Praying the Word

August 5, 2022, Friday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7

Deuteronomy 32 (Psalm)

Matthew 16:24-28

Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me”.  Matthew 16:24

Lord, many people who go to the gym choose to work-out with a partner. Exercising with a friend can be an encouragement to persevere and work harder. Another person sharing the same suffering in exercise can boost both of us to achieve our goals. You tell us that to achieve our goal of salvation requires us to share in your cross each day. Whatever our vocation in life: spouse, parent, grandparent or single person, we have to deny ourselves in being in service of others and of you. Parents and spouses give their time and attention to their children and each other all the time. In work or family life we depend on you for the strength and encouragement we need. Lord, will you work out with me? The cost of being your disciple is high, but the cost of not being your disciple is even higher. Let me not, today, look only to my own comfort or needs. Help me to accept whatever hardships or crosses that may come. Strengthen me to stay with my tasks faithfully walking with you each step of the way.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

August 4, 2022, Thursday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST. JOHN VIANNEY, PRIEST

Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm 51

Matthew 16:13-23

…for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sins no more.  Jeremiah 31:34

…he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly… Matthew 16:21

Lord, your word today pretty much sums up the Gospel, the good news, in a nutshell. You promise to make a new, everlasting bond with us and then seal it with your blood on the cross. You remind us that you are a forgiving God with a poor memory for our sins. I probably remember my mistakes and bad choices more than you do. What a relief that is!  Who do I say you are? You are my rock and solid foundation, my port in a storm. Thank you so much for not turning away from me, your weak and sinful child. To ensure that your covenant remains strong and visible you made us into a Church, your body on Earth. You promised to guard it from Satan and to never allow it to disappear. Lord, we are far from perfect and continue to struggle against the forces of darkness. At times it appears that our world is going to hell in a handbasket. But we have your Spirit and your gift of faith. We are Victors! May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 3, 2022, Wednesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 31:1-7

Psalm Jeremiah 31:10-13

Matthew 15:21-28

With age-old love I have loved you… Jer. 31:3

“O woman, great is your faith!” Mt. 15:28

Lord, faith always gets your attention. You see faith in the most unlikely people. The Centurion, a hemorrhaging woman, desperate synagogue officials and this pagan woman all impressed you with their faith. They all overcame obstacles and persevered in their belief. Each of them touched your heart in some way. This led to an outpouring of your mercy. Lord, I beg you for the faith of this Canaanite woman who saw you as her hope for the healing of her daughter. When I doubt, be patient with me. When I don’t see your presence in my suffering give me the eyes of faith. Help me to persevere when I lift up my needs to you. I want to be open to your blessings and goodness in my life. Restore my strength when I am weak and keep me always in your love. It is so reassuring that you turn no one away who seeks your help and consolation, even a woman no one would expect you to love. May I show my gratitude to you by giving myself to you.  May I never tire of seeking your mercy.  Amen. 

Praying the Word

August 2, 2022, Tuesday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22

Psalm 102

Matthew 14:22-36

You shall be my people, and I will be your God.  Jeremiah 30:22

“Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

Lord, fear and doubt have no place in our relationship with you. Whether we admit it or not they easily slip into our lives when our boat is rocked by strong waves in the midst of a storm. Even though you’ve been with us from the beginning we can question your plan for us or forget that your power is greater than any storm in the night. We often try to walk on water by using our own resources but in the end when we fail you are there to save us. Lord, I believe that you can calm any storm in my life or heal any wound if I but touch the tassel of your cloak in confident prayer. My prayer today is that you substitute any fear I have with a love of you that won’t falter. Substitute any doubt I have with a trust and faith that you fulfill all your promises completely.  I’m so blessed that you have chosen me to be among your people. I thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to me, for hearing and answering my prayer. I thank you for being my God.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

August 1, 2022, Monday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C ST ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Jeremiah 28:1-17

Psalm 119

Matthew 14:13-21

“Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.”  Matthew 14:17

Lord, your disciples offered up to you all they had to eat that evening. They said that such a small amount of food wouldn’t feed but a handful of the people. It was impossible to care for so many. They knew that there would not be enough for all. After you prayed and broke the bread all ate and were filled up with food leftover! Lord, in your wisdom you have abundantly blessed me with so many gifts too numerous to count no doubt with some leftovers. If you can feed thousands with very little how much more can be done with the awesome abundance you’ve given me?  How can I even doubt that I will come up short in your service? Why do I hold back and not offer you what I have to build up your kingdom? Lord, today show me how powerful are small efforts of compassion and love. Show me the effect the bread of life, the Eucharist, can have in my life. I offer you, Jesus, my five loaves and two fish for you to multiply and to be used as you will. I’ll even make use of the leftovers.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

July 31, 2022, Sunday of the 18th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23

