December 9, 2023, Saturday of the 1st Week of Advent-B
Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26
Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5-8
“The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few;” Mt. 9:37
Lord, the message today is good news/bad news. Abundant harvests are a good thing but if there are few workers to bring it in the crops will rot in the fields. You were followed by huge crowds with so many people in need that your “heart was moved with pity for them.” So, you asked your disciples to be an extension of your power to teach, cure and welcome. You ask the same of us to this day. No one can doubt the world’s need for more compassion, support, healing of relationships and sharing of goods. There is an abundant harvest at our doorsteps. Lord, help me to see how I can be a laborer in your field today. Lead me today to the one person or one cause where I can make a difference. There is a situation or encounter where I can bring in your crop. You have blessed me with gifts so provide opportunities where I can use those gifts as your field worker. Do not let me be discouraged by the huge size of the work. With your grace I can bear your fruit one person at a time. Amen.
December 8, 2023, THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
“May it be done to me according to your word.” Lk. 1:38
Lord, the importance of these words of Mary cannot be overstated. These ten words, and the meaning behind them, changed the course of history. This young woman was chosen to be the first of a new mankind. Her sinless life was a unique blessing so that the plan for bringing all humanity back to the Father could become reality. Her “yes, I’ll do it” to the angel came from a life completely focused on the will of God. Being open to God’s word and his will is total freedom. Lord, your mother served every generation after her by offering herself to God’s plan. I realize she probably didn’t completely grasp all the effects of her submission at the time. That didn’t hold her back because she trusted in the plan and trusted in her God. Lord, increase in me the understanding that I am a part of your plan of salvation in a unique way. Help me to give myself to you in whatever way you desire. And thank you for giving me such a pure and wonderful mother. Mary, Mother of God pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
December 7, 2023, Thursday of the 1st Week of Advent-B ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Trust in the Lord forever! For the Lord is an eternal Rock. Ps 118:4
“…a wise man who built his house on rock.” Mt. 7:24
Lord, we have building codes that enforce good standards for construction of homes, bridges, and roads. These codes help structures to withstand the forces of nature and provide for public safety. You tell us today that the wise person will build their life upon your word. With the solid foundation and eternal truth of your word to guide us we can stand up to temptations, overcome obstacles and persevere no matter what is thrown at us. Lord, we may be lured by the world to take shortcuts, to trust in ourselves, and rush to accept lies for the truth. But you assure us that if we listen and act on what you tell us and on what your Church teaches the house of our life will stand secure and we will endure the storms of life in peace. Dear Jesus, I rely on your grace today to help me to stand firm and to trust in you completely. Be my foundation, be my rock and I will live in peace. St. Ambrose pray for us. Amen.
December 6, 2023, Wednesday of the 1st Week of Advent-B
…my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5
They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full. Mt. 15:37
Lord, In the feeding of the thousands of people with only seven loaves of bread and a few fish, you satisfied their hunger. After healing the sick, you taught them about the kingdom which you brought to the world. They were amazed that you did so much with so little. But did you make a mistake and provide more food than was needed? Where they not as hungry as you expected? Why the leftovers? Sometimes I think I don’t have enough strength, wisdom, energy, resources, and talents to live as your disciple in this world. You have abundantly blessed me with every grace needed to resist temptation, to invest my talents and to bear fruit for your kingdom. Lord, the left-over loaves show me that you know best and always provide more than I need to just get by. My cup indeed overflows with the abundant life you have given me. Multiply my humble offerings of bread and fish so I can bear fruit in your mighty kingdom. May I remember those who are hungry in my town today and do what I can to feed them. Amen.
December 5, 2023, Tuesday of the 1st Week of Advent-B
“…although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” Lk. 10:21
Lord, in your prayer to your Father you noted that the key to knowing Him is not our education level or power status in the world. The smartest, most clever people among us often don’t “get it” when it comes to truly knowing you. The advantage goes to the simple, the humble, and to those with open hearts who are like little children. I don’t need a PhD. in theology to know of your love. I don’t need to be a bishop or priest to be touched by your mercy. In truth, I’ll bet much of the time higher education, power and self-importance get in the way of faith. Lord, help me to experience your love in the daily grind of life. With a childlike hope I look forward to the days prophesied by Isaiah. Show me the power of your grace when I struggle. Lead me to make good choices and judgments when making decisions. You blessed me with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at my baptism and for that I thank you. Develop those gifts within me so I can truly see the Father in you and you in me. Amen.
