Praying the Word

October 1, 2020 Thursday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-B ST. THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS, VIRGIN AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Job 19:21-27

Psalm 27

Luke 10:1-12

But as for me, I know that my Vindicator lives… Job 19:25

“The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” Lk. 10:9

Lord, our human justice system is flawed and far from perfect. Prejudice, corruption and divisive politics and other human failings can enter in and pervert justice from being done. Job upon understanding the reason for his suffering he held on to his faith in God and believed with all his heart that God’s justice was perfect and would one day vindicate or redeem him. The kingdom you established and taught is the world of perfect justice where all wrongs will be made right and all people judged perfectly. I believe, like Job, that even when I don’t understand the reason for suffering it has meaning when I unite it to yours, dear Lord. Help me to grow in confidence that in your Kingdom all will be made perfect and we will all live in peace. I cannot know fully your mind, dear Jesus, but I can fully trust that you know best and your justice will be applied perfectly and with great mercy.  What I cannot understand now will be revealed one day and I will give you praise. I know that my Vindicator lives and that he will care for me all the days of my life.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 30, 2020 Wednesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-A ST.  JEROME, PRIEST, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Job 9:1-12, 14-16

Psalm 88

Luke 9:57-62

“I will follow you, Lord, but…”  Lk. 9:61

Lord, have I set conditions on my response to your call to follow you? Do I hesitate and put off to tomorrow letting go of what holds me back? Is my weak faith an obstacle to being “all in” as your disciple? You’ve probably heard all the excuses for partial commitments to the journey with you. Attachments to this world, comfort, security and unwillingness to sacrifice can be barriers to living the abundant life you offer. In our gospel you are on the way to Jerusalem and the cross. If the cross is my only destination then why follow you at all?  But it’s not.  Beyond the cross is resurrection and eternal glory. Beyond the cross is my permanent home unlike this temporary one now. Lord, help me to keep looking forward for that is the only way I can follow you.  Bless me with the grace I need to let go of what hinders my “all in” commitment to you. To walk with you is not easy and isn’t for wimps.  One step at a time I choose to stay on the road with you. Make my heart firm and my love for you strong.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 29, 2020 Tuesday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-A SAINTS MICHAEL, GABRIEL, AND RAPHAEL, ARCHANGELS

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14

Psalm 138

John 1:47-51

In the presence of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.  Psalm 138:1

Lord, it is good to be reminded each year on this day of the army of angels who give you constant praise and do your bidding among us. Just because they are not visible to us doesn’t’ mean they are not working as your messengers and servants both in heaven and on the earth. Your word tells us how Michael, Gabriel and Raphael intervened in human affairs to achieve your will. There truly is so much going on around us that we are not aware of with our human senses. So much of your creation that defends us, guides us and serves us. How many times throughout my day do your angels keep me safe from harm? There is never a time when they are not present to me to accomplish your will. I will only know what all your angels have done for me when I come home to you. Until then, I thank you for placing them in my life and for how they show me the way to you. It is truly an honor to praise you at Mass with the angels. I thank the angels for interceding for me before your throne day and night never resting.  Amen

Praying the Word

September 28, 2020 Monday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Job 1:6-22

Psalm 17

Luke 9:46-50

“…whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”  Lk. 9:48

Lord, did it amuse you to see your friends arguing about which of them was the greatest, the most important? Each of them thought that they were your favorite. You loved them all equally didn’t you? You wanted so much for them to surrender and open their hearts to you and forge an intimate relationship with you. Were they surprised when you told them that a personal relationship with you meant a similar bond was found with Almighty God, their Father? Lord you saw into their hearts like you see into mine. Their hearts needed to be opened to your love as mine does. Their hearts needed to be softened and humbled as mine does. You were sent by the Father to bring each of us closer to him. Remove from me all barriers, like rivalry or intolerance. Form in me a close, beautiful relationship with my Father. Help me to depend upon my relationship with you and our Father to get me through any trouble or loss I experience in life. Give me a child-like heart that trusts in you every day. I still need a lot of work, Lord, so please be patient with me as I learn to be child-like again.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 27, 2020 Sunday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Ezekiel 18:25-28

Psalm 25

Philippians 2:1-11

Matthew 21:28-32

Have in you the same attitude that is also in Christ Jesus, Phil. 2:5

Lord, St. Paul challenges us today to put selfishness and self-importance behind us. He calls us to not only look out for our own interests but also the interests of our brothers and sisters- which is easier said than done. My mind is so small, weak and prone to be a little hard to penetrate. You might say I can be hard-headed about many things.  To take on your mind and attitude, Lord, is a tall order. But you have shown me what’s on your mind: obedience to the will of our Father, sacrifice for the good of others and devotion to being faithful, merciful and loving.  I can be that way, like you in spurts but am not consistent. May I regard others as more important than myself. Lord, I’m practicing your ways. With your grace and an open mind I can improve and empty myself a little more each day.  Maybe today I can take one small step and say or do something for a coworker, neighbor or even a stranger that will lift them up. With your grace I can choose humility over pride and service over selfishness. I know you applaud my efforts but desire much more.  Help me today, Lord, to have your mind and heart.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 26, 2020 Saturday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Ecclesiastes 11:9—12:8

