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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday - Holy Week

Daily Lent Prayer 
"Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:

O God, Who willed your Son to submit for our sake
to the yoke of the Cross,
so that you might drive from us the power of the enemy,
grant us, your servants, to attain the grace of the resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings:  Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34; Matthew 26:14-25

Daily Meditation:
He freed us from the power of the enemy.
This is the last day of Lent.
It is "Spy Wednesday," remembering the day Judas asked,
"What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?"

We read the third song of the Servant who suffers.
And we sense the acceptance, the surrender and the peace of Jesus.
I can imagine the treachery and tranquility of this day,
as I go through the real life drama of my day.
I can begin to feel the joy of the liberation being offered me.

If I haven't done so already,
this can be a wonderful day to pray through the Stations of the Cross.

The Son of Man came not to be served,
but to serve
and to give his life
as a ransom for many.
Communion Antiphon  Matthew 20:28



Intercessions:
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation, who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in himself, when all would be made new.  With great confidence let us ask him: 
 Lord, renew us in your Spirit. 

Lord, you promised a new heaven and a new earth; renew us daily through your Spirit,
- that we may enjoy your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with you to make this world alive with your Spirit,
- and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
- and give us joy in your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
- and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness. 

Closing Prayer:
My Savior,
do you invite me to share
in the glory of the resurrection?
Please stay with me
as I struggle to see
how accepting the crosses of my life
will free me from the power
of the one who wants only
to destroy my love and trust in you.
Help me to be humble and accepting
like your son, Jesus.
I want to turn to you
with the same trust he had in your love.
Save me, Lord. Only you can save me.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday - Holy Week

Daily Lent Prayer
"Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings:  Isaiah 49:1-6; Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17; John 13:21-33, 36-38

Daily Meditation:
Let me receive your forgiveness and mercy.
The second Servant song shapes our reflection today
as we watch that amazing dinner scene on Tuesday of this passion week.

We experience the pain of his knowing
that he will be betrayed and denied.
Yet, the hour he is about to face is the hour of his Glory.
And he promises that where he is going, we will surely follow.

Our desire is to celebrate the gift being offered us.

It is too little, he says,
  for you to be my servant,
  to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
  and restore the survivors of Israel.
I will make you a light to the nations,
  that my salvation may reach
  to the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 49


Intercessions:
Let us pray to Christ our Savior, who redeemed us by his death and resurrection:
 Lord, have mercy on us. 
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
- bring your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
- heal our wounds.
You made the cross the tree of life,
   -  give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
On  the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
- forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:
God of such unwavering love,
how do I "celebrate"
the passion and death of Jesus?
I often want to look the other way
and not watch,
not stay with Jesus in his suffering.
Give me the strength
to see his love with honesty and compassion
and to feel deeply
your own forgiveness and mercy for me.
Help me to understand
how to "celebrate" this week.
I want be able to bring
my weaknesses and imperfections with me
as I journey with Jesus this week,
so aware of his love.


May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday - Holy Week

Daily Lent Prayer
"Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, though in our weakness we fail,
we may be revived through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings:  Isaiah 42:1-7; Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14; John 12:1-11

Daily Meditation:
Strengthen and protect me in my weakness.
We read the first Suffering Servant song in Isaiah.
We imagine the powerful scene at Lazarus' home -
Jesus had wept as he peered into Lazarus' tomb;
now his sister Mary anoints Jesus' feet for the journey to his own tomb.

Whatever we do today,
we might memorize the simple Opening Prayer and personalize it,
asking for the strength we need,
the protection we depend upon, for our journey ahead.

I have called you for the victory of justice.
I have grasped you by the hand.
I formed you and set you
as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
Isaiah 42


Intercessions:
Let us pray to Christ our Savior, who redeemed us by his death and resurrection: 
 Lord, have mercy on us. 

You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
-bring your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier's lance,
-heal our wounds.
You made the cross the tree of life,
- give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
On the cross you forgave the repentant thief,
- forgive us our sins.

