Sunday, July 25, 2010


Prayer to Saint Lawrence

O glorious Saint Lawrence, Martyr and Deacon, who, being subjected to the most bitter torments, didst not lose thy faith nor thy constancy in confessing Jesus Christ, obtain in like manner for us such an active and solid faith, that we shall never be ashamed to be true followers of Jesus Christ, and fervent Christians in word and in deed.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be

V. Pray for us, O holy Lawrence,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, the grace to quench the flames of our vices, Thou who didst enable blessed Lawrence to overcome his fiery torments.
Through Christ our Lord.


Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Gn 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out."

While Abraham's visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
"Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?"
The LORD replied,
"If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake."
Abraham spoke up again:
"See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?"
He answered, "I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there."
But Abraham persisted, saying "What if only forty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty."
Then Abraham said, "Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?"
He replied, "I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there."
Still Abraham went on,
"Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?"
The LORD answered, "I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty."
But he still persisted:
"Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?"
He replied, "For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it."

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8

R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.

R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.

R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.

R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Reading 2
Col 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead
in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.

Lk 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."
He said to them,

"When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test."

And he said to them,

"Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"


July 25

St. James

This James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. “He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:19-20).

James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani.

Two incidents in the Gospels describe the temperament of this man and his brother. St. Matthew tells that their mother came (Mark says it was the brothers themselves) to ask that they have the seats of honor (one on the right, one on the left of Jesus) in the kingdom. “Jesus said in reply, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We can’” (Matthew 20:22). Jesus then told them they would indeed drink the cup and share his baptism of pain and death, but that sitting at his right hand or left was not his to give—it “is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father” (Matthew 20:23b). It remained to be seen how long it would take to realize the implications of their confident “We can!”

The other disciples became indignant at the ambition of James and John. Then Jesus taught them all the lesson of humble service: The purpose of authority is to serve. They are not to impose their will on others, or lord it over them. This is the position of Jesus himself. He was the servant of all; the service imposed on him was the supreme sacrifice of his own life.

On another occasion, James and John gave evidence that the nickname Jesus gave them—“sons of thunder”—was an apt one. The Samaritans would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to hated Jerusalem. “When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them...” (Luke 9:54-55).

James was apparently the first of the apostles to be martyred. “About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also” (Acts 12:1-3a).

This James, sometimes called James the Greater, is not to be confused with James the Lesser (May 3) or with the author of the Letter of James and the leader of the Jerusalem community.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 23 (24)

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
and set it firm over the waters.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
The Lord, strong in battle.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
– he is the king of glory.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.

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.

– Come, let us rejoice in the Lord: let us acclaim God our salvation, alleluia.


Hail, day! whereon the One in Three
First formed the earth by sure decree,
The day its Maker rose again,
And vanquished death, and burst our chain.
Away with sleep and slothful ease!
We raise our hearts and bend our knees,
And early seek the Lord of all,
Obedient to the Prophet’s call:
That he may hearken to our prayer,
Stretch forth his strong right arm to spare,
And, every past offense forgiven,
Restore us to our home in heaven.
Assembled here this holy day,
This holiest hour we raise the lay;
And, O, that he to whom we sing,
May now reward our offering!
Most Holy Father, hear our cry,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most High
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

The two paths
Psalm 1

The cross of the Lord is the tree of life for us.

Blessed the man who does not follow the counsels of the wicked,
or stand in the paths that sinners use,
or sit in the gatherings of those who mock:
his delight is the law of the Lord,
he ponders his law day and night.
He is like a tree planted by flowing waters,
that will give its fruit in due time,
whose leaves will not fade.
All that he does will prosper.
Not thus are the wicked, not thus.
They are like the dust blown by the wind.
At the time of judgement the wicked will not stand,
nor sinners in the council of the just.
For the Lord knows the path of the just;
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

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.

The cross of the Lord is the tree of life for us.
Psalm 2

The Messiah, king and victor

I have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.
Why are the nations in a ferment?
Why do the people make their vain plans?
The kings of the earth have risen up;
the leaders have united against the Lord,
against his anointed.
“Let us break their chains, that bind us;
let us throw off their yoke from our shoulders!”
The Lord laughs at them,
he who lives in the heavens derides them.
Then he speaks to them in his anger;
in his fury he throws them into confusion:
“But I – I have set up my king on Zion,
my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the Lord’s decrees.
The Lord has said to me: “You are my son: today I have begotten you.
Ask me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance,
the ends of the earth for you to possess.
You will rule them with a rod of iron,
break them in pieces like an earthen pot.”
So now, kings, listen: understand, you who rule the land.
Serve the Lord in fear, tremble even as you praise him.
Learn his teaching, lest he take anger,
lest you perish when his anger bursts into flame.
Blessed are all who put their trust in the Lord.

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.

