Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Prayer to St. John Paul II

O, St. John Paul, 
from the window of heaven,
grant us your blessing!
Bless the church that you loved and served and guided,
courageously leading it along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus.
Bless the young,
who were your great passion.
Help them dream again,
help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.
May you bless families, bless each family!
You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth.
St. John Paul,
with your prayer,
may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.
Pray for the whole world,
which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice.
You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love:
pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.
O St. John Paul,
from heaven’s window,
where we see you next to Mary,
send God’s blessing down upon us all.


Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

EPH 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:

You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial Psalm
IS 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!

R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

LK 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”

And the Lord replied,

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

October 22

St. John Paul II (1920-2005)

“Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978.

Born in Wadowice, Poland, Karol Jozef Wojtyla had lost his mother, father and older brother before his 21st birthday. Karol’s promising academic career at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. While working in a quarry and a chemical factory, he enrolled in an “underground” seminary in Kraków. Ordained in 1946, 
he was immediately sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in theology.

Back in Poland, a short assignment as assistant pastor in a rural parish preceded his very fruitful chaplaincy for university students. Soon he earned a doctorate in philosophy and began teaching that subject at Poland’s University of Lublin.

Communist officials allowed him to be appointed auxiliary bishop of Kraków in 1958, 
considering him a relatively harmless intellectual. They could not have been more wrong!

He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later.

Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations.

He promoted ecumenical and interfaith initiatives, especially the 1986 Day of Prayer for World Peace in Assisi. He visited Rome’s Main Synagogue and the Western Wall in Jerusalem; he also established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel. 
He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and in 2001 visited a mosque in Damascus, Syria.

The Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, a key event in John Paul’s ministry, was marked by special celebrations in Rome and elsewhere for Catholics and other Christians. 
Relations with the Orthodox Churches improved considerably during his ministry as pope.

“Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, Redeemer of the Human Race. In 1995, he described himself to the United Nations General Assembly as “a witness to hope.”

His 1979 visit to Poland encouraged the growth of the Solidarity movement there and the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe 10 years later. He began World Youth Day and traveled to several countries for those celebrations. 
He very much wanted to visit China and the Soviet Union but the governments in those countries prevented that.

One of the most well-remembered photos of his pontificate was his one-on-one conversation in 1983 with Mehmet Ali Agca, 
who had attempted to assassinate him two years earlier.

In his 27 years of papal ministry, John Paul II wrote 14 encyclicals and five books, 
canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 people.

In the last years of his life, he suffered from Parkinson’s disease and was forced to cut back on some of his activities.

Pope Benedict XVI beatified John Paul II in 2011, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim Your Praise!

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 99 (100)

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Rejoice in the Lord, all the earth,
and serve him with joy.
Exult as you enter his presence.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Know that the Lord is God.
He made us and we are his
– his people, the sheep of his flock.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.

Cry out his praises as you enter his gates,
fill his courtyards with songs.
Proclaim him and bless his name;
for the Lord is our delight.
His mercy lasts forever,
his faithfulness through all the ages.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made 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.

Let us adore the Lord,
for it is he who made us.


Bright as fire in darkness,
Sharper than a sword,
Lives throughout the ages
God’s eternal word.
Father, Son and Spirit,
Trinity of might,
Compassed in your glory,
Give the world your light.

Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal

Psalm 17 (18)
Thanksgiving for salvation and victory

I love you, Lord, my strength.

I will love you, Lord, my strength:
Lord, you are my foundation and my refuge,
you set me free.
My God is my help: I will put my hope in him,
my protector, my sign of salvation,
the one who raises me up.
I will call on the Lord – praise be to his name –
and I will be saved from my enemies.
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.

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 love you, Lord, my strength.

Psalm 17 (18)

The Lord saved me because he loved me.

The earth moved and shook,
at the coming of his anger the roots of the mountains rocked
and were shaken.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
consuming fire came from his mouth,
from it came forth flaming coals.
He bowed down the heavens and descended,
storm clouds were at his feet.
He rode on the cherubim and flew,
he travelled on the wings of the wind.
He made dark clouds his covering;
his dwelling-place, dark waters and clouds of the air.
The cloud-masses were split by his lightnings,
hail fell, hail and coals of fire.
The Lord thundered from the heavens,
the Most High let his voice be heard,
with hail and coals of fire.
He shot his arrows and scattered them,
hurled thunderbolts and threw them into confusion.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
he lifted me from the many waters.
He snatched me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hate me, for they were too strong for me.
They attacked me in my time of trouble,
but the Lord was my support.
He led me to the open spaces,
he was my deliverance, for he held me in favor.

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 Lord saved me because he loved me.

Psalm 17 (18)

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.

