WEEK FOURTEEN – THURSDAY – JULY 7, 2022 – SENDING OUT THE TWELVE (MT 10:7-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, send me forth like an apostle.

Imagination:

Picture the Twelve gathered around, listening to Jesus’ instructions.

Context:

There is not much time to evangelize Israel, so Jesus sends out the Twelve. This is totally his initiative. He summons, instructs, and gives his powers. The disciples must trust God to provide and the villages must respond to the message. Urgency fills the air.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “As you go, make this announcement, ‘The reign of God is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the lepers and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift. Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts; no traveling bags, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking stick.

Look for a worthy citizen in every town or village you come to and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his home bless it. If the home is deserving, your blessing will descend on it.  If not, your blessing will return to you.

If anyone does not receive you, leave that town and shake the dust from your feet. It will go easier for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than for that town.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. There is great urgency. The time is short. The gospel must be preached.
  2.  Jesus takes a new initiative. He pours out his zeal upon the Twelve.
  3. They go forth two by two, showing love for each other and encouraging each other.
  4. They enjoy the powers of the Kingdom – to expel demons, to heal, and to raise the dead.
  5. They must be unselfish, being satisfied with whatever house receives them.
  6. They will bless greatly whoever welcomes them.
  7. The village must respond to their message. Otherwise, the apostles will reject them.
  8. The final judgment will be severe, worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, the time is short. I must act today. 
  • Fill my heart with your zeal and holy desires.
  • Call me to a greater level of responsibility.
  • Join me with others. Together, we can be faithful.
  • Give me your powers. I will free people and they will believe.
  • O Lord, I will sacrifice everything for your Kingdom.
  • O Jesus, if some will not listen, I will go quickly to others.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will be aware of opportunities to speak about the Kingdom.

+ I will seek a friend who will join me in my task.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK FOURTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JULY 6, 2022 – COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE (MT 10:1-7)

Prayer:

Come, Jesus. Anoint me to preach your Kingdom.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus preparing his apostles for their missionary journey.

Context:

Jesus now makes his apostles into missionaries. He calls them and gives two powers – to drive out demons and to heal. He tells them how to act and what to preach. For the first time, others will use Jesus’ powers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to heal every disease and illness.

Jesus sent them on mission as the Twelve, after giving them the following instructions. “Do not go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans. Go to the lost sheep of Israel. When you go, you are to preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse the lepers. Cast out devils. Do this freely, for you have freely received.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus sends forth his most dedicated group – the Twelve.  
  2. He gives them extraordinary powers to cast out devils and to heal every illness.
  3. They must not go to Gentile villages nor to Samaritan towns.
  4. Their goal must be Israel, the special object of Jesus’ love.
  5. They say only one thing. “The Kingdom is at hand.” At this point, that is all they understand.
  6. They will do extremely well because they obey Jesus and use his powers.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, call me. I will dedicate my life to the Kingdom.
  • Show me where to go and what to do.
  • Give me the power to preach and persuade.
  • Help me to lead my family and friends to faith.
  • Jesus, give me a simplicity of lifestyle.
  • Jesus, the Kingdom is at hand and everyone must know it.
  • How great is the need for all to hear the message! The time is short and You are coming soon.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ In my own little way, I will announce the Kingdom to everyone.

+ I will believe that Jesus will equip me with His powers.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

When you preach say, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then, heal the sick.

Month of the Most Precious Blood

In the Old Testament, Blood is the symbol of the source of life. “Since the life of all flesh is its blood. (Leviticus 17:14) Blood carries oxygen to all the organs of the body. Due to our fallen humanity, we also have sin in our blood. Therefore, the Chosen People used the blood of bulls or goats sprinkled on the altar for the atonement of sin. In the Book of Exodus, the blood of a one-year-old lamb was placed on the top and sides of the doorpost. On the first Passover, the Angel of Death passed over the household where the blood was present. On Mount Sinai, Moses sprinkled the blood of oxen over the altar and the twelve pillars sealing a Covenant with God and the people of Israel.The New Covenant was established at the Last Supper when Jesus changed the Bread and Wine into His Body and Blood. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it [again] until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you [that] from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise, the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you. (Luke 22:15-20) Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Quotes: “It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.”

