Praying the Word

July 10, 2020 Friday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Hosea: 14:2-10

Psalm 51

Matthew 10:16-23

Because of me you will bear fruit.  Hosea 14:9

“It will not be you who speak but the Spirit.”  Mt. 10:20

Lord, we have a tendency to think “it’s all about me.” Your words today caution your disciples of the dangers and threats that lie ahead for them as they carry the good news of the gospel into the world. Persecution, suffering, family betrayal all add up to a bleak future. As you were reviled, hated and persecuted so would your followers. You rightly prepared them for the trials to come. But you encouraged them that the Holy Spirit will be their defender and inspiration. The Spirit will be with them to the end.  If they persevere they will be saved. That’s the good news. We are not alone in our struggles. You are ever ready to assist us when confronted with evil.  Whether it be a court decision that goes against the respect for life, challenges to free exercise of our faith or a family member who mocks our faith you are right there on our side. You will lead us to the best response whether it be words, actions or even silence. Lord, I put myself in your hands today. I trust you will help me persevere and bear fruit for you in any and all trials to the end.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 9, 2020 Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Hosea: 11:1-4, 8-9

Psalm 80

Matthew 10:7-15

I am God and not man, the Holy one present among you… Hosea 11:9

Lord, we live in a world that has limits and restrictions. We also, being human, are subject to error and sin. Give and takes are marks of our relationships with each other. So it comes as no surprise that many of us can’t conceive of the divine that has no limits. You don’t live like we do.  There are no conditions, no fine print, in your commitment to your sons and daughters. It’s hard to conceive of such love. O how different this world would be if we had more awareness of your love and presence among us. Without cost you have blessed me overwhelmingly so without cost I must give to others. You promise never to abandon or forsake us despite our unfaithfulness towards you. My sins are no match for your saving and healing power. Lord, I lay them all at your feet. I invite your grace to carry me home to you. Today I look to you as a loving and caring Father, my Daddy, to protect me and keep me from harm. I pray that today that I can bring life and hope to others. I will wish peace on those I meet.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 8, 2020 Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Hosea: 10:1-3, 7-8, 12

Psalm 105

Matthew 10:1-7

“Sow for yourselves justice…For it is time to seek the Lord, Hosea. 10:12

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

Lord, your holy prophet Hosea urges the people to open their hearts to you. They had become hard-hearted “every man for himself.” The society had forgotten the poor, disabled and the immigrant.  Lord, I think we need to listen to your prophet today. “Looking out for number one” isn’t how we live in your Kingdom. The message is clear: you desire that we care for one another. You want us to look out for our brothers and sisters. You want us to welcome the stranger and seek to live peacefully with those who are different than we are. Justice means to look for ways to increase the opportunities for others to prosper and to go as far in this life as their work and talents can take them. It starts with me. Lord, I seek a heart that is open and eager for justice and good relations with all my neighbors. This is a time of decision in our country. What kind of nation do we want to be? How about a nation of free people, united and generous and strong always seeking your face. If we do that a lot of our problems disappear.   Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 7, 2020 Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Hosea: 8:4-7, 11-13

Psalm 115

Matthew 9:32-38

At the sight of the crowds his heart was moved with pity for them… Mt. 9:36

Lord, you do not change. As your heart was moved with pity for your children then, so it is now. We still can feel abandoned and without a shepherd to lead and care for us. Many of us are so wrapped up in ourselves and our own affairs we don’t give you, much thought. But when disaster strikes we flounder and look for answers and reasons for our pain  That’s when we can look to you and your most Sacred Heart for healing. We can look to you for mercy and forgiveness. Lord, have pity for us who are lonely or afraid. Have pity on us for our sins and stubborn pride. Have pity on us for forgetting about your love for us. Today, Lord, help me to be consoled that you know all my needs and that of my family.  I put myself and them into your loving and just hands. Bring us to where you want us to be. I thank you, Jesus, for your patience and understanding.  I don’t always know what is good for me but you do. I pray for all the laborers you send into your harvest. I trust in you. Amen.

Praying the Word

July 6, 2020 Monday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Hosea: 2:16-18, 21-22

Psalm 145

Matthew 9:18-26

“Courage daughter! Your faith has saved you.” Mt. 9:22

Lord, there are times when I think our country is coming apart. We are coping with a serious Covid-19 virus that is taking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. It is the cause of many to be unemployed and unable to care for their families. We are struggling with issues of justice and violence is rocking our cities. I wonder if the woman who struggled with a hemorrhage for twelve years asked herself how can I become well again?  She shows us the answer to our problems. She had developed a faith in you as a great healer. She turned to you perhaps as her last resort. Her faith was rewarded because faith always gets your attention. Lord, I turn to you and if I could I too would touch your tassel to receive the healing that our nation needs so much at this time. No matter how bad things seem there is always an opportunity for you to heal us.  We turn to you and pray for healing. Like you raised the official’s daughter you can give life again to our nation and we can live the freedom that we so much desire. We have great strength so give us your grace to overcome this disease and restore our peace. God bless the USA. Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 5, 2020 The 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time A

