Homily for Palm Sunday

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Today’s very long Gospel reading really brought home something for me that I had never noticed in the Palm Sunday reading before: and that is just how very much we are like the people presented in the Gospel account of the Last Supper and the Passion and Death of Our Lord. I think the reason this stuck out for me was because it’s something I’ve been becoming more aware of throughout Scripture. Several times recently I’ve heard one person or another try to explain away God’s Word and the teachings of the Church by claiming that, while those teaching might have been fine for a less enlightened and more stupid people, we’ve evolved beyond them and no longer need them.

Balderdash. That attitude is pure arrogance. Pure condescension. People haven’t changed. We’re the same now as we ever were — and that is both good and bad. No amount of pride or hypocrisy will change that. Sure — we have Xbox and Disneyland and the ancients didn’t, but if the power grid suddenly goes down for a few weeks or months, we will all find out very quickly and very painfully just how many skills and how much knowledge the ancients had that we have lost.

Fundamentally, people really are very much the same. We can see in the world all around us and — if we are willing to be honest — in ourselves the same failings and weaknesses we see on display among the people in today’s Gospel. This is no surprise. We’re human and we’re living in our fallen state. Failings and weaknesses are part of the package.

Of course, we also see some amazing strengths. We see some amazing character. We see actions to which we should all aspire, and so we should all pray for the grace to emulate such successes through actions in our own lives while we work to overcome the weaknesses.

In today’s Gospel, a woman brings an alabaster jar of costly perfume to anoint Jesus. Instead of congratulating her on her thoughtfulness and blessing her for her love of Jesus, there were some there who immediately began gossiping. They called what she did a waste. They looked for the bad instead of seeing the good. They picked apart her motive and jumped to wrong conclusions.

Surely we have all felt the negative effects of gossip in our lives. We have all at one time or another been the subject of hurtful comments. False assumptions. Gossip can do terrible damage to another person, and that’s why it is a sin. And it can be a mortal sin. Let us all pray for the character to refrain from gossiping and seek out the good that others do; let us not twist their good into evil.

In the very next scene in the Gospel account, Judas Iscariot is sneaking away to go betray Christ to the chief priests. Judas chooses money over his Lord. And Judas certainly wasn’t the last person to pick a false god over Christ. Judas is hardly the only person to betray Christ; we see such betrayals in the world today with all too frequent regularity. Let us all pray for the strength to put God first in our lives and to never choose a lesser thing over our greater good.

Then Christ sends two of His disciples into the city to meet a man who will provide a room for them to celebrate the Passover. These two go in faith and discover it to be just as the Lord had told them. How many of us today follow Jesus Christ without reservation, wherever He may lead us? Let us always pray that we may have the strength and the courage to follow Christ as these two did, trusting in him to not lead us astray but knowing that all things will be as He tells us.

That night, Christ institutes the Eucharist. He shows His disciples what they are to do; He gives them the model that we still follow today. It is a love of Christ and of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity truly presented in the Eucharist along with ample grace and the direction of the Holy Spirit that has kept the Mass intact over the long centuries since that night in the upper room. Let us always pray for a true devotion to Christ and the Holy Eucharist and that the ample grace we receive from communion will be active in our lives, leading us to a deeper love of the Mass.

Next follows a long and disturbing passage in which Christ tells his disciples that they will all have their faith shaken, and then He asks them to remain with Him and keep watch for one hour.

Of course we know they are not able to do that and Christ finds them asleep. This leaves me wondering: is their inability to keep watch with him a cause or a function of their shaky faith that night? We know that there are many in today’s world who are faithful during the good times but fall away from the faith when it becomes difficult. Let us always pray that our hours spent with Christ in adoration will strengthen our faith and keep us from abandoning Him when times are hard.

And so it goes throughout the reading. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of human nature. We see absolute cruelty and absolute cowardice. We also see courage and heroics. We see people blindly following the crowd and we see people being pressured into doing things they know are wrong because they fear the repercussions of standing up for what is right. We see so many things that surround us daily and make our world what it is.

In the end, we see Christ on the Cross. Christ suffers and dies, and He dies for the sins of every one of us. Our sins are really no different from the sins of His disciples, or of the people of ancient Jerusalem, or even of the Roman soldiers who beat Him and spit on Him — because that is precisely what we are doing when we sin. In the end, Christ breathed His last.

But of course we all know that wasn’t truly the end. It was a whole new beginning. Even in the manner of His death, Christ showed Himself to be extraordinary. When the centurion saw how Christ died, his eyes were opened and he saw Our Lord. “Truly,” he exclaims, “this man was the Son of God.”