I have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.
Psalm 3

The Lord is my protector

O my God, you have come to my help.
Lord, how many they are, my attackers!
So many rise up against me, so many of them say:
“He can hope for no help from the Lord.”
But you, Lord, are my protector, my glory:
you raise up my head.
I called to the Lord,
and from his holy mountain he heard my voice.
I fell asleep, and slept;
but I rose, for the Lord raised me up.
I will not fear when the people surround me in their thousands.
Rise up, O Lord;
bring me to safety, my God.
Those who attacked me – you struck them on the jaw,
you shattered their teeth.
Salvation comes from the Lord:
Lord, your blessing is upon your people.

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.

O my God, you have come to my help.
May the word of the Lord find a true home in you.
– Teach and advise one another in all wisdom.

2 Corinthians 7:2-16

Keep a place for us in your hearts. We have not injured anyone, or ruined anyone, or exploited anyone. I am not saying this to put any blame on you; as I have already told you, you are in our hearts – together we live or together we die. I have the very greatest confidence in you, and I am so proud of you that in all our trouble I am filled with consolation and my joy is overflowing.

Even after we had come to Macedonia, however, there was no rest for this body of ours. Far from it; we found trouble on all sides: quarrels outside, misgivings inside. But God comforts the miserable, and he comforted us, by the arrival of Titus, and not only by his arrival but also by the comfort which he had gained from you. He has told us all about how you want to see me, how sorry you were, and how concerned for me, and so I am happier now than I was before.

But to tell the truth, even if I distressed you by my letter, I do not regret it. I did regret it before, and I see that that letter did distress you, at least for a time; but I am happy now – not because I made you suffer, but because your suffering led to your repentance. Yours has been a kind of suffering that God approves, and so you have come to no kind of harm from us. To suffer in God’s way means changing for the better and leaves no regrets, but to suffer as the world knows suffering brings death. Just look at what suffering in God’s way has brought you: what keenness, what explanations, what indignation, what alarm! Yes, and what aching to see me, what concern for me, and what justice done! In every way you have shown yourselves blameless in this affair. So then, though I wrote the letter to you, it was not written for the sake either of the offender or of the one offended; it was to make you realise, in the sight of God, your own concern for us. That is what we have found so encouraging.

With this encouragement, too, we had the even greater happiness of finding Titus so happy; thanks to you all, he has no more worries; I had rather boasted to him about you, and now I have not been made to look foolish; in fact, our boasting to Titus has proved to be as true as anything that we ever said to you. His own personal affection for you is all the greater when he remembers how willing you have all been, and with what deep respect you welcomed him. I am very happy knowing that I can rely on you so completely.


The sadness that is used by God brings a change of heart that leads to salvation, and there is no regret in it, but worldly sadness leads to death.

Our sadness is used by God, and so we suffer no harm, but worldly sadness leads to death.

From a homily on the 2nd letter to the Corinthians by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop

I rejoice exceedingly in all my tribulations

Again Paul turns to speak of love, softening the harshness of his rebuke. For after convicting and reproaching them for not loving him as he had loved them, breaking away from his love and attaching themselves to troublemakers, he again takes the edge off the reproach by saying: Open your hearts to us, that is, love us. He asks for a favour which will be no burden to them but will be more profitable to the giver than to the receiver. And he did not use the word “love” but said, more appealingly: Open your hearts to us.

Who, he said, has cast us out of your minds, thrust us from your hearts? How is it that you feel constraint with us? For, since he has said earlier: You are restricted in your own affection, he now declares himself more openly and says: Open your heart to us, thus once more drawing them to him. For nothing so much wins love as the knowledge that one’s lover desires most of all to be himself loved.

For I said before, he tells them, that you are in our hearts to die together or live together. This is love at its height, that even though in disfavour, he wishes both to die and to live with them. For you are in our hearts, not just somehow or other, but in the way I have said. It is possible to love and yet to draw back when danger threatens; but my love is not like that.

I am filled with consolation. What consolation? That which comes from you because you, being changed for the better, have consoled me by what you have done. It is natural for a lover both to complain that he is not loved in return and to fear that he may cause distress by complaining too much. Therefore, he says: I am filled with consolation, I rejoice exceedingly.

It is as if he said, I was much grieved on your account, but you have made it up for me in full measure and given me comfort; for you have not only removed the cause for any grief but filled me with a richer joy.

Then he shows the greatness of that joy by saying not only I rejoice exceedingly but also the words which follow: in all my tribulations. So great, he says, was the delight that you gave me that it was not even dimmed by so much tribulation, but overcame by its strength and keenness all those sorrows which had invaded my heart, and took away from me all awareness of them.


These things that prove that I am an apostle were done with all patience among you, with signs and wonders and miracles.

I will be glad to spend all I have, and myself as well, in order to help you, with signs and wonders and miracles.

Te Deum

God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

O God, you are the protection of all who trust in you, for without you nothing is holy, nothing strong.

Guide us and lead us with ever-increasing compassion.

Make us make such use of the good things that pass away
that we may share, even now, in the good things that endure.

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.