Closing Prayer:

God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.
I know only
that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.
I cannot feel protected
from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.
Help me to share this
strength, protection and love with others.


May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Daily Lent Prayer 
"Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

We begin our celebration
with an invitation to remember
what happened on this very special day.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, since the beginning of Lent until now we have prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works. Today we gather together to herald with the whole Church the beginning of the celebration of our Lord's Paschal Mystery, that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection. For it was to accomplish this mystery that he entered his own city of Jerusalem. Therefore, with all faith and devotion, let us commemorate the Lord's entry into the city for our salvation, following in his footsteps, so that, being made by his grace partakers of the cross, we may have a share also in his Resurrection and in his life. 

The Blessing of Palms

Almighty and ever-living God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we, who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
 
or

Increase the faith of those who place their hope in you, O God, and graciously hear the prayers of those who call on you, that we, who today hold high these branches to hail Christ in his triumph, may bear fruit for you by good works accomplished in him. 
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

Collect: 

Almighty ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race to follow
caused our savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross,
graciously grant that we may head his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings:   The Procession Gospel: Matthew 21:1-11
Readings for Mass: Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14 - 27:66

Daily Meditation:
For a closer union with Jesus
in his humility, in his suffering.
This Sunday we hold palm branches in our hands,
and wave them to greet our Lord's entry into the city of our salvation.
Last year's palms were burned to form the ashes
that marked our foreheads to begin this Lenten journey.
We can place these palm branches - perhaps from each member of the family -
in a special place in our home
(maybe cutting a small piece and putting it some place where I work).

Each day this week they can represent our celebration of his love for me.
That symbol can say so many words -
all that I am about to celebrate and accept as love for me,
and all the entry into Jerusalem experiences in my life.

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Hosts,
Heaven and earth are full of your glory!
Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!


Intercessions:
As Christ entered Jerusalem he was greeted as King and Messiah,
Let us adore him, and joyfully praise him:
 
 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna to you, Son of David, King of the ages,
-hosanna to you, victor over death and the powers of darkness.
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into your glory,
-lead your Church into the paschal feast of heaven.
You made your cross the tree of life,
- give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
Savior of mankind, you came to save sinners,
- bring into your kingdom all who have faith, hope, and love.

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I am just beginning to realize how much you love me.
Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient.
He fulfilled your will for him by becoming human and suffering with us.
I ask you for the desire to become more humble
so that my own life might also bear witness to you.
I want to use the small sufferings I have in this world to give you glory.

Please, Lord, guide my mind with your truth.
Strengthen my life by the example of Jesus.
Help me to be with Jesus in this week
as he demonstrates again his total love for me.
He died so that I would no longer be separated from you.
Help me to feel how close you are and to live in union with you.


May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.
 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday - Fifth Week

Daily Lent Prayer 
"Lord, open my lips, 
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
O God, who have made all those reborn in Christ
a chosen race and a royal priesthood,
grant us, we pray, the grace to will and to do what you command,
that the people called to eternal life
may be one in the faith of their hearts 
and the homage of their deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The Readings
Ezekiel 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31; John 11:45-56


Daily Meditation:
Now we rejoice in your great love. 
Our journey has brought us here.
 
It is as though we, too, are gathering in Jerusalem
 
to celebrate our Passover week.
 
We are ready to enter into the Passion drama,
 
and to celebrate the Paschal Mystery,
 
with mind and heart renewed.


We are ready to rejoice that the death of Jesus is “for me” 
and that it is the ultimate victory over sin and death -
 
my sin and my death.


Christ was sacrificed so that he could gather together 
the scattered children of God. 
John 11:52


Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:
To make us his new creation, Christ the Lord gave us the waters of rebirth 
and spread the table of his body and his word.  
Let us call upon him and say: 
   Lord, renew us in your grace. 

