(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, August 13, 2017)
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
How often we worry ourselves sick over some deadline—a report that is due, an inspection of our work, a tough decision about our future—only to wonder the next day why we were so upset and nervous. We get all "fussed up" over nothing. And to what purpose! It only robs us of sleep and peace of mind, and doesn't really change the situation.
How must Peter have felt after Jesus calmed the storm? Of course he must have felt relieved, but probably a bit foolish and embarrass. "0 you of little faith!" trusting in God is easier said than done. When the doctor tells us we might have a tumor, or the boss tells us our job may be terminated, there's reason for concern. But if we fall to pieces over the news, then there's something we lack—namely, courage and confidence in God! Is God in charge, or is He not?
And think of Elijah in today's first reading! Elijah's whole challenge to the prophets of Baal took immense courage. Some would label it foolhardy. He told the King to set up two sacrifices, one to Baal, and one to the God of Israel. It was a test of which deity would send down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifices. To make it more difficult, Elijah dumped water on his offering. What a risk he took! After all, what if God didn't go for that kind of challenge—to set on fire some soaked oblations placed on top of thoroughly soaked wood!
Of course, God did meet the challenge. People, prayer, and especially God's grace can provide us with fast soul food. The best soul food is the Eucharist. God tells us over and over again, "Come, all you who are weary, and I will refresh you." When we have been strengthened by the Body and Blood of Jesus, we know that Jesus is with us in our difficulties. What seemed so frightening often shrinks into small concern.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor
Novena to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels, you received from God the power and command to crush the head of Satan. Therefore, we humbly beg of you, send forth the legions of Heaven, that under your command they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their pride, and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?” With firm confidence we present ourselves before you, our most loving Mother, afflicted and troubled as we are, and we beg you to let us understand the love you have for us by granting this petition, if it is according to the Will of God and profitable for our salvation: (mention your request). Good and tender Mother, you shall ever be our hope and the object of our love. Mother of God, send forth the Holy Angels to defend us and drive far from us the cruel foe. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend and keep us.
Prayer to St. Clare of Assisi, for Intercession
God of mercy, You inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit and come to the joyful vision of Your glory in the Kingdom of heaven. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Prayer For Priests
Lord Jesus, on behalf of the whole Church: Grant love and the light of Your Spirit, and give power to the words of priests so that hardened hearts might be brought to repentance and return to You, 0 Lord. Lord, give us holy priests; You Yourself maintain them in holiness. 0 Divine and Great High Priest may the power of your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil's traps and snares which are continually being set for the souls of priests. May the power of Your mercy, 0 Lord, shatter and bring to naught all that might tarnish the sanctity of priests, for You can do all things.
Novena to Saints Joachim and Ann
Saints Joachim and Ann, grandparents of Jesus and parents of Mary, we seek your intercession. We beg you to direct all our actions to the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Strengthen us when we are tempted, console us during our trials, help us when we are in need, be with us in life and in death. 0 divine Savior, we thank you for having chosen Saints Joachim and Ann to be parents of our Blessed Mother Mary and so to be your own beloved grandparents. We place ourselves under their patronage this day. We recommend to them our families, our children, and our grandchildren. Keep them from all spiritual and physical harm. Grant that they may ever grow in greater love of God and others. Saint Joachim and Ann, we have many great needs. We beg you to intercede for us before the throne of your divine Grandson. All of us here have our own special intentions, our own special needs, and we pray that through your intercession, our prayers may be granted. Amen. (Mention your request here).
PRAYER TO ST. MICHAELSaint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, 0 Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.