Evening Prayer – June 19, 2021

Entrance Antiphon

The just will flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a Lebanon cedar,
planted in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God. Cf. Ps 92 (91):13-14
OR
The mouth of the just man utters wisdom,
and his tongue tells forth what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart. Ps 37 (36):30-31

Collect

O God, who through Saint Romuald renewed
the manner of life of hermits in your Church,
grant that, denying ourselves and following Christ,
we may merit to reach the heavenly realms on high.
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 12:1-10

Brothers and sisters: I must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this man (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. About this man I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 34

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the Lord is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him. R.
Fear the Lord, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the Lord want for no good thing. R.
Come, children, hear me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Which of you desires life,
and takes delight in prosperous days? R.

Gospel Acclamation

Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Cor 8:9
Alleluia, alleluia.

Matthew 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

Prayer over the Offerings

Grant those who approach your altar, O Lord,
that spirit of devotion
with which the Abbot blessed Saint Romuald was on fire,
so that, pure of heart and fervent in charity,
we may offer you a worthy sacrifice.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

DAILY MEDITATION: MATTHEW 6:24-34

Do not worry about your life. (Matthew 6:25)

It can be fun to think about the future. What kind of job will I get when I graduate from college? How many kids will I have someday? I can’t wait for my vacation!

There is nothing wrong with thinking about or planning for the future—in fact, it can be a very positive, smart thing to do. But Jesus wants us to live a balanced life, something he emphasizes in today’s Gospel reading. He doesn’t want us to spend so much time planning for the future that we forget to live in the present.

There’s another problem with spending too much time on the future. That’s where our worries and fears are rooted. Almost every one of them is about something that hasn’t happened yet—but could happen.

Take a moment to think about all the worries you have had throughout your life. How many of them actually came to pass? Probably only a fraction of them. And if your worst fears were realized, you still experienced some measure of comfort from the Lord. Maybe you even learned something from them and came out wiser and stronger because of them. Whatever they were, you got through them. Maybe they strengthened your faith and trust and taught you to lean on Jesus more.

Jesus promises, “Tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil” (Matthew 6:34). In other words, focus on what’s going on right now. Pay attention to the challenges right in front of you, the problems that need to be solved and the people that need your help right now. Jesus will be with you to help you face them. And he will be there tomorrow to help you do it all over again.

Today, try to catch yourself when you’re worrying about something that may or may not happen. Imagine yourself like the bird that Jesus describes in today’s Gospel, flying free from all the earthly fears trying to pull you to the ground. Think about how birds just go about their business without worrying about the future. God takes care of them, and he’ll take care of you.

“Lord, help me to let go of my worries and place them in your loving hands.”

2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Psalm 34:8-13

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