Praying the Word

July 5, 2022, Tuesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-C

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, it seems a day doesn’t go by without news of a massacre of innocent people, protests in the streets, domestic violence, sexual assaults or corporate greed. We are surrounded by evidence of our sinfulness.  We can be tempted to see these actions as the “new normal” and status quo. We can even fail to see that you are our only salvation. People are starving for the good news that we are loved and there is hope in you. We are like “sheep without a shepherd.” You still look with pity on your people. Your heart is still moved for we are lost when we try to live without you. Like a shepherd you provide direction, protection and a place of peace. Lord, thank you for remaining so faithful to me despite my weakness and sinfulness. Build up my relationship with you to the point where I seek you first and not the “solutions” of the world. Help me to surrender my pride and trust that you only want what is best for me. How humbling it is to know that you hold me in your heart.  Amen 

Praying the Word

July 4, 2022, Monday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Hosea 2:16, 17c-18, 21-22

Psalm 145

Matthew 9:18-26

And from that hour the woman was cured.  Mt. 9:22

Lord, I sometimes wonder what became of the people who received the healing of your miracles. We don’t know anything about the lives of the woman and the child after they encountered you and your power.  How were their lives different after you had gone on to other places? The woman could return to her family, hug them and maybe even conceive a baby. The little girl may have gone on to witness to her neighbors how you had given her new life. I pray both became saints in your kingdom. Jesus, when I encounter you in the sacraments of your church I too come away changed, healed and nourished. You give me the abundant life you came to give. You bless me with the grace I so badly need to resist temptation and to persevere in holiness. Thank you, Lord, for being my savior. Thank you also for each and every day of life that I can grow in faith and share the good news of your love to family and anyone else who needs to receive it. I pray for the confidence of the woman and the official in your power to heal.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

July 3, 2022, Sunday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Isaiah 66:10-14

Psalm 66

Galatians 6:14-18

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, … Gal. 6:14

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others… Lk. 10:1

Lord, it had to be such an honor to be among the first disciples to carry your good news to every town and place you intended to visit. Their mission was to prepare the people for you to transform lives and bring your kingdom to reality. They carried with them a dependence on your power and a confidence that you would be their strength. You continue to send out laborers for your harvest even today. Because of my Baptism I am given the honor to be among those who work for you in the world today. Nothing has changed from the mission you gave to the first seventy-two. You entrust the message of your cross and the kingdom to imperfect men and women who try to live the gift of faith in their homes, communities, workplaces and everywhere. Lord, I am unworthy of such a mission. I sometimes feel inadequate and not equipped to do what you ask. Help me to trust in you and depend on you every day as I seek to bear fruit in the vineyard of the world. I heard someone say that we don’t need to worry about the outcome because success depends on you. You just ask us to be faithful.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

July 2, 2022 Saturday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time

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 wine into fresh wineskins and both are preserved.”  Matthew 9:17

Lord, each day of life you give us 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. Help me to fast from whatever separates me from your love.  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 my life. Lord, I’m excited and hopeful for what you will do for me today. Walking with you is always an adventure. So I celebrate with joy how you will fill my wineskins today. May I drink of the new wine you offer me every day.  Amen.

Praying the Word

July 1, 2022 Friday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Amos 8:4-6, 9-12

Psalm 119

Matthew 9:9-13

And he got up and followed him.  Matthew 9:9

Lord, you shocked everyone when you invited the outcast and reviled traitor Matthew to follow you. It must have come as a big surprise to Matthew as well. Everyone questioned what possible good you saw in such a tax collector, scum. You looked into this hated, evil man’s heart and saw what no one else did.  And you knew the power of grace to overcome evil. Just as surprising was Matthew’s response. He left behind his very lucrative career and much wealth to become a disciple. Lord, you weren’t out looking for perfection that day, you were looking for willingness and a comrade. You don’t wait until we clean up our act to call us to holiness and a new life. Like Matthew, I’m not perfect yet. You see goodness in my heart and a potential for spiritual greatness. Lord, may your mercy blot out all my sins and your Holy Spirit bring me to where you want me. I open my life to your transforming grace and leave behind all that is holding me back from the new life you offer. Hear my prayers for all those having conversions of heart to follow you.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

June 30, 2022 Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Amos 7:10-17

Psalm 19

Matthew 9:1-8

“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?”  Mt. 9:4

Lord, you saw the faith of the paralyzed man and his friends. You also saw the evil intentions in the hearts of the scribes. When you look into my heart what do you find there? I pray you find faith, goodness and a desire to do the will of the Father. But you may also find the darkness of thoughts that separate me from you. Both good and evil arise from our thoughts. If I let my thinking go wherever it wants I can be led astray into sin. Lord, the sins of the man were your first priority. After that you healed his body to show everyone you had the authority to forgive sin. Lord, forgive the sins of my heart and mind.  Strengthen me to avoid those situations, places and people that lead me to evil intentions. Help me to discipline my thinking to resist temptations that lead me to sin against you. Shine the light of your grace into my heart so I can harbor holy thoughts. Also, dear Lord, I pray you grant courage and patience for all those who suffer paralysis of body and mind.  Amen.

