Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr

First Scripture Reading
2 Maccabees 7: 1, 20-31
Gospel Reading
Luke 19: 11-28

Opening Prayer

God of history, this is such a strange story! Why did the Greeks feel such a need to persecute the Jews and force those sons to break the kosher dietary laws! It is awesome that they were faithful until death. Their mother must have been brokenhearted as she watched them die one by one. And yet she believed in You as the God of Life and encourage them to surrender to You, and not to a culture of death, infidelity and impurity. I’d like to have her faith! I’d like to have their faith! But sometimes I’m like the Greeks and demand to control what other people believe. Why am I so insecure? As we approach Thanksgiving, Luke reminds us of the gifts each of us has been given and challenges to be good stewards of Your trust. In times of self-doubt and fear, empower us not to hide our resources and gifts and therefore prevent the continued growth of your kingdom and presence. Pour forth Your eternal Spirit to deepen and increase our faith in You – and in ourselves!!!

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