Praying The Word

October 13, 2019 Sunday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time-C

2 Kings 5:14-17

Psalm 98

2 Timothy 2:8-13

Luke 17:11-19

Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.  2 Kings 5:15

And one of them…returned, glorifying God in a loud voice…Lk. 17:15

Lord, conversion of heart can be a greater miracle than healing of leprosy.  The Samaritan and Naaman, the general of a foreign army, both realized you as the source of their being cleansed of a terminal disease.  It would have been easy for them to go on their ways as the nine did in the gospel.  Both men were given new life that could only have come from you.  Their response was a dramatic grateful worship of you.  Sadly not all those who received life expressed their gratitude.  Lord, I thank you for the gift of life and every one of the blessings you have showered upon me.  I look to you for all the good that I experience each day.  I pray that I never take your goodness for granted or forget that you are my healer and protector.   May I continue to greater conversion and healing of heart.  Remove from me anything unclean that separates me from you.  I have to believe this man became your disciple and spread the good news of his healing.  I pray for the faith of the grateful Samaritan who came back to you.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

October 12, 2019 Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Joel 4:12-21

Psalm 97

Luke 11:27-28

For near is the day of the Lord… Joel 4:14

“…blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”  Lk. 11:28

Lord, all judgement is yours.  You see into our hearts perfectly.  You know when we sit and when we stand.  Nothing is hidden from your gaze.  In other words, you see the good, the bad and the ugly in me every day.  The prophet Joel warned the people about the day of judgement that would occur for them.  You told the people of your day that we would be blessed, and judged, on how we listened to the word of God and observed it.  I really like what another prophet wrote concerning how we keep faithful to God.  Micah said: “You have been told, O man what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.  (Micah 6:8) Your mother Mary listened to God, accepted what he told her and obviously observed or carried out God’s wish for her.   It is so good to follow in her footsteps.  Lord, I am so blessed each and every day to contemplate your word and to live the message you have sent me.   May I continue to be blessed right up to the “day of the Lord.”  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 11, 2019 Friday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Psalm 9

Luke 11:15-26

The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation.  Joel 2:13

“Whoever is not with me is against me…” Lk. 11:23

Lord, the prophet Joel recognized how far the people of his time had strayed from your commandments.  They were neglecting the proper worship of you and sacrifices to you.  A plague of locusts were devastating the crops of the land.  You read their thoughts and knew how far they had drifted away from being your people and honoring you as their God.  So many people today have strayed from your commandments too.  This is our Respect Life month, a time to pray for and to remember that all life is a gift from you.  From conception to natural death you hold our lives in the palm of your hand.  We have no right to interfere with your gift of life.   The Culture of Death is worse than the plague of locusts in Joel’s day.  It plunders and devastates our very nature as your children.  Lord, I lift up to you most dearly the mothers and fathers who are tempted to commit abortion.  Give them your peace in their hearts that you will find a way to care for the child they don’t want.  You will send many people to assist them as they make the choice for life.  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 10, 2019 Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Malachi 3:13-20

Psalm 1

Luke 11:5-13

The Lord watches over the way of the just… Ps. 1:6

“Ask and you will receive… Lk. 11:9

Lord, prayer is a mystical encounter with you.  I hear your promise of watching over all my ways.  I believe in your love for me for I see the image of it in the crucifix.   And I trust you hear all my prayers: the formal and informal.  Today you urge me to persevere in seeking a response from you.   You want me to ask, seek and knock continually in prayer.  I know I can sometimes ask for what is not good for me; seek what I’m not ready for; or to knock on the wrong doors.   There are times I can grow weary of not seeing the answer I’m looking for.  Lord, I want to trust in you and your goodness.  You see into the depths of my heart and out of love will provide what is best for me.  I may miss your response because I am looking for something different.  I may not be ready for what it is you wish to give me.  You may wait until I’ve grown enough in faith to handle the answer.  Lord, I need your grace to hang in there and wait on you.   My prayer: “Thy will be done.”  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 9, 2019 Wednesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jonah 4:1-11

Psalm 86

Luke 11:1-4

Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry with God… Jonah 4:1

“…your kingdom come.”  Lk. 11:2

Lord, Jonah got mad because you didn’t do what he wanted.  He thought you should destroy the people he had just preached repentance to.  He wasn’t interested in your mercy or forgiveness despite how you saved him from the belly of the fish.  I know people sometimes get angry with you.  I’ve seen their anger when a loved one dies unexpectedly.  Anytime our prayers are not answered in the ways we think they should be we can become upset with you.   With your grace hopefully that anger is just temporary and soon passes.  Lord, you taught your disciples and us to ask for your kingdom to come.  That prayer is a surrender to your will and not ours.  You see the big picture and know perfectly what is best and good for our eternal salvation.  Help me to look for answers to my prayers that may not be the answers I seek but yours.   Guide me to let go of my narrow views and to be open to your will in all things.   Show me how to focus on not what I want but on what you want.  Thank you, dear Jesus, for showing me how to pray.  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 8, 2019 Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jonah 3:1–10

