Praying The Word

November 18, 2019 Monday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-C

1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63

Psalm 119

Luke 18:35-43

“Son of David, have pity on me!” Lk. 18:39

Lord, people of your time who had 20-20 vision failed to see who you were.  This blind beggar, with the eyes of faith, recognized you to be the long-awaited Son of David, the Messiah.   He called out to you with a loud voice and would not be silenced.  In your pity, you gave him human sight and rewarded his faith with salvation.  He had faith maybe because in the darkness of his life there were few distractions or obstacles to a deep faith.  He could focus on God’s goodness and “look” for the salvation promised by the prophets.  Lord, we are distracted by so many shiny objects in this world.  We look at so much yet see very little.  Have pity on me and help me to see your presence in the world.  Help me to see the needs of my brothers and sisters and give me the grace to do something about them.  Help me to see the truth of your Church and to surrender myself to your love.  I, like the beggar, ask you “Lord that I may see.”  Like him, I will follow you and give glory to God.  Amen.

Praying The Word

November 17, 2019 Sunday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time-C

Malachi 3:19-20

Psalm 98

2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Luke 21:5-19

“By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”  Lk. 21:19

Lord, after your travel throughout Israel you have finally entered Jerusalem.  The city has been your journey’s end for a while.  Your teaching continues as you approach your destiny: the cross.  Your gospel today is a warning to your followers of what will come.  They will experience persecution, natural disasters, family betrayal and temptations to give up.  But you assure them and us that you will be present in their adversity.  The message is clear: we cannot find lasting security or happiness in the things, people or events of this world.  Lord, you prepare us for the end of our earthly lives with assurances that if we stay faithful to you we will find the security that will never end.  You experienced temptation, persecution, betrayal, misunderstanding and even death due to your solid commitment to obedience to your Father.  Should we, your followers, expect anything less?   You frequently urge us to stay the course and remain faithful regardless of the consequences.  Lord, when times get tough and I want to look to the things of this world for comfort and security remind me the only sure thing is your love.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 16, 2019 Saturday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C

Wisdom 18:14-16; 19:6-9

Psalm 105

Luke 18:1-8

…pray always without becoming weary.  Lk. 18:1

“…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Lk. 18:8

Lord, today you deliver us a lesson on how prayer can lead us to greater faith.  It’s also true that our faith can help us persevere in prayer.  The widow persisted in her appeal to the unjust judge.   Her claim was just and she did not give up in her petition.  The point is that if an unjust human judge can answer a widow’s plea how much more will you, a perfect, merciful and faithful judge, answer our prayers.   He did his job out of fear and weariness.  You do yours out of love and an understanding of what is truly good for us. You hear every prayer I utter.  You are aware of every desire of my heart.  You listen to even my selfish or prideful requests.  But in your perfect wisdom your answer is often not the one I am seeking.  I may not see why you give me this when I ask for that.  I may not understand how your answers and their timing are best for me.   But my faith grows as I turn to you and place all my needs in your loving hands.   Lord, help me to be as faithful to you as you are to me.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 15, 2019 Friday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C

Wisdom 13:1-9

Psalm 19

Luke 17:26-37

For from the greatness and the beauty of created things their original author…is seen.  Wis. 13:5

The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.  Ps. 19:1

Lord, we have an expression that goes “take time to stop and smell the roses.”  I think this means that we should slow down and recognize the beauty and the wonder of the extraordinary created world around us.  The Hubble Space Telescope for many years has revealed the glory of your awesome universe.  Other scientific discoveries have taught us about the wonder of the human body.  The complexity of every living thing, the balance of the laws of physics, and the power of man’s intellect to solve problems are all signs of your wisdom.   Whenever we hear a Beethoven symphony, watch an eclipse of the sun, or see a flower bloom it is your handiwork.  You created all this from nothing just for us out of love.  Lord, I know I can get too busy with my own activities to truly experience your presence in what you have made.  Help me to look away from the distractions of life, to slow down and ponder your mighty and wonderful works in the heavens and on the earth.  I have a responsibility to do what I can to ensure I am a good steward of this earth so that my grandchildren can see you in it too.  Amen.

Praying The Word

November 14, 2019 Thursday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C

Wisdom 7:22—8:1

Psalm 119

Luke 17:20-25

And passing into holy souls from age to age…Wis. 7:27

“For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”  Lk. 17:21

Lord, when we look at the morning paper or listen to the news it can be hard to see the presence of your Kingdom.  So much crime, disaster and cruelty is shown us each day.  Political division and controversy seem to dominate our attention.  We experience personal tragedies in our lives as well.  We can be like the Pharisees and wonder about when your Kingdom will enter our world.  But you assured them and us that you Kingdom is here right now.  Your name Emmanuel, “God is with us” says it all.  You came to renew our relationship with the Father.  You sent the Holy Spirit of wisdom upon all of us.  Your constant flow of grace is moving us forward to the time when you will come again.   Lord, I believe your Spirit is at work in this flawed world amid the suffering and sin that seems to be everywhere.  I can see your Kingdom when I look around with the eyes of faith.  I rest in your promises, dear Jesus, while I recall all you have done for me and look forward to all you will do today.  Amen.

