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June 30, 2016

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Mt 9: 1-8

And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Forgiveness and Faith

In today’s gospel we read an example of both faith and forgiveness. The people of the town fully believe Jesus will heal the paralyzed man. But, rather than Jesus first healing the man’s paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus heals the man’s soul before healing his body.

Today’s gospel reminds us that healing internally should be our priority. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we begin to cultivate a place for Jesus to dwell and grow within us. In seeking forgiveness we can imitate the faith of the town’s people and truly believe that Jesus will and does forgive. We must have faith in Jesus’ healing mercy.

Is there someone I need to forgive today? Is there some family situation which I need to heal?

—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

God is forgiveness,
Dare to forgive and
God will be with you.
God is forgiveness,
Love and do not fear.

—Taize chant

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

God is forgiveness,
Dare to forgive and
God will be with you.
God is forgiveness,
Love and do not fear.

—Taize chant

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Mt 9: 1-8

And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Forgiveness and Faith

In today’s gospel we read an example of both faith and forgiveness. The people of the town fully believe Jesus will heal the paralyzed man. But, rather than Jesus first healing the man’s paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus heals the man’s soul before healing his body.

Today’s gospel reminds us that healing internally should be our priority. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we begin to cultivate a place for Jesus to dwell and grow within us. In seeking forgiveness we can imitate the faith of the town’s people and truly believe that Jesus will and does forgive. We must have faith in Jesus’ healing mercy.

Is there someone I need to forgive today? Is there some family situation which I need to heal?

—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


June 29, 2016

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Acts 12: 1-11

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists.

The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Pointing the Way

Armed guards; hero chained in a dungeon; daring rescue by a mysterious being with superpowers: that sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster film. But what strikes me as I read the account of Peter’s escape is actually quite ordinary, and that is: Peter didn’t realize what God was doing for him as it was taking place. It was only in retrospect—after the angel had led him to freedom—that “Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord … rescued me’.”

How often do I fail to recognize God at work in my life? Don’t ask! And yet that’s why I love Peter in the Scriptures. I can always count on him to stumble right where I am most likely to stumble, and also to “recover his senses,” in time to point the way for this wayward soul.

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director, as well as Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press, Chicago IL.

Prayer

God, grant me the confidence to trust that you are laboring for me and with me, especially when I feel I’m on my own.

—Tom McGrath

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Pointing the Way

Armed guards; hero chained in a dungeon; daring rescue by a mysterious being with superpowers: that sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster film. But what strikes me as I read the account of Peter’s escape is actually quite ordinary, and that is: Peter didn’t realize what God was doing for him as it was taking place. It was only in retrospect—after the angel had led him to freedom—that “Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord … rescued me’.”

How often do I fail to recognize God at work in my life? Don’t ask! And yet that’s why I love Peter in the Scriptures. I can always count on him to stumble right where I am most likely to stumble, and also to “recover his senses,” in time to point the way for this wayward soul.

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director, as well as Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press, Chicago IL.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Acts 12: 1-11

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists.

The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

God, grant me the confidence to trust that you are laboring for me and with me, especially when I feel I’m on my own.

—Tom McGrath

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


June 28, 2016

St. Irenaeus

Mt 8: 23-27

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Horizons of Faith

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Irenaeus, an early Christian bishop and martyr (c.130-200 AD). Irenaeus embodied a bold vision of Christian living. In today’s gospel Jesus admonishes his disciples in these words: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Irenaeus invited those of his era to stretch their horizons in words often translated: “The glory of God is found in a person fully alive.” The deeper challenge of this phrase comes clear in this longer sentence by Irenaeus: “The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself” (Against Heresies, Book 5, preface).

The first Christians had a very clear understanding of the unity of everything. As humans, we are one with the whole material world. All that exists is created and kept in being by the love of God, the maker of all things. The act of bridging the immense gulf between God and the physical world, drawing human beings into a life like his, was no haphazard afterthought; it was part of God’s loving plan and intention from the dawn of creation. We are loved as we are, for all that we can become through the life and communion that God offers each day. What does this horizon of faith look like in my life todayJune 28, 2016?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

It is not you who shapes God;
it is God who shapes you.
If then you are the handiwork of God
await the hand of the Artist
who does all things in due season.

Offer the pottery of your heart,
soft and tractable,
and keep well the form
in which the Artist has fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist,
lest you grow hard
and lose the imprint of the Potter’s fingers.

—St. Irenaeus, in For You, O God: Prayers and Reflections. Loyola University Chicago, 1998.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Horizons of Faith

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Irenaeus, an early Christian bishop and martyr (c.130-200 AD). Irenaeus embodied a bold vision of Christian living. In today’s gospel Jesus admonishes his disciples in these words: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Irenaeus invited those of his era to stretch their horizons in words often translated: “The glory of God is found in a person fully alive.” The deeper challenge of this phrase comes clear in this longer sentence by Irenaeus: “The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself” (Against Heresies, Book 5, preface).

The first Christians had a very clear understanding of the unity of everything. As humans, we are one with the whole material world. All that exists is created and kept in being by the love of God, the maker of all things. The act of bridging the immense gulf between God and the physical world, drawing human beings into a life like his, was no haphazard afterthought; it was part of God’s loving plan and intention from the dawn of creation. We are loved as we are, for all that we can become through the life and communion that God offers each day. What does this horizon of faith look like in my life todayJune 28, 2016?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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June 30, 2016

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Mt 9: 1-8

And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Forgiveness and Faith

In today’s gospel we read an example of both faith and forgiveness. The people of the town fully believe Jesus will heal the paralyzed man. But, rather than Jesus first healing the man’s paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus heals the man’s soul before healing his body.