Zechariah: 9:9-10

Psalm 145

Romans 8:9, 11-13

Matthew 11:25-30

You are not in the flesh; on the contrary, you are in the spirit… Rom. 8:9

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart…” Mt. 11:29

Lord, you know a thing or two about yokes. As a carpenter you no doubt made many wooden yokes for the farmers in Galilee to use on their oxen for plowing and tilling their fields. The yoke had to be custom made for each pair of oxen so they could exert maximum force without injuring themselves. When we live as your disciples we are “yoked” to you. You do not offer a yoke of fear, selfishness, pride or discouragement. You offer a yoke that puts faith in you and obedience to our Father in first place in our lives. Lord, I admit that life can at times be extremely hard and painful.  I can want to give up or look to worldly answers for my troubles. In my imagination I see you and I lifting a yoke over our shoulders. I look at you and you look at me. Then, together, we push forward through the storms and temptations of the flesh sharing the load and never looking back. I need not walk alone in the journey to life. I would not be able to go on without you, dear Jesus. Thank you for sharing your yoke with me.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 4, 2020 Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Amos 9:11-15

Psalm 85

Matthew 9:14-17

“I will bring about the restoration of my people.” Amos 9:14

“Rather, they pour new wind into fresh wineskins and both are preserved.”  Mt. 9:17

Lord, each day you give us in life is a fresh wineskin. You want to fill our day with yourself and your life. Every day is a new beginning and a fresh opportunity to experience you. While we often treat one day just like another, they aren’t that way to you. Lord, today I want to be the vessel of the new life you offer. Open my heart to be restored by your grace. Fill my mind with the truth of your word.  Show me how close you are to me even when I am lonely. Even if I struggle with the same troubles and fears as yesterday you are always ready to lead me to greater faith in you and your awesome plan for me. As we celebrate the birth of our nation I pray that all our people will embrace peace with justice. May we all work for the peace you give us. Lord, I’m excited and hopeful for what you will do for me and my country today.  Walking with you is always an adventure. So I celebrate with joy how you will fill my wineskins today.  Amen.

Praying the Word

July 3, 2020 Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-A ST. THOMAS, APOSTLE

Ephesians 2:19-22

Psalm 117

John 20:24-29

…in him you also are being built… Eph. 2:22

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  John 20:29

Lord, who of us can say for sure, had we been in Thomas’ place, that we’d have not had equal or even more doubt? After all, people don’t rise from the dead everyday and appear to us. So maybe we should give Thomas some slack and not label him as “doubting Thomas” forever. I certainly don’t want to be eternally remembered for one of my mistakes. I love how you greeted him: no scolding or rejection but understanding and acceptance. You went to where Thomas was in faith, and led him to deeper faith. Thomas’ faith became personal when he proclaimed, “my Lord and my God.” Thank you for giving me this very human face of how we grow in faith. Lord, help me to see your surprising and wonderful presence in my life today.  Build my awareness of the awesome things you are doing in me and in my family. When I’m slow to “get it” please be patient with me and guide me to see with the eyes of faith like you did for Thomas.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

July 2, 2020 Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Amos 7:10-17

Psalm 50

Matthew 9:1-8

“When Jesus saw their faith…”  Mt. 9:2

Lord, faith always gets your attention. What about these men and their paralyzed friend showed their faith? Their actions or words were signs they believed in your healing power. I can imagine their surprise when your first priority wasn’t the man’s broken body but his spiritual paralysis.  We don’t know what the man’s sins were but you saw them as a greater obstacle to his relationship with God than his broken body.  You could have forgiven his sins in private and healed his body before all and avoided the criticism of the scribes. What joy the man and his friends had when he walked home carrying his bed, completely healed-body and soul. Lord, look into my heart and see what lies there as an obstacle to my relationship to my God. I repent of anything that paralyzes me from becoming who I am created to be. I believe in your power to forgive and heal what ails me. I thank you for the faith-filled brothers and sisters you have placed in my life to help me stay close to you.  I thank you Lord, for hearing me and answering my prayer.  Amen.   

Praying the Word

July 1, 2020 Wednesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-A

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Psalm 50

Matthew 8:28-34

Hate evil and love good, and let justice prevail at the gate; Amos  5:15

And he said to them, “Go then!” Mt. 8:32

Lord, your power over evil must have been the talk of the town. Freeing two men possessed by many demons and sending the demons into a herd of swine surely was not something they saw every day. But for you confronting evil was all in a day’s work. How the lives of those two men were changed. How many of the townspeople became believers we don’t know. You still cast out demons today. There have been times in my life that I was under the influence of evil. I am so grateful to you that you have forgiven me and sent the evil in my heart and mind far away.  I am sorry for all my sins of word, deed and thought. You have accepted by contrition and have provided the grace for me to have a clean heart and to love good and hate evil. Amos reminded the people that justice was more important than their sacrifices. Many people today cry out for justice. I pray our nation can make justice a priority. I also pray for an end to the violence, destruction and hate that are so many of our people now. Dear Lord, show us how to live the abundant life you came to give us.  Amen.