I have only selected one reading today. This chapter of the bible seemed to cover all our concerns. Take the booklet and reflect on this reading later on today and of course say a pray for Fr. Christopher
The first reading is from Peter: Chapter one
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Concerning this salvation, prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and investigated it, investigating the time and circumstances that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the glories to follow them.
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you with regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you through the holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels longed to look.
Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, “Be holy because I am holy.”
Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart. You have been born anew, not from perishable but from imperishable seed, through the living and abiding word of God for:
“All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Let us all join together and say the Prayer for Falsely Accused (Courtesy of Edward Godwin)
They cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “I find no guild in him. Take him yourselves and crucify him.” (John 19)
Jesus Christ, Lamb of God, falsely and maliciously accused by the mob, Have mercy on us. Jesus, Christ, Lamb of God, handed over to death by cowardly authority, Have mercy on us. Jesus Christ, Sun of Justice, vindicated by your Resurrection, Grant us justice.
Father of Truth, send the light of your Holy Spirit into the darkness of every false accusation and unjust condemnation. Give strength to the innocent to stand firmly in truth, as you gave to Jesus, in the face of torture and death. Give courage to church and civil authorities to grant justice and due process to the innocent, in the face of the mob.
Father of Mercy, deliver your innocent one from evil; grant him speedy justice and vindication, in the name of Jesus Christ, our Victim and Savior. May Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on all innocent victims: the abused and the falsely accused.
Let us continue with The Lord’s Prayer and three Hail Mary’s and the Glory Be:
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespass as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen
Next let us say together this beautiful song from Les Meserables: Bring him home:
God on high hear my prayer in my need You have always been there. He is young, he’s afraid. Let him rest. Heaven blessed. Bring him home, Bring him home, Bring him home.
He’s like the son I might have known, if God had granted me a son. The summers die, one by one. How soon they fly on and on. And I am old and will be gone. Bring him peace. Bring him joy He is young. He is only a boy. You can take. You can giveLet him be. Let him live. If I die, let me die. Let him live. Bring him home. Bring him home. Bring him home.
Let us have a few minutes of silent prayer. As you pray for Father Christopher, please look around at this beautiful church that he built for us. Notice the statues he chose, the Stations of the Cross, the pews we sit it, the ceilings above us, the placement of the speakers, the candlesticks, and the doors with crosses. I remember him agonizing over the choice of tiles for the bathroom! (They have shells on them. Did you ever notice?) I remember him arguing with the landscaper wanting more flowing plants. Do you notice all the flowering plants we have? He did all this for us. We have so much to be thankful. Join me in praying to God for the return of our pastor.
Period of Silence:
Join me in the Prayer to Saint Anthony who is Father Christopher’s patron saint:
O Holy St. Anthony,
Gentlest of saints, your love for God and charity for His creatures made you worthy even on earth to possess miraculous powers.
Miracles waited on your word which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this, I implore you to obtain for me my request to bring Father Christopher back to us.
The answer to my prayer may require a miracle; even so you are the Saint of miracles.
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus who loved to be enfolded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will be ever yours. O St. Anthony, Saint of Miracles O Holy St. Anthony, reach down from Heaven and take hold of my hand. Assure me that I am not alone. You are known to possess miraculous powers and to be ever ready to speak For those in trouble. Love and Gentle St. Anthony, reach Down from heave I implore you and Assist us in our hour of need. Please, Bring Fr. Christopher back to us. Amen.
This concludes our prayer service.
May the Lord guide us and bless us today and in the days to come in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen