Sun, 15 September 2019
O brothers in Christ,
in death and in life
you gave yourselves as one
for the sake of the flock;
for the cause of the faith
readily you shed your blood
to serve the growth of God’s Church –
pray we today will be zealous as you
in defending the faith with our lives;
by fasting and by prayer,
by standing courageously
before the courts of the world
and offering our flesh in sacrifice,
may we imitate you who imitated Christ
and so come with all our brothers
to His resurrection and life.
Shepherd us well even this day
from where you now stand at the Lord’s side,
that we might be unafraid to speak
and to live the truth in undying love.
O let us lay down our lives with you!
Sun, 15 September 2019
(1Tm.2:1-8; Ps.28:2,6-9; Lk.7:1-10)
“Offer prayers with blameless hands held aloft.”
We must pray. We must petition the Lord for the good of the world, that the good of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ, might be known to all. If we do not intercede, if we do not seek the healing of a people sick with sin, who shall do so? The Lord desires “all men to be saved and come to know the truth.” It is our responsibility, it is our call, to bring the love and forgiveness and healing of our Lord forth.
“Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you, lifting up my hands to your holy shrine.” Our eyes and our hands must be continually lifted up to the temple of the Lord and to His holy presence. The Lord listens to our prayers, brothers and sisters. The world depends upon our prayers. Those for whom the Lord is “strength” and “the saving refuge” are near to Him, and He waits to hear from them. He longs to hear the petitions of their hearts and is eternally prepared to respond to their pleas. Should not we who are blessed to be within the walls of the Church, who partake of His Word and His sacraments, who have His teaching upon our hearts and His presence in our midst, be concerned for the good of all; should we not long to see the Lord’s will done on this earth? Then pray.
And our gospel teaches us that those who disparage the faithful for depending on the intercessions of others, those who think they must always come directly to Jesus to find answer to their petition – those who fail to see the family of God and our connection here on earth with the saints who have preceded us to heaven – are in danger of a vain pride. Learn from the centurion, who says to the Lord, “I did not presume to come to you myself.” And why? “For I am not worthy to have you enter my house.” And so, first “he sent some Jewish elders to him” (are these not so much like our beloved saints?), and then “sent friends” to deliver the above message of humility. And for his humility, and for his faith in the intercession of others… and for his realization that the Lord hears petitions offered for others and that He Himself has ministering angels who perform His work at His Word – the Lord holds this centurion in “amazement” and raises him up as a model of faith.
Do we believe? Do we truly believe in the Lord and in His angels and His saints? Do we believe His heavenly kingdom is near to us, and His will is for our good? Then we should not hesitate to lift our hearts and our hands to the Lord in faithful prayer.
Blessed Mother, intercede for us before your Son, Jesus, that we who are not worthy to receive Him into our mortal bodies may be made immortal by His presence within us. May He bring peace to the world.
O LORD, you will repay the faithful soul;
you will repay him to the full –
the lamp you light in us will never dim.
YHWH, bring us into the New Jerusalem; return us to our true home with you. In Heaven let us dwell this day, blessed with all the gifts and graces come from your hands. Then we shall rejoice. Then we shall laugh and sing. Then our tears will be washed away as we join ourselves to you.
How impossible it seems as we sit here in this dark world, and yet how very likely. For even here you are present to us as we speak your NAME. Even now we know your light shining in our minds and hearts. Yes, LORD, even now we come to Heaven.
You are with your people even in their exile, and you call even those who are strangers to help them along their way to you. All the nations know your greatness and shall enter your Church, O LORD. Let us build your Temple this day.