Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Books

Psalm 31 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."
Psalm 31
A Psalm of Complaint and of Praise.
The Crucifixion
1 In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
In Your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly;
Be to me a rock of strength,
A stronghold to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
For Your name’s sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.
6 I hate those who regard vain idols,
But I trust in the LORD.
7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness,
Because You have seen my affliction;
You have known the troubles of my soul,
8 And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy;
You have set my feet in a large place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress;
My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also.
10 For my life is spent with sorrow
And my years with sighing;
My strength has failed because of my iniquity,
And my body has wasted away.
11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach,
Especially to my neighbors,
And an object of dread to my acquaintances;
Those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind;
I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many,
Terror is on every side;
While they took counsel together against me,
They schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.
16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant;
Save me in Your lovingkindness.
17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You;
Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol.
18 Let the lying lips be mute,
Which speak arrogantly against the righteous
With pride and contempt.
19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the LORD,
For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city.
22 As for me, I said in my alarm,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”;
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried to You.
23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones!
The LORD preserves the faithful
And fully recompenses the proud doer.
24 Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.
In humiliation on the cross, Jesus addresses the Father59. His trust in God is firm (rock of strength). God will keep His promise (for His name's sake) and deliver Jesus from His enemies. With absolute trust in the Father, He abandons Himself into His Father's hands (31:1-5). Unlike those who place their confidence in false idols, who have no power to save, He trusts completely in the mercy (lovingkindness) of His Father who knows His suffering (troubles) and will rescue Him from the hands of evildoers (31:6-8). Look at Me, Father, and see my distress: in grief and sorrow, My life is almost spent. My strength is failing and I am despised by those who await My death (31:9-13). Yet, My trust in You will not be shaken. In Your mercy save Me and cast the wicked who are tormenting Me into hell (Sheol) (31:14-18). How good You are to Me, My shelter and refuge, for You heard My cries and delivered Me. Let those who Love You, Father, rejoice in Your faithfulness. Let the wicked see that their evil ways lead to utter destruction. May the godly always be strong and courageous in their hope of salvation. (31:19-24).

Prayer for life: Father, I am surrounded by a wicked generation that seeks my baby's life. Have mercy on them and give them the grace to see that the road they walk and the false idols they worship, lead to destruction. As for me, I place all my trust in You for You are faithful to those who love You. Be my rock. Help me to be strong and courageous in my determination to do Your will for that road will lead me to salvation. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


59The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 700. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Books

Psalm 30 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."
Psalm 30
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.
Resurrection
1 I will extol You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up,
And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
2 O LORD my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
3 O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
5 For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
6 Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I will never be moved.”
7 O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
8 To You, O LORD, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
10 “Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
The Church reflects on Christ's Resurrection and our own rescue from the grave56. Jesus cried out for help in the Garden of Olives57 and God raised Him up after His Crucifixion and foiled His enemies (the devil). He purchased for us forgiveness, healing, and eternal life (brought us up from Sheol) (30:1-5). Although in our pride we ascribe our success to our own efforts, we (dismayed) soon learn that our gain is short lived without God's constant assistance (hid His face). And what good is success (profit) if in attaining it we lose our souls (turn to dust)? So we come before Him on bended knee (in supplication): revive us, Lord, for how can we worship You (declare Your faithfulness)58 if we are cast down (in the pit) (30:6-9)? And the Lord answered our prayers and rescued us from mortal sin and death (mourning) through the Resurrection of His Son. And with deep gratitude and great joy we will praise Him forever because of it (30:10-12).

Prayer for life: Dear Lord, You wept in the Garden of Olives as You saw in Your mind's eye all the abortions that would take place in our sinful world. Forgive us, Lord, and help us as a nation to ban once and for all this barbaric murder of innocent children. Console those who mourn their loss. Take pity on those who, blinded by pride, selfishness and ignorance of Your ways, callously discard future generations of God's children. Take away their stony hearts, O Lord, and place within them a new heart filled with love and compassion for the born and the unborn. Let our love for each other console Jesus as He prays for us in the Garden and let us praise Him for His unending patience and forbearance. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


56The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 700. Print.
57Reardon, Patrick. Christ in the Psalms. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000. 58. Print.
58The Psalms New International Version. St. Joseph CATHOLIC Edition. New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corporation, 1996. 82. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Books

Psalm 29 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 29
The Voice of the LORD in the Storm.
Revelation of the Trinity at Baptism of Christ55
1 Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in holy array.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The LORD is over many waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful,
The voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.
11 The LORD will give strength to His people
The LORD will bless His people with peace.
Let us praise the triune God for the wondrous glory and power (29:1-2) He revealed at the baptism of Christ when the Father hovered above the waters (29:3) and announced with a booming voice that Jesus was His beloved Son, the Second person of the Trinity, and the Holy Spirit (flames of fire), the third person of the Trinity, descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Nature is shaken by His marvelous intervention in our earthly lives and the heavenly hosts exalt His glory (29:4-9). God, who created the world and destroyed it with Noah's flood, has crowned Jesus as our mighty King and Prince of Peace (29:10-11).

