Friday, September 25, 2009

Prayer of the Day

Morning Offering

I offer Thee all my prayers, works, and sufferings in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for the intentions for which He pleads and offers Himself in the holy sacrifice of the Mass, in thanksgiving for Thy favors, in reparation for my offenses, and in humble supplication for my temporal and eternal welfare, for the wants of our holy Mother the Church, for the conversion of sinners, and for the relief of the poor souls in purgatory.

I have the intention to gain all the indulgences attached to the prayers I shall say, and to the good works I shall perform this day. I resolve to gain all of the indulgences I can in favor of the souls in purgatory.

[Optional]: Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostles' Creed, Glory Be

Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Hg 2:1-9

In the second year of King Darius,
on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,
the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:
Tell this to the governor of Judah,
Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak,
and to the remnant of the people:

Who is left among you
that saw this house in its former glory?
And how do you see it now?
Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?
But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD,
and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak,
And take courage, all you people of the land,
says the LORD, and work!
For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts.
This is the pact that I made with you
when you came out of Egypt,
And my spirit continues in your midst;
do not fear!
For thus says the LORD of hosts:
One moment yet, a little while,
and I will shake the heavens and the earth,
the sea and the dry land.
I will shake all the nations,
and the treasures of all the nations will come in,
And I will fill this house with glory,
says the LORD of hosts.
Mine is the silver and mine the gold,
says the LORD of hosts.
Greater will be the future glory of this house
than the former, says the LORD of hosts;
And in this place I will give you peace,
says the LORD of hosts!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 43:1, 2, 3, 4

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight
against a faithless people;
from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

For you, O God, are my strength.
Why do you keep me so far away?
Why must I go about in mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!

R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Lk 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Saint of the Day

September 26

St. Elzear and Blessed Delphina (1286-1323) (1283-1358)

This is the only Franciscan couple to be canonized or beatified formally.

Elzear came from a noble family in southern France. After he married Delphina, she informed him that she had made a vow of perpetual virginity; that same night he did the same. For a time Elzear, Count of Ariano, was a counselor to Duke Charles of Calabria in southern Italy. Elzear ruled his own territories in the kingdom of Naples and in southern France with justice.

Elzear and Delphina joined the Secular Franciscans and dedicated themselves to the corporal works of mercy. Twelve poor people dined with them every day. A statue of Elzear shows him curing several people suffering from leprosy.

Their piety extended to the running of their household. Everyone there was expected to attend Mass daily, go to confession weekly and be ready to forgive injuries.

After Elzear’s death, Delphina continued her works of charity for 35 more years. She is especially remembered for raising the moral level of the king of Sicily’s court.

Elzear and Delphina are buried in Apt, France. He was canonized in 1369, and she was beatified in 1694.

Office of Readings

O Lord, open my lips.
– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Antiphon: Let us give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy lasts for ever.

(repeat antiphon*)

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

(repeat antiphon*)

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

(repeat antiphon*)

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

(repeat antiphon*)

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

(repeat antiphon*)

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

(repeat antiphon*)

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


(repeat antiphon*)

The Lord, a saviour in time of persecution
Psalm 34 (35)

Lord, rise up and defend me.
Judge, Lord, those who are judging me:
attack those who are attacking me.
Take up your shield and come out to defend me.
Brandish your spear and hold back my pursuers.
Say to my soul, “I am your deliverance.”
Let them be thrown into confusion,
those who are after my life.
Let them be weakened and put to flight,
those who plan harm to me.
Let them be like chaff blowing in the wind,
when the angel of the Lord scatters them.
Let their paths be dark and slippery,
when the angel of the Lord harries them.
For it was without cause that they spread out their nets to ensnare me,
without cause that they dug a pit to take my life.
Let death come upon them suddenly,
may they be entangled in their own nets.
But my soul will exult in the Lord
and rejoice in his aid.
My bones themselves will say
“Lord, who is your equal?”
You snatch the poor man
from the hand of the strong,
the needy and weak
from those who would destroy them.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Lord, rise up and defend me.
Psalm 34 (35)

Judge my case, Lord: defend me, for you are strong.
Lying witnesses rose up against me;
they asked me questions I could not answer.
They paid me back evil for the good I did,
my soul is desolation.
Yet I – when they were ill, I put on sackcloth,
I mortified my soul with fasting,
I prayed for them from the depths of my heart.
I walked in sadness as for a close friend, for a brother;
I was bowed down with grief as if mourning my own mother.
But they – when I was unsteady, they rejoiced and gathered together.
They gathered and beat me: I did not know why.
They were tearing me to pieces, there was no end to it:
they teased me, heaped derision on me, they ground their teeth at me.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


Judge my case, Lord: defend me, for you are strong.
Psalm 34 (35)

All day my tongue will ponder your justice and utter your praise.
Lord, how long will you wait?
Rescue my life from their attacks,
my only life from the lions.
I will proclaim you in the great assembly,
in the throng of people I will praise you.
Let not my lying enemies triumph over me,
those who hate me for no reason,
who conspire against me by secret signs,
who do not speak of peace,
who plan crimes against the innocent,
who cry out slanders against me,
saying “Yes! Yes! We saw it ourselves!”
You see them, Lord, do not stay silent:
Lord, do not leave me.
Rise up and keep watch at my trial:
my God and my Lord, watch over my case.
Judge me according to your justice,
Lord: my God, let them not rejoice over me!
Let them not think to themselves,
“Yes! We have what we wanted!”
Let them not say,
“We have swallowed him up.”
But let those who support my cause rejoice,
let them say always “How great is the Lord,
who takes care of his servant’s welfare.”
And my tongue too will ponder your justice,
and praise you all day long.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


All day my tongue will ponder your justice and utter your praise.
My son, keep my words in your heart.
– Follow my commandments and you will live.

