Shepherds of Christ  
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July 27, 2010

July 28th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 5 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for July 28th are Joyful.

 

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Given July 25, 2010

                Fr. Joe at Mass mentioned last Sunday's scripture

 
                Abraham prepared a feast for 3 men —
                One of them was God —

                    God told Abraham that He intended to
                        do something to Sodom and Gomorrah —

                    Abraham and God were going there and God
                        took Abraham into his confidence —
                        Lot, Abraham's relative was in Sodom —
                        Listen to how casually Abraham
                        talks to God

   

Genesis 18: 20-32

Then Yahweh said, ‘The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin is so grave, that I shall go down and see whether or not their actions are at all as the outcry reaching me would suggest. Then I shall know.’ 

    While the men left there and went to Sodom, Yahweh remained in Abraham’s presence. Abraham stepped forward and said, ‘Will you really destroy the upright with the guilty? Suppose there are fifty upright people in the city. Will you really destroy it? Will you not spare the place for the sake of the fifty upright in it? Do not think of doing such a thing: to put the upright to death with the guilty, so that upright and guilty fare alike! Is the judge of the whole world not to act justly?’ Yahweh replied, ‘If I find fifty upright people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place because of them.’

    Abraham spoke up and said, ‘It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord, I who am dust and ashes: Suppose the fifty upright were five short? Would you destroy the whole city because of five?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘I shall not destroy it if I find forty–five there.’ Abraham persisted and said, ‘Suppose there are forty to be found there?’ ‘I shall not do it,’ he replied, ‘for the sake of the forty.’

    Abraham said, ‘I hope the Lord will not be angry if I go on: Suppose there are only thirty to be found there?’ ‘I shall not do it,’ he replied, ‘if I find thirty there.’ He said, ‘It is presumptuous of me to speak to the Lord: Suppose there are only twenty there?’ ‘I shall not destroy it,’ he replied, ‘for the sake of the twenty.’ He said, ‘I trust my Lord will not be angry if I speak once more: perhaps there will only be ten.’ ‘I shall not destroy it,’ he replied, ‘for the sake of the ten.’ 

    

                Lord on the day I called for help you answered me — 

  

Psalm 138: 1-3, 6-8

I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart,
for you have listened to the cry I uttered.
In the presence of angels I sing to you,
I bow down before your holy Temple.

I praise your name for your faithful love and your constancy;
your promises surpass even your fame.
You heard me on the day when I called,
and you gave new strength to my heart.

Sublime as he is, Yahweh looks on the humble,
the proud he picks out from afar.

Though I live surrounded by trouble
you give me life — to my enemies' fury!
You stretch out your right hand and save me,
Yahweh will do all things for me.
Yahweh, your faithful love endures for ever,
do not abandon what you have made.

   

Colossians 2: 12-14

You have been buried with him by your baptism; by which, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and uncircumcised in body: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us every one of our sins.

He has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law, which stood against us; he has destroyed it by nailing it to the cross;

 

Luke 11: 1-13

Now it happened that he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, this is what to say: 

    Father, may your name be held holy, 
    your kingdom come; 
    give us each day our daily bread, 
    and forgive us our sins, 
    for we ourselves forgive each one 
        who is in debt to us. 
    And do not put us to the test.’

He also said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, "My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;" and the man answers from inside the house, "Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you." I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship’s sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened. What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion? If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

     

                Fr. Joe said —

                A man was driving around and couldn't find
                    a parking place —
                    He asked God for a parking place and
                        the man said
                        "I will go to church and give up whiskey"

                    Immediately a parking spot opened up right in front of the building
                    The man said to God — "never mind I found one"

                A young child was asked —
                    do you say grace before meals —
                    he said "no - I don't have to my mom is a good cook."

                With regard to the Gospel —
                    There were 4 innocent people —
                    God sent an angel to lead them out
                    But Lot's wife turned around and was
                        turned into a pillar of salt.

                The Our Father tells us we should pray
                    for our needs —
                    Fr. Joe said, even a parking place —

                We hate to wait today,
                    but we know that we have to wait
                        on God's timing —
                    God says all the hairs on our head are
                        counted —

 

The Our Father

    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. Amen.

 

                Our Father is a loving Father
                Our Father cares for us

                At the end of Gospel it says —

                    "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

                Fr. Joe says God doesn't say you might receive —
                    He says you will receive —
                    we must trust God

 

 

                Fr. Joe told another joke

                A priest was telling children the story of Lot's wife
                    turning her head. God had told them not to look back
                    When she turned her head and looked  back
                    she turned into a pillar of salt.

                A little boy raised his hand
                    and the priest said what is it Johnny?

                And Johnny said my mom was driving
                    and turned into a telephone pole

                Dear God you said we should be
                    persistent in prayer —
                    help us to do this —
   

Novena to the Infant of Prague
(to be prayed hourly if possible)

 
          O Jesus, who said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you," through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted. 

          O Jesus, who said, "All that you ask of the Father in My Name He will grant you," through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask Your Father in Your Name that my prayer be granted. 