Prayer for life: Father, I stand in awe of Your glory and power. You, who created the universe, have looked with favor upon me, one of Your lowly creatures, and blessed me with a child. If only those who ignore the sanctity of life could come to appreciate the wonder, beauty and sacredness of all Your creation! May they come to the realization that You, who love them beyond imagining, will hold them accountable as You did the wicked during Noah's time. May the Prince of Peace bring an end to all of this murder and death and usher in a time of renewal and repentance. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


55The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 699. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Books

Psalm 28 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 28
A Prayer for Help, and Praise for Its Answer.
Resurrection
1 To You, O LORD, I call;
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
For if You are silent to me,
I will become like those who go down to the pit.
2 Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.
3 Do not drag me away with the wicked
And with those who work iniquity,
Who speak peace with their neighbors,
While evil is in their hearts.
4 Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices;
Requite them according to the deeds of their hands;
Repay them their recompense.
5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD
Nor the deeds of His hands,
He will tear them down and not build them up.
6 Blessed be the LORD,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
8 The LORD is their strength,
And He is a saving defense to His anointed.
9 Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.
Jesus, on the cross (hands lifted up toward God's holy sanctuary), prays on behalf of the Church to the Father that He may preserve the faithful from eternal damnation (the pit). Jesus' death destroyed the fallen angels (28:3-5). May the Lord (God) be praised for He has heard Jesus' prayer: He will raise us up (save His people) just as He raised up Christ (His anointed) in the Resurrection. He will take care of us forever in heaven (28:6-9)54.

Prayer for life: Father, Your Son suffered and died to destroy death and defeat the devil. Those who advocate the destruction of innocent children in the womb condemn themselves and will be cast down into the pit if they do not repent. I pray that they may see the error of their ways and seek Your forgiveness before it is too late. I thank You with all my heart for the gift of my baby and ask that You bless us, Your inheritance, all the days of our life and in the world to come. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


54The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 699. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Books

Psalm 27 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 27
A Psalm of Fearless Trust in God.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
3 Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.
4 One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O LORD, I shall seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the LORD will take me up.
11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a level path
Because of my foes.
12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.
The Church prays to Jesus who brings us the knowledge of God (light)49 and saves us through the grace of baptism50. We are assured of His divine protection against evil (27:1-3). All we seek is a divine union with Him, a divine intimacy that was initiated through our baptism when Jesus became our defender in the war against the devil51 (27:4-6).
Do not abandon us. Though we be sinners, You are our Savior and are always ready to save us when we cry to You for help. You will always come to our defense, even if the whole world forsakes us52, for such is the strength of the bond created at our baptism that unites us to You (27:7-10). Show us Your ways, Lord, and be our surety. Deliver us from the wiles and temptations of the devil, for without You we are lost. Hope of one day attaining everlasting life53 (in the land of the living) makes us strong, patient and courageous (27:11-14).

Prayer for life: Dear Jesus, since my baptism, when I became an adopted child of God, You have been protecting me from the devil and all who do his bidding. Stay with me now, Lord, when the forces of evil press upon me and tempt me to terminate my baby's life. I know that I am a miserable sinner and have turned my back on You many times in the past. Yet You have been patiently waiting for me to repent and seek Your forgiveness. I do repent, Lord, and seek your help from the evil forces that surround me. Forgive my sins and grant those who still offend You the grace to see the error of their ways and to seek Your pardon. Give me the strength and courage to have my baby and the patience to be a good mother. With Your help I hope to spend eternity with You and my baby. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


49The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 698. Print.
50 Reardon, Patrick. Christ in the Psalms. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000. 51. Print.
51 The Orthodox Study Bible 698.
52 The Orthodox Study Bible 698.
53 The Orthodox Study Bible 698.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Books

Psalm 26 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 26
Protestation of Integrity and Prayer for Protection.
1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have (C)trusted in the LORD without wavering.
2 Examine me, O LORD, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the LORD.
Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of His Church48. Declare our innocence, Father, for we walk in Your ways and trust in You. Examine our souls; test our hearts. Have mercy on us who strive for righteousness and avoid evil. We approach You with praise on our lips and with a clear conscience to proclaim Your marvelous deeds (26:1-7). We love Your Church for You dwell there in glory. Do not condemn us with those who do evil for we are innocent and beg for Your mercy. Keep us from falling and we will praise You in the assembly of the faithful (26:8-12).