Reading Ezekiel 40:1-4,43:1-12,44:6-9

In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, fourteen years after the destruction of the city, the hand of the Lord came on me. In a divine vision he took me away to the land of Israel and put me down on a very high mountain, on the south of which there seemed to be built a city. He took me to it, and there I saw a man who seemed to be made of bronze. He had a flax cord and a measuring rod in his hand and was standing in the gateway. The man said to me, ‘Son of man, look carefully, listen closely and pay attention to everything I show you, since you have only been brought here for me to show it to you. Tell the House of Israel everything that you see.’

He took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with it, like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen on the bank of the river Chebar. Then I prostrated myself.

The glory of the Lord arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of the Lord fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. The voice said, ‘Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the sons of Israel for ever; and the House of Israel, they and their kings, will no longer defile my holy name with their whorings and the corpses of their kings, setting their threshold beside my threshold and their pillars beside my pillars, with a party wall shared by them and me. They used to defile my holy name by their filthy practices, and this is why I destroyed them in my anger. From now on they will banish their whorings and the corpses of their kings from my presence and I shall live among them for ever.

‘Son of man, describe this Temple to the House of Israel, to shame them out of their filthy practices. Let them draw up the plan, and, if they are ashamed of their behaviour, show them the design and plan of the Temple, its exits and entrances, its shape, how all of it is arranged, the entire design and all its principles. Give them all this in writing so that they can see and take note of its design and the way it is all arranged and carry it out. This is the charter of the Temple: all the surrounding area on top of the mountain is a most holy area. Such is the charter of the Temple.

‘And say to the rebels of the House of Israel, “The Lord says this: You have gone beyond all bounds with all your filthy practices, House of Israel, by admitting aliens, uncircumcised in heart and body, to frequent my sanctuary and profane my Temple, while you offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and break my covenant with all your filthy practices. Instead of performing your duties to me in the Holy Place, you have deputed someone else to perform your duties in my sanctuary. The Lord says this: No alien, uncircumcised in heart and body, is to enter my sanctuary, none of those aliens living among the Israelites.’

Reading St Augustine's sermon On Pastors
All good shepherds are in the one Shepherd

We have seen that Christ feeds you with judgement, and he distinguishes the sheep that are his from those that are not. The sheep that are mine, he says, hear my voice and follow me.

Here I see all good shepherds wrapped up in the one shepherd. It is not that there are no good shepherds but that they are all part of the one. To be many means to be divided, and so here the Lord speaks of one shepherd because it is unity that he is commending. The Lord does not avoid talking about “shepherds” in the plural because he cannot find anyone to take care of his sheep. He did find shepherds, since he found Peter – and by the very choice of Peter he commended unity. The Apostles were many and to only one of them did he say Feed my sheep. May it never happen that we truly lack good shepherds! May it never happen to us! May God’s loving kindness never fail to provide them!

Now if there are good sheep then it follows that there are good shepherds, since a good sheep will naturally make a good shepherd. But all good shepherds are in the one Shepherd, and in that sense they are not many but one. When they feed the sheep it is Christ who is doing the feeding. In the same way the bridegroom’s friends do not speak with their own voices, but when they hear the bridegroom’s voice they are filled with joy. Thus it is that Christ is feeding the sheep when the shepherds are feeding them. He says “I feed” because it is with his voice that they are speaking and with his love that they are loving. For even as he gave his sheep into Peter’s charge, like one man passing responsibility to another, he was really seeking to make Peter one with him. He handed over his sheep so that he himself might be the head and Peter, as it were, the body – that is, the Church – so that like a bridegroom and bride they might be two in one flesh.

Before he handed his sheep over to Peter he made sure that he would not be entrusting them to someone quite separate: Peter, do you love me? And he responded, I love you. Again: do you love me? And he responded, I love you. And a third time: do you love me? And he responded, I love you. He makes certain of love and gives a firm foundation to unity. He, the one shepherd, feeds the sheep in these many shepherds, and they, the many, feed them in him, the one.

Scripture is silent about shepherds and yet not silent. The shepherds boast, but whoever boasts, let him boast in the Lord. This is what it means for Christ to feed the sheep; this is what it means to feed the sheep for Christ, to feed them in Christ and not to feed oneself apart from Christ. When he said I will feed my sheep Christ did not mean “I have no-one else to give them to,” as if the Prophet had foretold a bad time when there would be too few shepherds. Even when Peter and the Apostles were still walking this earth, Christ, in whom alone all are one, said I have other sheep that are not of this flock, and these I have to lead as well so that there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.

So let them all be in the one shepherd and speak with the one shepherd’s voice, for the sheep to hear and follow their shepherd – not just any shepherd, but the one. Let all shepherds speak with one voice in him and not with separate voices: I beseech you, my brethren: say the same thing, all of you, and let there be no divisions among you. May that voice, cleansed of all division and purged of all error, be the voice that the sheep hear as they follow the shepherd who says The sheep that are mine hear my voice and follow me.

Concluding Prayer

O God, you have summed up the entire Law as love of you and our neighour.
Grant that we may obey your commandments
and deserve to come to eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.