At the Crucifixion Jesus voluntarily offered His life and suffering for the remission of sin. His perfect sacrifice opened the gates of heaven for all who believe in Him. The Bible says, “For our sake, He made Him be sin who did not know sin so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”(2 Corinthians 5:21). [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”] (Luke 23:34). St. Peter writes, “Realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.” (1 Peter 1:18 -19) In Hebrews, it says, “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)

Invoke the Precious Blood for strength, courage, protection, conversion and to combat self-love and bad habits like; anger, jealousy, hatred, immorality, lack of self-control.


How can we invoke the Precious Blood?
+ Receive the Body and Blood devoutly and in the State of Grace.
+ Frequently, pray a Spiritual Communion if unable to receive the Precious Blood at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
+ Pray an Act of Contrition invoking the Precious Blood.
+ Pray the Litany of the Most Precious Blood
+ Fr. James Blount S.O.L.T. encourages everyone to pray (500 times each day). “Most precious Blood of Jesus Christ, save us and the whole world.”

Written by Flame of Love Leader, Annie Myers.

Annie and her husband of 41 years reside in Holmes PA and they have 3 children and 5 grandchildren. Annie has served with the Flame of Love Movement since she joined in 2015. Annie is part of the Flame of Love Communication’s Team and assists with graphic design and editing the newsletter.

WEEK FOURTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 5, 2022 – THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S REIGN (MT 9:32-38)

Prayer:

O Jesus, your goodness is everywhere.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples, healing the crowds.

Context:

The gospels are filled with Jesus compassion and power. Now, he extends that compassion to physical healings and to being a shepherd to the poor. Unable to do all by himself, he shares his powers with the twelve Apostles.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were prostrate from exhaustion, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers into his harvest.”

Calling his twelve disciples together, he gave them power to cast out unclean spirits and to heal all kinds of sickness and disease. He gave these instructions, “Do not go to pagan territory and do not enter a Samaritan town. Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.” Cure the sick. Raise the dead. Heal the lepers. Expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus is indefatigable. He is everywhere – towns, villages, synagogues and street corners. He does everything. He heals. Raises from the dead. Expels demons.
  2. The gospel reveals His inner thoughts. He is filled with compassion because the people are worn out.
  3. He will be their shepherd, taking up this difficult and thankless task.
  4. His heart conceives a new plan. He will multiply this work by sharing his powers with the faithful apostles.
  5. Jesus first love is for Israel, his people. The disciples must go there first. Time is limited.
  6. They must preach his message, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” This alone prepares for his coming. 
  7. He gives them the Kingdom’s powers – to heal and expel demons.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, you are everywhere. You do all things. You seek me out. You speak in my heart.
  • You reveal your heart. You are filled with compassion. Every action is for my benefit.
  • You see me worn out. You see me burdened. “I will make you my sheep,” you say.
  • You have sent others for me. You have given me a Church to preach your Kingdom and a Eucharistic table to nourish me.
  • You love your people. You love those who are baptized and believe in you. 
  • Your gifts are freely given and freely received. Your abundance is everywhere.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will be aware that Jesus is everywhere.

+ I will think of his great love for me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK FOURTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 4, 2022 – A TOUCH OF FAITH (Mt 9:18-26)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, let me touch you in faith so your power goes out to me.

Imagination:

Picture the crowds pressing upon Jesus while the woman touches his garment.

Context:


This story has so many details (bleeding, twelve years, many doctors, wasted money and even the woman’s thoughts), that the woman herself was obviously the source of this information. She also was a member of Mark’s Church.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A woman had suffered with an issue of blood for twelve years, receiving treatment from many doctors and exhausting her money. Yet, she grew worse. Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him and touched his garment saying, “If I but touch his garment, I will be made whole.”

