Special Prayers from Parishioners and Others
CMF at Christ, Our Light! Parish/All "Together with Jesus" entries reprinted with permission from Word Among Us
Together With Jesus
Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021 The Baptism of Jesus Is 55:1-11; Is 12: 2-6; 1 John 5:1-9; Mk 1:7-11
You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.
Before the London summer Olympics, the 1981 film Chariots of Fire was rereleased for the big screen. It’s a stirring true story about British runners at the 1924 Olympics—one of them, the Scottish sprinter Eric Liddell. The movie accurately depicts Liddell as a devout Christian. And though it shows him explaining his athletic motivation in words he probably never spoke—“When I run, I feel his pleasure”—the line is a window into how Liddell related to God in real life.
When I run, I feel his pleasure. Think about that statement for a minute. Are there times when you experience God’s delight in you?
Do you rest secure in the knowledge that your Father loves and affirms you? Or do you feel overlooked or rejected by a God who finds you wanting? If you oscillate between these two poles, as many of us do, you’ll find an important message in Jesus’ baptism.
Why, do you think, did the sinless Son of God embrace a baptism of repentance? One simple answer is this: so that each of us could hear our Father say, “You are my beloved child. With you I am well pleased”! This isn’t wishful thinking. When you were baptized, you were united to Jesus and drawn into his relationship with the Father. That means that as you seek it out, you really can experience the Father’s love for you!
Do you believe that God rejoices in you? If you’re not living in that reality, ask him for whatever you need to restore that baptismal flow of love—insight, healing, a spirit of repentance. Then, not only when you’re running, praying, or working, but at all times, you can rejoice in your identity as a beloved child who makes your Father smile.
“Jesus, with a thankful heart, I stand with you in the Jordan today.
Let nothing separate me from you.
Father, show me your love!”
Together With Jesus
Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020
Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; Psalm 128:1-5; Colossians 3:12-21; Luke 2:22-30
Put on love. (Colossians 3:14)
Everyone knows that family life is a combination of happiness and sadness, with a lot of the ordinary in between. But what about the Holy Family? Surely there was nothing but peace and happiness?
Not really. Life wasn’t always a bed of roses for them. Remember Joseph’s initial plan to divorce Mary to protect her from shame when her pregnancy was discovered (Matthew 1:19)? Or Mary having to give birth in a stable (Luke 2:1-7)? Or what about Mary and Joseph losing track of their son on the way home from Jerusalem (2:44)? They also had to deal with Herod’s murderous rage, a secret flight to Egypt, resettlement in Nazareth, and Joseph’s early death. All of these occasions, and more besides, could have filled them with anxious, fearful thoughts. In similar circumstances, we certainly would have felt tempted to wish for an easier life.
But whatever Mary and Joseph and Jesus thought about their struggles, one thing is clear. They never gave up. In their faithfulness and trust—and even more so, in their commitment to love one another they show us how to weather the storms of life.
Love. That’s what makes a holy family. Not the sentimental love of songs and movies but the strong, relentless, stubborn love of God.
The divine love that the Spirit pours into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
The selfless love that bears all things, hopes all things, and forgives all things.
The pure love of a God who became one of us and died to save us.
No family has a perfect life. Every family faces hardships of one sort or another. But every family also has a heavenly Father who loves them and delights in teaching them how to love each other. So on this feast of the Holy Family, let’s pray for our families, and for every family on earth. May we all learn to “put on love” (Colossians 3:14)!
“Father, pour out your merciful, healing love on every family today.”
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, You have given us this good land for our heritage. We humbly ask You that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Your favor and glad to do Your will. Bless our land with honorable endeavor, sound learning and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties and fashion into one united people the multitude brought here out of many nations and tongues. Endow with the Spirit of wisdom those to whom in Your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Your law we may show forth Your praise among the nations on earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble do not allow our trust in You to fail. Amen.
