“Brothers and sisters: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Philippians 4:6-9)
Walking humbly in the footsteps of St. Paul, today I want to reassure you. Not that you won’t have to face difficulties in life—haven’t we all this year? But that no matter what happens God is always with us, offering signs of love and compassion to those with eyes of faith.
Saint Paul was one of those visionaries who saw God’s presence and became deeply inspired by the Holy Spirit to share the Good News. His faith was unshakable even in adversity. Remember, the early days of the Church were full of conflict and struggle.
Francis of Assisi was another visionary—the saint whose feast day we celebrate today. He abandoned a privileged life—among the 1% of his day—to follow the Gospel. When he heard God calling him to “fix my Church,” Francis first thought that meant fixing the small chapel in his beloved Assisi. But God had bigger plans. Once again, the Church was in disarray and Francis was called to be a reformer. He began a movement known as the Franciscans who witnessed God’s love for the poor by living lives of poverty, prayer, and peace. Humble Francis would transform the world, performing work that has lasted nearly a thousand years—carried on now by missioners like you. He led by example, famous for having said, “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” This is the saint that Pope Francis honored by taking his name.
Friend, perhaps you are grieving a loss or a personal setback right now. Our Maryknoll family has suffered losses this year, too. But I know that saints like Paul and Francis live among us, witnessing God’s love. They are the healers, the peacemakers, the friends and parish neighbors who always manage a kind word. They are the candles that light our way home to God. Through them—and with prayer—God is always at work. As Paul says, make your requests known to God. Then, yes, be assured.
Please feel free to send us your Special Intentions and a Maryknoll priest or Brother will respond as your partner in prayer. We are always here to pray with you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 1st Sunday
We place our trust and confidence
in You, my Lord and God,
who called Paul to preach
and Francis to teach the world
about Your love and mercy.
In times of danger, they provided
shelter in the storm and
in the darkest hours
they shone the light of Christ.
May Your word, O Lord,
be a lamp for my feet
and a light for my path
to show us the way to You.
Into Your hands, Jesus, we commend
the souls of our friends and family
who died during these difficult times.
Believing in Your merciful love
may we walk safely through
this Valley of Death
ever mindful You are ever
at our side.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso