Said on Thursdays.
The Baptism in the Jordan
“[Jesus] came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened … and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove … coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” (Mt 3:16-17)
Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became “sin” for our sake (2 Corinthians 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (Matthew 3:17), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out.
We pray for all priests; that they be lifted up and strengthened by the Holy Spirit for their public ministry. We pray that priests always are assured of God’s permanent relationship with His people and celebrate in gratitude for the gift of faith.
The Wedding at Cana
“Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs in Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.” (Jn 2:11)
The first of the signs, given at Cana (John 2:1-12), whenChrist changes water into wine and opens the hearts of thedisciples to faith, thanks to the intervention of Mary, thefirst among believers.
We pray that just as Mary was there at the beginning of Her Son’s public ministry; that all priests are assured and hold in their hearts the fact that She remains for all time for all priests as their special intercessor and guide. We pray that priests are always reminded and guided by the image of Mary’s fidelity to Her Son and Jesus’ fidelity to Her.
The Proclamation of the Kingdom
“After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mk 1:14-15)
Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (Mark 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust (Mark 2:3-13; Luke7:47-48): the inauguration of that ministry of mercy which he continues to exercise until the end of the world, particularly through the Sacrament of Reconciliation which he has entrusted to his Church (John 20:22-23).
We pray that all priests are blessed by this call to conversionand inspired by the graces they receive to live lives of holiness.We pray that when priests feel helpless or in need that they are always reminded that God’s kingdom is at hand and reminded of God’s mystery of mercy and reconciliation.
“And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.” (Mt 17:2-3)
The Transfiguration is traditionally believed to have taken place on Mount Tabor. The glory of the Godhead shines forth from the face of Christ as the Father commands the astonished Apostles to “listen to him” (Luke 9:35) and to prepare to experience with him the agony of the Passion, so as to come with him to the joy of the Resurrection and a life transfigured by the Holy Spirit.
We pray that all priests be likewise transformed by the grace of the Holy Spirit and lifted up by the awesome presence of God in their lives. We pray also that priests be always assured that His mercy endures forever. We pray that priests be continually called and strengthened to live a life of conversion and spiritual courage as examples for us all.
The Institution of the Eucharist
“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’” (Mt 26:26)
Christ offers his body and blood as food under the signs of bread and wine, and testifies “to the end” his love for humanity (John 13:1), for whose salvation he will offer himself in sacrifice.
We pray that the gift, graces, and joy of consecrating simple bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ be spiritual fuel to nurture and strengthen priests’ lives. We pray that priests manifest their love of the Eucharistic Lord as they live their lives as “persona Christi” for us.