Sept. 30: 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Lazarus in the Bosom of Abraham, Abbey of St-Pierre, Moissac, France, 650-850

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Amos 6:1, 4-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Second Reading: First Timothy 6:11-16
Gospel: Luke 16:19-31

‘Abraham said to the rich man, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead (NRSV, Luke 16:31).” ’

Let us pray.

Father, our proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus merely in words can be taken as just an idle tale. It is only in living out in our own lives the power of the resurrection, the divine life that Jesus himself accepted and made his own, that faith in the resurrection can be made credible for others. As we have had resurrection faith mediated to us by those before us who believed and led transformed lives, may our lives as well be transformed by your life given to us that others may also come to accept our belief in the resurrection.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept 29: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Archangels

Gustave Doré's Illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Paradiso Canto 31

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, or Revelation 12:7-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5
Gospel: John 1:47-51

A thousand thousand served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood attending him (NRSV, Daniel 7:10b).

Let us pray.

Father, even on our journey to your heavenly court, may we who accept a share of your divine life into our own, together with all of your heavenly court, stand before you in awe and offer you glory and honour and praise.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 28: Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Giovanni Bellini, Dead Christ Supported by Angels, Pinacoteca Communale, Rimini, 1474

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Haggai 1:15-2:9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 43:1, 2, 3, 4
Gospel: Luke 9:18-22

‘The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised (NRSV, Lk 9:22).’

Let us pray.

Father, physical death, literally having to let go of everything that we have and are, is a milestone on our journey to you that none can escape. May we accept death as a summing up of how every moment of earthly life should be lived. With Jesus may we pass through death in total surrender placing our complete trust in you.

Through Christ out Lord. Amen.

Sept. 27: Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Bible moralisée, Haggai speaks to Zerubbabel and Joshua, son of Josedech, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, c.1465

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Haggai 1:1-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 9
Gospel: Luke 9:7-9

Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider how you have fared. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured, says the Lord (NRSV, Haggai 1:7-8).

Let us pray,

Father, even your prophet Haggai understood you as desiring a dwelling for your own pleasure and honour. What does it take for us to learn that festivals and places of worship are for us, not you, because they enable us to focus our thoughts and our prayers more fully on you? May we rejoice in sacred time and sacred space as they encourage us to make you and your coming kingdom the center and goal of everything that we are and do.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 26: Wednesday of the 25th week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Gustave Doré, The Rebuilding of the Temple

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Ezra 9:5-9
Responsorial Psalm: Tobit 13:2, 3-4, 6, 7-8, 6
Gospel: Luke 9:1-6

‘For we are slaves; yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to give us new life to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judea and Jerusalem (NRSV, Ezra 9:9).’

Let us pray.

Father, your prophet Ezra understood that you give your people new life. What he failed to grasp is that this new life is your very own divine life which you offer to us in every situation, in every time and place, through your Word always present to us. The Jews, returning from Babylon, sought to rebuild the Temple that you might once again find an abode among them, not realizing that all are called in their humanity to be temples of your Holy Spirit, with you living within us. May we grow in that divine life in every moment, now and into eternity.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 25: Tuesday of the 25th Week in Ordinary time, Year I

Max Fürst, Mary Seeks Her Son

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Ezra 6:7-8, 12, 14-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
Gospel: Luke 8:19-21

But Jesus said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it (NRSV, Luke 8:21)."

Let us pray.

Father, our physical family, mother and father, sisters and brothers, spouse and children, are so very important for us. But of far greater importance is the family of your divine life that we are all called to share. Physical life is one thing but the life that you share with everyone who will accept you creates a family of divine significance, a family for eternity. In faith may we recognize you as really and truly father to us and Jesus as our brother for eternal life. We pray that our physical family may be one in you and with all who believe in you.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 24: Monday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Master Azor, Cyrus Orders the Temple in Jerusalem Rebuilt, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, 1430

‘Thus says King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of those among you who are of his people—may their God be with them!—are now permitted to go up to Jerusalem in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord (NRSV, Ezra 1:2-3a).'

Readings for Mass

First Reading: Ezra 1:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Gospel: Luke 8:16-18

Let us pray.

Father, in the midst of every situation in which we find ourselves, instead of lamenting our condition, may we pray asking how what seems evil and oppressive, filled with anguish and suffering, can be turned into blessing for ourselves and others. May we always, as with the people in captivity in Babylon, and with Jesus on the Cross, place all of our trust in you, that by accepting your life and power and making it truly our own, we may find deliverance.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 23: 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Gustave Doré, Amos from The Doré Bible Gallery, 1891

Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, . . . The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Surely I will never forget any of their deeds (NRSV, Amos 8:4,7).

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Amos 8:4-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
Second Reading: First Timothy 2:1-8
Gospel: Luke 16:1-13 or 16:10-13

Let us pray.

Father, you call all of us through your Word to empty ourselves completely, even of all just claim on reality, that we may become truly poor, poor in spirit. It is then that we allow ourselves to accept your divine life in the Holy Spirit that is always offered. If we are true to this great gift, in which we are called constantly to grow, we will go out of ourselves, especially to those who are economically poor, to enable all of our sisters and brothers to share ever more fully in the goods of this world.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Sept. 22: Saturday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Conrad Dressler, The Sower, 1896

Readings for Mass
First Reading: First Timothy 6:13-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 100:2, 3, 4, 5
Gospel: Luke 8:4-15

Jesus said, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that“looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand (NRSV, Luke 8:10).”

Let us pray,

Father, your Word is spoken, once and for all, in its entirety, to everyone, in every situation, in every time and place, even from the womb, yet how hard it is for us to understand. We are limited by the very fact that we are created and thus finite. The historical situation limits us, as does sin, the shared sins of humanity and our own personal sins. May we therefore listen ever more closely that we may grow in understanding and, in the life and power that you share with us in the Holy Spirit, put that understanding into practice in our daily lives.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept 21: Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist

Jan Sanders van Hemessen, Jesus Summons Matthew to Leave the Tax Office, Alte Pinakothek, Munich 1536

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13

Go and learn what this means, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice (NRSV, Matthew 9:13a).’

Let us pray.

Father, how we misunderstand what sacrifice is. There is no gift that we can give to you since it is you who are the giver of all. The only true sacrifice is your own inner life of giving, receiving and sharing, made manifest for us in the reality of Jesus. What you desire is that we get caught up in this sacrifice, in your inner life always offered to us through the Word, and, allowing it to fill us, we become transformed by your mercy. It is indeed this mercy that you desire.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sept. 20: Thursday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Dieric Bouts the Elder, Christ in the House of Simon, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, 1440s

Readings for Mass
First Reading: First Timothy 4:12-16
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 111:7-8, 9, 10
Gospel: Luke 7:36-50

And Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace (NRSV, Luke 7:50).’

Let us pray,

Father, everything that we do of value is in response to your gift of divine life that you share with us through the Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is our saying “yes” to you in faith that gives us strength to do all that is necessary. It is our response to you in faith that brings us forgiveness and reconciliation and enables us to go out to others in love and service. It is faith then which saves.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.