Praying the Word

May 28, 2020 Thursday of the 7th Week of Easter—A 

Acts of the Apostles: 22:30; 23:6-11

Psalm 16

John 17:20-26

“I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.” Acts 23:6

I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.  Ps. 16:8

Lord Jesus, your disciple Paul was under arrest and on trial for being faithful to his calling by spreading the good news of salvation and the offer of new life by your resurrection. Imagine being on trial for being hopeful!  I guess that even today there is such a division in our world that having hope can be a crime. Your message the final night with your apostles was all about hope as you prayed to our Father for them and for us. Today’s psalm verses proclaim hope and encouragement. Maybe these verses were on Paul’s mind as he stood strong before those who wanted him dead.  Lord, as we look for God’s will and intention in this pandemic we too must hold on firmly to the hope that you have all things under control.  As it seems our world is coming apart those who hope in you and look for kindness and compassion around them will not be disturbed. Nurses and doctors are putting their own lives on the line as they treat the infected. Neighbors are helping the unemployed with food and support.  Thank you, Lord, for lifting our spirits with your word.  Amen  Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 27, 2020 Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter—A

Acts of the Apostles: 20:28-38

Psalm 68

John 17:11-19

“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.” John 17:11

Jesuswe are so blessed to read the heartfelt prayer that you offered to your Father just hours before your passion and death. Your main concern was for your disciples and for us. You were sending them out into the world to tell the story of your Good News and you knew they needed the special protection and grace of your Father in heaven. They also needed the Holy Spirit to guide them in their task of Baptizing and announcing the Gospel to the ends of the Earth. Since that is the present mission of our Catholic Bishops around the world may they receive the same strength, protection and guidance to the truth that your Apostles received. In this day of pandemic and death our Bishops face challenges never before seen.  There is no guide book to tell them how to lead you people in this time. Lord, continue to bless all our Bishops in this difficult time to make decisions that bring people back to worship as a community and do it safely. Unite them with their Pastors in your truth so they work together with the Spirit to restore our parishes in your love and care.  Thank you for letting me listen to your prayer.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 26, 2020 Tuesday of the 7th Week of Easter—A ST. PHILLIP NERI, PRIEST-A

Acts of the Apostles: 20:17-27

Psalm 68

John 17:1-11

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son…” John 17:1

Lord, what an honor it is to be allowed to hear your intimate prayer to your Father. Your love for our Father must have been very intense at this point. You are about to complete you mission to save all mankind in your death and resurrection. You long to be with your Father yet you pray for your followers who are near you. It’s clear to me from your prayer that you and the Father are one and that you only want that same oneness and closeness for your disciples. After your departure they no longer would have you as their unifier. But they and we have the power of your grace and the Holy Spirit to keep up on task. You and the Father were united in purpose, obedience and love. Your prayer asks the same for us. Lord, I know your prayer was heard and was answered then as it is now.  May my prayer today echo yours of long ago. Keep me and all your followers as one family, praising, obeying and loving as you do. Keep us close to you as you are with your ABBA.  St. Phillip Neri pray for us.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 25, 2020 Monday of the 7th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles: 19:1-8

Psalm 68

John 16:29-33

“I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.” John 16:33

Lord, you told your frightened friends that you wanted them to have real, lasting peace. Many times you blessed them with the greeting “Peace be with you.” Your peace is not the kind of “here today gone tomorrow” peace that so many of us seek from the world.  If the car doesn’t start in the morning, we miss a day of work, the TV doesn’t record our favorite program or we run out of our favorite beverage our peace can be lost. Being in the peace of Christ doesn’t depend on what kind of day we are having. It is knowing deep down in our heart that we are sons and daughters of God.  It is knowing that you have died and rose to save us from our sins.  It is living in contentment in the love of God. When all seems lost we can rest assured that you are near and that you understand the depths of our pain. You will always be with us in good times and bad-so will your peace. Lord, knowing that you have conquered the world help me experience each day the peace the world cannot give.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 24, 2020 THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD–A

Acts of the Apostles: 1:1-11

Psalm 47

Ephesians 1:17-23

Matthew 28:16-20

“…why are you standing there looking up at the sky?”  Acts 1:11

Lord, it’s hard to know what was going through your disciples minds when you ascended into heaven. Was it fear, uncertainty or doubt that caused them to stare at the sky?  Sometimes when something dramatic happens I too can stop in my tracks and wonder what’s next.  They would soon come to know through the Holy Spirit that this was a new day.  You had not left them alone but were with them in a new way.  Your Spirit was everywhere and would lead them to become your Body, the Church, on earth.  Your great sacrament of your Body and Blood would offer all people an intimate and heavenly bond of love with you. Your inspired word would guide and empower us to live the Good News of our salvation. Lord, I lift up to you all the children and adults who will be joined to you in Holy Communion for the first time as soon as conditions permit. You must be very pleased with them and their families. I thank you for all the ways you are still close and present with me and my family today and always.  Amen.   