Prayer for life: Father, Judge me not with those who promote the evil of abortion. Examine my heart and find me guiltless for I intend to have my baby despite the obstacles I face. For I love You, Father, and know that my baby is indeed a marvelous gift, a treasure given to me from Your hands. Support me during this difficult time and may my baby and I sing Your praises for all eternity. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


48The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 697. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Books

Psalm 25 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 25
Prayer for Protection, Guidance and Pardon.
1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13 His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
15 My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble,
And forgive all my sins.
19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many,
And they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Guard my soul and deliver me;
Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.
Jesus lifts us, the Church, and His soul to the Father in prayer47. He trusts in the Father and prays for His protection. Those who seek to do the Father's will have no reason to fear their enemies; those who harm the innocent will be punished (25:1-3). He asks His compassionate, loving and kind Father to show us how to live righteously and to forgive our sins for God is goodness itself (25:4-7).

May the Father guide us in His ways, justly reward the humble, and keep the covenant He has established with us through the blood of the Cross, for we are great sinners (25:8-11).

If we follow God's ways, our souls will be saved and blessed for generations to come (25:12-13). He will reveal Himself to those who revere Him, keep the covenant He made with Abraham and His children, and protect us from harm (25:14-15).

May He deliver us from evil, forgive our sins, preserve us in righteousness, and bring us to everlasting life (25:16-22).

Prayer for life: Heavenly Father, we trust in You and beg Your protection. Have mercy on those who ignore Your ways and murder innocent children through abortion. Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they are doing. Give them time to see the error of their ways and seek Your forgiveness. As for me, I am also a great sinner, Father, and I ask for forgiveness for all my offenses. I revere You and so will have this baby because in Your eyes all life is a gift. Bless my baby and me and, at the end of our lives, bring us to heaven to live with You for eternity. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


47The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 697. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 25-36) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Books

Psalm 24 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 24
Ascension
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
who do not put their trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
This psalm commemorates Our Lord's glorious Ascension into heaven following His victory over death by His Resurrection. Jesus is glorified in heaven because of the redemption He won for us. All creation now belongs to Him, our Creator (24:1-2)44. Who among us can enter into heaven with Him? Those who are innocent and abhor evil and trust only in God (24:3-4) will receive blessing and reward (vindication) from their Savior45 (24:5). These are the ones who will see God (24:6). The Lord is so great that the gates must be opened all the way46 so that He may enter for He is the powerful Ruler of all creation and glorious King (24:7-10).

Prayer for life: Jesus, my Lord and my God, I worship You and give You thanks and praise for all the terrible suffering and ignominious death to which You submitted Yourself in order to save my soul. I also rejoice in Your wonderful Ascension into heaven and Your crowning as its glorious King. I long to be with You one day, Lord, and so will keep a pure heart and place all my trust in You. I will shun those who promote the evil of abortion and seek the advice and help of those who love You and respect all life as a precious gift from You. May having my baby be a witness to my love for You and bring You glory. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John


44  Reardon, Patrick. Christ in the Psalms. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000. 46. Print.
45 Kleist, James, and Thomas Lynam. The Psalms in Rhythmic Prose. 1st ed. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954. 31. Print.
46 Kleist, and Lynam 31.

Scripture (Psalm 24) taken from the HOLY BIBLE, TODAY'S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by Biblica®. Used by permission of Biblica®. All rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Come unto Me, His message repeating,
Words of the Master speaking today.


31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (30 October 2016)

3rd Reading


And having entered, he walked through Jericho.
And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. And he was the leader of the tax collectors, and he was wealthy.
And he sought to see Jesus, to see who he was. But he was unable to do so, because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
And running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree, so that he might see him. For he was to pass near there.
And when he had arrived at the place, Jesus looked up and saw him, and he said to him: “Zacchaeus, hurry down. For today, I should lodge in your house.”
And hurrying, he came down, and he received him joyfully.
And when they all saw this, they murmured, saying that he had turned aside to a sinful man.
But Zacchaeus, standing still, said to the Lord: “Behold, Lord, one half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone in any matter, I will repay him fourfold.”
Jesus said to him: “Today, salvation has come to this house; because of this, he too is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man has come to seek and to save what had been lost.” Luke 19: 1-10


Lesson: Zacchaeus was a small man with a big heart. He was drawn to his Savior like a moth to a flame. He repented his sins and Jesus forgave him. The people condemned Jesus for entering a sinner's home, but Jesus came to save the sinner, not the righteous. And isn't that good news for you and me?

