Praying the Word

May 16, 2020 Saturday of the 5th week OF EASTER–A

Acts of the Apostles: 16:1-10

Psalm 100

John 15:18-20

During the night Paul had a vision. Acts 16:9

Lord, it is truly remarkable how the Holy Spirit guided and protected Paul and his companions on their missionary journey.  It seems that they were sent to some cities that were ripe for the good news. For other places the time was not right for whatever reason known only to you. Their success came because they listened to the Spirit and obeyed what they heard.  This is how the good news first came to Europe. Lord, God uses dreams many times to pass messages to his people. St. Joseph for example was alerted in a dream that Herod was sending soldiers to kill you. God invented sleep and the vehicle of dreams. One third of our lives is spent sleeping. It is a gift from our Creator. Lord, help me to be open to your messages in whatever form they come in. If you use a dream make me responsive to what you want me to do or what you don’t want me to do. I believe you speak to me every day. Sometimes you may use dreams or a quiet whisper that just won’t go away. Give me the courage to follow the direction of your Spirit just as Paul did. Jesus, I trust in you!  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 15, 2020 Friday of the 5th week OF EASTER–A

Acts of the Apostles: 15:22-31

Psalm 57

John 15:12-17

“Whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” John 15:16

Lord Jesus, your final talk with your Apostles contained both commandments and promises. Every promise, like the one above, implies a response from us. In this case our response is to love one another as you love us. I don’t know if I could lay down my life for strangers or even someone who has hurt me. You gave your life on the cross and asked our Father to forgive those who nailed you to it. You absolved Peter from his denial. Throughout your travels in Judea you showed mercy and a sacrificial love to all.  You were despised because people were flocking to you because they had experienced your love in one way or another.  I too have experienced your love so many times I can’t count them. You have protected me from death and have forgiven my sins. So I can be assured that if I ask for something that is the will of my Father in heaven I will receive it. Lord, I trust in your promises and I am hopeful for the grace to love the person you will place in my life today.  If so, we both will know your unconditional love.  St. Isidore, pray for us. Amen

Praying the Word

May 14, 2020  Thursday of the 5th week OF EASTER–A ST. MATTHIAS, APOSTLE

Acts of the Apostles: 1:15-17, 20-26

Psalm 113

John 15:9-17

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit…”  John 15:16

Lord, it is a great honor to be chosen as one of your disciples. With that honor comes the duty to obey your commandments and to bear fruit for your kingdom that will remain. Then we will be called your friends. I have accepted the great task of living the good news. I believe that a life of holiness and dedication to you is the best way I can bear the fruit I have been chosen to bear. I am unique among all your followers. No one else in the history of your church has the same gifts, talents and background that you have given to me. No one else has the opportunities and circumstances you have placed before me. Lord, the Holy Spirit came upon St. Matthias along with the others. May your Holy Spirit guide me and help me to become the friend you have chosen me to be. Help me, St. Matthias to persevere as you did. He left behind family and home to follow Jesus. I want to be as faithful as he was. I thank you for my parents and the many others who have formed me in the Catholic faith. St. Matthias, pray for us.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 13, 2020 Wednesday of the 5th week OF EASTER–A OUR LADY OF FATIMA

Acts of the Apostles: 15:1-6

Psalm 122

John 15:1-8

“Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

Lord, your word teaches me that the most important thing I can do today is to remain in you. That means I will trust you with all my concerns and worries. That means I will turn to you often throughout this day to tell you “thank you.” That means I will ask for your advice when I must make an important decision. It also means I will really believe that I can’t do anything without you. If I want to bear fruit for you and to buildup your kingdom in this world I must make room for you in every part of my day, not just the morning offering. I know you remain in me and you watch over me 24/7.  There is so much I need to thank you for. So much you provide for me and show me your love. Lord I thank you for giving me my spiritual mother Mary.  She also loves me and wants to intercede for me every day. How can I go wrong with such a loving and caring mother?

Dear Lady of Fatima: teach me about the love of God just as you taught your son Jesus when he was growing up in Nazareth.  You nourished him and formed him according to the will of God.  Please present my needs and those of my family to your son today.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 12, 2020 Tuesday of the 5th week OF EASTER –A

Acts of the Apostles: 14:19-28

Psalm 145

John 14:27-31

They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith Acts 14:22

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Lord, your strong man Paul was nearly stoned to death in a city in what is now Turkey.  He didn’t let that ”little” problem slow him up. He continued to proclaim the good news to the Gentiles despite fierce opposition and danger. You told your disciples at the Last Supper not to be afraid but to persevere in what they had experienced with you: service and love.  You showed them that the suffering servant was the way to the kingdom. Sometimes today we don’t appreciate the value of joining our suffering to that of yours. During this pandemic many people are suffering greatly. Dear Jesus, instead of complaining they could unite their pain and inconvenience to that of yours. In that way suffering becomes a very powerful prayer that will be heard by our Father. I’m sure the martyrs St. Nereus and St. Achilleus did that as they suffered death for the faith. A good way to bear fruit in the crisis we face today is to spread the good news of hope and peace that you gave to the disciples the night before your death. Lord, may my suffering always be joined to yours on the cross.   Sts. Achilleus and Nereus pray for us.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 11, 2020 Monday of the 5th week OF EASTER –A