Praying the Word

May 23, 2020 Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles 18:23-28

Psalm 47

John 16:23-28

After his (Apollos) arrival he gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace.  Acts 18:27

“For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me…” John 18:27

Lord, it is such an inspiring powerful story of grace how the early Church spread and grew in pagan lands. Today we learn about a Jew, Apollos, who your Spirit used to speak to Jews in ways they would understand. His formation was not complete until he was informed by two women, Priscilla and Aquila whom you had led to conversion. He learned about Baptism and the grace granted by that Sacrament. Grace is the new life you gave us from the cross. Grace: I can’t buy it and I can’t earn it. I don’t even need to be worthy of such a wonderful gift. The Holy Spirit lavishes it upon us if we ask for it. If we receive it with gratitude and love the Father will grant every prayer we say. Grace is participating in your divine nature. There is nothing I can do in this life without your grace and our Father wants me to have it. Lord, I humbly submit to your grace just like Apollos did. Help me to believe your promise that I just need to “ask and you will receive.”  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 22, 2020 Friday of the 6th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles 18:9-18

Psalm 47

John 16:20-23

“…whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.” John 16:23

Jesus, you encourage your followers to ask our Father for everything. We are to pray in your name for our needs. As parents love their children and desire to give them all that is good for them our dear Father holds back nothing. We can be confident that all that is required for our spiritual journey to heaven is ours for the asking. Lord, I can at times become a little confused about my real needs and ask for what’s not the best for me. I thank God I don’t get everything I think I want. I also thank you for your intercession on my behalf with our Father. Dear Jesus, I trust that you see my needs clearly and perfectly. You know without a doubt what graces and blessings will make my joy complete. Make my prayers in line with your vision for my real joy.  Help me to seek only what brings me closer to you and what I can share with others.  In your name… dear Jesus, I lift up my soul.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 21, 2020 Thursday of the 6th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles 18:1-8

Psalm 98

John 18:16-20

…many of the Corinthians who heard believed and were baptized.  Acts 18:8

All the ends of the earth have seen the victory by our God. Ps. 98:3

Lord Jesus, your missionary Paul was clearly frustrated with the hard-headed reaction of the Jews who refused to hear him out and believe in you. But he doesn’t give up and moves on to preach in another synagogue and has great success. Same guy-same message but with a new audience the response was completely different. The Holy Spirit was active in the Corinthian church that Paul would establish there. It wasn’t perfect but it was a very good start. Perseverance and trust in your presence and grace were the ingredients for conversion. Lord, open for me eyes of faith so I can see your presence everywhere. Help me to not give up on anyone if they don’t respond like I think they should. I plant the seed you bring about the growth. May I know your power and presence in my life. Lord, may your victory be known in every corner of the earth. I pray especially for members of my own family who have turned away from belief in you. I ask for your Holy Spirit which they received at their Baptism to become active in their lives. Thank you for listening to my prayer.  Amen Alleluia

Praying the Word

May 20, 2020 Wednesday of the 6th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles 17:15, 2218:1

Psalm 148

John 16:12-15

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.”  John 16:13

Lord, what an awesome promise you made to your disciples! I believe your promise is intended for all of your children who have received the Holy Spirit in Baptism. The search for truth continues throughout our lifetime. When I was in college I arrogantly thought I had all the truth I needed. When I entered the work world I found out I had a lot to learn. There have been many times in my years of work, my relationships and my faith that I was informed by the Spirit of the divine truth. I have been blessed to be a Catholic and have the benefit of the rich tradition and history of your Church. Lord, I sometimes think I am still a baby in my faith journey. Even if I am, your Spirit is with me just as truly as the same Spirit was with Paul that day in Athens. May your Holy Spirit continue to guide and build on my faith so I can give you proper worship and bear fruit for your kingdom. Keep my heart and mind open to how you want to form me and bless me with your wisdom, compassion and mercy.  Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer.  Amen alleluia. 

Praying the Word

May 19, 2020 Tuesday of the 6th Week of Easter–A

Acts of the Apostles: 16:22-34

Psalm 138

John 16:5-11 

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened… Acts 16:25

Lord, in his travels for you Paul and his companions never knew when or where they would encounter people that you had chosen to receive the Good News of redemption. After a severe beating by an unruly crowd Paul and Silas were thrown into prison and kept in a high security lock down. After their beating and without having their wounds treated they didn’t despair or give up. They prayed and sang hymns of praise to you in their cell. The other prisoners and the jailer saw how they continued to praise God even in desperate circumstances. As dark as their situation appeared they knew that even then they needed to trust God and persevere in living their faith. This so amazed those around them that they were won over to believe in you.  Lord, how many times have I been so focused on my own wounds and difficulties that I have forgotten to praise you?  It’s so easy to rely on my own resources and not turn to you in trust. An earthquake freed Paul but the Holy Spirit held him in place to achieve an even greater freedom, that of winning souls for you. You are worthy of all praise. Remind me to sing to you always.  Amen Alleluia