Meditation: Jesus, you came to heal the sick and the sinner. Heal me then in body and soul so that I may receive you in Holy Communion today with a pure heart. Help me to follow your precepts, for it is not I who lives, but you who lives in me.

Relationship of all three readings: (See 2 previous posts for Readings 1 and 2.)

Reading 1: The same God who created the immense universe loves us small weak creatures so much that he that he will not stop trying to convert us. WIS 11:22-12:2

Reading 2: God and Jesus give us the grace to accomplish his will. Although we long for Jesus' return, that will take place in the fullness of time. 2 THES 1:11-2:2

Reading 3: God decided to take a more active role in our redemption by sending his Son, Jesus, to convert sinners like Zacchaeus. LK 19: 1-10

The Alleluia Refrain sums up God's love for man: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but may have eternal life." JN 3:16

Our Response to God's generosity is contained in Psalm 145: "I will extol you, O God, my king. And I will bless your name, in this time and forever and ever. Throughout every single day, I will bless you. And I will praise your name, in this time and forever and ever." PS 145: 1-2


Seeking the Lost

by William Augustine Ogden


Seeking the lost, yes, kindly entreating
Wanderers on the mountain astray;
Come unto Me, His message repeating,
Words of the Master speaking today.
Seeking the lost and pointing to Jesus
Souls that are weak and hearts that are sore,
Leading them forth in ways of salvation,
Showing the path to life evermore.
Thus would I go on missions of mercy,
Following Christ from day unto day,
Cheering the faint and raising the fallen,
Pointing the lost to Jesus, the Way.
Refrain

Going afar (going afar)
Upon the mountain (upon the mountain)
Bringing the wanderer back again, back again,
Into the fold (into the fold)
Of my Redeemer (of my Redeemer)
Jesus the Lamb for sinners slain, for sinners slain.
Scriptural texts: Ronald L. Conte Jr., translator and editor: The SacredBible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Original Edition.
Song retrieved from The Cyber Hymnal™ which lists over 11,000 Christian hymns with bios, midi files, and sheet music.
____________________

Books

Here is Psalm 23 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."


Psalm 23

The LORD, the Psalmist's Shepherd.
1The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Jesus is our shepherd who provides for all our needs (green pastures). His Church baptizes (quiet waters) us, leads us to repentance and conversion40 (restores), and shows us how to live according to God's will (paths of righteousness) in order to glorify the Father (name's sake) (23:1-3). No evil, including death, can harm us under His powerful protection (rod and staff) (23:4). His Church provides the Eucharistic meal (prepare a table; cup overflows)41 and confirms us in the faith (anointed my head)42 (23:5). He will shower me with His grace (goodness)43 and mercy while I live on the earth and grant me eternal happiness in heaven when my physical life comes to an end (23:6).

Prayer for life: Dear Lord, You are my Shepherd who is constantly watching over me and showing me the way to heaven. Strengthen me with Your strength as I go against the tide of public opinion and have my baby. Give me the grace to do what is right and remember me, Lord, for having done the Father's will when I appear before Your awesome judgment seat at the end of my life. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John



40The Orthodox Study Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008. 696. Print.
41The Orthodox Study Bible 696.
42 Reardon, Patrick. Christ in the Psalms. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000. 44. Print.
43Kleist, James, and Thomas Lynam. The Psalms in Rhythmic Prose. 1st ed. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954. 30. Print.

Scripture (Psalms 22-23) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016


What a gathering on that bright and golden morning, 

When the Son of Man shall come.


31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (30 October 2016)

2nd Reading


Because of this, too, we pray always for you, so that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may complete every act of his goodness, as well as his work of faith in virtue, in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But we ask you, brothers, concerning the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering to him, that you not be readily disturbed or terrified in your minds, by any spirit, or word, or epistle, supposedly sent from us, claiming that the day of the Lord is close by.


Lesson: The grace of God the Father and his Son, Jesus, helps us to accomplish what he begins in us. Faith in the Lord produces works of virtue that bring glory to Christ and sanctifies us.

St. Paul was repudiating a forged letter that supposedly came from him purporting that Jesus's Second Coming was at hand. Judgment Day will come after the Tribulation and the appearance of the Antichrist.

Meditation: God gives us limitless opportunities to bring him glory and increase our sanctity. If you don't like the one before you, be patient. He will bring another one that may be more to your liking. Personally speaking, in high school I was courted by the Redemptorists to become a priest. I chose marriage instead. Late in life, I wrote several prayer books, became a lector and adult altar server, and eventually a tour guide for the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine in Emmitsburg, MD. Now I write a Catholic blog. Like I said, God gives us many opportunities to serve him. Now I'm looking forward to seeing what he has in store for me next!