And then comes Joseph of Arimathea, showing great courage. He is described as a man himself awaiting the kingdom of God — a description that could be applied to any of us — and he does the only thing he can think of to do to serve Christ. He approaches Pilate and asks for the body. He wants only to give Jesus a proper burial and in the face of a human law that is swift and brutal, he approaches the man who has the power of life and death and, unconcerned for his own safety or social standing, asks for the body. Joseph — in the face of so much wrong — seeks to do what is right.

Let us pray always that we may have the grace to be more like the courageous and giving Joseph of Arimathea than the cowardly and grasping Judas Iscariot… more of the centurion who recognized Jesus for the Son of God and less of the soldiers who reviled Him. More of the true disciple who sees the truth and rejoices in building it up, and less of the forked-tongue gossip who can only tear down. Let us pray for the grace to overcome our failings and our weaknesses and to live as saints as we await the coming of the Kingdom of God.

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From the Desk of Deacon Richard…(Palm Sunday)

Dear Parish Family:

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.

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The tearing of the veil of the sanctuary is no small matter. The earthly temple in Jerusalem was a symbol built by human hands of what was to come: the true temple in Christ’s flesh. The veil of the sanctuary separated an area called Holy from the Holy of Holies, an area into which only the high priest could enter, and then only once a year.

That the veil was torn from top to bottom indicates that it was torn by divine and not human means. Bear in mind that the veil was torn as the soldier’s lance pierced the side of Christ. The old was passing away; something new was taking its place. The time of the temple was over, for in three days Christ would raise up a new temple not built by human hands.

No longer did a curtain separate God and man, making the point beyond which no one could pass; no longer were we left separated from our God. Christ is Emmanuel, which means God with us. No longer would the people of God exist in a relationship with Him that was mediated by the Levittic priesthood; priests of the Order of Melchizedek now unite us to our God in a way that was previously unimagined: the Most Holy Eucharist, which is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ Himself, true God and true man.

God is with us, bringing us the Bread of Life and inviting us into a relationship with Himself. The old was no longer required; it was excelled by the new.

The tearing of the temple veil is both a casting off and a taking on. The time of the temple had drawn to a close; the time of the Church had come. It was not a radical break, but a fundamental altering. The way of worship was transforming… or, more exactly, the how of worship was forever altered; the why of worship is unchanging. No longer are we separated by a curtain from our Lord and God, for now we see Him truly present in the Holy Eucharist, which He gave us for our salvation.

In Christ, all things are made new.

Peace,
Dcn. Richard

Homily for the Feast of the Annunciation

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Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when the archangel Gabriel came to the Blessed Virgin Mary to proclaim that she would become the mother of our Lord and Savior. Today there are exactly nine months left until Christmas.

Christ did not become our Savior at His birth as if He was lesser before. He was not born human and then given divine status later in life. Christ, the Son of God, did not come into existence when He came into the world. To believe those things would be heresy. Christ was fully human and fully God from the moment of His conception. He existed before all of creation and at His conception, He took on our nature so that He could accomplish our salvation.

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and her son both recognized the uniqueness of Cehrist – fully human and fully divine – when He was still in the womb. They reacted with joy because their Lord was present… not their potential Lord or their one-day Lord… but Christ, living and true.

Given just these brief facts regarding the ability of those of the ancient word to see clearly what was before their eyes, it is a sad commentary on the state of the modern intellect that we cannot – or, more precisely, will not – recognize every child in the womb as being fully human. There are those in our society who are so completely able to delude themselves that they somehow believe a child is not a child, and then they are able to convince people who are scared and desperate of the same falsehood. They prey on these people just as they prey on the unborn, and they profit from it.

This great lie of our modern world does immeasurable damage to both the individual and to society as a whole in a multitude of ways. And so, today – as we remember that never has it been suggested that the Blessed Virgin Mary was trying to conceive a child… quite the opposite – and we celebrate with great joy the Annunciation and the conception of Our Lord and Savior, let us remember that Mary was completely open to the plan of God. Her example is one that we should all seek to emulate as we pray that our modern society might one day soon open its eyes and see the many falsehoods it perpetrates for what they are, and once recognizing the lie for what it is then return to the truth that leads to life and salvation.

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From the Desk of Deacon Richard… (March 22)

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Dear Parish Family:

Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
and where I am, there will my servant be.