Psalm 90

Luke 9:43-45

“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”  Lk 9:44

Lord, your disciples had a hard time with these words. They were amazed and joyous over your great miracles of healing, calming storms, raising the dead and feeding thousands with a few loaves of bread.  They were anticipating a triumphant entry into Jerusalem and important roles in the new kingdom you would bring to Israel. But you reminded them of the difficult truth that to save mankind you had to give your life in a most horrible death on a cross. They didn’t want to hear that. They only wanted to hear the “good” news. Lord, sometimes you have tough and difficult things to say to me.  Sometimes your words in scripture challenge me to change my ways to be more like you. Sometimes your Spirit encourages me to step out in faith to be a friend to a difficult person who is in need. Sometimes you ask me to die with you to attitudes and habits that keep me from loving you or my neighbor. Jesus, I ask for your grace today so I can have an open heart to everything you want me to receive.  I am confident, my Lord, that you are with me always, in good times and in bad.  Amen.

Praying the Word

September 25, 2020 Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

Psalm 140

Luke 9:18-22

There is an appointed time for everything… Eccl. 3:1

“But who do you say that I am?”  Lk. 9:20

Lord, we find it easy to talk about other people’s ways and ideas. This is often the case when we want to highlight how we are different or maybe even better than they. The Apostles easily described what other people were saying about you.  But when you made the question personal only Peter could answer. When the time came to face the truth and proclaim faith only Peter spoke up. Maybe he was the only one of the twelve that was ready to commit his life to you. When I admit who you really are everything changes. I can’t ignore your teaching to love my enemy if that teaching comes from the mouth of the Son of God. I can’t ignore you when you tell me to give up my possessions, forgive my neighbor or to trust you in all ways if it comes from the Messiah and Savior, Redeemer and Lord. Jesus there is a time for everything.  It’s time to take seriously your words of repentance and mercy.  Lord, I join Peter in a bold commitment to you and to whom you want me to be.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 24, 2020 Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Psalm 90

Luke 9:7-9

Nothing is new under the sun.  Eccl. 1:9

Lord, this passage from the Old Testament has a rather hopeless message.  It doesn’t inspire me to greatness nor fill me with excitement about my life.  It kind of asks the question “what’s the point?”  The writer describes human life before you. Your coming among us changed everything. Your presence in our world gave life meaning. You came to give us an abundant life filled with potential and possibilities. Your sacrifice on the cross opened the gates to eternal life and your resurrection showed us what that life can be.  Lord, you make all things new.  You are the reason for hope. My life no longer consists only what I do to advance life on earth. I can surrender to you and your grace. You want to show me new things today. How can I experience the new and abundant life you offer this day?  I thank you for the grace filled opportunities you will give me today.  Help me make the most of the time you are giving me to serve you in the unique way only I can do. You created me for a grand purpose that I can fulfill if I walk with you each and every day.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 23, 2020 Wednesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time-A ST. PIUS OF PIETRELCINA, PRIEST

Proverbs 30:5-9

Psalm 119

Luke 9:1-6

The law of your mouth is to me more precious than thousands of gold and silver pieces.  Ps. 119:72

“Take nothing for the journey…”  Luke 9:3

Lord, in your time the word of God competed for the attention of the people. They heard the word but the devil, temptation, the cares, riches and pleasure of life were obstacles to the germinating and growth of the word in their lives. Today there are many more obstacles to your teaching.  We can see everywhere the distractions that lure us away from holding fast to your word. The pressures of modern life, lack of time, doubt, materialism and inadequate faith formation all contribute to our missing out on the richness and power of God’s word. Lord, which obstacle is present to me? Why do I not place a higher priority on letting your word penetrate my heart? Dear Jesus, grant me the grace of an open and receptive heart.  Help me to make the choices to listen and heed your truth. Allow scripture to change me, purify me and bless me. Help me to never let anything come between you and me. May I persevere in daily reflection on your word with an honest and good heart.  Padre Pio gave us good advice:  “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”  St. Padre Pio pray for us.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

September 22, 2020 Tuesday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time-AProverbs 21:1-6, 10-13 4:1-7, 11-13Psalm 119Luke 8:19-21

Give me discernment that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart.  Ps 119:34

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.” Luke 8:21

Lord, your word today leads us to reflect on family and what really binds us to you. Rather than see this incident as a putdown of your blood family we can see it as a blessing. Lord, you tell us how we can be full members of your family. They key is to first open our hearts to you and your word. The second is to let it change us, strengthen us and guide us. If we put these two steps as our top priorities then we will connect with you as family.  What an honor and privilege it is to be family to you. I pray for insight to listen to your teachings and to keep them with all my heart. Give me a firm and holy heart, dear Jesus, to live in unity with your will and the hopes and dreams of my brothers and sisters. Lead me in the path of your commands for that is my delight. May I always look to your word to guide me in the temptations and challenges of life. Your grace, I am confident, is sufficient for whatever you desire for me.  Amen.