Archbishop Cupich’s reflection at inauguration of Gov. Rauner (Jan. 12) Stresses which come with competition and rivalries oftentimes give rise to impulses of annoyance, antagonism, and anger. Irritations and frustrations come with the job of being in public life, of being in a leadership role in society. Equanimity, composure, level headedness, poise and self-control are what we need in such moments. The best remedy is to cultivate a spirit of joy in what we do, of gladness in serving others, of thankfulness in being given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. It is a joy that comes in remembering that we are doing God’s work and that we belong not to a faction, a party, a bloc, but we belong to Him. In that spirit I share this prayer from the ancient psalmist: Shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God, he made us, we belong to him, we are his people, the flock he shepherds. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name; good indeed is the Lord, his mercy endures forever, his faithfulness lasts through every generation. Amen. Archbishop Cupich’s invocation at inauguration of Gov. Rauner (Jan. 12) Surgeons’ hands that cure and nurses’ hands that calm; Farmers’ hands that sow and migrants’ hands that harvest; Generous hands that feed the hungry and faith-filled hands that shelter the homeless; Artists’ hands that create and laborers' hands that build; First responders’ hands that keep us safe and teachers’ hands that pass on knowledge and faith; Children’s hands that need our hands and parents hands folded in prayer for their children; Journalists’ hands that keep us connected and informed and business leaders’ hands which trade and employ; clean; Unemployed hands that seek work and injured hands that seek justice; Lawmakers’ hands that craft policies and laws, and ministers hands raised in praise; These are the hands you have given us, O Lord Bless the work of our hands, Bless the work of our hands. Bless the work of Governor Bruce Rauner’s hands; hands extended in friendship and service this day, hands inviting us to join our hands together in partnership, so that indeed you can bless the work of our hands, O Lord, so that you can bless the work of our hands. Amen. Archbishop Cupich’s benediction at swearing in of Illinois House of Representatives (Jan. 14) Lord on this day, when oaths are taken and promises are made, we lift our voices in prayer to you, for you are ever faithful; you always keep your word. May the words our elected officials pledge this day become etched on their hearts and inspire in their minds imaginative ideas and policies as they serve and pursue the common good. May their very oath-taking remind us all of the power and blessing of keeping one’s word, and of the deep desire we all have for authenticity and loyalty. Let this moment motivate all of us to be true to our word; spouses and parents who commit to each other, their families and their children, business leaders and public servants entrusted with the goods and the well-being of others and the citizens of this State, who this day are reminded of the social contract that binds us together: it is a solemn pledge to work together for a just society and to promote the good order which depends on yet extends beyond the rule of law. Lord, we come before you in this prayer, fully aware of our own failures and weaknesses in remaining true. We all live with divided hearts. We are humbled that you are faithful even when we are not and that you are ever rich in mercy and forgiveness. And so this day we beg you to grace in a special way our legislators with the integrity to keep their word even when others do not, with the freedom to forgive when others fail them, and the courage to believe that the truth always sets us free. Lord on this day, when oaths are taken and promises are made, we lift our voices in prayer to you, for you are ever faithful; you always keep your word. Amen.