Praying the Word

Jun 29, 2022 ST PETER AND ST PAUL, APOSTLES

Acts 12:1-11

Psalm 34

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Matthew 16:13-19

But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength… 2 Timothy 4:17

Lord, today we honor two giants in our faith.  Both Peter and Paul had flaws and weren’t perfect. They made a lot of mistakes. Despite their human failures you entrusted them with a huge mission: bringing the gospel message to an unbelieving world.  Both gave their all to you and received their eternal rewards. I too make mistakes and have not always been faithful to you. But like Paul and Peter I believe you have not given up on me. I believe that you stand with me in every temptation and offer the strength needed to be successful. Lord, continue to help me fight the good fight each day. When I am weak, give me your strength. When I get tired, help me to finish the race. May I listen to the wisdom of your word and the whispers of the Spirit especially when my emotions or human logic pull me toward the wrong path. My prayer today is to look for your strength and grace in every encounter and situation. I thank you Lord for standing by me always. St. Peter and St. Paul, pray for us.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

June 28, 2022 Tuesday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. IRENAEUS, BISHOP, MARTYR

Amos 3:1-8; 4:11-12

Psalm 5

Matthew 8:23-27

…”Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”  Matthew 8:26

Lord, I am reminded of how your disciples slept during your agony in the garden before your Passion.  Reading and pondering your word today is convincing evidence that you have calmed every storm in my life to this point. I am still here because you have saved me from perishing like you did your disciples.  Even where my faith is weak and I am prone to panic you’ve been my savior. There hasn’t been a storm too much for you. You’ve never slept through any of my trials. Lord, life brings many tests for my faith and I’ve passed some but flunked others. Despite that you stay in the boat with me. I know there are more storms to come. So bless me with the faith and the trust that will strengthen me in weakness. Build up my confidence that you understand all my fears. I believe in your power, Lord, and your will for my life.  Never let worry take the place of faith in you. I thank you for calming all the storms in my life.  St. Irenaeus pray for us. Amen.  

Praying the Word

June 27, 2022, Monday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16

Psalm 50

Matthew 8:18-22

“…to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.” Ps. 50:23

“Follow me…” Mt. 8:22

Lord, are these two words the most important in all the Bible? Do they not describe the path that all of us must take at some point in our lives to experience eternal life? The Apostles, your mother Mary and many others gave up everything they valued to follow you and to live as you taught. You understand the cost of being your disciple. You call us to choose you above all other things.  You call us to accept and embrace the will of God no matter what direction that will takes us. The ways of the world entice us and invite us to find happiness and security in wealth, materialism, pleasure and comfort. You told the scribe you didn’t even have a place to rest your head. You started out in a smelly and harsh manger, and you would end up behind a stone in a tomb. In between you showed us that the way to greatness is in service to you and to your children. The Psalm today makes the point that the result of choosing your way as the right way is salvation. Guide me today to make choices that please you.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

June 26, 2022, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time-C

1 Kings 19:16, 19-21

Psalm 16

Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Luke 9:51-62

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

And to another he said, “Follow me.”  But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”  Lk. 9:59

Lord, many of us put off to tomorrow what we need to do today. Elisha hears the call from Elijah but claims he first must go back and say goodbye to his parents. The story continues with Elisha burning his plow and slaughtering his oxen which basically cuts his ties to his home and family and frees him to follow his calling. You ask a young man to follow you, but he wants to put that off until he completes his obligation to bury his father. Was his father dead yet? Lord, we too are called by you to serve your kingdom in various ways. Your point is answering your invitation to build up your Body on earth should not be delayed. Sometimes I am not yet ready to commit to what you ask, and you understand that. So, you provide me the grace to grow in faith. I find myself, over time, becoming more confident that with you “at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.” Lord, make me ready at every moment to follow you when you call, no matter what you call me to do, be it a little thing or a big, life-changing thing.   Amen