Daily Office – June 18, 2021

O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help.
Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my Savior! Cf. Ps 27 (26):7, 9

Collect

O God, strength of those who hope in you,
graciously hear our pleas,
and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing,
grant us always the help of your grace,
that in following your commands
we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30

Brothers and sisters: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. To my shame I say that we were too weak!

But what anyone dares to boast of (I am speaking in foolishness) I also dare. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they children of Israel? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I am talking like an insane person). I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

Psalm 34

R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the Lord;
the lowly will hear me and be glad. R.
Glorify the Lord with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears. R.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard,
and from all his distress he saved him. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Mt 5:3
Alleluia, alleluia.

Matthew 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”

Prayer over the Offerings

O God, who in the offerings presented here
provide for the twofold needs of human nature,
nourishing us with food
and renewing us with your Sacrament,
grant, we pray,
that the sustenance they provide
may not fail us in body or in spirit.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

DAILY MEDITATION: PSALM 34:2-7

When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him. (Psalm 34:7)

After a busy day in which you “had a million things to do,” you might have come to dinner exclaiming, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” Those million tasks and that horse, of course, are exaggerations.

But it is no exaggeration when the psalmist declares that God saves us from all our distress. Granted, as today’s first reading shows, God didn’t save Paul from whippings, beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, and other dangers. Still, Paul knew that God heard him every time he called out—even in the midst of his sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:30).

God is our ever-present help. He walks with us through distress. He has not promised a trouble-free life, but he assures us of his help. By his Spirit, he empowers us to deal with the problems, the dangers, and the worries that come into our lives. He doesn’t cause the troubles that come into our lives, but he will save us from crumbling under the weight of them. He promises to give us hope to keep taking the right steps in any distress we face.

Most of us won’t face torture or shipwreck, but we all have troubles. Making the rent each month, facing frightening medical diagnoses, watching a loved one suffer and die—yes, you have trouble in the world. You also have God’s assurance that you don’t have to surrender to fear because he will be with you. He is a loving, faithful, and powerful Father.

God does not cause your distress any more than he caused St. Paul’s. And he will sustain you just as surely as he sustained St. Paul. That is who he is: Father, Savior, Healer, Provider. Be insistent and tireless in seeking his presence and his help in the midst of your distress. Take him at his word. He promises to hear you when you cry out to him. He will always answer, though perhaps not as you expect, and he will sustain you, just as he sustained St. Paul.

“Father, I believe you hear my prayers and know my needs. Help me today so that I don’t sink under the weight of my troubles.”

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