How do we follow the Lord? This is a question we all must ask ourselves and be able to answer honestly. It is easy to follow Jesus when times are easy and the way is smooth. Anyone can be a good Christian in the best of times. It takes a saint to be a good Christian when times get really hard. But in between the best of times and the worst of times are the times in which most of us will live most of our lives. Those are the times that are not at either extreme… the average times.

Average times do not call for average Christians. Christ was never average. He transformed the ordinary into the extraordinary and made the mundane remarkable. If we want to be true servants and followers of Our Lord, we must be prepared to go where He leads us, no matter the circumstances.

So, when we ask, How do we follow the Lord? the possible answers are many but the correct answers are few. If we want to be true servants of Our Saviour, the only answer we should give is, “In love, and without reservation,” because that is the life in Christ to which we are called.

We don’t know where Christ will lead us. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring: joy or sorrow; comfort or misery. But we do know that in our lives we can expect good times and bad. That is part of the human condition. If we are only average Christians when the times are good, then we are not preparing ourselves for the possible realities in which we may eventually find ourselves when times are not good.

Christ was not lukewarm and He does not want us to be lukewarm, either. Let us all pray for the grace to be extraordinary Christians even in ordinary times, for it is the extraordinary Christians who can transform the world and accomplish the work of the Kingdom of God… work to which every one of us is called by virtue of the dignity of his or her Christian baptism.

Peace,
Dcn. Richard

Homily for the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 15, 2015

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In today’s first reading, we encounter God at the end of His patience with His chosen people. His priests and people have added infidelity to infidelity. They have practiced abominations… adopted false gods and false teachings… and in so doing they have desecrated the Temple.

God has tried many times to call them back to Him. He has sent prophets, proclaiming the truth and entreating the people to return to the one true God. Their calls fell on deaf ears. In love God sent prophets; in spite those prophets were mocked. There came a time when God’s love demanded justice. No longer could the blasphemies be endured — to turn a blind eye would have been a false love. License is not love, and every parent has reached that point where the child, for his own good, must be corrected…. And I’m sure the correction hurt God more than it hurt His people. So God removes His blessing and allows His people to fall into the hands of their enemies.

Think about that for a moment: God removes His blessing. The shields are down. And the Babylonians make short work of Jerusalem. The city is ransacked and those not massacred are carried off into captivity.

Now, God does not abandon His people; He simply lets them go their own way for a while. In a sense, He gives them what they want. They chose false gods over the Living God and they chose blasphemies over the Commandments. And God gives them the freedom to make those choices and in His great mercy, He allows them to experience the consequences of their choices.

I am sure to the uninitiated, when I say “in His great mercy,” it sounds like I’m being snarky. No. It is a great mercy for God to allow His people to experience the consequences of their actions just as it is mercy for a parent to allow a child to make bad decisions and feel the consequences, for without that the child cannot learn to make better decisions. This is a truth no child understands but is crystal clear to an adult. The child screams, “It’s not fair!” The adult responds, “No. it isn’t.”

It isn’t fair… but that’s the way it is. God could have allowed His people to continue in their error, but no truth comes out of a great lie. Instead — in His great mercy — He brought His people back to the truth by first allowing them to experience the fullness of their error.

We live in a country and in a time that is elevating error to new heights. We have strayed far from the Law and from God. We as a culture have made Christ into a caricature of His true Self and increasingly cast even that aside. We redefine marriage and murder the unborn. We worship ourselves and take God for granted. We glorify sex and mock chastity. We tolerate courts that punish Christians for acting according to their conscience but allow public lewdness as protected speech.

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This terrifies me; it should terrify you, too. We live in a country where most of the people think Satan is a fairy tale to scare children. Meanwhile, the Prince of Lies is grinning ear-to-ear. How long until God withdraws His blessing from us and allows us to become the victims of our own disordered desires?

God is Truth. God is the source and author of all truth. When we stray from God, we stray from the Truth. We embrace falsehood. It is every bit as true for us as it was true for ancient Israel: the truth cannot come from embracing lies. Lies lead to destruction; the truth leads to life. The question is not if, but when will God — in His great mercy — allow us to embrace our destruction so that He may save our lives.

The question is, of course, also this: will we repent before it is too late?

Today’s first reading records an event in history. As it has been so wisely observed, those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. From that standpoint, the prospects look grim. Is there hope?

Of course there is always hope, and so we move from the first reading into the Gospel. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” Again, we see the eternal and unlimited mercy of God at work for our salvation.

