January 22, 2020 Wednesday, Second Week in Ordinary Time-A
Day of Prayer for the Legal
Protection of Unborn Children
1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51
around at them with anger, and grieved at their hardness of heart… Mk 3:5
Lord, today we read that you were,
at the same time, angry and heart-broken over the people in the
synagogue. Some of them dared you to heal the man’s disability on
the Sabbath. And when you did heal him, they had the evidence they needed
to plot your death. Seeing their stubbornness and hardness of heart hurt,
didn’t it? They had made up their minds you were not from God and were a threat
and had to be removed. They had not come to faith in you or your Father’s
plan for their salvation. To be rejected by those you love must have been
discouraging. Lord, I trust in you as my refuge and my deliverer. I
pray for those today who fail to realize how much you care for and love
them. Do not be angry with those who are slow to come to faith. Heal the
withered hands of their hearts so they can be open to your grace and come to
know, love and serve you. Amen.
January 21, 2020 Tuesday, Second Week in Ordinary Time-A St. Agnes
1 Samuel 16:1-13
as man sees does God see…the Lord looks into the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7
Lord, I have to admit I so often make judgments about a person that I meet rather quickly. First impressions can have lasting consequences in my relationship with them. But you encourage me to look beyond first impressions and a person’s outward appearance. I am pretty good at putting on a good face to others and avoid showing anyone what I am like on the inside. But I can’t hide my inner self from you. You know me better than I know myself. You saw the potential in the unlikely youngest of the brothers, David. You saw the potential in Peter, Paul, Levi, and many, many others. Lord, help me see with the eyes of faith. Guide me not to rush to judgment on anyone because of appearance. There is always more to each of your children than meets the eye. Send me the grace today to look for the good in others and to discover the potential in their hearts. Amen.
January 20, 2020 Monday, Second Week in Ordinary Time-A St. Fabian; St. Sebastian
1 Samuel 15:16-23
new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” Mk 2:22
Lord, you came among us to shake
things up. One of the lessons you have for us today from Mark’s gospel is
that blind obedience to rules and regulations, habitual ritual observance, and
spiritual laziness are like old wineskins; brittle and prone to fail.
There is so much going on in our lives that it is so easy to fall into routine
patterns of dividing up our day into: this time for God, this time for work,
this time for ourselves. Lord, I ask myself do I obey the rules out of
fear of punishment or out of a longing to please you and to offer myself to
you? Do I pray out of habit or out of a sincere desire to connect with
your heart? Do I look for ways to do your will in all areas of my life or
do I look for ways to get by with the least amount of effort? Pour
yourself into the new wineskin of my heart so that I may know you like a
cherished friend, Transform my day today into a day of praise and
thanksgiving in everything I think, say and do. Amen.
January 19, 2020 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time-A
Isaiah 49:3, 5-6
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who
takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29
Lord, John the Baptist was a big deal to many people of Israel back in his
day. His endorsement of you meant a lot. When he saw you coming
toward him he called you, not by your name, but the Lamb of God. That
reminded the people of the blood of the lamb that freed them from slavery in
the days of Moses. John also testified that his knowledge of you came as
a divine inspiration. Lord, today I reflect on how I know you.
Parents, teachers, and friends have told me about you. I’ve read the
bible and heard the sermons about who you are. A lot of that is
head-knowledge. How do I know you in my heart? How do I know you as
an intimate friend? How can I recognize your presence and action in my
life? Lord, open my eyes to your closeness and your passionate love and
desire for me. Help me to see you in the Mass, your word, and in the way
life is lived by your faithful children. Amen.
January 18, 2020 Saturday, First Week in Ordinary Time-A
1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1
he got up and followed Jesus. Mk 2:14
Lord, we have a saying: “a
journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” What did you see
in the tax collector Levi? Everyone else saw a traitor, a Roman
collaborator and a despicable sinner. You, of course saw that too but you
saw something else. You saw Levi’s potential. You saw a heart ready
for a new start. You saw talents and abilities that made Levi successful
as a tax collector that you could use in your kingdom. On Levi’s
part I give him credit for taking the risk of leaving behind his prosperous
life and taking the first step toward eternal life. The first step or
leap of faith can be the most difficult of all the steps. Thank you, Lord,
for not holding my sins against me but seeing the good in me, the potential in
me. You know better than I what I can become and what I am capable
of. When Levi left his customs post to walk with you he didn’t have a clue
what lie ahead for him. Jesus, I trust in you to offer me the opportunity
and the grace to follow you wherever you lead. Amen.