What a Gathering

by Fanny Crosby


On that bright and golden morning,
When the Son of Man shall come,
And the radiance of His glory we shall see;
When from ev’ry clime and nation
He shall call His people home,
What a gath’ring of the ransomed that will be!
When the blest, who sleep in Jesus,
At His bidding shall arise
From the silence of the grave, and from the sea,
And with bodies all celestial
They shall meet Him in the skies,
What a gath’ring and rejoicing there will be!
When our eyes behold the city,
With its many mansions bright,
And its river, calm and restful, flowing free;
When the friends that death hath parted
Shall in bliss again unite,
What a gath’ring and a greeting there will be!
O the King is surely coming,
And the time is drawing nigh,
When the bless├Ęd day of promise we shall see;
Then the changing in a moment,
In the twinkling of an eye,

And forever in His presence we shall be.
Refrain
What a gath’ring, what a gath’ring,
What a gath’ring of the ransomed
In the summer land of love!
What a gath’ring, what a gath’ring,
Of the ransomed in that happy home above.
Scriptural texts: Ronald L. Conte Jr., translator and editor: The SacredBible, Catholic Public Domain Version, Original Edition.
Song retrieved from The Cyber Hymnal™ which lists over 11,000 Christian hymns with bios, midi files, and sheet music.
____________________

Books

Here is Psalm 22 from my book, "Praying the Psalms for the Unborn Child."
Psalm 22

A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.
Crucifixion
1My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?
Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning.
2O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer;
And by night, but I have no rest.
3Yet You are holy,
O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4In You our fathers trusted;
They trusted and You delivered them.
5To You they cried out and were delivered;
In You they trusted and were not disappointed.6But I am a worm and not a man,
A reproach of men and despised by the people.
7All who see me sneer at me;
They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying,
8"Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him;
Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb;
You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts.
10Upon You I was cast from birth;
You have been my God from my mother's womb.
11Be not far from me, for trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12Many bulls have surrounded me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.
13They open wide their mouth at me,
As a ravening and a roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It is melted within me.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And You lay me in the dust of death.
16For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
18They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
19But You, O LORD, be not far off;
O You my help, hasten to my assistance.
20Deliver my soul from the sword,
My only life from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion's mouth;
From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.
22I will tell of Your name to my brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23You who fear the LORD, praise Him;
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
24For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from him;
But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
25From You comes my praise in the great assembly;
I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him.
26The afflicted will eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD
Let your heart live forever!
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
28For the kingdom is the LORD'S
And He rules over the nations.
29All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.
30Posterity will serve Him;
It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation.
31They will come and will declare His righteousness
To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.
Jesus prayed this psalm as He suffered on the cross as referenced in the New Testament: MT 27:46, MK 15:34 (22:1), MT 27:43 (22:8) and MT 27:35 (22:18)36. Jesus feels abandoned by God who helped His ancestors (22:2-6). Scoffers jeer at Him (22:7-8)37. Until this moment, the Father had been with Him since His Blessed Mother, who stands at the foot of His Cross, gave birth to Him (22:9-10)38. Jesus now asks the Father for His help again (22:11) as enemies thirsting for blood surround Him (22:12-13). His weak, tortured, pierced body thirsts as He awaits the arrival of death and the soldiers gamble for His clothing (22:14-18). He continues to ask for God's help (22:19-21). In loving gratitude, Jesus and all the members of His Church will praise the Father forever and ever (22: 22-31)39.

Prayer for life: Dear Lord, You still suffer greatly because of those who scoff at Your laws and murder the innocent unborn. Our ignoring Your divine law has led to the genocide of millions of our brothers and sisters. Our callous disrespect for life are the nails that pierced You sacred hands; our arrogant insistence on doing what we think is right or makes us feel good, rather than submitting to the will of God, are the thorns that pierced Your sacred head. Have mercy on us, Lord, and help us to change our evil ways before it is too late. For the blood of our murdered brethren cries out for vengeance. Amen.


Have a blessed day!
John



36 Reardon, Patrick. Christ in the Psalms. Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 2000. 42. Print.
37 Kleist, James, and Thomas Lynam. The Psalms in Rhythmic Prose. 1st ed. Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1954. 27. Print.
38 Reardon 42.
39 Kleist, and Lynam 27.

Scripture (Psalm 22) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Copyright © 2010 by John P. Gross. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material must be done in its entirety with the copyright notice intact. This book is not for sale, but is offered to the public free of charge in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the glory of God.