We who hope in Christ have nothing to fear in the end. The path to salvation and eternal life is before us, and that path is a Person… a Divine Person: Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Now, there is a very real difference between having nothing to fear in the end and having nothing to fear tomorrow, for tomorrow is not the end. We may well have to suffer before we reach the end and we may well have to suffer in the model Christ gave us: we embrace our Cross, take it up, and follow Him.

Does that mean martyrdom? Does that mean persecution? No one but God knows the answer to that… but we do know it has meant those things before. And it will at some point mean them again.

“And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed.” How true are John’s words… we see it all around us at work in the world. There are many who seek to silence the truth because they do not know God, but they know evil. They know it very well.

What will happen to us? What will become of our time and our world? God knows. But there is one thing we know: Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

We see in the second reading that Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] brought us to life with Christ … raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens … that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

let_sad_domik14Let us pray every day that our lives may glorify God ceaselessly; that we by force of our Christian love and the example we set through our life in Christ may call all people to the fullness of Truth — that we may call all people to God. It is not too late to change our world… to defeat the lies and restore the Truth to His proper place. But it is work that must be undertaken diligently, for there will come a time when God will tire of waiting for us to do the work of His Kingdom… the work to which we are called… and He — in His mercy — will have no option left but to do the work Himself.

20150313 – Homily for Friday, March 13, 2015

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The Greatest Commandment — that you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself — is something I have returned to frequently in my homilies and in my teaching at RCIA. Why? Well, Christ makes it very clear:  The Scribe to whom Christ tells the Greatest Commandment recognizes the truth of it, and when he recognizes the truth, Christ tells him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

We would all be very well off if Christ told each of us, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” Not far from the Kingdom of God is a good place to be…. But it’s not as good as being in the Kingdom of God. How do we go from being not far from the Kingdom of God to being a part of the Kingdom of God? Well, we keep all of the commandments and we have complete faith and total trust in Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

We can’t make it to the Kingdom on our own. If we could, Christ would not have had to die on the Cross. If the Law — without Christ, the fulfillment of the Law — could save us, the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord would have been redundant. And of course we all know that — far from being redundant — it is the most precious gift that God can give, precisely because it makes possible our own salvation.

We are all sinners in a fallen world, and yet we do not despair because we have faith in the One who saves us. And so, we love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength; and we love our neighbor as our selves because that is what our Catholic faith calls us to do. And in so doing, we are not far from the Kingdom of God. And then we keep the faith and trust in God to bring us the rest of the way into His Kingdom where we shall shine not like the sun, but like the moon. For just as the moon shines because it reflects the light of the sun, we, too, shall shine because we reflect the light of the Son of God.

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From the Desk of Deacon Richard… (March 15, 2015)

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Dear Parish Family:

We have entered a period of growth in our parish, and that is reason to celebrate. More people are attending Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes and more people are joining our parish. The numbers aren’t surging radically, but each week when I stand at the ambo to proclaim the Gospel, it seems I see more and more new faces in the pews at Lourdes!

I think there are a number of factors that are contributing to this growth. Not the least of these is the presence of the Saint John Paul the Great Perpetual Adoration Chapel, which recently celebrated its first birthday and is going strong. The Chapel has brought us many spiritual blessings and it has helped to develop a sense of community and purpose at Our Lady of Lourdes. I know I have grown spiritually in my time in the Chapel, and I’m sure that is true for everyone who makes Eucharistic adoration a regular part of his or her week.

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At the other end of the spectrum spiritually but of no less importance socially is Donut Sunday. There has been an increase in participation at Donut Sunday as well, and this is something I would like to see far more parishioners attending. It’s a chance to enjoy a donut or two, have some coffee, and — most importantly — to get to know your fellow parishioners.

There are also many events throughout the year like the Christmas Tree Sales, Lenten Fish Fry, Easter Celebration, St. Joseph’s Table, and others that let folks work together to achieve a common goal: the betterment of our parish. These, too, are a chance to get to know other parishioners, to make friends, and to have fun working on behalf of the parish. I know I have made a lot of friends over the years by participating in events like these.

Our-Lady-of-Lourdes-smileI hope everyone will take the opportunity over the coming weeks to introduce yourself to some of the new faces in our parish, or maybe take the time to get to know some of the folks you see every week but maybe haven’t had the opportunity to meet yet.

When new people come into the parish, it is everyone’s responsibility to make them feel welcome and to help them find places in which they can put their talents and interests to work on parish projects, on committees and in parish groups. New people taking on a role in the life of the parish will make Lourdes a better place for us all.

