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Look up the daily passages from the New American Bible online at www.usccb.org/nab/bible.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 2012
NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
In the spring many people were troubled by the Vatican’s announcement of an investigation of an organization of U.S. Catholic sisters. They wrote and spoke out in support of the sisters, sometimes in bitter and angry words. Such feelings are understandable, but quieter voices—often those of the sisters themselves—urged patience and mutual respect while differences are discussed. Saint Paul may have had our uncivil times in mind when he insisted we remove “all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling.” His antidote: Be imitators of God by your care for one other even in disagreement. Simplistic? Perhaps, but in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians he defines love first not as kindness but patience.
“Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”
MONDAY, AUGUST 13
To see Thee more clearly
Need a fresh perspective on celestial goings-on? Read the mystical scroll of the Book of Ezekiel. A Jewish priest of the sixth-century B.C. in Babylonian exile, Ezekiel had served at the grand Temple in Jerusalem before its destruction by Babylon’s armies. Mourning the loss of home, Ezekiel asked along with his generation: Where is God in these awful times? The answer he got was beyond his wildest dreams and supplies us with one of the most vividly imaginative texts in the Bible. In dark circumstances, pray for the grace to see God’s glory manifest
“Such was the vision of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”
TUESDAY, AUGUST 14
FEAST OF MAXIMILIAN MARY KOLBE, PRIEST, MARTYR
Nights of destiny
It may seem that our lives are defined by our best or worst hour. Yet character is actually honed one decision at a time, and we’re always free to choose a new direction. At an early age the Franciscan priest Maximilian Kolbe had a vision of martyrdom and embraced it. Forty years later he would have to choose it more concretely, offering his life in exchange for another prisoner in the Auschwitz death camp. On this day Muslims commemorate another “Night of Destiny,” when Mohammed received his revelation, by praying as a community for mercy, forgiveness, and salvation. Today, pray for the gifts you need to fulfill your destiny.
I opened my mouth, and [the Lord God] gave me the scroll to eat.”
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15
SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
Blessed among women
When we think of Mary, we see a real representative of a woman of faith. God chose Mary to be the mother of the Savior and to convey the news sent the Archangel Gabriel, who recognized her as “favored one,” and in the Assumption she returned to God. Mary shows us by example and prayer how to grow in God’s grace, be receptive to God’s will, convert our lives through sacrifice, and seek everlasting union in the heavenly kingdom.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16
FEAST OF STEPHEN OF HUNGARY
What do you see from the other side?
Saint Stephen (967?-1038) is recognized as the founder of the kingdom of Hungary. His many achievements included expanding Hungarian control over the region, bringing Christianity to the Hungarian people (known as the Magyars), organizing the country into dioceses, and establishing the collection of tithes to support churches, pastors, and the poor. One could argue, however, that Stephen’s greatest “accomplishment” was disguising himself as a peasant to learn firsthand the needs of the poor and marginalized. To see the world from another’s perspective opens the door to compassion, forgiveness, and love of enemies—all of which you are called to do. It may not be possible literally to walk in another’s shoes as Stephen did, but what might you do today to see the world from someone else’s perspective?
They have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear.”
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17
If you have flown recently you probably have a gripe or two to add to the large pile of complaints of missing luggage, brusque employees, and long lines. But put it all in perspective: On this day in 1807 people were celebrating the first ever commercial steamboat service, which carried passengers 150 miles—in 32 hours! Step back even further, when the first Christian disciples trekked for days, weeks, and months to bring the Good News to lands unknown. While we’d all appreciate a little less time in line and a little more leg room, make sure you’re attentive to opportunities to be kind, generous, and gentle with your fellow passengers along the way. As the poet John Milton put it, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”
“I will remember the covenant I made with you.”
SATURDAY, AUGUST 18
FEAST OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
A woman for all seasons
The BVM can be your BFF for your whole life! As a Best Friend Forever, Mary supports and inspires you at important times in your life. In your youth she is the young woman whom God asked to do something probably far beyond what she imagined; her “yes” echoes in your ears when people trust you with responsibilities you aren’t even sure you can handle. In your school years Mary is in the classroom with you; her ability to deal with stressful situations helps you continue on when life gets tough. In adulthood Mary reminds you that compassion is a form of strength and that patience can lead to happiness. What does Mary mean to you today?
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
©2012 by TrueQuest Communications, L.L.C. PHONE: 800-942-2811; E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org; WEBSITE: PrepareTheWord.com Licensed for noncommercial use. All rights reserved. Scripture quotes come from the New American Bible.
Contributors: Alice Camille, Daniel Grippo, Caroline Hopkinson, Father Larry Janowski, O.F.M., Ann O'Connor, Joel Schorn, Patrice J. Tuohy, and Sister Julie Vieira, I.H.M.