Reflections

Friday of 25th Week of the Year, September 23, 2022

>>> Saint PIUS OF PIETRELCINA (Padre Pio) – Pray for Us!
WHO IS JESUS TO ME?
Introduction
A humble Capuchin friar, born in 1887 and who entered the order at the age of 15, St. Pio, better known as Padre Pio to many of his spiritual children, received the stigmata in 1910 and bore the wounds of Christ for more than half a century. Through his priestly ministry and pastoral zeal, many were healed both spiritually and physically. With the help of modern communication, news of the wounds he was bearing reached the whole world, bringing many to seek him for prayer and counsel. He died on September 23, 1968 in Pietrelcina, and was canonized on June 16, 2002.
 
Opening Prayer
God, our merciful Father,
you willed the fullness of humanity
through the wounds of your Son.
You granted St. Pio of Pietrelcina
the grace to bear those same wounds
to witness to your Son’s love and suffering
for us, your daughters and sons.
Grant that we too, may bear witness
to your loving kindness and mercy
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
 
1 Reading – ECCLESIASTICUS 3:1-11
There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for everything under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What advantage has the worker from his toil? I have considered the task that God has appointed for the sons of men to be busied about. He has made everything appropriate to its time, and has put the timeless into their hearts, without man’s ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done.
 
Responsorial PSALM 144:1B AND 2ABC, 3-4
R. (1) Blessed be the Lord, my Rock!
 
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I trust. R.
 
LORD, what is man, that you notice him;
the son of man, that you take thought of him?
Man is like a breath;
his days, like a passing shadow. R.
 
Alleluia MARK 10:45
Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
 
Gospel LUKE 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.”
 
Commentary
Appreciative Inquiry
Looks like everybody needs appreciation and affirmation, even the Son of God! It is heartening to realize that Jesus cared for what his own friends/brothers/disciples thought of him. We also find God, the Father, affirming the Son at crucial moments of his life. Now we have Peter, on behalf of his disciples (and the Church) responding with the same affirmation, which Jesus recognizes as coming from his own Father. Jesus needed this affirmation, as much for himself as for the disciples, before he would reveal the destiny of the Paschal Mystery that awaited him. An intervention method currently popular among companies and organizations is “appreciative inquiry” which seeks to affirm what is good, positive, and constructive in people and seek to build on them. How wonderful and healing would it be, if we could apply similar dynamics to our everyday life, to affirm and appreciate those with whom we share our life, whom we normally tend to take for granted!
 
Intercessions
– Lord, there is a time to pray and a time to act, Make us find the time for both, we pray.
– Lord, there is a time to think of our neighbor. Make us serve our brothers and sisters, we pray:
– Lord, there is a time to work for your kingdom. Whatever we do, make us serve that kingdom, we pray:
 
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God,
let this offering of bread and wine
be the living sign of your Son’s abiding presence
with your people.
Help us through these gifts
to become a community united in love and concern.
May we become witness to his presence
to our sisters and brothers
by our loving concern for them,
even as they are loved
by Jesus, our Lord. Amen!
 
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
we thank you for your Son, Jesus,
and ask you on the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
to grant us the courage and the strength
to share in the suffering of our sisters and brothers.
Help us to be firmly rooted in our faith,
that our community may be a living sign of hope
to those who have not come to the light of your salvation.
May we bring solace and comfort
to those in distress and discouragement.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!
 
Blessing
There is a time for everything. There is a time for our job and our family life, for meeting friends, for resting and recreation. Yet, whatever we do, we do in the name of the Lord. May God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

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