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August 20, 2017 – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Canaanite Woman’s Face Matthew 15:21-28 This Gentile woman recognizes Jesus and acknowledges him for who he truly is. Her daughter is possessed, and she asks that he heal her. Jesus rebuffs her. His mission is to the Jewish people. She persists in prayer, saying, “Lord, help me.” Jesus responds to the woman because of her great faith and heals her daughter. Prayer: Lord, your love is not just for a select group of people. Your love is for everyone. You are wonderful indeed!

August 19, 2017 – Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Blessing of the Children Matthew 19:13-15 Jesus is drawn to those without status in society who are, by their state in life, completely dependent. Children are not an annoyance to Jesus. They exemplify the proper attitude for gaining entrance into God’s kingdom. Prayer: Jesus, bless the parents of children and all who care for the little ones among us. Rekindle in them a love for you.

August 17, 2017 – Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Parable of the Unforgiving Servant Matthew 18:21-19:1 Peter speaks for the disciples in wanting to know what exactly is expected of them in terms of the number of times they are to forgive the offences of others. Perhaps he feels the number he offers is generous, but, in fact, Jesus’ correction points to the fact that God’s mercy cannot be limited or restricted. He illustrates this point through a parable. Prayer: I find myself denying forgiveness to others because I feel they are not deserving. In this weakness, I forget the willingness to forgive is as much for me as for the one who has offended me.

August 16, 2017 – Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

A Brother Who Sins Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus tells his disciples that reconciling a sinner among them is the responsibility of the community. To bring an erring member back, there are steps that need to be taken beginning with a one-on-one discussion. If that does not work then witnesses are brought in. If necessary, then the conversation is held before the entire community. Prayer: This day let us pray for our parish communities, that we are renewed in the communal spirit of care and concern for every member.

August 15, 2017 – Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Canticle of Mary Luke 1:39-56 (Mass During the Day) Elizabeth greets Mary with words of joy and thanksgiving for Mary’s presence and, more importantly, for her “yes” to God. Mary gives glory to God for all the blessings she has received. Both women exude humility and grace. Prayer: Dearest Mother, in the face of the unknown, you gave yourself fully to God. Pray that I may do the same.

August 14, 2017 – Memorial of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr

Payment of the Temple Tax Matthew 17:22-27 By virtue of their overwhelming grief, the disciples seem to understand what lies ahead for Jesus. The tax collectors’ questioning Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax follows the second prediction of Jesus’ passion. In the end, Jesus pays the tax so as not to offend or cause scandal, but he does so in an unusual way. Prayer: I look to you, Lord, as one in the world but not of the world. It is a difficult balance, so I lean on you to guide me in doing what is right.

August 13, 2017 – Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Walking on the Water Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus demonstrates his command over the powerful waters. He offers the same power to Peter who attempts to walk on the water but fails. Peter’s love of the Lord is not enough to overcome his weak faith, but he is a work in progress. Prayer: Holy Spirit, strengthen within me the virtues of faith, hope, and love so that I am able to follow, even on the water.

August 12, 2017 – Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Healing of a Boy with a Demon Matthew 17:14-20 The father of the boy possessed by a demon goes first to Jesus’ disciples seeking healing for his son. They have so little faith they fail to heal the boy. Jesus rebukes his disciples by telling them that even faith the size of the smallest of seeds can move mountains. Prayer: Thank you for the gift of faith. I pray for faith that will get me to the point when I will no longer need it because I will be with you.

August 11, 2017 – Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin

Conditions of Discipleship Matthew 16:24-28 This Gospel passage follows Jesus’ first prediction of his passion. Discipleship comes with both cost and reward. A disciple must be willing to deny everything, including him or herself, and set sight only on fulfilling the will of God. Prayer: “ Let go and let God,” they say. That’s easier said than done, I respond. Saint Clare, like your friend, Francis, you were able to let go and follow. Pray for me that I may do the same.

August 10, 2017 – Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

Coming of Jesus’ Hour John 12:24-26 Jesus uses the analogy of what comes from planting a grain of wheat to explain what will come in his life. He hands himself over to death by which he attains the glory of eternal life for all. In a similar way we are called to give our lives away. In so doing, we will flourish. Prayer: Persecution takes on many forms. Let us pray for all who are persecuted for their faith — spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Saint Lawrence, pray for us.