Praying The Word

December 7, 2019 Saturday of the 1st Week in Advent-A ST. AMBROSE, BISHOP, DOCTOR

Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26

Psalm 147

Matthew 9:35—10:1, 5, 6-8

“This is the way; walk in it,” Is. 30:21

“The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mt. 10:7

Lord, today you show us what life is like in your Kingdom.  Your heart was broken and moved with pity so you sent your disciples out among the people who were “like sheep without a shepherd.”  They needed to be shown compassion, forgiveness and their physical and material needs addressed.  The people were enduring the oppression of Roman occupation and the heavy burdens placed upon them by their religious leaders.   In your kingdom, Lord, people watch out for each other.  Those who are lost or separated from society are invited back.  The stranger at the church door is welcomed.  Residents of nursing homes are visited.  The poor offered food and clothing.  The demons of bigotry and self-centeredness are cast out.   The leaders of the community humbly minister to all and as our Pope says, “smell like the sheep.”  Lord, I ask for the grace to live in your kingdom in whatever ways you have called me to.   I have received the gift of faith to share and not to hold within.   Show me how to live my faith in the particular corner of your kingdom that you have placed me.  Amen.

Praying The Word

December 6, 2019 Friday of the 1st Week in Advent-A

Isaiah 29:17-24

Psalm 27

Matthew 9:27-31

Wait for the Lord with courage… Ps. 27:14

“Let it be done for you according to your faith.”  Mt. 9:29

Lord, we don’t know how long these two men had been blind.  Maybe it had been since birth.  Somewhere along the line the gift of faith grew in their hearts.  They waited for the Messiah who would deliver them and their people from oppression.  Waiting is hard work.  Physical suffering can drag on for years with no sign of relief.  That’s when we need to make up our minds not to yield to the temptation to give up.  These men may have had physical blindness but they could see in you their salvation.  It was their perseverance in faith that cured their blindness.  Their lives where tremendously changed when you gave them sight.  Lord, as I wait for you this Advent season, strengthen my faith.  Increase my trust in your power and love.  Extend your mercy to me for all my sins.  Most of all give me the spiritual vision to see your will for me in this life.   Guide me to see the poor, the hungry, the homeless and the dying around me.  May I be a healing and encouraging witness to them of your love.   May I spread word of you through all the land.  Amen.

Praying The Word

December 5, 2019 Thursday of the 1st Week in Advent-A

Isaiah 26:1-6

Psalm 118

Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock.  Ps. 118

“…a wise man who built his house on rock.”  Mt. 7:24

Lord, today is a good day for me to reflect on my life’s foundation.  How much do I put my faith in men, wealth, busyness, and pleasure or material goods?  Do I look to my own abilities and talents to manage the storms of life?  Of course, I pray to you and hope you will answer.  But do I really “trust in the Lord forever?”  A friend of mine has suffered many years with a terrible disease and sees no light at the end of the tunnel.  He is sorely tempted to give up.   He worries that he has lost the fight and that you have not responded to his pleas for relief.  Lord, I pray for this man to trust in you as his eternal rock.  I pray he can believe you hear all his prayers and have answered them in ways he may not recognize.  I pray for your grace to strengthen him and to help him see the value in his suffering.  I pray that he can surrender to you as his rock foundation and never let go of hope in your constant love and care for him.  Amen.

Praying The Word

December 4, 2019 Wednesday of the 1st Week in Advent-A

Isaiah 25:6-10

Psalm 23

Matthew 15:29-37

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples… Is. 25:6

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want… Ps. 23:1

They all ate and were satisfied.  Mt. 15:37

Lord, you have been so good to me all the days of my life.  Often I think I have so little to offer you.   Your prophet Isaiah made the point that you provide all that we need.  Like a good shepherd you guide, protect and feed your flock.  So why do I put boundaries around my time, talent and treasure?  Why do I hesitate to offer you all I have?  Rather than give myself completely to you trusting that you will take and multiply my offerings I want to keep much to myself.  This miracle on the shore of the Sea of Galilee shows me that you can do so much with so little.  Help me not to sell myself short.  You are pleased when I serve the needs of the lonely, heartbroken, worried and fearful.  You bless me when I give time to comfort the mourning and listen to the anguished.  Sometimes the needs of the world overwhelm me and I do nothing.  Please take my seven loaves and a few fish and multiply them to feed those who you place in my path today.  I trust you will always provide.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

December 3, 2019 Tuesday of the 1st Week in Advent-A

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72

Luke 10:21-24

…his dwelling shall be glorious.  Is. 11:10

“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.”  Lk. 10:23

Lord, we live in such an imperfect world.  I am part of that imperfection.  You became one with your creation to restore it to glory.  It didn’t matter to you that we were so flawed and lost.  You gave up everything perfect to live in our messiness so you could reconcile humanity with our Creator.  I’m so very grateful that you don’t reject me because I continually fall and require your forgiveness.  You wish to live in me because of your great love for me.  You have a dream that I will open my heart to your presence.   My eyes can be so blinded by my weaknesses and faults that I miss your day by day gentle invitation to holiness and union with my Father.  You never stop molding and forming me to be glorious.  Lord, this Advent show me your glorious presence in my life in good times and bad.  Help me to see with the eyes of faith how you continue to transform my unworthiness.   Hear my prayer that this Advent will be better than all previous Advents.  Show me the path to the manger so I can worship you with the Holy Family.  Amen.

