Praying the Word

January 24, 2021 Sunday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time-B

Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Psalm 25

1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Mark 1:14-20

…the people of Nineveh believed God… Jonah 3:5

And at once they abandoned their nets and followed him.  Mk.1:18

Lord, was it really like that?  It’s truly amazing that all the people of Nineveh, from king to slave, changed from doing evil to doing good overnight? Equally amazing is that Peter, Andrew, James and John dropped their nets and immediately followed you? Normally, we don’t change our lives so radically so quickly. I know the power of your grace can change hearts but we must be open to change. We must be willing to allow your Holy Spirit to transform our ways to your ways. For me, Lord, I often need some time to hear and understand your call. It takes me a while to adjust and respond to the abundant life you offer.  Some may call it procrastination, and it may be. I am grateful you are patient with me and never, ever give up on me. Continue to pour your grace into my heart. Keep on sending good people into my life to encourage me. Bless me with your word to guide me to see the path before me. Give me a vibrant and lively faith and trust in your divine and perfect dream for me. Thank you for hearing my prayer.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

January 23, 2021 Saturday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14

Psalm 47

Mark 3:10-21

“He is out of his mind.”  Mk. 3:21

Lord, it must have hurt you to be rejected by the people. The very people who loved you the most, your family, misunderstood you so much they believed you out of your mind. Being rejected, especially by those nearest to us, can be painful. Your actions and teachings were controversial to the people in that time. You wanted to shake up the way they related to your Father. They heard you teach them to love their enemies, they saw you eat with and befriend sinners and tax collectors, and they were amazed at how you challenged the respected religious authorities. They may have thought your ways were dangerous. Lord, all this tells me we don’t see the big picture the same way you do.  The salvation plan of our heavenly Father was being carried out everything you said and did. His plan is not always what it appears to be. Lord, help me see with the eyes of faith. Bring your grace into my heart so I can be open to whatever way you want to fulfill your promises. I want to conform my heart and mind to you.   Amen

Praying the Word

January 22, 2021 Friday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

For the protection of Unborn Children.  Mass for Peace and Justice

Isaiah 9:1-6

Ps 72

Philippians 4:6-9

Matthew 5:1-12

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Is. 9:1

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”  Mt. 5:5

Lord, thank you for giving us this day, this opportunity to pray for and remember the unborn children-those wanted and unwanted. All children are precious to you. You created them and desire them to share your life in this world and in the next. You said “blessed are the meek.” Who is more meek than a child in the womb? It’s a terrible tragedy that so many people today are “walking in darkness” who have not seen the light. The light of justice for all the children in our world. You called the children to come to you and you embraced them all. We have been working for many decades to protect the innocent. But your light has not shined in the hearts of all people.  I pray for those in our government, medical professionals and legislatures of the states to make progress in protection of the innocent. I pray for every mother and father faced with a life and death decision that they will choose life. I pray for those children born into violent and abusive homes that they may be safe. Lord, please bless all who work in pro-life activities with the grace to continue the fight against evil in our world.  Amen

Praying the Word

January 21, 2021 Thursday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B ST. AGNES, VIRGIN, MARTYR

Hebrews 7:25—8:6

Psalm 40

Mark 3:7-12

He is able to save those who approach God through him… Heb. 7:25

He had cured many and…those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him.  Mk. 3:10

Lord, your fame was known far and wide. People from everywhere were seeking your compassion and healing. Even gentiles and pagans were coming to you. The demons recognized you as having come from God. You did all you could to heal as many people as possible. But back then you could only be in one place at a time. There are many who could not get to you. People of other nations and times could not touch you. That was true until you gave up your life for all on the cross. When you rose from the dead every one of God’s creatures could be saved by you. Anyone who repents and believes in you by living a life of faith can be cured, healed and saved. Lord, you offered yourself as a sacrifice for me and my family.  I love you, praise you and bless you for being the perfect, sinless high priest to represent us before the Father. Lord, I believe you are the way, the truth and the life and that we can come to the Father through you.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