          O Jesus, who said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass," through the intercession of Mary, Your most holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.

   

 

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 29, 2007

INTRODUCTION: Last Sunday’s first reading told us about a visit Abraham had from three strangers. It turns out one of the three visitors was God himself. God was on his way to two cities near the Dead Sea, Sodom and Gomorrah, and he invited Abraham to go with him. On the way God took Abraham into his confidence and told him the cities were about to be destroyed because of their depravity and immorality. Notice the comfortable yet respectful familiarity that existed between God and Abraham.

HOMILY: A young minister was asked to say prayers at a burial. He was told it was a homeless person and they were being laid to rest in a little country cemetery in which no one else had yet been buried. He got lost on the way there. By the time he arrived, he saw the backhoe, there were three or four workers eating lunch and the hole was half filled, but there was no funeral director in sight. He knew he was really late and he was totally embarrassed. He apologized profusely to the workers, stepped up to the graveside and started to pray. The workers joined in with Alleluia’s and Amen’s and Praise the Lord. The young minister preached enthusiastically for quite a while from several scripture passages. He closed his prayer book and went back to his car. As he neared his car he heard one of the workers say: “I ain’t never seen anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for 20 years.” 
We can pray anytime, you know. I’ll bet that septic tank worked perfectly for 200 years! I will say later, no prayer is ever wasted, but sometimes prayer is more fitting than at other times. It is a curious request the apostles brought to Jesus, asking him how to pray. These were not guys who suddenly got religion. Some of them may have been, but some of them had previously been disciples of John the Baptist. Surely John taught them how to pray. Being Jews, they would have gone to synagogue every Sabbath for that was a must for all Jews. There they would have heard two readings from the “Old Testament,” and they would have heard two sermons, one for each of the readings. They would have prayed and sung psalms too. Jews prayed the psalms as part of their daily prayers as well. Yet they ask our Lord, “teach us to pray.” It could be that the apostles observed Jesus at prayer and they knew there must be something more. Jesus’ response gave them some insight into his own personal communication with the Father. St. Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer is a little shorter than the version we find in St. Matthew but essentially the same. St. Matthew’s is the one we are familiar with.
Mostly whenever we think of prayer we think of asking for things. When we are in need of God’s help, it is appropriate to ask for it. Yet there is a more important reason to pray than simply to tell God we need something. The more important reason is to build a relationship with God. Relationships cannot exist without communication. We could safely say the quality of our relationship with someone depends on the quality of our communication with them. Because the ability to communicate is something we have to learn, hundreds of books are written to help us improve our skill in that area. We need to learn how to communicate with God, just as we need to learn how to communicate with one another. Because God is infinitely greater than we are, communication with God is more difficult.  If prayer came so easily, our church would be filled every week! Even with the Third Commandment that tells us we have an obligation to worship God, people find the slightest reason to avoid putting time aside for God.
Jesus knows prayer has its difficulties. That’s why he tells us not to give up. There are lots of people who get religious only when they want something. When they pray and don’t get what they ask for, they are further convinced that prayer doesn’t work. Jesus, on the other hand, tells us it does. The problem is we get too impatient and we want things right away. Too often when we pray we forget our prayers are addressed to “our Father.” As we know, sometimes fathers say “no” or “not yet” or “I don’t think that would be a good idea.” Notice also Jesus tells us before we start asking for things we first say “thy will be done.”
Prayer is an expression of our faith. That’s partly why prayer is not easy, because faith is not easy. When we enter into prayer, we are entering into a dialogue as Abraham did. We tell God what we would like, yet at the same time we recognize God is the one who has the last word, not us. What is that last word? It is our eternal happiness. That will be the kingdom he wants us to be part of and he will not give us anything that may get in the way of our being part of his kingdom. He even tells us to pray for it. “Thy kingdom come.”
Jesus said, “Ask and you will receive.” He doesn’t say, “you might receive or maybe you’ll receive, but you will receive.” What he is saying is that no prayer is wasted. Prayer cannot fail to bring some blessing – even if it’s not the thing we think we need most. If we truly believe God is all wise and all loving, then we have to conclude that if we do not receive what we’ve asked for, God has something better in mind. This is partly why people give up on prayer, they do not have this faith in God’s wisdom and love. Prayer works, even when we do not see immediate results.
I think it is important to say a word about distractions. So many people get discouraged when they pray. I’ve quoted Thomas Merton before. He said, if you don’t get distracted during prayer, you’re brain dead. It’s good to remember that distractions are normal. I believe whenever we even try to pray, God is pleased that we are reaching out to him. One of the easiest ways the devil has to lead us away from God is to discourage us or to convince us not to pray. He tells us “it doesn’t work,” “you’re wasting your time,” “it’s boring,” “you have too many other things to do,” “you’re too tired now,” etc, etc. Don’t ever quit praying, no matter what. It will always bring you great blessings and most important, it will bring you to a deeper relationship with God. Now we pray the greatest prayer there is, the prayer Jesus gave us at the Last Supper, the Eucharist.

 

 

 

 

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