- 5/31 – Hebrews 13:1-25 – Which of these ethical demands do I care for most? Which one should I try to value more? Prayer starter: Lord, God of peace, give us the strength to follow your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ on the paths of love, compassions, and justice.
- 6/1 – Hebrews 21:1-7 – What is faith for you? How does it connect with your hope for the future? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, Lord of the new world to come, we believe in you and we joyfully hope for the full advent of your kingdom.
- 6/2 – Hebrews 11:8-22 – Were there times when trust in God was my only certainty for directions in life? Prayer starter: Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Lord of the Promise, look upon the faith of Abraham’s countless sons and daughters around the world and give them the blessings of reconciliation and of mutual respect.
- 6/3 – Hebrews 11:23-31 – Which aspect of Moses’ faith speaks to me most: courage, perseverance, love for his people and for his God? Prayer starter: Lord, we thank you for raising up a man of faith and a prophet like Moses to lead your people to freedom. We praise you for sending your own son and our Savior to provide even greater deliverance.
- 6/4 – Hebrews 11:32-40 – Which characters of the Bible have become models of faith for me? Why so? Prayer starter: Lord of the prophets and of the martyrs, give us a share in their courage and in their yeaming for the one and only reward: eternal life with you.
- 6/5 – Hebrews 12:1-13 – Which areas of my life would need more discipline for the sake of the Gospel? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, our Lord and our model, through your loving obedience and endurance, you have shown us the path to life. Strengthen our steps for the race set before us.
- 6/6 – Hebrews 12:14-29 – How can I entertain the consuming fire of the word of God in my life & community? Prayer starter: Lord, may your word be a consuming fire in our hearts and make us yearn for the heavenly kingdom you have promised and prepared for us.
- 5/24 – Hebrews 10:26-39 – What has been of greatest help and comfort to me when struggling with suffering? Prayer starter: Come, Lord Jesus, without delay to bring comfort to all those who suffer, reconciliation among nations, peace and salvation to all God’s children.
- 5/25 – Hebrews 11:1-7 – What is faith for you? How does it connect with your hope for the future? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, Lord of the new world to come, we believe in you and we joyfully hope for the full advent of your kingdom.
- 5/26 – Hebrews 11:8-22 – Were there times when trust in God was my only certainty for directions in life? Prayer starter: Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Lord of the Promise, look upon the faith of Abraham’s countless sons and daughters around the world and give them the blessings of reconciliation and of mutual respect.
- 5/27 – Hebrews 11:23-31 – Which aspect of Moses’ faith speaks to me most: courage, perseverance, love for his people and for his God? Prayer starter: Lord, we thank you for raising up a man of faith and a prophet like Moses to lead your people to freedom. We praise you for sending your own son and our Savior to provide even greater deliverance.
- 5/28 – Hebrews 11:32-40 – Which characters of the Bible have become models of faith for me? Why so? Prayer starter: Lord of the prophets and of the martyrs, give us a share in their courage and in their yearning for the one and only reward: eternal life with you.
- 5/29 – Hebrews 12:1-13 – Which areas of my life would need more discipline for the sake of the Gospel? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, our Lord and our model, through your loving obedience and endurance, you have shown us the path to life. Strengthen our steps for the race set before us.
- 5/30 – Hebrews 12:14-29 – How can I entertain the consuming fire of the world of God in my life? In my community’s life? Prayer starter: Lord, may your word be a consuming fire in our hearts and make us yearn for the heavenly kingdom you have promised and prepared for us.
- 5/17 – Jeremiah 31:31-34 – How do the words of Jeremiah on the “new Covenant” help me better appreciate Jesus and his message? Prayer starter: Lord of the prophets, we thank you for the way they proclaimed your word and prompted us to experience its perennial freshness.
- 5/18 – Hebrews 9:1-10 – What can I do to help revive and refresh liturgy and worship in my community? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, we believe in your loving presence so your Church will never fail. May our liturgies and our commitment be a living work ”in spirit and truth.”
- 5/19 – Hebrews 9:11-22 – How often and how deeply do I acknowledge God’s gift of forgiveness? Prayer starter: Ever living and forgiving Lord, we worship you and we praise you for making, through the death and resurrection of Christ, “grace abound all the more where sins increased.”
- 5/20 – Hebrews 9:23-28 – Is my relationship with God based more on hope or on fear? Prayer starter: Lord, Jesus, as we await your second coming, help us to ground our lives on the good news of salvation arising from your first coming.
- 5/21- Hebrews 10:1-18 – How can I shift from any permanent sense of guilt to responsiveness to God’s forgiveness? Prayer starter: Lord of mercy, recreate in us the wonders of your forgiveness and may we seek to do your will with a contrite spirit and a renewed heart.
- 5/22 – Psalm 40 – How can I make of prayer and worship a listening experience to what God has to say? Prayer starter: O Living God, I truly wish to find delight in doing your will. Together with your son, Jesus, I pray, ”Abba, Father, Thy will be done, not mine.”
- 5/23 – Hebrews 10:19-25 – How would I characterize the way I live our faith, hope, and love? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you have opened for us a new way to the Father. Strengthen our faith, sustain our hope, and keep our hearts burning with your love.