Praying The Word

November 13, 2019 Wednesday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C ST.FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI, VIRGIN

Wisdom 6:1-11

Psalm 82

Luke 17:11-19

…he provides for all alike; Wis. 6:7

“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” Lk. 17:19

Lord, in this encounter with the ten lepers we learn the value of gratitude and faith.  While ten were healed only one had the faith to return to you, the source of healing, and give you thanks.   It shows that gratitude can lead to a right relationship with you and then to salvation.   You shower me with so many blessings throughout the day and night.   I receive protection, security, strength and health from you.  You are the source of forgiveness for my sins.  Yet I go about my life missing so many of your blessings.  Each heartbeat; each breath I take is a gift from you.   How many times have you preserved me from traffic accidents, disease, temptations to sin and so many other disasters?  Yet I’m so eager to take credit for much of the good in my life.  Lord, help me to be more aware of your presence in small events and relationships.  You are so good to me in big and small ways.  May this awareness build up my faith and my personal relationship with you.  May everything I do express my gratitude and give you praise.  St. Frances Xavier Cabrini pray for us.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 12, 2019 Tuesday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. JOSAPHAT, BISHOP, MARTYR

Wisdom 2:23—3:9

Psalm 34

Luke 17:7-10

The souls of the just are in the hands of God… Wis. 3:1

Lord, there is an insurance company that says “you are in good hands” if we buy their insurance.  They want their customers to feel safe and secure should accidents occur.  We need insurance for our spiritual lives too.  It is a great encouragement to know that you are near to us in life and in death.  Our hope is based on your commitment to us no matter what happens.  When a loved one is near death we look to you for their safe passage into eternity.  Lord, I can’t imagine coping with disease, accidents and death without faith in your love for us.  Your word today tells me that you will “greatly bless” me if I stay faithful to the end.  You tell me that I will understand the truth of your love for me if I just trust in you.   Lord, I do not know what will happen when I close my eyes for the last time.    Increase my trust in your mercy, your love and your perfect justice.  There is nothing to fear when I am in your hands.  Dear Jesus may I and those I love surrender to your strong, yet gentle hands.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 11, 2019 Monday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. MARTIN OF TOURS, BISHOP

Wisdom 1:1-7

Psalm 139

Luke 17:1-6

Because God is the witness of the inmost self… Wis. 1:6

O Lord, you have probed me and you know me… Ps. 139:1

Lord, thank you for loving and caring so much for me.  You know me perfectly inside and out.  There is nothing I can hide from you.   In a way, that is a little scary.  I can put on a good front and people may not see what lies within me.  But you know my heart through and through.  Yet, you still love me.  Thank you for being patient with me when obstacles like pride prevent me from making good decisions, acting justly towards others or forgiving the one who hurt me.  I belong to you.  Help me to let go of my agenda and accept yours.  Increase my faith so I can live in right relationship with you and my brothers and sisters.  Shine your light into those parts of my life where there is darkness.   Grant me an awareness of my ways that please and displease you.  Nurture the mustard seed of faith in my heart so it grows and matures.  You never tire of picking me up when I fall.  Give me the patience to forgive as you do.  Amen.

Praying The Word

November 10, 2019 Sunday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time-C

2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14

Psalm 17

2 Thessalonians 2:16—3:5

Luke 20:27-38

“The King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” 2 Mac. 7:9

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ. 2 Thes. 3:5

Lord, our belief in resurrection is the foundation of our faith.  The young men suffering torture and death in our first reading are an inspiration to all of us.  Their trust that a better life is waiting allowed them to endure to the end.  Life can be very tough.  We can easily lose focus on what is really important.  We can put too much attention on what is temporary and forget what is eternal.  Lord, help me always to see the big picture.  In this valley of tears we can hold on to hope because the “love of God” has been poured into our hearts.  You have won the victory for us and we will enjoy it if we stay faithful to the end.  There is a prayer in the Mass that says at death life is changed not ended.  We pass through the door of death to be received by your most loving and merciful hands.  Lord, I need not fear death for it is the passage to eternal joy and you.  Dear Jesus, I look for the grace of endurance which will keep me going until I come home to you.  Amen. 

Praying The Word

November 9, 2019 Saturday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time-C THE DEDICATION OF THE LATERAN BASILICA

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17

John 2:13-22

Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16

Lord, Paul reminds us that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit.  He also calls to mind that you are the foundation of this church.  The Lateran Basilica is a symbol of the universal church and as members we are the stones of that church.  Throughout history the Basilica has been damaged and even partially destroyed yet it was always rebuilt.  You promised to be with your people until the end of time.  So, just as we have been attacked and wounded by evil and our own sins, the sacred space within us remains and we go on.  Lord, help me and every member of your church to live like we’ve been saved.   Help us to recognize other people, especially the poor, abused and lost, as temples where you dwell.  May I always respect that presence in whoever I meet today.  Just as our sacred buildings require maintenance and repair, keep my spiritual life in good condition by frequent reception of the sacraments of your church.  Thank you for your presence within me.  Never let me forget that your church lives on in each of us as we build it upon you our foundation.  Amen.