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Saturday, May 26, 2018

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St. Philip Neri

James 5:13-20
Psalm 141:1-3, 8
Mark 10:13-16

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i will pray for you

"He must pray." —James 5:13

Many years ago today I was ordained a priest. Because of God's grace and mercy and because of your love and prayers, my priesthood has been greatly blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined (see Eph 3:20). Therefore, I thank the Lord and "sing a hymn of praise" (Jas 5:13). I also thank you for countless acts of love and especially for your prayers.

I pray for all those who read One Bread, One Body, although I don't personally know many of you. Even if you don't know me, I hope that many of you pray for me, for "the fervent petition of a holy man is powerful indeed" (Jas 5:16). Only God knows how important are our prayers for each other.

St. Paul prayed constantly for the churches he founded, led, and served (e.g. Phil 1:4). He asked others to pray for him. For example, he said: "I beg you, brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of the Spirit, join me in the struggle by your prayers to God on my behalf" (Rm 15:30). He told St. Timothy: "First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for all men" (1 Tm 2:1).

Jesus continues to question His disciples: "Could you not watch one hour with Me?" (see Mt 26:40) He calls us to pray always, not lose heart (Lk 18:1), and be men and women of prayer. May our love for Christ impel us (see 2 Cor 5:14) to stay in constant communication with the Father through Jesus and in the Spirit. Prayer is our lifeline, a privilege, our hope, and our joy. Pray!

Prayer:  Holy Spirit, help me to pray in my weakness (Rm 8:26).

Promise:  "Then [Jesus] embraced them and blessed them, placing His hands on them." —Mk 10:16

Praise:  St. Philip emphasized humility both for himself and others. He was led by his confessor to become a priest at age thirty-five.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2017

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