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility, 
  - make us want to be patient with everyone. 
Teach us to be true neighbors to all in trouble and distress, 
  - and so imitate you, the Good Samaritan. 
May the Blessed Virgin, your Mother, pray for all those vowed to a life of virginity, 
  - that they may deepen their dedication to you and to the Church. 
Grant us the gift of your mercy, 
  - forgive our sins and remit their punishment.


Closing Prayer:
Loving God, 
Your eternal watchfulness keeps me safe from harm. 
I am filled with a great happiness 
when I feel your endless love for me. 
Thank you for your care for me, one of your children. 
I ask you to protect from harm 
those who will soon be your children, 
joined in the joy of your church. 
Please continue to pour out your blessings 
on all of us who have been given 
the lifegiving waters of baptism.



May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday - Fifth Week

Daily Lent Prayer 
"Lord, open my lips, 
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Pardon the offenses of your peoples, we pray, O Lord,
and in your goodness set us free
from the bonds of the sins 
we have committed in our weakness.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The Readings
Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalm 18:2-7; John 10:31-42


Daily Meditation: 
Set us free. 
On this Friday before Good Friday,
 
it might be most appropriate to make the Stations.
 
Our desire is becoming more focused and more intense.
 
After our weeks of reflection, we know that our selfishness has placed us in ruts,
 
has made us slaves to some very unhappy and sometimes death-dealing patterns.
 
The celebration of our freedom and healing is close at hand.


Jesus carried our sins in his own body on the cross 
so that we could die to sin and live in holiness; 
by his wounds we have been healed. 
The Communion Antiphon - 1 Peter 2:24


Today's Daily Reflection

Intercessions:
Thanks be to Christ the Lord, who brought us life by his death on the cross. 
With our whole heart let us ask him:
 
   By your death raise us to life. 

Teacher and Savior, you have shown us your fidelity and made us a new creation by your passion, 
  - keep us from falling again into sin. 
Help us to deny ourselves today, 
  - and not deny those in need. 
May we receive this day of penance as your gift, 
  - and give it back to you through works of mercy. 
Master our rebellious hearts, 
  - and teach us generosity.


Closing Prayer: 
Most forgiving Lord, 
again and again you welcome me back into your loving arms. 
Grant me freedom from the heavy burdens of sin 
that weigh me down 
and keep me so far from you.



May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday - Fifth Week

Daily Lent Prayer 
"Lord, open my lips, 
and my mouth shall declare your praise."

Collect:
Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you,
and look kindly on those who place their hop in your mercy,
that, cleansed from the stain of their sins,
they may persevere in holy living
and be made full heirs of your promise. 
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


The Readings
Genesis 17: 3-9; Psalm 105:4-9; John 8:51-59


Daily Meditation:
Come to us, free us, help us, and guide us. 
We pray more intensely now, just a week before Holy Thursday. 
We desire more and more that we might be free. 
Sorrow leads to profound gratitude,
when we experience the depth of unconditional love offered us. 
The gratitude of a loved sinner leads to great generosity.


Christ is the mediator of a new covenant so that since he has died,
those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance promised to them. 
The Entrance Antiphon - Hebrews 9:15
 

Today's Daily Reflection


Intercessions:
Christ our Lord came among us as the light of the world, 
that we might walk in his light, and not in the darkness of death.  
Let us praise him and cry out to him:
 
   Let your word be a lamp to guide us. 

God of mercy, help us today to grow in your likeness, 
 - that we who sinned in Adam may rise again in Christ. 
Let your word be a lamp to guide us, 
 - that we may live the truth and grow always in your love. 
Teach us to be faithful in seeking the common good for your sake, 
 - that your light may shine on the whole human family by means of your Church. 
Touch our hearts to seek your friendship more and more, 
 - and to make amends for our sins against your wisdom and goodness.


Closing Prayer: 
Lord, 
all I want is to be faithful to you in my life, 
but so often I fail. 
Free me from my many sins 
and guide me to the life I will share with you. 
I wait for your promise to be fulfilled 
with great hope in my heart 
and your praise on my lips.



May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.