May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Learn more about St. Aloysius Gonzaga: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=15

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/062118.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

How amazing this world would be if we all actually believed and acted upon what we pray. The Our Father is shared by all Christian Faiths, but how many actually believe what they pray and follow up with it? People think that they can tell God what people need and so they “babble” when the Our Father says it all.  How do you pray? What do you believe?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we were given a beautiful prayer to pray to you. Help me when I pray it to mean what I say and do as I say. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

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Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/062018.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

The Lord wants us to honor and give Him praise in community, but we should not stand out. Making a spectacle of our prayer and fasting is not the way to show the Lord honor. When we do that, we do it to impress others, not the Lord. The Lord sees all that we do, the good and the bad. We do not have to show off for Him to notice us!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, offering you praise and worship is such a joy in community. Sharing your love with others is such a beautiful way to give you honor. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061918.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

This is so hard to do but so needed today. We have forgotten how to love and pray for those we do not get along with. those who hurt us are sometimes the hardest to pray for. But love works. Love brings peace and destroys hatred. Do we not need more of that today? Instead of hating and vilifying others why not try love and prayer. What do you have to lose but hate?

Prayer: Heavenly Father teach me to love as you love and to pray as you pray. Amen.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061818.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.) But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Revenge is not Jesus’ style. He wants us to love our enemies, no matter what. That does not mean you have to put up with abuse, but do not answer abuse with abuse. Answer with love and you will be rewarded with love.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, alone it is hard to love those who try to abuse the love I have for you, but with your support and love, it is easy. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Lord, listen to my groaning.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061718.cfm

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

When we spread the word of God, it is like planting this small mustard seed. We have no idea how or when it will take root and blossom. Our job is to plant it and if possible water it with love and faithfulness and let God work with that seed. Just as He does in the field. How many seed have you planted?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that my love for you and my faith will plant seeds wherever I go, bringing others to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061618.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.”

Being honest, that is what the Lord is calling us to be, in everything we do. If we are honest and faithful, no one will ask us for an oath because they can depend on our word. Do not give the evil one a chance to use you, to change what you say if you stay strong, you stand with the Lord.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I do not feel the need to swear an oath because I know when I stand on the truth you stand with me. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen!

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061518.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

This is very clear yet we keep trying to change the laws of God! He does not want us cutting off body parts, but He wants us to be so in love with Him, so ready to do His will that we would willing to sacrifice something for Him. Many give their lives, what are you willing to give up for Our Lord?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, following your law has restored the balance to my life and brought me more joy and happiness than I have ever known. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen!

I long to see your face, O Lord.

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