On Friday, January 17, the Corpus Christi Cathedral held its annual multicultural Mass, which we joyfully celebrated with our diocesan church family. Afterwards, we hurried downstairs to St. Joseph Hall for the festivities: An abundance of ethnic foods, lively entertainment provided by the youngsters, and delightful conversations with friends and acquaintances alike.
How funny to hear the bishop tease, “Are you still eating?” as he passed our table on his way out at evening’s end!
Prayers for Christian unity (Sisters of the Holy Family; January 18-25, 2014)
Day 1… Merciful God, together with all those who call on the name of the Lord in our brokenness, we hear your call to be saints. Yet you have made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. By the power of your Holy Spirit, draw us together in the communion of saints and strengthen us to do your will and to proclaim the mighty acts of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
Day 2… Most loving and gracious God, we give thanks for the gifts of your grace that we experience not only in our own tradition, but also in the traditions of other churches. By the grace of your Holy Spirit, may our gratitude continue to grow as we encounter one another and experience your gift of unity in new ways. This we pray through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Day 3… Faithful, open-handed God, we bless you for giving us all the spiritual gifts we need to come to the measure of the full stature of Christ: for wisdom, for gifts of service, and for bread. Help us be signs of your abundance gathered in unity to bring the gifts of your everlasting kingdom to every place of pain and lack. Filled with the Spirit, we pray in the name of the One whose gift was the bread of his life broken for us now and forever. Amen.
Day 4… Faithful God, we give thanks for your steadfast love and your devotedness that extends to the clouds. As we wait in joyful hope, working and praying together for the full visible unity of your church, fill us with confidence in your promises. We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in the power of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Day 5… Father of love, you have called us into the fellowship of your son and appointed us to bear fruit in our witness to the gospel. By the grace of your Spirit, enable us to love one another and to dwell together in unity so that our joy may be complete. Amen.
Day 6… Loving God, you give us prophetic witnesses in times of conflict and division. When we seek you, Lord, send us your Holy Spirit to make us artisans of reconciliation united in the same mind and the same purpose. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Day 7… We give you thanks, O God, that you bless each and every member of the body of Christ with the gifts of your Spirit. Help us to be supportive of one another, to be respectful of our differences, and to work. Amen.
Day 8… Gracious God, you sent your son Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to redeem your people. Unite us in our diversity that we might affirm and proclaim together the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ for a world in need of his gospel. Amen.
July 26, 2015
Treasure your families…. The future of your society, the future of humanity, pass by the way of the family (St. John Paul II).
September 15, 2016 (for Hispanic Heritage Month, 15 Sept – 15 Oct)
O God, you have made of one blood all the people of the earth; but you have also richly blessed us with a world of many languages, cultures, and traditions. We thank you for the many contributions which Hispanic Americans have made— and continue to make— to our great country. Enable us always to learn from and appreciate each other. Make us even stronger as one nation because of our diverse gifts and experiences. Enrich our minds, bodies, and spirits, we pray, as we celebrate together. Amen.
O Dios, has hecho de una sangre todas las naciones de la tierra y también has ricamente bendecido un mundo de muchas lenguas, culturas, y tradiciones. Te damos gracias por las muchas contribuciones que los hispanoamericanos han hecho— y siguen haciendo— a nuestro gran país. Siempre permítenos aprender de y apreciar uno al otro. Hasnos fuerte como una sola nación a causa de nuestros diversos dones y experiencias. Enriquezca nuestras mentes y nuestros cuerpos y espíritus, te rogamos, mientras celebramos juntos. Amén (Friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, 2016: 1024; edited).
March 24, 2017 (composed by the late Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, MI)
A future not our own… It helps now and then to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us. No statement says all that could be said. No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness. No program accomplishes the church’s mission. No set of goals and objectives include everything.
This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete; but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own (Friars of the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph, 2017: 1094, p. 3; edited).
Links of interest… Catholic Communications Network… Corpus Christi Cathedral: about / facebook / home / landmark / marker / Mass times (TV) / TX State Historical Association / website… Pope offers prayers for migrants (three prayers)… Sisters of the Holy Family: about / blog / Christian unity / national migration week / prayer for migrants… South Texas Catholic… Tinikling (shown in the last five photos): about / dance / origin…