January 20, 2021 Wednesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17

Psalm 110

Mark 3:1-6

Looking around at them in anger and grieved at their hardness of heart… Mk.3:5

Lord, was this man placed in the synagogue that day just to trip you up?  Was his handicap used by your enemies to get you to break the Sabbath law as they saw it?  You got angry at their taking advantage of the suffering of the man with the useless hand. You could have healed this man’s hand privately, or you could have restored it the next day and not taken on the ire of the Pharisees. But you brought him up in front of everyone to help them see who you were. You are the healer, the savior, the restorer. You placed service to others on a par with religious worship, not opposed to it. You teach us that compassion is always appropriate, even in church. Lord, the good you did this day started you down the road to Calvary as they plotted to kill you. You knew that would happen, didn’t you?  May I too have the right perspective and priorities in my walk with you. May I honor the Sabbath as your day and always seek to imitate your compassion and mercy 24/7.  Amen.

Praying the Word

January 19, 2021 Tuesday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

Hebrews 6:10-20

Psalm 111

Mark 2:23-28

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”  Mk. 2:28

Lord, obedience to your law is a foundation of our relationship with you. We have the divine law to ensure we hold up our end of the covenant you established for us. Staying faithful to the law also is what is for our personal and collective good. Today is a good day to reflect on my duty to you and God’s law.  Your answer to the Pharisees helps me to understand that blind and rigid observance of rules is not always right. We listen to and follow your commands so that we come closer to you. We obey because we are doing the will of our Father. The law of love of God and neighbor supersedes all other laws.  Laws and observances should help humankind and not hinder us. Blind obedience to all laws is not your practice. You set the standard for obeying law in our gospel today. The Sabbath was given to us to bring us closer to the Father not to restrict us from the necessities of life. You want Sunday  to be special and a time to offer you praise and worship by participating in the Mass. It is there we offer all we are to you.  Amen.

Praying the Word

January 18, 2021 Monday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

Hebrews 5:1-10

Psalm 110

Mark 2:18-22

“Rather, 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. 

Praying the Word

January 14, 2021 Sunday of the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time-B

1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19

Psalm 40

1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20

John 1:35-42

The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time.  1 Sam 3:8

“Come, and you will see.”  John 1:39

Lord, it took some time and several calls for Samuel to realize God was calling him. Like a patient, loving parent, the Father repeated his message to Samuel until he “got it.” You invited your first followers to come along with you and assured them they would learn as they go. Listening to you isn’t always easy or quick. There is so much noise in our world, so many messages that compete with your voice. And then there is the issue of my selective hearing. How often do I only listen to the voices that I want to hear?  I have to admit, Lord, if you challenge me, or call me to change or to do something hard, your words can fall on deaf ears. Thank you for being patient with me. I may only have to take the first step, like the two disciples, to see and understand what your call is for me. Lord, please help me to have an open heart like Samuel and Andrew so that I can recognize your voice. I believe you speak to me in a variety of ways every day. I want to be sensitive to your gentle whispers, to hear and understand and then follow where you lead.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

January 15, 2021 Friday of the 1st Week in Ordinary time-B

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11

Psalm 78

Mark 2:1-12

Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him.  Mk 2:4

Lord, we admire the intention 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, this situation 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.   

Praying the Word

January 14, 2021 Thursday of the 1st Week in Ordinary time-B

Hebrews 3:7-14

Psalm 95

Mark 1:40-45

Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him… Mk. 1:41

Lord, lepers were untouchable. They were excluded from normal life and lived outside of town—in deserted place. Moved with pity for this man’s suffering you cleansed him of his disease. His disease and his faith earned your attention. But why did you touch him? No one touched lepers!  You could have healed him with a word. This man likely hadn’t felt a human touch for years. He needed healing but he also needed the touch of love. Your touch may have revived his spirit. It may have restored his dignity. It gave him a worthiness he had lost. As a result of the commotion this miracle caused you had to stay in deserted places. You and the leper had traded places just like you took my place on the cross to save me from my sins. Lord, touch me when I need healing. Have pity on me a sinner. Make me clean. I am not able to heal myself so I depend on your touch.  Amen.