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Reflection for the 6th Week in Ordinary Time

Credible witnesses claimed Jesus was a healer with a difference — not a quack who worked miracles with a line of Scripture and a tablet or two.  Jesus was someone who healed with authority — even casting out demons and curing leprosy.  As a re­sult, villagers and townsfolk alike spilled out of their homes, abandoning flocks and fields, fishing nets and looms, as they went in search of Jesus.  It was as though the whole of Galilee suddenly be­came his followers — each person desperate to find the healing he or she desired.

 

Today there is the same preoccupation with finding healing.  Consumers are quick to locate the newest miracle drug, the most promising medi­cal breakthrough, the most reasonable alterna­tive approach.  Just as the Galileans flocked to Jesus, so we flock to clinics, hospitals, workshops, book stores, health food stores and even web sites.  Too often, the more money we spend, the less satisfying the results.  In contrast, what Jesus offers is freely given.  The basis of his healing is love — not gain.

 

Heal us, Lord, of all of our ills — mind and body, heart and soul.

A Prayer to Begin Lent

God, heavenly Father,
look upon me and hear my 
prayer
as I prepare to begin this holy Season of Lent.
By the 
good works you inspire,
help me to discipline my body 

so as to be renewed in spirit.

Without You I can do nothing.
By Your 
Spirit help me to know what is right
and to be eager in doing your will.
Teach me to find new 
life through penance.
Keep me from sin, and help me live
by your commandment of love.
God of love, bring me back to you.
Send Your 
Spirit to make me strong
in 
faith and active in good works.
May my 
acts of penance bring me your forgiveness,
open my heart to your love,
and prepare me for the coming feast
of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Lord, throughout this Lenten Season,
keep me faithful to the Gospel of Jesus.

Nourish me with the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Make me one with you in love and prayer.

Father, our source of life,
I reach out with joy to grasp your hand;
let me walk more readily in your ways.
Guide me in your gentle mercy,
for left to myself I cannot do your Will.

Father of love, source of all blessings,
help me to pass from my old 
life of sin
to the new 
life of grace.
May I live all my days in the 
glory of your Kingdom.
Amen.

 

Reflection for the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

How often does God Speak to us, but we fail to recognize his voice?  He may have spoken to us in a comment by a co-worker, or in a letter from a friend, or in the circumstances of our family life, or maybe even in this reception of the Eucharist.  Have you ever wondered whether some unusual or even usual happening might have been God’s attempt to communicate with you?   Why is it that we do not recognize that the Lord is speaking to us?

 

Sometimes our spiritual deafness is because our prayer times have grown stagnant, or may not even exist.   If this has a familiar ring to it, then you too may have experienced what Israel was experiencing about the year 1000 BC  — the absence of the voice of the Lord.

 

Maybe it’s because we are too busy to hear the voice of God.  Maybe our interests and focus in life do not include God.  We find happiness and fulfillment in what we do instead of in who we are.

 

Because Samuel listened to God, he received revelation, at a time when visions were rare in Israel.  Ultimately, God used Samuel for some pretty lofty purposes — all because Samuel heard and listened to the voice of God.

 

What blessings are in store for us and those around us if we will hearken regularly to the voice of God?   “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.   Lead me in your ways and teach me to do your will.”

Prayer for the 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

O Lord my God, You called me f rom the sleep of nothingness merely because of Your tremendous love. You want to make good and beautiful beings. You have called me by name in my mother’s womb. You have given me breath and light and movement and walked with me every moment of my existence. I am amazed, Lord God of the universe, that You attend to me — and, more, cherish me Create in me the faithfulness that moves You, and I will trust You and yearn for You all my days. Amen. —Joseph Tetlow, S.J.

Reflection Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Family

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

like you, we are members of God’s family and the human family.

We pray that our family love

may reflect God’s love in its openness to all people.

May we forgive even when not forgiven,

and be patient with each other’s weaknesses.

 

Jesus,

give us peace, unity and strength

to meet the difficulties of daily living.

May we use our family resources

to respect the sacredness of life

and to improve the quality of life

for ourselves and all people.

Let us show joy in serving others;

for whatever we do for others,

we do for you.