~~ by Thomas Jefferson, taken from "Prayers for Today," published by Leaflet Missal Company
Posted 9-9-20: Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing us to use this material
Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight. (Sirach 27:30)
Grudges. We’ve all carried them. At some point, each of us has been hurt by a friend, family member, or coworker. We can feel wounded and hold onto our anger, to the point where it defines us as a victim. But our first reading tells us this is not a healthy response.
When Sirach wrote these words two thousand years ago, he was clued into something that modern psychologists are only now coming to understand. Withholding forgiveness affects our physical and mental health. It can elevate our blood pressure, disrupt our sleep, and weaken our immune system. It can decrease our ability to trust people and reinforce a negative mindset about life. Why would we “hug tight” to these things that harm us? Only forgiveness can help us loosen our grip.
When we choose to forgive, even if the offender doesn’t ask for forgiveness, we stop being that “wronged person.” We overcome the stress and bitterness and negativity that were wrapped around us. Best of all, we open ourselves up to the Lord’s healing.
God knows everything we’ve gone through: the ways we’ve been hurt and the ways we’ve hurt the people around us. He forgives us, like the master in today’s Gospel. If we can let God’s forgiveness soften our hearts and break through our guilt, shame, and sadness over the hurts we have caused, we will find the grace to act the same toward the people who have hurt us.
If you’re struggling with a grudge or offense, bring it to God in prayer. Ask him to help you release your hold on anger, even if you feel justified. Forgive the person who hurt you even if you can’t physically reconcile with them. Let the act of forgiveness bring you peace and help you move on.
“Father, help me to let go of wrath and anger.
I don’t want to refuse mercy to anyone.
Teach me how to forgive!”
Together With Jesus from Sunday Sept 6, 2020 (2017)23rdSunday in Ordinary TimeEzekiel 33:7-9; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9; Rom1 3 : 8-10 Matthew 18:15-20You . . . I have appointed watchman. (Ezekiel 33:7)
Just as God appointed Ezekiel as a watchman for “the house of Israel,” so has he appointed parents to watch over their own “house,” their family (Ezekiel 33:7). Like a prophet, their role is to hear from God, to encourage their children, to warn them about sin, and to help them livein a way that pleases the Lord. This call isn’t limited to parents, either. God wants all of us to be looking out for each other. Being a watchman can feel overwhelming. The very word “watch” means to guard and protect. In the case of parents especially, God has entrusted them with their children’s physical welfare and their eternal welfare. How can anyone ever live up to such expectations?Through intercession. Parents know they cannot control every aspect of their children’s lives. There are limits totheir influence, especially as their children mature and strike out on their own. But there is no limit to the power of prayer!Interceding for your family is not a waste of time. You may have a very long list if you include your brothers and sisters andyour grandchildren. Still, make it a point to pray for each of them by name, and be specific about the intention you are praying for. Then, offer a prayer for everyone: “Lord, protect and guide my family. Bless them and protect them from evil. Fill them with your peace and your love.”How powerful are the prayers of a watchman? Just ask Jesus. On the night before he died, he prayed for the strength to endure the cross. He prayed for the protection of his apostles. He prayed for all of us (John 17:1-26).Two thousand years later, his prayers are still being answered.So imitate Jesus, the great Watchman of his Church. Commit your family to the care of your heavenly Father. God will never let you down.“Lord, help me to watch over my family.I trust in your protection.”
Our staff was blessed to hear Sister Miriam James Heidland at the 2019 Parish Day of Renewal. Her message applies to anyone, and it is hoped that visitors to this website will enjoy and benefit from time viewing it, especially starting at about the "4 minute" mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bkFFZJ8kXg&list=PLN5kNnZkZI1BGNS8N8oM4pBSf0rvC6DJn&index=2
PUTTING ON THE ARMOR OF GOD
- submitted by Gerry Connell
Back in 2012 I wrote out a Scripture Passage and an exercise for the Fellowship that I do using Eph. 6: 10-18. I pass it along to you now in the hope that, sparked by the Holy Spirit, Our Lord uses it to reveal Himself more fully to you, especially as we protect ourselves with God’s graces during this challenging time.
Eph. 6: 10-18: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.