(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, August 27, 2017)
Twenyt-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
In last week's readings, Peter was given the keys to the kingdom, and in this week's readings, he nearly gets them taken away from him! Jesus is so upset with him that he exclaims, "Get thee behind me, Satan." Tough language! Peter got himself in trouble for strongly protesting Jesus' prediction of His Passion. In fact, Jesus is telling his disciples, / never promised you a rose garden!
If we think Jesus is unfair, His Father had done this before. Jeremiah, in the first reading, had been made a reluctant prophet. Jeremiah even claims that God duped him into the job. He's so angry and discouraged at the rough treatment he has to take from his own Jewish people that he decides to quit. However, he can't get rid of the fire in his heart, so he continues to prophesy that Babylon was chosen as God's instrument for chastising Israel.
God has called all of us to discipleship, and we must be prepared for opposition. It goes against popular thinking and popular belief to be either a prophet or an apostle. How about just a plain, ordinary Christian? We don't fare any better. We get criticized at home, at the office, and even sometimes in Church from more comfortable Church members.
How many times in our lives have we felt that Jesus' teaching was just too much? We don't like turning the other cheek, or forgiving seventy times seven. We don't like being criticized or even ridiculed for standing up for Church teaching on abortion, or contraception, or embryonic stem cell research—or the death penalty. Not that the truth doesn’t make a prophet's job any easier!
"Do not conform yourselves to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind" and "offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God." (Romans 12:1-2)
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor
PRAYER TO ST. MICHAEL
Saint 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.
PRAYER FOR LABOR DAY
Almighty God, through human labors you continually perfect the immense work of your creation. Give to all people work that enhances human dignity and bonds us to one another. Give us pride in our work, a fair return for our labor, and joy in knowing that our work finds its source in you. Be present with your people where they work and make them responsive to Your will. We ask this through Christ Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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.