On the Day I Called for Help – Reflection on Faithfulness in the Lord’s Prayer

 

In today’s Responsorial Psalm, we hear:

“Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.” – Psalm 138

Each and every time that we invoke the name of the Lord, he answers us. It might not DSC_5533always be in the way which we desire him to answer, yet he is always there and always answers. We read in Isaiah 55:8:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways.”

One of the things which Father Jason, my Vocation Director and I talked about recently was that at the end of our lives we will not be judged so much by what we have done wrong, our sins, yes those will be taken into account, but we will be judged by our faithfulness. Christ will not ask us why did you lie to your mother when you broke the vase? Why were you unfaithful to your wife? Why did you abort your child? Instead he will ask us, “How did you remain faithful to me?” “What did you do after you fell?” Christ asks each of us for our faithfulness. He is a loving and merciful God, if we pick ourselves up each time we fall, if we go and place our trust, our hope, our faith, our love in Him, nothing else matters. We always end up falling, sinning, but it’s in those moments of standing back up and re-orienting ourselves toward God that Christ extends his mercy towards us, calls us to Himself, and sanctifies us through his Blood.

How will we remain faithful to him? How each day can we give completely of ourselves to the work of the Lord in our lives?  In today’s Gospel, Christ teaches his disciples (us) how to pray. He teaches us through this prayer how we can remain faithful in the simplest way. Now, this is different from the normal Lord’s Prayer or Our Father that most know how to pray, as the one Christians normally use comes from the Gospel of Matthew, and not Luke. Luke’s version is a little shorter and is different yet very much the same at its core.

GospelLK 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Christ teaches us through the Lord’s Prayer and the parables after that what we ask will be given us by the Father, in his way, but still if we ask we shall receive, if we seek, we shall find, if we knock the door to Eternal Life will be opened up to us.

How do we remain faithful to Christ?

We go to him each day and we ask for our daily bread, we ask for what we need, knowing that it will be done as is in his kingdom, we ask for forgiveness of our sins,DSC_5536 knowing that we too must forgive others of theirs towards us. And we ask that God will not abandon us, that he will help us to stay faithful to him, especially as we walk through the final test, the temptations of the world, at the end of our lives, at every moment where we know we need God’s help.

May we pray the Lord’s Prayer with great fervor in our lives. May we give completely of ourselves to His will, towards the movings and calling of His Spirit, and may we through the grace of God always stand up when we fall, turn back to the Lord with all our heart, may we always stay faithful to him, who is first and always faithful to us. Then, we will know the mercy and faithfulness of Him like the Psalmist knows as he prays:

“Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.” – Psalm 138

 

 

“There’s a Power in the Blood” – A Letter and a Prayer for July.

“Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”

7-20-16

 

 

The following is from a letter I wrote to those that are homebound here at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on the Month of the Precious Blood. Holy Spirit calls those that are homebound the “Ministers of Praise.” The church has long taught that when we suffer something we can unite that suffering to the Cross of Christ and win spiritual graces and merits for ourselves, intentions, and others. The phrase: “Offer it up” was commonly heard in my house growing up, as a way for my Mom to remind my siblings and I that we really didn’t have it that bad and that we should offer up the spiritual merits from doing something painful or that we didn’t like for the Souls in Purgatory or someone who was in need of our prayers. Here at Holy Spirit, we ask our homebound to be that spiritual backbone for the parish, to pray 3 times each day, morning, noon, and night for the intentions of our parish, the church, and the world. The letters are written by the staff each month as a way to keep our parishioners engaged and united to the life of the parish.

Dear Ministers of Praise,

In 1849 Pope Pius IX instituted July as the Month of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. June, is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus who shed his precious blood upon the cross for us, for the remission of our sins, the cleansing of humanity, and a truly wonderful sign of how far the Lord will go to share his mercy and love with us.

The icon above is one of my favorites, as it shows the angels catching the blood, which is pouring from Christ’s wounds into chalices. If we think of the Mass and the Altar of most churches, we see that the Church is made in a cruciform shape with the Altar where the crossbeam of the cross would be. The Altar itself stands as that crossbeam at every Mass in every church around the world. It is where Christ comes, and his one, true, sacrifice is re-presented to us as he gives himself to us in His Body and Blood in Holy Communion.

There’s an old Baptist hymn: which states: “There’s a Power in the Blood.” For us, as Catholics the Blood of Christ truly has power. It is through the shedding of Christ’s blood that our sins are washed away; it is through the power of his blood that we are made new, that all of humanity raises from the ash heap of sin and into the glorious Son-light of the Resurrection. It is through the receiving of the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion that we receive the grace needed to combat the darkness of the world and to intercede on behalf of others to Christ. It is through our Baptism that we are cleansed with the waters of rebirth, the waters and our garments, which have been washed clean in the blood of the lamb.

As I think of all that has happened in our world this month and the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, I cannot help but to hear the words of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, who taught us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, asking God for his mercy through the blood of Christ for ourselves and the whole world. And so, invoking the patrons of Divine Mercy, Pope St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, we pray this month for the following intentions:

  • For Peace in the world, especially within our country, that the Precious Blood of our Lord will wipe away the anger, hurt, and violence in our lives.
  • For those members of our parish who have died, that through the power of the Blood of Christ they might receive their eternal reward, especially: Carlene Witucki, Jeanette Adams, Vicki Lee Warych, Rose Dobernic, and Steven Allen Saul.
  • For the safety of all of our Public First Responders, that the Precious Blood of our Lord will protect them as they minister and help the vulnerable among us.
  • For all those who seek public office or currently hold office, that the Precious Blood of our Lord spilt on the Cross will encourage them in their fight for justice, and that they will seek to enact laws which honor the dignity of all human life, and serve the common good.
  • For the Intentions, health and wellbeing of our Holy Father Pope Francis, our Bishop William Francis, our Pastor Fr. John and Associate Father Timothy, that the Precious Blood of our Lord which they offer daily for the Salvation of the World at Mass will shower down it’s grace and mercy on us and our parish.
  • For all who are in time of transition, especially our former associate pastor Fr. Emmanuel Udoh, Stephany Nelson as she enters her Novitiate Year with the Ursilines, Corey Bruns as he starts at Saint Meinrad Seminary, and for all those who are starting college, school, seminary, and new jobs.

We offer these prayers and those we hold in our hearts, united to the Precious Blood of Christ as we pray: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world! Amen.”

 

I remain yours in the Precious Blood of Christ,

Corey D. Bruns

Seminarian – Intern