Thursday, July 7, 2011


Prayer to Jesus

We therefore pray Thee,
help Thy servants:
whom Thou has redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.


July 7, 2011

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week
in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Gn 44:18-21, 23b-29; 45:1-5

Judah approached Joseph and said: “I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one’s full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.’
Then you told your servants,
‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.’
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
Then your servant our father said to us,
‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’“

Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!”
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers.
“Is my father still in good health?”
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
“I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Responsorial Psalm
105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.

R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.

R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.

R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
R. Alleluia.

Mt 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:

“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your wordsC
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”


July 7

Sts. Cyril and Methodius (d. 885)

Cyril and Methodius were brothers, sons of a high senatorial family of Thessalonica. Methodius, the elder of the two brothers, became governor of a Slavic colony in Macedonia. A scholar, philosopher and linguist, Cyril became a monk in Bithynia. In 861 the Byzantine Emperor sent Cyril on a mission into the Dneiper-Volga regions of Russia to convert the Jewish Khazars, barbarians of south Russia. His brother Methodius accompanied him and they returned to their monastery after a successful mission.

At about the same time, the Prince of Moravia asked the Emperor to send missionaries to convert his people. Since both brothers knew the Slavonic tongue, Emperor Michael III sent Cyril and Methodius there in 863. They taught the Moravians how to write, and they composed a new alphabet for them called Cyrillic, which marked the beginning of Slavonic literature. The alphabet is still used among the Russians.

Then the brothers translated the Bible and liturgical books into Slavonic, the common language of the peoples of the area and organized numerous Catholic communities in Bohemia and Hungary. In 868 they arrived in Rome and were warmly received by Pope Adrian II, who made them Bishops and allowed them to say the Mass in Slavonic. Cyril died while he was in Rome at age 42, and he was buried in the Church of St. Clement.

Methodius returned alone to Great Moravia, and was named Archbishop of Cyrinium in Serbia. He found many enemies in the Hierarchy who persecuted him and placed obstacles to his work because they opposed the Mass being said in Slavonic. Accusing him of heresy, they imprisoned him and held him captive for three years. Pope John VII came to his defense, and finally St. Methodius triumphed over his adversaries. He died in 885 with great manifestations of love by the people. His funeral was celebrated in Greek, Latin, and Slavonic. Cyril and Methodius received the title Apostles of the Slavs.

Their feast day was extended to the universal Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1880.


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

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.”

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

“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.”

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.

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.

– Let us exult in the Lord’s presence.


The dusky veil of night hath laid
The varied hues of earth in shade;
Before thee, righteous Judge of all,
We contrite in confession fall.
Take far away our load of sin,
Our soiled minds make clean within:
Thy sovereign grace, O Christ, impart,
From all offence to guard our heart.
For lo! our mind is dull and cold,
envenomed by sin’s baneful hold:
Fain would it now the darkness flee
And seek, Redeemer, unto thee.
Far from it drive the shades of night,
Its inmost darkness put to flight;
Till in the daylight of the Blest
It joys to find itself at rest.
Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

In time of defeat
Psalm 43 (44)

It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.

Our own ears have heard, O God,
and our fathers have proclaimed it to us,
what you did in their days, the days of old:
how with your own hand you swept aside the nations
and put us in their place,
struck them down to make room for us.
It was not by their own swords that our fathers took over the land,
it was not their own strength that gave them victory;
but your hand and your strength,
the light of your face,
for you were pleased in them.
You are my God and my king,
who take care for the safety of Jacob.
Through you we cast down your enemies;
in your name we crushed those who rose against us.
I will not put my hopes in my bow,
my sword will not bring me to safety;
for it was you who saved us from our afflictions,
you who set confusion among those who hated us.
We will glory in the Lord all the day,
and proclaim your name for all ages.

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.

It was you who saved us, Lord: we will praise your name without ceasing.
Psalm 43 (44)

Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.

But now, God, you have spurned us and confounded us,
so that we must go into battle without you.
You have put us to flight in the sight of our enemies,
and those who hate us plunder us at will.
You have handed us over like sheep sold for food,
you have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for no money,
not even profiting by the exchange.
You have made us the laughing-stock of our neighbours,
mocked and derided by those who surround us.
The nations have made us a by-word,
the peoples toss their heads in scorn.
All the day I am ashamed,
I blush with shame
as they reproach me and revile me,
my enemies and my persecutors.

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.

Spare us, Lord, do not let your people be put to shame.
Psalm 43 (44)

Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.

All this happened to us,
but not because we had forgotten you.
We were not disloyal to your covenant;
our hearts did not turn away;
our steps did not wander from your path;
and yet you brought us low,
with horrors all about us:
you overwhelmed us in the shadows of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God,
if we had spread out our hands before an alien god —
would God not have known?
He knows what is hidden in our hearts.
It is for your sake that we face death all the day,
that we are reckoned as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake, Lord, why do you sleep?
Rise up, do not always reject us.
Why do you turn away your face?
How can you forget our poverty and our tribulation?
Our souls are crushed into the dust,
our bodies dragged down to the earth.
Rise up, Lord, and help us.
In your mercy, redeem us.