Over the Easter season, our tradition calls for the congregation to stand during the Eucharistic prayer. A few of our parishioners had asked the question “why?” Let me try to answer:
We are not to be gloomy in Church; yet we are to be reverent. Our manner in Church and our attitude should reflect our respect and love for almighty God! Very briefly, the origin of this custom dates from the earliest centuries of the Church, and is believed to have existed in apostolic times. St Justin, who was martyred in the second century, commented about this custom: “When we kneel, we signify thereby that we have fallen to earth by our sins, and, therefore, during Easter / Paschal time, we stand in order to show that by the Resurrection of Christ and by penance we have risen from our unfortunate fall, and that being awakened from the death of the soul we must persevere in good resolutions.” Therefore by standing during Eastertide, we conform to the practice of the Fathers of the Church as early as the second century. At the beginning of the fourth century this practice became a general law for the whole Church. The first Ecumenical Council (Nicea 325) although it was primarily a dogmatic council, did, nevertheless, pass legislation on this matter. The 12th Canon of the Council (which is the only Canon relating to worship) mandates that on every Sunday between Easter and Pentecost, worship and prayer shall be performed standing!
Remember, also, that the rubrical postures for the congregation during a Eucharistic procession are as they are during the Easter morning procession (such as they shall be for every Eucharistic Procession). The congregation stands in reverence of the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and genuflects as the Presence passes close to the participant.
Standing has, and always will be, the most reverential posture for the believer.
A caveat shall always be, however, that God certainly understands if the worshipper is physically unable to comply with the rubrical directive. A heart that stands in reverence is truly what God desires.
I tried all week to come up with some words on how the resuIt of our hosting the Ninth Annual Mission & Evangelism Workshop had been expressed to both participant and guest; I couldn’t come up with any that truly expressed the success of all of our efforts had provided.
- First of all, was all the prep time put in to the hall and the needed cleaning and getting ready there
- The preparation of the gift bags and all that went into that effort
- The bringing of the cushions for our guests to be able to learn and stay focused on the speakers’ presentation
- The banners produced by the SOCL class and Deborah which provided our guests with an insight into what we do here as a church
- The donations of the pens, cups, soda, water, cookies that again were a blessing
- The precision with which the pick-up and delivery schedules allowed a safe and timely passage for those guests in need of transportation
- The wonderful breakfast provided for and served by our parishioners
- The spirit of hospitality and greeting for those who had come from far and wide to share in the afternoon
- The very positive and comfortable image that our Prime Bishop and our Diocesan Bishop have now of the congregation here in Schenectady
- The time of clean up on Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon
- The group of parishioners who attended the opening Mass on Friday giving our Prime Bishop and Diocesan Bishop a good sense of our parochial involvement
- Our regular Sunday congregation who mingled their voices of praise and prayer with the attendees
- A sense of real accomplishment that we had served our Lord well by serving our Church and our fellow sisters and brothers of the Faith in their desire to learn more on how to do mission and evangelism. For all of you, may God truly bless you for your sacrifice!
- 5/10 – Hebrews 4:14-16; Hebrews 5:1-10 – When have I found comfort and relief in Jesus through my own suffering? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you always showed compassion to any human suffering you encountered. Be our comforter before God and restore fullness of life and hope to all those who suffer now.
- 5/11 – Hebrews 5:11-14 – Do I yearn for more in my understanding of Christ and of his Gospel? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, our Teacher, keep our hearts burning for your word and our lives illuminated through your light.
- 5/12 – Hebrews 6:1-19 – How much of an anchor is my faith in Jesus in the hard times we are facing? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you are a forerunner on our behalf of the good things God has in store for us. Help us keep our souls anchored In you.
- 5/13 – Hebrews 7:1-14 – How can the priesthood of Jesus help us redefine priesthood for the future of our communities? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you are the one and only priest who stands forever at the right hand of the Father. Look upon your Church and help us bring whatever renewal needs to be made.
- 5/14 – Hebrews 7:15-28 – Do I live my relationship with God as a “better covenant” in Jesus? Prayer starter: Lord of the New Covenant, in Jesus you have pledged to be our God and you call us to be your people. Blessed are you forever and ever.
- 5/15 – Psalm 110 – Do my prayers reflect trust in the permanent intercession of the risen Christ? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, you who sit at the right hand of the Father, we pray to you with trust and love. Be at all times our intercessor with the Father.
- 5/16 – Hebrews 8:1-13 – When I read Scripture, do I care for the bigger picture including both Testaments? Prayer starter: Lord God, even when your people have been unfaithful to your covenant, you never abandoned them. We thank you and praise you for the new and eternal covenant you have made with us.
- 5/3 – Hebrews 2:1-9 – How can the Psalms help me to contemplate both the humanity and the divinity of Jesus? Prayer starter: How majestic is your name, O Lord, and how great is the work of your hands in the creation and recreation of humankind through your Son Jesus!
- 5/4 – Psalm 8 – Do I realize the greatness of our human vocation and dignity? Prayer starter: Abba, Father, we give you praise and thanks for giving us so great a dignity as to be your children and so great a vocation as to be stewards of your creation.
- 5/5- Hebrews 2:10-18 – Which side of Jesus’ “nature” do I need most to deepen: true God or true man? Prayer starter: Lord Jesus, we worship you as our God and we hail you as our brother who has taken upon himself the burden of our sufferings.
- 5/6 – Hebrews 3:1-11– In which ways can I better act as a servant of God and a builder of his house? Prayer starter: Lord God, builder of all things, we praise you for the work that you have done through your Servant and son, Jesus. Keep us receptive to the work you want to do through your Church.
- 5/7 – Psalm 95 – In my prayers, how can I care more about listening to what God has to say to me? Prayer starter: God, we are the people of your pasture. Help us to always be grateful to you for such privilege and committed to what you expect from us.
- 5/8 – Hebrews 3:12-19 – How would I describe my partnership with Christ? Prayer starter: Lord, you speak to us every day and your word brings us comfort and challenge. May we hear your word today, whether for comfort or for challenge, and keep it.
- 5/9 – Hebrews 4:1-13– How can I make my Sundays days in which I enter God’s rest? Prayer starter: Lord of the sabbath, we thank you for always keeping open the promise of entering your rest. May our desire to reach it keep growing every day.