St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Today is Monday the 23 September, the feast of St Pius of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), in the 25th week of Ordinary Time.  

Saviour of my soul, this day keep me whole. Can I join in this prayer, as I listen? Whatever turmoil there is within me, whatever failings and shortcomings of mine I am aware of, can I present myself now to the One who knows and understands and forgives all of that,  - the One who, knowing what I’m like, has given himself freely for my sake - and trust myself entirely to his mercy?  

Today’s reading is from the Book of Ezra.  

When today’s reading starts, the people of Israel have been living for decades in exile in Babylon. Now a new king comes to the throne there and tells them that they can go home. Can you find anything in your own experience that gives you some sense of what this is like for them?  

They are not going home empty-handed. The neighbours and friends they have made during their exile give them all they will need to start a new life in a different country. When have you found yourself on the receiving end of this kind of generosity?  

None of this is happening by chance. We’re told that this is the response of “everyone whose spirit God had stirred”. When were you yourself stirred by God to behave generously towards others?  

As you listen again, notice how God is powerfully at work even in the pagan King Cyrus.

In the closing moments of this prayer, thank God for his generosity, to the people of Israel long ago, and to yourself today.