(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, August 20, 2017)
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
"My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples!" We are so accustomed to this idea that we may fail to realize how shocking it must have been to Isaiah's listeners. The foreigner sacrifices were accepted by the Lord as well as those of the Israelites themselves!
In the second reading, Paul deals with this very question—how will his former colleagues accept him preaching the good news of Jesus to the Gentiles? He finally decides that it may be a good thing for them to be jealous enough of the Gentiles to becoming Christian! This is Paul's fervent wish. In other words, he desires not only the conversion of the Gentiles, but just as much, he wishes the conversion of all people, including the Jewish community.
After hearing Paul's struggle with Israelites vs. Gentiles, we are somewhat shocked to hear Jesus reject the request of the Canaanite woman to heal her daughter. His reply to her seems harsh to our ears; He was sent only to the lost children of Israel. Then turning to the woman, He quotes a familiar proverb that forbids "dogs" to be fed from the table by their masters. (What! Is this our gentle Jesus speaking?) But then, Jesus is so impressed with her faith and humility and her sense of humor when she persists in her appeal, that He heals her daughter.
What a challenge to us Catholics today who are sometimes too smug or self-righteous to share our faith with other Christians and those of other religions! To drag our feet is to risk going against Jesus' own prayer before He died on the Cross: "that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me" (John 18:21).
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor
Prayer in Honor of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
O Mary Immaculate Queen, look down upon this distressed and suffering world. You know our misery and our weakness. O thou who art our Mother, saving us in the hour of peril, have compassion on us in these days of great and heavy trial. Jesus has confided to you the treasure of His grace, and through you He wills to grant us pardon and mercy. In these hours of anguish, therefore, your children come to you as their hope. We recognize your Queenship and ardently desire your triumph. We need a Mother and a Mother's Heart. You are for us the luminous dawn which dissipates our darkness and points out the way to life. In your clemency obtain for us the courage and the confidence of which we have such need. Most Holy and Adorable Trinity You Who did crown with glory in Heaven the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Savior, grant that all her children on earth may acknowledge her as their Sovereign Queen, that all hearts, homes, and nations may recognize her rights as Mother and as Queen. Mary Immaculate Queen, triumph and reign! Amen.
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.