. Throughout history governments and empires have come and gone. Earthly institutions, no matter how strong, become the subject of history books. Both Daniel and you make the point that only one kingdom is eternal. Only one God is over all. The Psalm calls all creation to praise and exalt you above all forever. As people of faith, you reassure us that there is an ultimate, unchanging reality. That reality is that you have infinite mercy and love for each of us which knows no limits and has no conditions. Let me not worry about the timing of your coming but to be attentive and ready for it. In the ups and downs of life this day always help me to keep my sights set upon you who are in charge—not only of the universe—but of every breath I take. This is where I find your grace, strength and the hope to remain constant in faith and to keep my feet firmly on the path of life and to you. Amen
November 27, 2023, Monday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A
Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20
Psalm Daniel 3:52-56
“…she in her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Lk 21:4
Lord, in your word today you describe those who offer to you from their surplus in contrast to the widow who gives all she has. I must admit I am too much like the first group. When it comes to offering my time, talent, and treasure for your use I can hold back what I want for my own security. But there are also times when I do give all to you. I offer you this day I am beginning. All that I think, say, and do, dear Lord, are yours to bear fruit in my life and in the lives of my family and others. I offer you all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings this day. I offer you myself. Even if I am not aware at the time, I make all I am and do a sign of trust and love of you. This woman depended upon you to make good on your promises as I do today. Purify my heart to have the right intentions and keep me faithful to your will in all ways. You held nothing back from me on the cross, so I give myself to you this day. Amen.
November 26, 2023, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE-A
Ezekiel 34:11-12, 15-17
1 Corinthians 15:20-26, 28
“…whatever you did for the least brothers of mine you did for me.” Mt. 25:40
Lord, who are your least brothers and sisters? Who am I to look out for, feed, clothe, visit, and welcome? On this day we remember you are King of all creation. You are a king not interested in power and control but in service. You are a good shepherd committed to preserving your flock in safety. But you also were in prison, beaten, mocked, unjustly judged, and misunderstood. You were hungry and thirsty in the desert. You were not welcomed and ultimately killed. So, when you ask me to be just and generous to the least of your brothers and sisters, you are asking me to see you in them. You are the homeless man sleeping under the bridge. You are the single mom overwhelmed with childcare and financial worries. You are the persecuted Christian fleeing terror. You are the drug addict, the lonely widow, the bullied teenager, and the unemployed worker. You are everywhere and everyone. I pray today for the grace to see you in the suffering, hungry and lonely people around me. Show me who I can be a shepherd to this day. Amen.
November 25, 2023, Saturday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A
1 Maccabees 6:1-13
And they no longer dared to ask him anything. Lk. 20:40
Lord, does it annoy you when I have questions? Does my imperfect faith show when I try to determine how you are working in my life and in the world? Today the question is about the resurrection of the dead. Tomorrow it’s going to be something else. Lord, your presence within me and your actions today can be mysterious at times. I can be blind to how you are shaping me to be a more faithful disciple. I can let my doubts and fears become obstacles to my growth in faith and trust in your ways. Lord, help me to see that you always do what is right for me even if it appears to me that you are not. Not a moment goes by that you are not blessing me with grace to be transformed; to be brought closer to you. Dear Jesus, today I may still have questions in my heart, but I am confident that if that heart is open to you, you will make everything work out according to your holy will. Secure in your loving embrace, I have no need to ask you any questions. Amen.
November 24, 2023, Friday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A ST. ANDREW DUNG-LAC, PRIEST, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS
1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59
Psalm 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
“…let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.” 1 Mac 4:36
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things… Lk. 19:45
Lord, we all must do some housecleaning at times. If we don’t our homes can become cluttered, and things get lost in the disorder. The temple was cleaned up and restored by the Maccabees after its desecration by their enemies the Greeks. Years later, you cleaned out the money changers from the temple and restored it to be a house of prayer. Both recognized that the temple was a place where God is worshiped and praised with thanksgiving. Lord, if I don’t allow you to do some housecleaning in my heart it too can become cluttered and not a place to give you honor. Come into my life like you entered the temple. With your presence it can become a place pleasing to you and a place where you are welcome. Purify the clutter of evil or apathy you find there and clean out anything that is not you. Throw away my old selfish ways and cleanse me of pride. I too want to be a house of prayer for you. St. Andrew and Companions, pray for us. Amen.