I look forward to meeting new people at Our Lady of Lourdes in the coming weeks and months. All are welcome in our parish, where we are working together to build a better community.

Peace,
Dcn. Richard

Homily for Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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The Law of the Lord is just and wise. Moses instructed the Hebrew peoples to observe the Law carefully so that others would say of them, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.” Christ’s own testimony shows that He had no intention of doing away with the Law; He came not to abolish but to fulfill the Law. Our Lord tells us, “Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.”

The Law remains in effect until after the General Judgment on the Day of the Lord, when all of creation is judged. After that judgment, all souls will be in either heaven or hell. Those in heaven won’t need the Law, for they shall see God as He is. They won’t need the Law for they will become one with the Law in paradise. Those in hell will be beyond the benefit of the Law; for them, it will be too late for the Law to save them.

But for us today the Law of the Lord can save us. “But, wait a minute, Deacon,” some may object. “Isn’t it Christ who saves us?” Yes; absolutely. And Christ is the embodiment and the fulfillment of the Law.

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Do we observe the Law diligently, either as individuals or as a nation? Well, on the one hand, I can’t claim I’ve heard anyone from a foreign land exclaim of us, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.” On the other hand, I do know many people who are faith-filled followers of Jesus Christ, and of them I can happily say they are truly a wise and intelligent people.

Happily, Jesus instructs us as individuals. “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven,” Christ says. “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

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As Catholics, we are called to obey the Law, which comes to us from God. The Church gives us the Catechism, the teaching of the magisterium, and the writings of the saints so that we may better know what is expected of us as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It is our responsibility to never grow tired of educating ourselves in the commandments we are given so that we can grow in wisdom and intelligence before God and men.

It begins with each one of us, but it does not end there. We should not rest until all have been given the Good News and come to understand that wisdom and intelligence is found in following the ways of the Lord. Only then will the world look at us and say, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.”

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The Jesus Prayer (And Other Short Prayers)

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The Jesus Prayer is: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Other prayer phrases that can be prayed like the Jesus Prayer:

  • Acclaim the King, the Lord.
  • According to Thy will, O Lord, let it be done to me.
  • All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
  • Alleluia
  • Be faithful until death, says the Lord, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
  • Be watchful and ready: you know not when the Son of Man is coming.
  • Be watchful, pray constantly, that you may be worthy to stand before the Son of Man.
  • Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.
  • Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
  • Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes.
  • Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord: glory to God in the highest and peace to God’s people on earth.
  • Blessed is the man who walks in justice and speaks what is true.
  • Christ the Lord was tempted and suffered for us. Come, let us adore him.
  • Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
  • Give joy to your servant, Lord, for to you I lift up my soul.
  • Give rest O Lord to the soul of Thy servant (name).
  • Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
  • Glory to Thee, our God; glory to Thee.
  • God be merciful to me, a sinner.
  • God mounts his throne to shouts of joy.
  • God’s love is everlasting.
  • Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.
  • Hear us, Lord, and save us.
  • Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.
  • Holy Guardian Angel, pray to God for me.
  • I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.
  • I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father, except through me.
  • I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
  • I will bless the Lord at all times.

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  • I will praise your name forever, my king and my God.
  • If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
  • Let all the earth cry out to God with joy, alleluia.
  • Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
  • Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
  • Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
  • Lord, show us your mercy and love.
  • Lord, today we have seen your glory.
  • Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
  • Most Holy Theotokos, save us!
  • My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
  • My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.
  • My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God.
  • Lord, deprive me not of Your heavenly blessings.
  • Lord, deprive me not of Your Kingdom.
  • Lord, fill my heart with life eternal.
  • Lord, grant me good thoughts.
  • Lord, grant me modesty, chastity, and obedience.
  • Lord, grant me patience, courage, and meekness.
  • Lord, grant me to grow in faith, hope, and charity.
  • Lord, my God, You will illumine my darkness.
  • Open our hearts, O Lord, to listen to the words of your Son.
  • Praise the Lord for he is good.
  • Remember, O Lord, your faithfulness and love.
  • Saint (Name), pray to God for me.
  • Sing to the Lord a new song.
  • Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life.
  • Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
  • The Lord is kind and merciful.
  • The Lord is my light and my salvation.
  • The Lord is near to all who call on him.
  • The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us.
  • The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us. To those who accepted him, he gave power to become children of God.
  • This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
  • To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
  • We are his people: the sheep of his flock.
  • We praise you, O God, for all your works are wonderful.
  • Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
  • With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
  • Your word, O Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth.
  • Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

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