Praying The Word

December 2, 2019 Monday of the 1st Week of Advent-A

Isaiah 4:2-6

Psalm 122

Matthew 8:5-11

“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”  Mt. 8:10

Lord, faith comes in all shapes and sizes.  You found it in the most unlikely people.  A Roman army officer was moved with pity for one of his servants that was paralyzed so he sought your help.  Despite his position of authority in the world he knew he was not worthy of your presence in his home.  A man accustomed to giving orders and having them followed was humble enough to know a real king when he saw one.  When you commended him for his faith it reminds us that faith always gets God’s attention.  We repeat this man’s humble admission at each Mass right before we receive your Body and Blood in the Eucharist.  Lord, I too am unworthy of you coming under my roof in this great sacrament of love.   But you don’t let my unworthiness keep you away for you desire to be near me wherever I am.  Please feed me and heal me so I can grow in my faith.   I pray that I will always value above all things the privilege of receiving you in Holy Communion.  Transform me, Lord, so I can go forth and live a life of faith.  Amen

Praying The Word

November 27, 2019 Wednesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Daniel 5:1-6, 13-14, 16-17, 23-28

Psalm Daniel 3

Luke 21:12-19

You have rebelled against the Lord of heaven. Dan. 5:23

You will be hated by all because of my name.  Lk. 21:17

Lord, Daniel was exiled into a foreign culture that opposed worship of you.  He was surrounded by people who did not live in obedience to your law.  Despite the pressure to conform to pagan ways he maintained his faith in you.  At the risk of his life he would not compromise himself.  Lord, we are surrounded by a culture that increasingly defies the gospel values of obedience to, reverence of and faithfulness to your word.   Your Church is a light in a dark world because it proclaims the truth that you are the One God who has sent the Holy Spirit to lead us.  Our society is not respecting innocent human life, marriage between a man and a woman and denies religious freedom to those who try to live gospel values.  Everywhere we go it is getting harder to live as your disciple.  You and your followers are ridiculed in entertainment, family values are a joke and even outright hostility to faith is encouraged.  Lord, give me and all your children the courage to risk whatever it takes to stay faithful to your word.  Let me not be silent or accepting of any challenge to what is right and true.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 26, 2019 Tuesday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Daniel 2:31-45

Psalm Daniel 3:57-61

Luke 21:5-11

“…the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed…and it will last forever.  Dan. 3:44

“the days are coming when there will not be left a stone upon another stone… Lk. 24:6

Lord, it’s always kind of sad to see an estate auction or yard sale disposing of every earthly possession of someone who has died.  It can be hard to see the passing on of all that person worked a lifetime to build.   But we know deep inside that all the material wealth we worked for will be sold, given away or destroyed.   You told those admiring the wealth and beauty of the temple of its destruction but that you would be the new temple.  Daniel warned his King of the end of his kingdom and its replacement with another.  But even that kingdom will be replaced by one that will last forever.   Lord, give me the wisdom to see what is really important now while I have a chance to make a difference.  Show me the priority of repentance, of faith, of good works and of bearing fruit for your kingdom.  These will last forever and will prepare me for eternal life.   I do not fear because I trust in you and your commands so I will be ready to let go of earthly attachments and embrace the heavenly kingdom that will last forever.  Amen

Praying The Word

November 25, 2019 Monday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Daniel 1:1-6, 8-20

Psalm Daniel 3:52-56

Luke 21:1-4

…praiseworthy and glorious forever. Dan. 3:56

“…she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” Lk. 21:4”

Lord, you value all sacrifices to your holy name.  Everyone who offers support to your poor, widowed, unemployed or lonely is precious to you.  The widow got your attention in the temple that day because you saw her offer “her whole livelihood.”  Her gift was small compared to the rich but large in your view.  You saw trust in God in her offering.  You saw love in her heart for all God had done for her.  Lord, you lead me to examine the motivations behind my sacrifices.  Daniel gave praise to you despite his captivity. The widow knew that God would take care of her needs if she just trusted.  Lord, you are so pleased when we give ourselves to you without reservation or condition.  After Joseph’s death your mother was a widow so you were familiar with their plight.  Stay close to the widows in our parish who may feel alone or forgotten.  Help them to know they are never without your care and concern.  I want to surrender myself to you like the widow.  As Thanksgiving Day approaches let your people remember their local food banks who are so in need this time of year.   Amen

Praying The Word

November 24, 2019 THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE-C

2 Samuel 5:1-3

Psalm 122

Colossians 1:12-20

Luke 23:35-43

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation… Col. 1:15

“He saved others, let him save himself…” Lk. 23:35

Lord, we all know you could have saved yourself from the suffering of the cross.  On that day, surely the one who fed thousands with a few loaves of bread, gave sight to the blind, cured lepers and even raised the dead to life could have avoided the cross.   And you would have if your kingdom was an earthly one but your kingdom is not of this world.  You became one of us to serve and not be served.   At my baptism I was anointed as a priest, prophet and a king.  Please accept my sacrifice this day of all that I am.  Lead me to profess your good news with the way I live my life.  Show me the path to serve and not to count the cost.   Lord, thank you for enduring the humiliation and pain of the cross to rescue me from the bondage of my sins.  It took the death of God to heal the wound of sin and death.  I know I am so in need of your mercy, grace and forgiveness.  I pray to be a worthy subject of the King who rules the universe and all mankind.  Amen