(Sirach 47:2-11; Psalm 18:31, 47, 50, 51; Mark 6:14-29)
Again, as I reflected on today’s readings after praying the Rosary in the Adoration Chapel I tried to discover the message our Church has for us within this particular set of readings. Alone they are powerful. Both our first reading and our Gospel reveal to us the power that earthly kings hold over the people under their kingship. Additionally, they also reveal to us the need for Godly worldly leaders.
Our first reading shares with us the magnificence of King David. He was a great earthly king who loved God above all else, and it was this love that undoubtedly made him such a great king. David loved God with all his heart, and in return God exalted his strength forever, forgave him of all his sins and conferred upon him the “rights of royalty”. Yes, the relationship between King David and God is beauty beyond all measure.
Then in our Gospel we read of King Herod, who like King David, also yielded great power in the world. Yet Herod, having a heart directed towards worldly pleasures, used his power for worldly pursuits. We see that while Herod had fear of John the Baptist because John was a righteous and holy man, Herod’s love of the world eventually lead him to commit the sin of murder. As we all know, Herod ordered the execution of John the Baptist. Our John, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb with joy as Mary approached her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, the wild man of the desert who baptized our Lord, the one who paved the way for the One who is to come – our beloved John the Baptist was murdered by King Herod for speaking the Truth.
Then scripture spoke to me. The world is in need of King Davids now more than ever. We need righteous world leaders who place God above all else, who love him above all others and who seek to praise him forever and ever. We need world leaders who trust so deeply in God that they can stand before the giant with only a sling and a stone, leaders who seek to crush pride in the world and restore the might of the people for the glory of God. Leaders who seek to serve God alone. Yet, sadly the world is full of “King Herods”, leaders whose love of the world leads to sin, destruction and heartache. Leaders who seek to serve their own self-interest, or worse, the interest of evil.
However, we must remember that we are living in the midst of a spiritual battle that the naked eye cannot see. We are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, rather, we are fighting against evil rulers of the unseen world. (Ephesians 6:12). In order that all mankind may experience peace we must call upon our true king – Christ the King, and we must use our spiritual weapon of prayer – specifically the prayer of the Rosary.
While many holy individuals and saints have revealed to us the power of the Rosary over time, stigmatist Saint, Padre Pio is famous for calling the Rosary “his weapon”. The saint was known to pray the Rosary over 50 times a day – you would always find him with a Rosary in his hand. Our Lady herself said to Padre Pio: “with this weapon you will win”. The saint’s love and devotion to the Blessed Mother is beyond my comprehension – I can only dream of loving her with such deep love. Given our need for Godly world leaders I felt compelled to share with you again my Rosary prayer in the hopes that we can join together and pray for our world leaders. I know that prayer is our greatest weapon, and I trust in the words our Blessed Mother gave to Padre Pio – “with this weapon you will win”. I invite you to join me, perhaps print out my Rosary prayer so it is handy for you. I believe that together we can make a difference and the political landscape of the world can change so that God is glorified for all to see.
Carolyn’s Rosary Prayer
I begin by offering the Rosary with an intention that the world turn to Jesus through the aid of our Blessed Mother. I then begin my Rosary, praying the mystery the Church suggests for each day of the week and offering the below prayers on the indicated beads.
The First Our Father bead: I offer this Our Father and the entire Rosary for the intentions of Pope Francis and for his physical, emotional and spiritual protection.
The First Hail Mary bead: I offer this Hail Mary and the entire Rosary for Mother Mary’s intentions for: the world, the world’s political leaders, the world’s religious leaders, the worldwide Holy Catholic Church, ISIS in the world, and the Muslim faith in the world.
The Second Hail Mary bead: I offer this Hail Mary and the entire Rosary for Mother Mary’s intentions for: the United States, our political leaders, our religious leaders, the Holy Catholic Church in the United States, ISIS in the United States, the Muslim faith in the United States, and for our upcoming presidential election. (I invite you to offer this Hail Mary for your homeland in similar manner)
The Third Hail Mary bead: I offer this Hail Mary and the entire Rosary for Mother Mary’s intentions for: my family and for our physical, emotional and spiritual protection so that we can more fully serve her Son in the world under her divine mothership.
On each mystery: As I meditate on the different mysteries I ask God to help me feel in my heart what he wants me to feel so that I can more fully serve him in the world.
Immaculate Heart of Mary – pray for us.