 

Mary,

inspire us,

that our love may be strong, but not possessive.

Let our willingness to give

depend on the needs of others

rather than on the cost of giving.

 

Joseph,

help us to be attentive to God’s will.

Let us be ready,

as you were,

to act whenever God calls us.

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

may we live in imitation of your life on earth

so that we may share for all eternity

in the life of God’s family in heaven.

Amen.

Prayer for the Family

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

in you we contemplate

the splendor of true love,

to you we turn with trust.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

grant that our families, too,

may be places of communion and prayer,

authentic schools of the Gospel

and small domestic Churches.

 

Holy Family of Nazareth,

may families never again

experience violence, rejection, and division. 

May all who have been hurt or scandalized

find ready comfort and healing.

 

Holy family of Nazareth,

make us once again

more mindful of the sacredness

and inviolability of the family,

and its beauty in God’s plan.

 

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

graciously hear our prayer. 

Amen.

—Pope Francis

 

Reflection for Christmas

O Jesus,  what a dreamer you were!

You dreamed of a Christmas world —

a world like we have for a short time each Christmas.

 

You  knew  we could have such a world.

We know we  could  have such a world.

We have it for a few days each Christmas.

Why can’t we make it work?

 

Help us to make it work.

Help us to dream the dream.

Help us to live for others, not just for ourselves.

Help us to work for peace, not just for comfort.

Help us to share our abundance, not just our leftovers.

Help us to build a better bridge, not a better shield.

 

Let us build a bridge to span the canyon of our fear,

A bridge wide enough, long enough, strong enough,

for a dream to walk upon —

a dream for a Christmas world.

Amen.

Prayer for Christmas

 

 

May God bless you with discomfort…
at easy answers,

hard hearts,
half-truths,

and superficial relationships.
May God bless you

so that you may live
from deep within your heart
where God’s Spirit dwells.

May God bless you with anger…
at injustice,

oppression,
and exploitation of people.
May God bless you

so that you may work

for justice,

freedom,

and peace.

May God bless you with tears…
to shed for those who suffer

from pain,
rejection,

starvation

and war.
May God bless you

so that you may reach out your hand
to comfort them

and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you

with enough foolishness
to believe

that you can make a difference
in this world,

in your neighborhood,

so that you will courageously try
what you don’t think you can do,

but, in Jesus Christ

you’ll have all the strength necessary.

May God bless you

to fearlessly speak out

about injustice,
unjust laws,

corrupt politicians,
unjust and cruel treatment of prisoners,
and senseless wars,
genocides,

starvations,

and poverty

that is so pervasive.

May God bless you

that you remember
that you are called
to continue God’s redemptive work
of love

and healing
in God’s place,

in and through God’s name,
in God’s Spirit,

continually creating
and breathing

new life

and grace
into everything

and everyone you touch.

Amen

Reflection for the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

The servant didn’t realize that he was burying himself along with his master’s money.  Nor could he imagine that the hole he dug became a grave not only for the talent, but also for his own poten­tial.  He decided to  “play safe” rather than invest, and the result was  “no gain.”

 

The spiritual life is about increase.  God asks us to “increase and multiply” every blessing.  But this only happens when we recognize our gifts and are willing to develop them.  Paradoxically, the more we invest, the more gifts surface. We may have only one talent at our disposal, but the way we work with this talent can yield many more skills which had previously gone unnoticed. This holds true not only of tangible gifts such as musical abilities,  but also of invisible gifts such as being a loving presence to others, learning to listen, learn­ing to pray.  As a result, our life’s purpose begins to unfold and we begin to understand all that God desires for us.

 

Lord, help us to be open to the possibilities that life has to offer.

A Prayer for Fulfillment

God grant me

the serenity

to accept

the things I cannot change,

courage

to change the things

I can

and wisdom

to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

enjoying one moment

at a time;

accepting hardship

as a pathway

to peace.

Taking,

as Jesus did,

this sinful world

as it is —

not as I would have it.

Trusting

that You will make

all things right

if I surrender

to Your will;

so that I may be

reasonably happy

in this life

and supremely happy

with You forever

in the next.

Amen.