Monday, September 23, 2019

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

The Lord has done marvels for us. Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.

Gladness should be a core trait for us all. We have much to be happy about. God formed us in His Divine Image and gave us free will. He created us and gave us all our gifts and talents. He has provided us with graces and blessings beyond what we deserve. He has protected us from the wickedness and snares of the Devil and all those who would lead us away from Him. He has done marvelous deeds for us in great and little ways. He has adopted us as a Father. He has loved us as a brother. He has been with us in Spirit and in Truth, showing us the Way and the Life that will lead to salvation and eternal life. Yes, we have many things to be glad and grateful for and we should proclaim this to all who will hear us.

What are we glad about? How can we be happier people, even in our moments of difficulty? What can we do to spread the Good News of God’s marvelous deeds to all the world?

O Lord, you have done marvels for us and we are glad.

Amen.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.  This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Praying for those in authority is something we all should do. Even if we do not agree with a person’s politics, we should still pray that they make the best decisions for the people they represent. We should pray that our leaders resist the temptations of office, such as corruption, pride, arrogance. We should also pray that our leaders build up the kingdom of Christ and not tear it down through their speeches, decisions, and laws. We might not be able to claim ultimate victory over the worldly in the realm of politics, but that doesn’t mean we should leave the field, either. Instead, we should treat our foes with love and mercy and try to show them the truth by being good citizens who are faithful to the Gospel.

Do we offer prayers for our leaders? How can we show love and mercy to our political foes? What can we do to make our country into one that respects the dignity of each human and our religious freedoms?

O Lord, we pray for those in authority.

Amen.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist

Their message goes out through all the earth. Not a word nor a discourse whose voice is not heard; Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message.

We often talk about the world as if it is an antagonist to our faith, but there is a difference between the world and the worldly. The world as part of creation is good and reflects the glory and majesty of its Creator. It is the worldly, those who focus on earthly things rather than heavenly ones, that we are at odds with. There is beauty and wonder in the world around us, which we should celebrate and give thanks for. There are marvels on the earth, in the seas, in the skies, and beyond that we should appreciate because they reveal a God whose works are wondrous indeed. All throughout the earth the voice of our Creator resounds, reminding us that we are part of His Divine Plan and beautiful, too.

Do we take time to appreciate the world around us? How do we fulfill our calling to be good stewards of the earth? What can we do to listen more carefully to the voice of our Creator?

O Lord, your voice resounds through all the earth.

Amen.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs

Blessed the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs! Why should I fear in evil days when my wicked ensnarers ring me round? They trust in their wealth; the abundance of their riches is their boast.

Even when things seem the worst, we should not fear. Even when our enemies seem to have the upper hand, we should trust in God. Even when we are seemingly abandoned, we are not alone. Even when evil seems to be winning the day, we should know that the victory of the good will come. God may let us be tried by trials and sufferings, but if we remain true to Him, He will not allow them to overwhelm us. Others might show off their wealth, flaunt their fame, or revel in their desires, but ultimately these things will wither and fade. Such worldly people cling to these empty things, but in the end, they will leave this world with nothing to show for their lives. It is the poor in spirit who will bear abundant fruits and make a true and lasting difference in the world.

Are we poor in spirit and rich in kindness? Are we unafraid of the evils around us? Have we placed our trust in God as we should?

O Lord, with you at our side, we have nothing to fear from the wicked.

Amen.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Twenty-Fourth Thursday in Ordinary Time

How great are the works of the Lord! The works of his hands are faithful and just; sure are all his precepts, Reliable forever and ever, wrought in truth and equity.

We are works of the Lord and as such we are all called to greatness. Some are called to greatness by becoming priests, deacons, and religious. Others are called to be lay faithful and ministers. Many are called to build domestic churches as husbands and wives. Still others are called to live the single life. We are asked to be preachers, teachers, servants, counselors, builders, homemakers, business people, athletes, writers, and all manner of occupations. And if we do them with faith, hope, and love, then the works we do, no matter how seemingly small, will be great indeed. So, let us be wrought in truth and equity, formed in faith, and justice, and become holy people in whatever we do.

Do we appreciate that God has created us for a purpose? How can we live up to the vocation God has called us to? In what ways can we become more reliable servants of God and others?

O Lord, how great are your works!

Amen.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Twenty-Fourth Wednesday in Ordinary Time

How great are the works of the Lord! He has given food to those who fear him; he will forever be mindful of his covenant. He has made known to his people the power of his works, giving them the inheritance of the nations.

God does great and small works in our lives. Each and every day, He grants us the miracle of life and gives us the grace to live them fruitfully. He provides us with spiritual food that nourishes our souls and feeds our faith. He offers us the light of hope to warm and guide us. He loves us and makes known to us His Truth and His Will. He has adopted us as His own children and wants nothing but the best for us. He made a New Covenant with us to save our souls and give us a chance at eternal life. How great indeed are His works!

Are we mindful of the New Covenant? Do we live lives in accordance with God’s Will? What can we do to become worthy recipients of the inheritance God has laid before us?

O Lord, how great are your works!

Amen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Twenty-Fourth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

I will walk with blameless heart. Of mercy and judgment I will sing; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. I will persevere in the way of integrity; when will you come to me?

In order for us to have integrity, our every word and work must be aligned with the commandments of God the Father, the teachings of Jesus, and the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. Before we speak or act, we must ask ourselves, “Is what we are about to do good or holy?” If we can’t answer yes to this question, then we should try to figure out what we could say or do instead that would give glory to God or help others. We should seize every opportunity to know, love, and serve to the best of our abilities. We should strive to preserve our states of grace whenever we are in them and if we are in need of cleansing, then we should seek out confession and make ourselves right with God. We cannot be blameless of heart if we do not seek to be holy in all things great and small. Even our leisure should be a living prayer to our Creator who gave us the chance to not only work in this world, but also rest in it. But our rest should not be meaningless or without thanksgiving. So, let us take time before everything we do and sing praise to the God who has made us and given us the chance to be good and faithful servants.

Is our faith integrated into our daily lives? How can we live in a more perfect union with God? What can we do to make our every word and work into a prayer to the glory or God?

O Lord, help us to live lives of integrity, united with you.

Amen.