The Spirit comes to our aide Print
Sunday scripture column
Written by Kevin Perrotta, Catholic News Service   

July 19, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1) Wis 12:13-19
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2) Rom 8:26-27
Gospel: Mt 13:24-43 or 13:24-30

"We do not know how to pray as we ought," St. Paul tells us today.

But where's the problem? There are so many prayers -- the Hail Mary, the Book of Psalms, novenas, countless prayer books, and, most basic of all, the Lord's Prayer. When we don't know how to pray, we can use those.

Established prayers, however, are not Paul's solution to the problem of not knowing how to pray, because he is concerned with the problem of not knowing what to pray.

Is now the moment for a psalm of rejoicing or a psalm crying out for help? What should I pray for? That my friend Richard is healed -- or that he die a peaceful death?

We do not know the route

Paul has been speaking about the journey we are making through this life. In Christ, God is leading us from this present age into eternity with himself. We can have a sense of anticipation, because we know it will be good to arrive at our destination.

But we cannot know the route. Only God knows that. Only he knows the blessings and sufferings by which he will bring us home to himself.

So to a great extent, at any point along the way, we don't know what to pray for. It makes sense to pray for what seems best to us. But how can our prayers fit in with what God has in mind?

The answer, Paul indicates, is that God has placed his Spirit in us so that his Spirit prays with us. He prays with us in our deepest longings that cannot be put into words.

He makes our sighs and groanings into prayers. That is how close God has come to be with us.

Kevin Perrotta is the editor and an author of the Six Weeks with the Bible series (Loyola Press), teaches part time at Siena Heights University, and leads Holy Land pilgrimages. He lives in Ann Arbor, Mich.

1) Ez 37:12-14

Psalm 130:1-8

2) Rom 8:8-11

Gospel: Jn 11:1-45

Pope's March Prayer Intention Print
In 2020, the Pope will present one prepared prayer intention per month, rather than two.
Pope's March Prayer Intention
Catholics in China
We pray that the Church in China may persevere in its faithfulness to the Gospel and grow in unity.


Daily Scripture Readings Print
Sunday, Sep. 01, 2013 -- 10:21 AM
Click here to view or subscribe to the daily
Scripture readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.
Holy Days of Obligation Print

The following are Holy Days of Obligation for 2020.

Holy Days of Obligation Description
Wednesday, Jan. 1
Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God
Thursday, May 21
Ascension Thursday
Saturday, Aug. 15
Solemnity of the Assumption
Sunday, Nov. 1
All Saints Day
Tuesday, Dec. 8
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Friday, Dec. 25
Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas)
Prayer to St. Raphael Print

photo of Pilgrim Icon of St. Raphael

Glorious Archangel St. Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners.

We beg you, assist us in all our needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God" we humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of our souls and the ills that afflict our bodies.

We especially ask your guidance of our diocese as we journey toward the rebuilding of a cathedral bearing your name, and the great grace of purity to prepare us to be temples of the Holy Spirit. As our intercessor, beg the Blessed Trinity to prosper the work of our hands and, above all, to bring us, face-to-face, into their Holy presence.


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