November 23, 2023, Thursday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A THANKSGIVING DAY
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
I am continually thanking God about you … 1 Cor 1:4
…he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 17:17
Lord, I pray I would have been the one healed leper that returned to you in praise and thanksgiving. I can’t say for sure that I would have one way or the other. In their joy at being cured and their hurry to see their families and rejoin the community again, the nine just didn’t come back to you. I hope they later came to realize the source of the good they received and offered you thanksgiving. Today, in the USA, we remember you as the source of all the good we have in our lives, families, and country. We will be busy cooking, traveling, laughing with friends and family, and watching football. Dear Jesus, there are so many times I have forgotten to thank you or have taken your gifts for granted. I may even have taken credit for what you have done for me. I thank you today and every day, dear Jesus, with my words of praise and gratitude. But more than that I thank you with my actions. May I, from my heart, share your gifts with every man, woman, and child you have placed in my life. Amen
November 22, 2023, Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A ST. CECILIA, VIRGIN, MARTYR
2 Maccabees 7:1, 20-31
…I shall be content in your presence. Psalm 17:15
Lord, we all seek peace of mind and heart. So much personal energy is spent striving for more: more money, possessions, position, power and respect. We look for security in many places like our bank accounts, our jobs, and our place in the world. But at some point, we realize that all this is only temporary, it will all pass away or be taken from us. Even people we are close can let us down. Lord, fill me with what is reliable and permanent. Give me the peace of mind and heart that contentment in your presence gives. I can have anxiety and worry about many things and burdens which take away my peace. I offer them to you. You are my strength, and I can trust in your eternal love. I lay all my worries and fears at your feet, dear Lord, for I know you can handle them better than I. You have always been at my side, and I am certain you always will be. Dear Jesus, thank you for hearing my prayer today. St. Cecilia pray for us. Amen.
November 21, 2023, Tuesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A THE PRESENTATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Zacchaeus…was seeking to see who Jesus was; Lk 19:3
Lord, we don’t know what motivated this wealthy, chief tax collector to want to see you. Maybe he just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Something moved him to run and climb a tree for a better look. What began with curiosity soon became conversion. You invited yourself to his house. At that moment this man’s heart began to change. Your presence in his home developed into your presence in his life. Your words and presence helped him to walk away from his riches and hated occupation. I have to believe that he was restored to the community of his fellow Jews as he made solid and firm changes in his life as he repaid those he had cheated. Lord, come into my home too. Spend time with my family, tell us your stories, play with my children and grandchildren. I offer you whatever needs to be changed in my life. Heal any selfishness, pride, or patterns of living that offend you. Purify my thoughts, my words, and my actions. Help me to live for you first and to trust that everything else will be given me besides. Amen
November 20, 2023, Monday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-A
1 Maccabees1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God. Lk. 18:43
Lord, this incident is full of good news. You recognized the faith in the blind man. This faith didn’t just happen overnight. It had been growing in him during the time of his blindness. He was a beggar who depended upon others for survival. He believed with confidence that you could help him. So impressed were you by this man’s faith you didn’t just heal his eyes but you healed his soul as well. “Have sight, your faith has saved you.” Even the crowd was moved from rebuke to praise by this miracle. Lord, your Spirit performs a greater miracle at each Mass as ordinary bread and wine become your body and blood. May we too be healed of our blindness and appreciate this awesome gift and give praise to God. Give us the eyes of faith to see your presence in our neighbors and the world. Like the blind man, may we follow you and give glory to the Father every day for the gift of faith. Amen