A Prayer for the Thirteenth Sunday
in Ordinary Time
your incarnate Word commands our obedience
and offers us true life.
Make our hearts attentive
to the voice of your Son
and our hearts generous in answering his call,
that we may take up the cross
with trust in its promises.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son, who lives and reigns
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Saint Oliver Plunkett
Born in County Meath, Ireland in 1629, Oliver Plunket studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained there in 1654. After some years of teaching and service to the poor of Rome he was appointed Archbishop of Armagh in Ireland. Four years later, in 1673, a new wave of anti-Catholic persecution began, forcing Archbishop Plunkett to undertake his pastoral work in secrecy and to live in hiding. Meanwhile, many of his priests were sent into exile, schools were closed, Church services had to be held covertly, and convents and seminaries were suppressed. As Archbishop, Plunkett was viewed as ultimately responsible for any rebellion or political activity among his parishioners.
Archbishop Plunkett was arrested and imprisoned in Dublin Castle in 1679. Since it was unlikely that he would have been convicted in Ireland his trial was moved to London. After deliberating for fifteen minutes, a jury found him guilty of fomenting revolt. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered in July 1681, the last Catholic martyr to die in England. Pope Paul VI canonized Oliver Plunkett in 1975. His body lies in Downside Abbey, his head in Drogheda.
The feast of Corpus Christi links us with our recent parish celebration of First Holy Communion. Such events are powerful visual reminders of how we pass on our faith – our legacy of belief – from one generation to the next.
We are also we are reminded of the Real Presence of Jesus in the tabernacle whom we can approach in prayer. We recall too that the Eucharist is taken to the sick at home, or given to the dying as Viaticum, or food for the last journey.
However, we too are a kind of Real Presence as we try to witness to the world by our way of life, being nourished in turn by the body and blood of the Lord.
A Prayer for Trinity Sunday
O God, your name is veiled in mystery,
yet we dare to call you Father;
your Son was begotten before all ages,
yet is born among us in time;
your Holy Spirit fills the whole creation,
yet is poured forth now into our hearts.
Because you have made us and loved us
and called us by name,
draw us more deeply into your divine life,
that we may glorify you rightly,
through your Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Father Alex McAllister SDS