Today’s gospel reminds us that healing internally should be our priority. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we begin to cultivate a place for Jesus to dwell and grow within us. In seeking forgiveness we can imitate the faith of the town’s people and truly believe that Jesus will and does forgive. We must have faith in Jesus’ healing mercy.

Is there someone I need to forgive today? Is there some family situation which I need to heal?

—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

God is forgiveness,
Dare to forgive and
God will be with you.
God is forgiveness,
Love and do not fear.

—Taize chant

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

God is forgiveness,
Dare to forgive and
God will be with you.
God is forgiveness,
Love and do not fear.

—Taize chant

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

Mt 9: 1-8

And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Forgiveness and Faith

In today’s gospel we read an example of both faith and forgiveness. The people of the town fully believe Jesus will heal the paralyzed man. But, rather than Jesus first healing the man’s paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus heals the man’s soul before healing his body.

Today’s gospel reminds us that healing internally should be our priority. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we begin to cultivate a place for Jesus to dwell and grow within us. In seeking forgiveness we can imitate the faith of the town’s people and truly believe that Jesus will and does forgive. We must have faith in Jesus’ healing mercy.

Is there someone I need to forgive today? Is there some family situation which I need to heal?

—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


June 29, 2016

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Acts 12: 1-11

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists.

The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Pointing the Way

Armed guards; hero chained in a dungeon; daring rescue by a mysterious being with superpowers: that sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster film. But what strikes me as I read the account of Peter’s escape is actually quite ordinary, and that is: Peter didn’t realize what God was doing for him as it was taking place. It was only in retrospect—after the angel had led him to freedom—that “Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord … rescued me’.”

How often do I fail to recognize God at work in my life? Don’t ask! And yet that’s why I love Peter in the Scriptures. I can always count on him to stumble right where I am most likely to stumble, and also to “recover his senses,” in time to point the way for this wayward soul.

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director, as well as Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press, Chicago IL.

Prayer

God, grant me the confidence to trust that you are laboring for me and with me, especially when I feel I’m on my own.

—Tom McGrath

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Pointing the Way

Armed guards; hero chained in a dungeon; daring rescue by a mysterious being with superpowers: that sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster film. But what strikes me as I read the account of Peter’s escape is actually quite ordinary, and that is: Peter didn’t realize what God was doing for him as it was taking place. It was only in retrospect—after the angel had led him to freedom—that “Peter recovered his senses and said, ‘Now I know for certain that the Lord … rescued me’.”

How often do I fail to recognize God at work in my life? Don’t ask! And yet that’s why I love Peter in the Scriptures. I can always count on him to stumble right where I am most likely to stumble, and also to “recover his senses,” in time to point the way for this wayward soul.

—Tom McGrath is a spiritual director, as well as Director of Trade Books at Loyola Press, Chicago IL.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Acts 12: 1-11

About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. After he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread.) When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists.

The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

God, grant me the confidence to trust that you are laboring for me and with me, especially when I feel I’m on my own.

—Tom McGrath

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


June 28, 2016

St. Irenaeus

Mt 8: 23-27

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Horizons of Faith

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Irenaeus, an early Christian bishop and martyr (c.130-200 AD). Irenaeus embodied a bold vision of Christian living. In today’s gospel Jesus admonishes his disciples in these words: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Irenaeus invited those of his era to stretch their horizons in words often translated: “The glory of God is found in a person fully alive.” The deeper challenge of this phrase comes clear in this longer sentence by Irenaeus: “The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself” (Against Heresies, Book 5, preface).

The first Christians had a very clear understanding of the unity of everything. As humans, we are one with the whole material world. All that exists is created and kept in being by the love of God, the maker of all things. The act of bridging the immense gulf between God and the physical world, drawing human beings into a life like his, was no haphazard afterthought; it was part of God’s loving plan and intention from the dawn of creation. We are loved as we are, for all that we can become through the life and communion that God offers each day. What does this horizon of faith look like in my life todayJune 28, 2016?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Prayer

It is not you who shapes God;
it is God who shapes you.
If then you are the handiwork of God
await the hand of the Artist
who does all things in due season.

Offer the pottery of your heart,
soft and tractable,
and keep well the form
in which the Artist has fashioned you.
Let your clay be moist,
lest you grow hard
and lose the imprint of the Potter’s fingers.

—St. Irenaeus, in For You, O God: Prayers and Reflections. Loyola University Chicago, 1998.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Horizons of Faith

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Irenaeus, an early Christian bishop and martyr (c.130-200 AD). Irenaeus embodied a bold vision of Christian living. In today’s gospel Jesus admonishes his disciples in these words: “Why are you terrified, you of little faith?” Irenaeus invited those of his era to stretch their horizons in words often translated: “The glory of God is found in a person fully alive.” The deeper challenge of this phrase comes clear in this longer sentence by Irenaeus: “The only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself” (Against Heresies, Book 5, preface).

The first Christians had a very clear understanding of the unity of everything. As humans, we are one with the whole material world. All that exists is created and kept in being by the love of God, the maker of all things. The act of bridging the immense gulf between God and the physical world, drawing human beings into a life like his, was no haphazard afterthought; it was part of God’s loving plan and intention from the dawn of creation. We are loved as we are, for all that we can become through the life and communion that God offers each day. What does this horizon of faith look like in my life todayJune 28, 2016?

—The Jesuit Prayer Team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!