Acts of the Apostles: 14:5-18

Psalm 115

John 14:21-26

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name give glory Ps. 115:1

Lord, each of our major sports have a Hall of Fame to honor the greatest athletic accomplishments. We have museums to honor the greatest men and women of all time. There is the Pulitzer prize and the honor role in grade school. Do we stop and realize that all these human accomplishments are possible only because of the goodness and the gifts of God? No athletic or scholarly reward is given to God or the Holy Spirit for inspiriting these men and women to do what they do. How about me? When have I taken credit for a job well done or a beautiful creation and not thanked God for the ability or the talent which comes from Him?  Not that God needs the honor but He desires us to realize that He is the source of all our goodness. He makes it possible for us to get out of  bed in the morning. Every breath we take, every beat of our hearts occur because He wills it. Even Paul and Barnabus had trouble convincing the Gentiles that they were not gods.  I thank you for the Holy Spirit who enables me to do your will.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 10, 2020 5th SUNDAY OF EASTER –A

Acts of the Apostles: 6:1-7

Psalm 33

1 Peter 2:4-9

John 14:1-12

It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.  Acts 6:2

Do not let your hearts be troubled.”  John 14:1

Lord Jesus, as your young church began to grow and include a diverse congregation new issues would be encountered. The Apostles were faced with a decision: they could continue to preach the gospel and not serve the needs of the Greek-speaking widows. Your words at the Last Supper may have come to mind to not let their hearts be troubled. The Holy Spirit led them to an important decision. They initiated a new ministry in the church: the order of deacons. These men were called and ordained by laying on of hands to the service of charity.  The widows would be served and the gospel proclaimed as well. Today, Lord, deacons serve the faithful in service at the altar, service of the word and service in charity just as at the beginning. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thank you Lord for the Holy Spirit that assures us that we will always have your interests at heart. Thank you also for the ordained deacons that serve us in our diocese. Bless them in their various ministries and bless their families as well. May those men discerning their vocation to the diaconate in our parish be blessed with the grace of wisdom.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 9, 2020 Saturday of the 4th week of Easter –A

Acts of the Apostles: 13:44-52

Psalm 98

John 14:7-14

The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy SpiritActs 13:52

“If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14

My dear Lord Jesus, it’s amazing to me that you made this promise during your last meal with your disciples. They were trying to understand where you were going that they could not follow you right then. These words of yours can be misleading for some but I know that you and the Father are one. Some may think that you are like a vending machine: put in the right amount of coins and out comes the candy bar. Anything I ask for that is in union with our Father’s will you will give to me. You can only do that which is our Father’s will. My request right now is that your Spirit will guide me to only ask for what is the Father’s will.  Then I can be confident that prayer will be answered. Lord, thank you for this promise. I can be confident that you hear all my prayers and will provide all that is good for me even if I’m too narrow minded to ask for it.  I pray to be forgiving toward those who hurt me. I pray for those in my family who have turned away from God and your church that they will be open to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to come home.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 8, 2020 Friday of the 4th week of Easter –A

Acts of the Apostles: 13:26-33

Psalm 2

John 14:1-6

Jesus told his disciples …”I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”  John 14:3

Lord, these words had to be comforting to your disciples at the Last Supper. You had said you were going away and they didn’t know what to make of that. Your promise to keep me always in your heart because of your love for me is comforting for me also. At times I’m so caught up in my unworthiness and sinfulness that I wonder how you can love me so much. You proved your love for me by becoming like me in every way but sin. You were tempted and despised and unjustly accused and crucified because of your love for all of us. Dear Jesus you have shown us the way to the Father so lead the way. You are the way, the truth and the life. So if I keep my heart open to your love and stay focused on the path you lead me on I will be with you forever in one of the beautiful dwelling places you have prepared just for me. I need to remember your love is unconditional and is extended to the most unworthy among us. Lord, I long to be with you so in whatever time I have left in this world I want to spend it in union with your heart and open to whatever you desire.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 7, 2020 Thursday of the 4th week of Easter –A

Acts of the Apostles: 13:13-25

Psalm 89

John 13:16-20

I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish.  Acts.13:22

Jesus said “whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” John 13:20

Lord, your missionary Paul and his companions were spreading the good news in Pamphylia which is present day Turkey. They were far from the familiar streets of Jerusalem. Yet your word had reached the Jews living there and they were hungry for instruction from Paul and the others. They were a community that was surrounded by hostile nations and pagan idols. But Paul, under the power of the Holy Spirit, proclaimed your resurrection boldly and then went on to the next community.  He assured his audience that you were a descendant of King David who God had chosen over a thousand years before. David was a sinner- an adulterer and murderer yet God saw that deep inside he was in tune with God’s heart. You and the Father were one as you fulfilled the scriptures. At the Last Supper you showed that a King can be a servant too. This was a model your church needed. Lord, help me to be a servant in my family, community, workplace, and parish. While I can’t go to Turkey, I can be a servant right here. I can bloom where you have planted me. I can bear fruit with your grace and the help of the Holy Spirit.  Amen Alleluia