Psalm 90

Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

Luke 12: 13-21

All things are vanity!  Ecclesiastes 1:2

…seek what is above… Colossians 3:2

“Thus, it will be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”  Luke 12:21

Lord, success in the eyes of the world is usually measured by the amount of money we have, the size of our house and the number of electronic gadgets we carry. Your word teaches us these things of earth are not how you measure success. You tell us to lift our hearts and minds to what matters to you. The measures of that are many. How good a steward have I been of the time, talent and treasure you have given to me? Have I worked to teach the children you put my care to be people of good character? Have I given of myself completely to my spouse in marriage? Do I seek to be rich in the virtues of faith, hope and charity? You dearly do not begrudge wealth in itself. But you ask us to be wise in our use of it and put our priority on what you care about. Lord, my prayer today is in whatever time I have left on this earth that I may seek what you want me to seek and to become rich in what matters to you.  Amen.

Praying the Word

July 30, 2022 Saturday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24

Psalm 69

Matthew 14:1-12

“Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the Lord, your God.” Jer. 26:13

The King was distressed… Matthew 14:9

Lord, did it at all occur to Herod to listen to John, repent of his sin and live the way God intended? Did he not see how his position as King of Galilee carried with it responsibilities to be just and the servant of the people? Did it ever occur to Jerimiah’s enemies that he was speaking the truth from God? We’ll never know but we do know Herod gave into the darkness in his heart and committed adultery and murder. It all started when he made a brash promise in front of guests. Lord, I sometimes let my words get ahead of good judgement. This story points out that my words can do great damage and harm. I can destroy reputations, cause pain, or damage relationships. Often the results of what I say are unforeseen. Help me to think before I speak so that only positive and good pass my lips. May your Spirit help me to build others up with my words. Today, Lord, put a guard on my mouth so that I am silent when silence is needed and to speak when words are needed. Loose lips sink ships.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

July 29, 2022 Friday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time-C SAINTS MARTHA, MARY AND LAZARUS

Jeremiah 26:1-9

Psalm 69

John 11:19-27

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died…”  John 11:21

Lord, if you had answered my prayer I wouldn’t have lost my job. If you were listening, you’d know that my marriage is in trouble. If you had healed her, my mother would not have died of cancer. Lord, you know how these issues can test our faith. You were not there before Lazarus died. I trust that you always have a higher, better purpose for all you do and don’t do. I know your purpose is not always seen or understood by us. Martha’s faith passed as she recognized you as her Savior and Lord. May my faith stay strong too. Keep me trusting in your ultimate purpose and plan. When suffering continues or deepens, Lord, help me to hang in there and not waver.  Help me to look for all the other ways you answer our prayers. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for hearing and answering my prayers. Guide me always to see the good come from what appears to be tragedy. So I can say like Martha, “yes Lord, I believe.”  St. Martha, St. Mary and St. Lazarus pray for us.  Amen.

Praying the Word

July 28, 2022 Thursday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 18:1-6

Psalm 146

Matthew 13:47-53

Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again.  Jeremiah 18:4

“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea.”  Matthew 13:47

Lord, you are the potter, I am the clay. Unlike a human potter you don’t make ugly or flawed pots.  And unlike clay I can choose how to respond to you and your dream for me. You continually form and shape me to become what you want for me. To create a beautiful masterpiece of pottery the potter must put the molded clay in a kiln. I am tried by fire to become your finished handiwork. I may resist at times and try to go my own way. Thanks to your patience and love for me you don’t give up. You form me in so many wondrous ways. You teach and guide me with your word. You strengthen and heal me with your sacraments. You put people in my life to inspire me.  Lord, I pray that when you cast your net into the sea and bring me and my family to the shore that we are “keepers.” I pray that we respond to your lifelong grace to grow in faith and reliance on you. Please don’t give up on us. Lord, I place myself and my family in your hands to form us in whatever way you will.  Amen.  

Praying the Word

July 27, 2022, Wednesday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time-C

Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21

Psalm 59

Matthew 13:44-46

For I am with you, to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord.  Jeremiah 15:20

Lord, your great prophet Jeremiah was so upset he wished he’d never been born. He had accepted the mission you gave him. He tirelessly called the people to repent and come back to you. All he got was trouble, strife and threats to his life. Sounds like he was on the edge of giving up. But you assured him you knew his heart and encouraged him to fight on. You reminded him you were with him to deliver him from his enemies—they would not win. I don’t think I’ve ever been so down that I wished I had not been born. But I have felt like Jeremiah. I have struggled against temptations alone forgetting to ask for your help. I have worried that obstacles were too high to overcome.  I’ve been concerned about the opinions or criticism of others. Lord, you see my heart like you saw Jeremiah’s. My faith tells me you won’t let me down.  You are with me to deliver and rescue me from all that threatens my soul. Lord, today, show me how your power is greater than anything or anyone that comes against me. I pray I can cooperate with and persevere in your grace.  Amen.