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Glad Hearts

First Reading: Jonah 4:1-11

Jonah was greatly displeased
and became angry that God did not carry out the evil
he threatened against Nineveh.
He prayed, “I beseech you, LORD,
is not this what I said while I was still in my own country?
This is why I fled at first to Tarshish.
I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God,
slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.
And now, LORD, please take my life from me;
for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the LORD asked, “Have you reason to be angry?”

Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it,
where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade,
to see what would happen to the city.
And when the LORD God provided a gourd plant
that grew up over Jonah’s head,
giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,
Jonah was very happy over the plant.
But the next morning at dawn
God sent a worm that attacked the plant,
so that it withered.
And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind;
and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint.
Then Jonah asked for death, saying,
“I would be better off dead than alive.”

But God said to Jonah,
“Have you reason to be angry over the plant?”
“I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.”
Then the LORD said,
“You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor
and which you did not raise;
it came up in one night and in one night it perished.
And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city,
in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons
who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left,
not to mention the many cattle?”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10

R. (15) Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.

R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

All the nations you have made shall come
and worship you, O Lord,
and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God.

R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

Gospel: Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

NAB

oct 7

“Gladden the soul of your servant . . .

Isn’t this beautiful and hopeful and expectant and pleading all at once? It could be a great day, or a horrible day, and these words fit.

Oh, Lord, gladden my soul! Make me happy and joyful. Increase your gladness in my soul and my life.

The Psalm and the words in the Gospel today increase my wonder at prayer. Jesus gives us the words to use in prayer. When we pray these words, we give glory and honor to God. We plead for the day’s needs, and we lift our souls to God. When I sit with the words of the Psalm and the Gospel today, the amazing words from Scripture create a more beautiful picture and understanding of prayer for me.

Today is also the beautiful memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. Is the Rosary part of your prayer life yet? Has it been, but you’ve fallen out of the habit of picking up the beads? Are you just unsure about praying to Mary? Make today a day that you try it for the first time, or reacquaint yourself with our Blessed Mother. You can’t possibly fail with your heart in the right place, when you “lift up your soul,” and when you pray the Lord’s Prayer within the Rosary. “Give us this day . . . .” Jesus is listening! He’s so happy you are making an effort. And His Mother? You better believe she is thrilled to bits to have us, her spiritual children, coming to her in childlike, hopeful faith so that she can pray with us and lead us more closely to her Son. That is what the Rosary is about! Mary leads us to Jesus, through our contemplating stories of His life with her. Just try! Let her show you more about Jesus as you meditate even on one mystery while you pray.

We have so much available to us to aid us our prayers today, how can we possibly go wrong or falter? The disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray, and He delivers with the Lord’s Prayer. The yearning of the Psalmist, and then the memorial for Our Lady of the Rosary, remind us to pick up the beads and ask Mary to pray with us.

This feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is a perfect time to renew prayer habits. Start with the Psalm, and add a decade of the Rosary to your prayer time. Let Mary’s love and motherly care draw you closer to her Son.

photo by Corynne Olivia

Gina Fensterer is a wife, daughter, mother, friend, homeschooling mama and Colorado native. You can find out more about her here.

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