Year of Mercy Companion
December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016
September 24th Reading
-Saint Gregory of Narek
By your noble and glorious blood,
offered unceasingly to please God who sent you,
may the dangers be lifted from me, the condemned,
may my transgressions be forgiven,
may my vices be pardoned,
may my shamelessness be forgotten,
may my sentence be commuted,
may the wailing stop,
and the gnashing of teeth fall silent.
Let the laments lessen and tears dry.
Let mourning end and darkness be banished.
May the vengeful fire be tamped out
and torments of every kind be exiled.
May you who grant life to all be compassionate now.
Let your light dawn, your salvation be swift,
your help come in time, and the hour of your arrival
be at hand.
May the dew of your mercy quench the parched field
where my bones have fallen into the pit of death.
Prepare the earth for the day of light
and let the soil bloom and bring forth fruit,
heavenly cup of life-giving blood,
ever scarified, never running dry
all for the salvation and life of the souls in eternal rest.
And through my body die in sin,
with your grace and compassion,
may I be strengthened in you, cleansed of sin
through you, and renewed by you with life everlasting,
and at the resurrection of the righteous
be deemed worthy of your Father's blessing.
The Word Among Us magazine
Mass Reading & Meditation for September 27, 2016
Meditation: Luke 9:51-56
Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest (Memorial)
He resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)
Surgery looms—or a tax audit or a trip to the dentist.
Sometimes we have to set our faces resolutely to the
unpleasantness ahead and keep moving forward, even if
it’s all we can think about.
That’s not the case with Jesus. Surely thoughts about
the horrible death that awaited him were in his mind
as he “resolutely determined” to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).
But one thought, which he expressed as he passed through
Jericho, prevailed: “The Son of Man has come to seek and
to save what was lost” (19:10).
Jesus came for all men and women, even the ones who don’t
understand him or his message. Even the ones who reject him
and, like the Samaritans, refuse to welcome him. Even us.
None of the suffering to come overshadowed his desire to seek
and save. He didn’t give heed to the thoughts that reminded
him who we are or what we’ve done. He treasures us—all of
us—too much. That’s how deeply he wants us to be with him.
Jesus places no limits on whom he will and will not accept.
Zacchaeus the tax collector, pawn of the Romans and despised
by the Jews, received Jesus and salvation, joyfully.
Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, welcomed
him and traveled with him and the apostles. The thief who hung
on the cross next to him begged to enter the kingdom of heaven,
and he promised him paradise that very day. Lying, cheating,
stealing, committing adultery—Jesus loves you and invites you
to turn to him.
He never gives up on you either. Even to those who don’t welcome
him at first, he gives another chance. And another. And another.
He is as resolute and determined in his pursuit of you as he was
in his journey to the cross. The Samaritans finally accepted Jesus
“with one accord” and in “crowds” when Philip preached, some years
after Jesus’ death and resurrection (Acts 8:6). Healed and delivered,
they were filled with joy. Jesus is never too put off to be merciful.
May we never give up hope—for ourselves or our loved ones!
“Jesus, you came to seek and save me. You are welcome in my life!”
Presentation Ministries, One Bread, One Body - Monday, October 17, 2016
SAVED FROM AN UNSPEAKABLE HELL
"You were dead." —Ephesians 2:1
We start life "dead in sin" (Eph 2:5), and we buy into death through
our "sins and offenses" (Eph 2:1). In this living death (1 Jn 3:14),
we are blinded, manipulated, and drafted into giving "allegiance to
the present age and to the prince of the air, that spirit who is even
now at work among the rebellious" (Eph 2:2). Satan keeps us in line
and enslaved by seducing us to live "at the level of the flesh, following
every whim and fancy" (Eph 2:3). Thus, certain sins become our very
lives (Col 3:7). When we occasionally get glimpses of our lives of death
and slavery, we hate ourselves for our addiction to being seduced and
abused by the evil one. Then, we lie to ourselves and try to run away
from reality by yielding to more seductions and demonic abuse. Thus,
our lives deteriorate "through illusion and desire" (Eph 4:22). Of
ourselves, we are trapped and doomed to an everlasting hell of being
mocked and abused.
"But God is rich in mercy; because of His great love for us He brought
us to life with Christ when we were dead in sin. By this favor you were
saved" (Eph 2:4-5). Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from an unspeakable
hell and saving us for an unimaginable heaven. Thank You, Jesus, our Savior.
Prayer: Father, You loved us so much that You sent Your Son so that
whoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16).
I believe in Him with all my heart.
Promise: "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful
song." —Ps 100:2
Praise: St. Ignatius wrote: "He Who rose for our sakes is my one Desire."
The Word Among Us magazine
Mass Reading & Meditation for June 24, 2017
Meditation: Psalm 139:1-3, 13-15
The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist (Solemnity)
You have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.(Psalm 139:13)
Isn’t this a beautiful psalm for today’s feast? It’s not hard to picture John the
Baptist praying these words and finding his own life story in this psalm. Surely
Zechariah, his father, told him the story of his miraculous conception and how God
had set him apart in Elizabeth’s womb. Surely John was convinced that God had given
him just the right gifts and talents that would help him
accomplish his mission.
So why not follow John’s example today and make this psalm your own? Here’s one way
you can do it:
“Father, you know everything. You know my past and my future, what I have done and what
I will do. You even know things about me that I don’t know myself. You know how I think
and react, what trips me up and what spurs me on—and you always help me.
“You know the times when I move forward, where I am headed, and all the paths that I
will take to arrive there. You know whether I stride purposefully or wander confused
or stagger through the difficult events of life. I trust that one day I will be where
you mean me to be.
“Sometimes my way seems aimless and directionless. Yet you are never startled or caught
unaware. You know all my thoughts before I have even conceived them, and you understand
all of them. You know my soul and my motivations better than I do myself.
“You know the times when I rest, simply staying still, not moving forward at all. Journeying
or resting, I am known and loved by you, made wonderfully for your plans and your delight.
“You know my heart and its ways too. You are familiar with them all, and you correct me,
little by little, ever so gently, when I stray. You watch over me continually, as a parent
watches a toddler learning to walk.
“Lord, you love me! You know everything about me, and you love me anyway, showing me off
as one of the marvels of your creation. I am wonderfully made!
“Thank you, Father, for creating me and delighting in me. Help me to become strong in
your Holy Spirit and walk in your ways.”
Presentation Ministries: One Bread, One Body<< Monday, September 25, 2017 >>
Ezra 1:1-6   Psalm 126:1-6 Luke 8:16-18
"He puts it on a lampstand so that whoever comes in can see it." —Luke 8:16
Jesus said there were four groups of people in this world. He compared these groups to a footpath,
rocky ground, ground that produces briers, and good ground (Lk 8:5ff). Only one of the four groups receives
God's Word so as to bear fruit. This means that we who share God's Word can expect a lot of failure.
This makes us feel like keeping God's Word to ourselves. Nevertheless, the Lord commands us to put the
light of God's Word on the lampstand of our lives so as to give light to all (Lk 8:16).
The Lord also warns us that if we don't share His Word, we will lose it (Lk 8:18). If we hear and act on
His Word by sharing it, Jesus promises He will consider us to be His mother, brothers, and sisters
(Lk 8:21; Mk 3:35). The Lord gives us encouragement to share His Word despite the failure of many
to accept it.
Do you love the Lord? Do you love people? Do you know that every person needs to believe in Jesus Christ?
Do you also know that "ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ"? (St. Jerome, Catechism, 133)
People need to hear the Word of the Lord to believe in the Lord. For God's sake and for love's sake, share