December 4, 2023, Monday of the 1st Week of Advent-B
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof: only say the word and my servant will be healed.” Mt. 8:8
Lord, it’s really remarkable that these words, first spoken by an unnamed Roman soldier over two thousand years ago, are today on my lips at every Mass. Everywhere the Mass is celebrated these words of humility, confidence and faith are repeated before Holy Communion. Do I believe as much as the centurion did? In his case it was a matter of life or death for his servant. Lord, I admit I am an unworthy sinner, but you so desire to heal me that you will not hesitate to come under my roof. You befriended and ate meals with tax collectors and other sinners in their homes too. I want the faith of this soldier. You didn’t judge him because he was an officer in the army that enslaved your people. You saw his deep humility and love for his servant. I trust in your healing power to restore me your unworthy servant in body, mind and spirit. I believe you can touch my open heart and bring me to greater faith in you. As the time of Advent preparation begins, dear Jesus, transform me and only say the word and my soul will be healed. Amen.
December 3, 2023, FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT-B
Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
…you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait… 1 Cor 1:7
“Be watchful! Be alert!” Mk. 13:33
Lord, children eagerly await the joy and happiness of Christmas. They have to wait however until the time of gifts and presents arrive. But, in your goodness, O Lord, you have already given us everything we need to prepare for you. You so dearly want to be close to us, to be near us, to be included in every moment of our lives. You have already enriched us in every way necessary to live as your children. We can celebrate your goodness in the Mass. We can be inspired by your word and fed by your sacrament of love. We have already been given the grace needed to serve you in our care for our brothers and sisters. Lord, as I wait for you to reveal yourself to me, remove any obstacles or blindness I may have to your dream for me. With your grace we can live like we’ve been saved–for so we have. Dear Jesus, I am the glorious work of your hands. I am waiting and watching for you to form me and mold me each day in Advent as I lift my heart and hands to you in prayer. Amen.
December 2, 2023, Saturday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A
Psalm Daniel 3:82-87
“Be vigilant at all times and pray…” Lk. 2:36
Lord, the Boy Scout motto is: Be Prepared. It makes good sense to keep vigilant and ready for the challenges of the world and the ups and downs of life. How much more important is it that we are watchful in the most critical things like our relationship with you. You warn us to stay awake and to pray for the strength to handle what the enemy and our weak human nature throw at us. How easy it is to become complacent and let our guard down, especially when life seems to be going along OK. On the other hand, worry, fear and anxiety can break our spirits and push us away from your consolation and our connection to you. Lord, I am so very grateful for all you’ve done for me in the past. Help me to call to mind today your faithfulness and your constant presence in my life. Lord, I owe everything to you. Keep me attentive to all you want to provide for me today. In prayer, I place any worry in your hands and trust you will help me be prepared for whatever is to come. Amen
December 1, 2023, Friday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A
Psalm Daniel 3:75-81
His dominion is an everlasting dominion… Dan 7:14
“Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Lk. 21:33
Lord, astronomers say that our sun will burn steadily for another 4 billion years. The earth is that old already. We have built monuments like the pyramids that have stood for thousands of years. Our great literature has endured for centuries. These are all nothing compared with your reign. Billions of years are like a second to you. Your truth will outlast all of them. Mankind has been redeemed by your death on the cross and given hope of eternal life by your resurrection. So, does what I do in this life matter? Who am I in this cosmic picture? Lord, you created me for your glorious purpose. Out of love you saved me from death. Your words guide me and teach me how to live in your kingdom. During my time in this world, I praise you and look forward to my destiny with you forever. No matter what happens in my life, both good and bad, you are bigger than all of it. Keep me close to you, dear Jesus. For in you I take refuge all the days of my life. Amen.
November 30, 2023, Thursday of the 34th Week in Ordinary Time-A ST. ANDREW, APOSTLE
“Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt. 4:19
Lord, today we have an invitation, a promise, and a response. The invitation involved leaving behind what they were to become what you wanted them to be—your disciples and the first members of your church. You called these four men to yourself, and they took the bait, so to speak. You would have made a great recruiter for a college football team. This began their journey of faith. It would be a rough road with some ups and downs, some doubts and fears, some success, and failures. But during it all you were forming them, molding them, and teaching them to be what you called them to be. You do the same today. You have called me to be transformed into a disciple so I can bear the fruit only I can bear. With an open heart that is eager to be joined to yours I accept the honor of being whatever you need me to be. Lord Jesus, I offer to you all I am so I can become more than I would be on my own. Fire up your Spirit within me so I too can be a fisher of people. Amen