The Lord rewards me according to my uprightness,
he repays me according to the purity of my hands,
for I have kept to the paths of the Lord
and have not departed wickedly from my God.
For I keep all his decrees in my sight,
and I will not reject his judgements;
I am stainless before him,
I have kept myself away from evil.
And so the Lord has rewarded me according to my uprightness,
according to the purity of my hands in his sight.
You will be holy with the holy,
kind with the kind,
with the chosen you will be chosen,
but with the crooked you will show your cunning.
For you will bring salvation to a lowly people
but make the proud ashamed.
For you light my lamp, O Lord;
my God brings light to my darkness.
For with you I will attack the enemy’s squadrons;
with my God I will leap over their wall.

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.

You, O Lord, are my lamp,
my God who lightens my darkness.

All were astonished by the gracious words
– that came from his lips.

First Reading
Esther 4:17

All Israel cried out with all their might, for they were faced with death.

Queen Esther also took refuge with the Lord in the mortal peril which had overtaken her. She took off her sumptuous robes and put on sorrowful mourning. Instead of expensive perfumes she covered her head with ashes. She humbled her body severely with fasting. She threw herself on the ground, together with her servants from morning to night and she said:

‘God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
I am alone and have no helper but you
and am about to take my life in my hands.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Noah from the waters of the flood.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that to Abraham with his three hundred and eighteen men,
you gave victory over nine kings.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Jonah from the belly of the whale.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you freed Ananiah, Azariah and Mishael from the fiery furnace.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you saved Daniel from the lions’ den.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you took pity on Hezekiah, king of the Jews,
when he was condemned to death and prayed to you for his life.
‘I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that when Anna begged you from the depths of her heart,
you gave her a child.
I have heard, Lord, from the books of my ancestors
that you rescue all who are pleasing in your sight,
for ever.
‘Lord, my God, come to my help, for I am alone,
I have no-one but you.
You know that your servant loathes the bed of the uncircumcised.
You know I have not eaten at the table of the abominations
nor drunk the wine of libations.
‘You know I have not found pleasure
from the day of my promotion until now
except in you, Lord.
‘You know, God, that I loathe the symbol of my high position
that is bound round my brow.
I loathe it as if it were a filthy rag
and do not wear it on my days of leisure.
‘And now support me, for I am an orphan.
Put persuasive words into my mouth when I face the lion.
Let me find favour in his eyes:
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘But free us from the power of our enemies;
turn our mourning into rejoicing
and bring our sufferings to an end.
Make an example of those who attack us.
‘Come, Lord, appear!’


King of gods,
almighty Lord,
give me courage:
put the right words into my mouth.

give us time for repentance and do not shut the mouths of those who praise you;
put the right words into my mouth.

Second Reading
St Augustine's letter to Proba

You will find no prayer that is not already contained in the Lord's Prayer

Here are some examples.

When one prays: Be glorified among all nations as thou art glorified among us, and Let your prophets be proved true, 
what else is one asking than Hallowed be thy name?
When the psalmist says: Bring us back, O God of hosts, 
let your face shine on us and we shall be saved what else is he saying than Thy kingdom come?
When he says: Direct my steps according to your word, 
so that iniquity has no dominion over me what else is he saying than Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?
When in the book of Proverbs it is said: give me neither poverty nor riches, 
grant me only my share of food what else is this than Give us this day our daily bread?
When the psalmist says Lord, remember David and how he served you or O Lord, if I have done this, if there is iniquity in my hands, if I have rewarded with evil those that did evil to me what else is this than Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?

When he says: Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, 
and defend me from those that rise up against me what else is this than Deliver us from evil?

And if you go over all the words of holy prayers, I think you will find nothing which cannot be comprised and summed up in the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer. So when we pray we are free to use different words to any extent, but we must ask the same things: in this we have no choice.

It is our duty to ask these things without hesitation for ourselves and for our friends, for strangers and even for our enemies; although of course our emotions may differ according to the persons being prayed for and their closeness or their distance from us.

Now you have the answers to two questions: what sort of person you should be when you pray, and what sort of things you should pray for. These answers have not come from my teaching but from the teaching of him who has condescended to teach us all.

We must seek a blessed life and we must ask God to grant it to us. What a blessed life might mean is something that many people have had many arguments about; but why should we go to many people or listen to many arguments? God’s own Scriptures have summed it up exactly: Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord. How are we to be part of that people, to look on God and live with him for ever? As St Paul says, The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love coming out of a pure heart, 
a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.

For “a clear conscience” we may read “hope.” Faith, hope, and charity, therefore, lead to God the man who prays, the man, that is, who believes, hopes, and desires, and is guided as to what he should ask from the Lord by studying the Lord’s Prayer.


Lord, listen to my prayers and let my cry for help reach you, for you,
O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.

Listen attentively to the voice of my pleading, for you,
O God, do not despise the prayers of the helpless.

Let us pray.

Almighty, ever-living God,
make us ever obey you willingly and promptly.
Teach us how to serve you
with sincere and upright hearts
in every sphere of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Let us praise the Lord.
– Thanks be to God.