Psalm 130

Luke 10:38-40

…when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast… Jonah 3:5

Lord, the people of Nineveh made an astonishing transformation.  Despite being corrupt, evil pagans you loved them enough to use the reluctant prophet Jonah to proclaim your word to them.  You used someone who was the hated enemy of the Ninevetes.   This story from start to finish is almost too much.  It shows that when we listen to your word and cooperate with your will huge changes can take place.  Lord, I’m probably not as wicked as the the people of Nineveh but I too am in need of conversion.  I too need to open my heart to your word and to respond with the grace it brings.  Each day you offer me a better way to walk with you.  You see into my heart and see what needs healing.  You never tire of giving me opportunities to grow in my faith and to respond to the truth of your word.    Help me to see what you want to change in me.  Guide my heart to accept your grace and to allow it to bring me closer to you.  May I be attentive to the Jonahs which you have sent to me.  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 7, 2019 Monday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

Jonah 1:1–2:1-2, 11

Psalm Jonah 2:3, 4, 5, 8

Luke 10:25-37

“And who is my neighbor?”  Lk. 10:29

Lord, the scholar of the law had the right answer: to attain eternal life he was to love God and neighbor.  He was likely a good man who tried to do what he saw as pleasing to you.  You looked into his heart and found he had boundaries on his love of neighbor.  Don’t we all?  Whether I think about it or not, I may have put limits on whom I love.  I may choose who I extend mercy to or who I think deserves a break.  Jonah was given a mission to bring God’s word to a people he feared and hated.  He tried to flee from you.  When I pick and choose who is worthy of my attention and care I am a lot like Jonah.  But you gave him second chances so, Lord, don’t give up on me.  Help me to see that whoever is in need around me is my neighbor.  I believe you bring people into my life to whom I can be a neighbor.  Help me to see them as my neighbor and to experience compassion for them.  I trust that there are no boundaries around your love and mercy.  May there be none around mine.  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 6, 2019 Sunday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4

Psalm 95

2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

Luke 17:5-10

If it delays, wait for it… Hab. 1:3

“Increase our faith.”  Lk. 17:5

Lord, Habakkuk was writing to a people in the path of a conquering foreign army.  Luke was writing to a people who could be martyred for their faith in you.  The pressure to deny you to save their lives must have been tremendous.   In addition, your message of humble acceptance of God’s will and trust in his power challenges our human nature because your ways are not our ways nor your thoughts our thoughts.   Paul gives us encouragement: “bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”  Due to scandals and sin committed by members of your Church many people’s faith has been challenged.  We can be tempted to give up and walk away because of the failure of trusted ministers in our Church.  Lord, you saw all this coming from your cross.  You firmly promised that you would be with us through war, famine, natural disasters, human failures and heresy until the end of time.  Lord, I pray for an increase in my faith in you and in the Church you founded and promised to protect.   I also ask for the patience to wait for your strength to endure any crisis in faith.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

October 5, 2019 Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29

Psalm 69

Luke 10:17-24

For the Lord hears the poor… Ps. 69:33

The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing… Lk. 10:17

Lord, casting out demons, healing the sick and preaching the kingdom of God was new work for your hand-picked disciples.  You sent them on their mission and gave them power in the battle against evil of mind, body and spirit.  Since you were empowering them they enjoyed success the first time out.  They probably made a lot of mistakes and may have come back a little full of themselves, but you understood.   It was a great start.  Lord, you have given your followers today a mission too.   We each have been commissioned by our Baptism to be heralds of the good news of your kingdom.  We are to reach out to the poor, the sick, the lonely and the isolated.  You have given us a much needed example of patience, compassion and faith in God to accomplish our work.  Thank you so much, Lord Jesus, for including me in your plan to bring all mankind to yourself.  I may have a very small part in that task but it is nevertheless important and it is mine.   Help me to be confident in the power of your name and to rejoice in how you will help me be your witness to everyone I meet.  Amen.

Praying The Word

October 4, 2019 Friday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, RELIGIOUS

Baruch 1:15-22

Psalm 79

Luke 10:13-16

…we have been disobedient to the Lord, our God…Ba. 1:19

Deliver us and pardon our sins… Ps. 79:9

Lord, like the Jews in exile, I have been disobedient before God.  Your prophet Baruch records the remorse of the people who were separated from their beloved Jerusalem because of their sins.  They realized the consequences of their unfaithfulness to you.  They called to you for deliverance and pardon.  You brought them home and saw to it their city was rebuilt.  Lord, my mistakes and weaknesses separate me from you.  I have insisted on having things my way.  I have disregarded your word and looked toward the gods of this world for security.  But I have hope because you came to rescue me from my exile.  You gave yourself up on the cross so I could come home to you and rebuild my life around you.  I trust in your love and your promises of grace.  Plant your word in my heart so I can turn to you when I am tempted to turn away.  Lord, may I become more faithful to you each day.  May I grow in obedience and humble acceptance of your discipline.  Help me to follow the example of St. Francis who dedicated himself to living a life of holiness.  St. Francis pray for us.  Amen.