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.

Arise, Lord! Redeem us because of your love.
Lord, to whom shall we go?
– You have the words of eternal life.

1 Chronicles 22:5-19

Then David said, ‘My son Solomon is young, of tender years, and the house to be built for the Lord must be of great splendour, renowned for its magnificence in every country. I will make preparations for him.’ And so, before he died, David made ample preparations. He then summoned his son Solomon and instructed him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. ‘My son,’ David said to Solomon ‘my heart was set on building a house for the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, “You have shed much blood and fought great battles; it is not for you to build a house for my name, since you have shed so much blood on the earth in my presence. But now a son is born to you. He shall be a man of peace and I will give him peace from all the enemies that surround him; for Solomon is his name, and in his days I will give Israel peace and quiet. He shall build a house for my name; he shall be a son to me and I a father to him, and I will make his royal throne secure in Israel for ever.” Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success in building a house for the Lord your God, as he has said concerning you. Yet may he give you discretion and discernment, may he give you his orders for Israel so that you may observe the Law of the Lord your God. Success will be yours if you carefully observe the statutes and the ordinances that the Lord has prescribed to Moses for Israel. Be strong and stand fast, be fearless, be dauntless. Poor as I am, I have set aside for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver and more bronze and iron than can be weighed; I have stored up wood and stone too, to which you must add more. You will have many workmen, stonecutters, masons, carpenters, skilled artisans of every kind, while your gold and silver, bronze and iron, will be beyond reckoning. Set to work, then, and may the Lord be with you!’

David then ordered all the Israelite leaders to help his son Solomon. ‘Is not the Lord your God with you?’ he said. ‘He has given you peace on all sides, since he has put the inhabitants of the country into my power and the land has been subdued for the Lord and for his people. So now devote heart and soul to the search for the Lord your God. Set to and build the sanctuary of the Lord your God, so that you can bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord and the holy things of God to the house that is built for the name of the Lord.’


Set your mind on building the sanctuary of the Lord God. Let us go to his dwelling-place, let us worship at his footstool.

Thus says the Lord: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. Let us go to his dwelling-place, let us worship at his footstool.

An explanation of Psalm 118 by St Ambrose

God's temple is holy, and you are his temple

My father and I will come to him and make our home with him. Open wide your door to the one who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart and run to meet the Sun of eternal light that illuminates all men. Indeed that true light shines on all; but if anyone closes his shutters against it then he will defraud himself of the eternal light. To close the doors of your mind is to exclude Christ. Of course he is capable of entering even so, but he does not want to force his way in or seize you against your will.

Born of the Virgin’s womb, he shone on the whole world to give light to all. It is received by those who desire the brightness of perpetual light that no night can obscure. For the sun that we see daily in the sky is followed by darkness and night; but the Sun of righteousness never sets, since evil cannot defeat wisdom.

Blessed is he, therefore, at whose door Christ comes knocking. Faith is the door of the soul, and if it is strong then it fortifies the whole house. Through this door Christ enters. Thus it is that the Church herself says, The voice of my brother is knocking on the door. Listen to him knocking, listen to him asking to be let in: Open to me, my sister, my beloved, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is wet with dew, my hair with the drops of night.

You see that when the Word of God knocks hardest on your door, it is when his hair is wet with the dew of the night. In fact he chooses to visit those who are in tribulation and trial, lest one of them be overwhelmed by distress. So his head is covered with dew, with drops, when his body is labouring hard. It is important to keep watch so that when the Bridegroom comes, he is not shut out. If you are asleep and your heart is not keeping watch, he will go away without knocking; but if your heart is alert for his coming, he knocks and asks for the door to be opened to him.

Thus you see that our soul has a door, but we have gates too, as the psalm says: Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors, and let the king of glory enter. If you choose to raise your gates, the King of glory will come to you, celebrating the triumph of his own Passion. For righteousness has gates, as we see it written when the Lord Jesus speaks through his prophets: Open to me the gates of righteousness.

It is the soul that has its door, it is the soul that has its gates. To that door Christ comes and knocks, he knocks at the door. Open to him, therefore: he wishes to come in, the Bridegroom wishes to find you keeping watch.


Listen! I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into his house and eat with him, and he will eat with me.

How happy is that servant if his master finds him doing this when he comes home. I will come into his house and eat with him, and he will eat with me.

Let us pray.

Lord God,
when our world lay in ruins,
you raised it up again on the foundation of your Son’s Passion and Death.

Give us grace to rejoice in the freedom from sin
which he gained for us,
and bring us to everlasting joy.

We make our prayer 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.