January 17, 2020 Friday , First Week of Ordinary Time-A
1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22
to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above
him. Mk 2:4
Lord, we admire the intentions of the cripple’s four friends. They brought him to you for healing but ran into a problem. The obstacle was the size of the crowd but they didn’t give up. Opening up the roof and lowering their friend through it was a radical deed of love. You recognized their faith and their daring perseverance immediately. How often do I let small obstacles or inconveniences stop me from doing your work? I know sometimes I have given up too soon because I was afraid or embarrassed to do something out of the ordinary. Lord, you tested the faith of the man’s friends and they passed with flying colors. I’ll bet you forgave their sins too. May this story encourage me to persevere in doing good for those who may rely on me especially when it’s difficult. Help me to see your will and to trust that you will provide a path around any barriers. Increase my faith to stay the course and dare to be bold. May I work for what I pray for. Amen.
January 16, 2020 Thursday, First Week of Ordinary Time-A
1 Samuel 4:1-11
with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper… Mk 1:41
Lord, I know in your time lepers
were isolated from all contact with the community. Because of their
disease they couldn’t be near their family or neighbors. To everyone at
the time, physically touching them was out of the question, something no one
would dream of. But you felt so sorry for this man, who not only suffered
from his disease but had to endure it alone, that you touched him. You
could have healed him with a word. Your disciples must have been
stunned. When you look at me are you moved with pity for my leprosy?
As a sinner I too am in need of cleansing. You can heal me of my pride,
self-centeredness, apathy, anger and resentment. You can heal my
relationship with a family member with whom I am isolated. Dear Jesus, please
touch me with your healing hand and soothe my fears and heal my guilty
conscience. Hold me close to you today for I have no one else who loves
me as you do. Amen.
January 15, 2020 Wednesday, First Week in Ordinary Time-A
1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20
for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
Lord, it seems a lot of the time in
my prayers I get this quote backwards. I seem to want to say: “Listen,
Lord, your servant is speaking.” I hope it doesn’t seem to be that way to
you. But if it does I know you understand and are patient with me while I
pour out my heart to you. It is so important to me to know you are
listening and are interested in my every word, thought and feeling. When
you speak to me I need to listen as Samuel did. You speak to me in so many
ways. The obvious is in your word in Holy Scripture. Not so obvious is
when you speak in the ordinary events of my life. You paint the sky each
morning and evening with a beauty that says: “I am with you today/tonight and
there is nothing for you to fear.” You get my attention with music, art
and literature. A priest may speak your words in a homily. A friend may
witness to your truth in a kind deed. I may even hear your voice in
disappointment, suffering or even disaster. Speak, Jesus, for your servant
is listening. Amen.
14, 2020 Tuesday, First Week in
1 Samuel 1:9-20
1 Samuel 2:1-8
her bitterness she prayed to the Lord, weeping copiously… 1 Sam 1:10
Lord, waiting is a hard thing for
many of us. It is most difficult to suffer over the long term with no
relief in sight. Hanna anguished over her childlessness. She waited years
for her prayer to be answered. The Jews waited many centuries for a
Messiah. Why must we wait so long for relief from whatever oppresses
us? Is waiting a part of your plan for us? In your wisdom do you
see what is best for us now and in the future? Lord, my faith tells me
you do indeed know when I am ready for your blessings. You allow me to
persevere and to trust in your goodness and constant love for me. Please
be patient with me as I pour out my soul to you in tears and misery.
Allow me to be honest with you about my fears, frustrations and anxiety.
Jesus, I need your strength today while I wait on your blessings to come.
Give me the grace to wait. When the time is right I am confident you will
fulfill all my hopes and dreams. Amen.
January 13, 2020 Monday, First Week in Ordinary Time-A (St. Hilary)
they left their nets and followed him. Mk. 1:18
your prophet John the Baptist was arrested by Herod for proclaiming the truth
of God. You saw the real dangers facing
those who challenge the status quo.
Nevertheless, John’s absence was the starting point of your public
ministry so you began to lead the people back to the Father. One your
priorities were to gather a group of disciples around you that you could form
into your early church. You didn’t
choose the wisest, the richest or the most powerful. You chose ordinary,
uneducated fishermen. You saw great potential in these rough and hard working
men. Did you see their dedication to their craft despite setbacks and empty
nets? Did you see a loyalty and a
perseverance that would keep them faithful to their eventual mission? Lord, I too have been chosen to be a disciple
of yours. What do you see in me that can
be valuable to witness to your kingdom?
How can my gifts be of use to you today?
I offer to you my strengths for your cause. I also offer my weaknesses for you to
develop. May I leave my nets behind and
follow you today. Amen.