August 18, 2017
Composed the week of August 14, 2017
Jesus, on the cross you prayed
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
You cried to God, your consolation
in your most troubled time.
As the evildoers closed in
You called on your God
as hateful men gloated over you
You sought strength from your God.
You knew God was still with you
weeping for you, holding you
giving you the compassion
to pray for those who persecuted you.
We remember you on the cross
we call out to you in your suffering
You hear us when we cry out.
You help when we call on you.
Be with us now in our troubled times
when there is terror on every side
when people of hate insult and exclude
when your people are fractured and afraid.
Help us to move beyond our tribes
to see clearly the unity of creation
to open our hearts to the other
to oppose those who segregate us.
You healed the daughter
of the desperate Canaanite woman,
You included the Gentiles
in your healing compassion.
You invited her into the reign of God
A house of prayer for all people.
Inspire our hearts with a love
that overcomes hate
direct our actions
In the way of compassion.
We pray for our enemies
for those who persecute us
we pray for our own peace
and to see a way forward.
That someday we will stand hand in hand
on common ground in a place
that you call the Kingdom of God
together living under the reign of God.
Jesus, our brother in troubled times,
Lord who rose from the dead,
help us see the light of a new world.
Mother of the thorn-crowned King, pray for us.
St. Paul, whipped, scourged and shipwrecked on foreign shores, pray for us.
Paulist Fr. Frank Desiderio is first consultor, or chief advisor, to the president of the Paulist Fathers. He also is director of St. Mary’s of the Lake in Lake George, NY, and director of the Paulist Associates.
The image above shows the crucifix at St. Austin Chuch, the parish we serve in Austin, TX.