Immediately, the flow of blood dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of the sickness.  Jesus, knowing that some power had gone forth from him, turned to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my garments?” His disciples said, “You see the crowd pressing upon you, and you ask, ‘Who has touched me?’”

He looked around to see who it was. Trembling and fearful, the woman fell down before Jesus and told him the whole story. He said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be free of this illness.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The woman “heard about Jesus.” Her faith came from hearing these gospel stories.
  2. Many press upon Jesus, but physical contact is not enough to receive the blessing.
  3. Many people touch Jesus but this woman touches him with faith.
  4. Her actions violate Jewish law. Her flow of blood made her unclean. However, her faith overcame these legal barriers.
  5. Jesus recognizes the difference between the crowd pressing in and the woman’s touch.
  6. He explains that her faith opened the door to his powers.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I know your gospel stories. Stir me to lively faith.
  • Jesus, I will press in. I will come close and draw near.
  • I will touch you in faith. Your power will go forth and I will be changed.
  • Dry up my sins, Jesus.  Let my sorrows stop flowing. Heal my emotions and my body.
  • You welcome me. You stir my faith. You invite me to come. Your power goes forth and I am a new person.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.

+ I will ponder the gospel miracles and allow them to bring me to faith.

+ I will act on these new beliefs. Jesus does not disappoint those who believe in him.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Daughter, your faith has made you well.

WEEK FOURTEEN- SUNDAY – C– JULY 3, 2022 – SEVENTY-TWO MORE MISSIONARIES (LK 10:1-12)

Prayer:

O Lord, choose me and send me wherever your word needs to be preached.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus preparing seventy-two more disciples to go to the villages.

Context:

Other gospels (Mark and Matthew) record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of seventy-two. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the seventy-two are almost identical to those already given to the Twelve.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.

Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, ‘Peace be to this house’. If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house. Heal the sick and say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying ‘We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you.’ Yet, the Kingdom is at hand. I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus organizes. He plans. He wastes no time.  
  2. These seventy-two will go to definite villages and Jesus will follow.
  3. They will face great hostilities – like lambs going among wolves.
  4. The task is very urgent. There is no time for greeting people and having a chat.
  5. The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
  6. They must be disciplined, content with whatever food or housing is available.
  7. If they preach, the village must accept the message. Otherwise, Jesus will not come and they will lose the Kingdom.
  8. How dreadful will be their punishment on the day of Jesus’ Second Coming.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
  • Give me courage against the hostility I will face.
  • O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
  • O Lord, I will make any sacrifice and pay any price to bring your word.
  • The people must listen. They must respond. 
  • O Jesus, I will do all I can. Give me your Holy Spirit.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will look for people who need my words about the Kingdom.

+ I will seek out the right way to preach to them. I will see the urgency to spread Jesus’ word.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK THIRTEEN – SATURDAY – JULY 2, 2022 – TRUSTING THE FATHER (MT 9:14-17)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Ghost. Help me to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching His disciples about the Father’s care for them.

Context:

In this gospel, Jesus speaks only to his disciples. Since they have given themselves to the Kingdom, Jesus promises that the Father will provide. Since the Father provides for disciples, they must not grow anxious.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Oh, you of little faith. Do not worry and say “What are we to eat?” or “What are we to drink?” or “What are we to wear?” All these things the pagans seek. Your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for each day is the evil thereof.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. To worry about food, drink and clothing is quite normal. Everyone does this, even pagans who have no faith.
  2. Jesus explains that the Heavenly Father knows and cares for those who are disciples.
  3. Then, he demands that disciples have a total faith in God’s Providence.
  4. The disciple must do one thing, they must seek first the Kingdom. Then, they will have all the food, drink and clothing that you need.
  5. The disciple must avoid one thing, worry about a tomorrow (which never comes). The Father provides for each day’s challenges.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, when I have little faith, I am anxious. When I have great faith, I am at peace.
  • Lord, calm my inner questions.
  • Father, why do I not trust you? Did you not create me? Did you not make me a disciple?
  • Jesus, I have one task. I must seek first your Kingdom.
  • Jesus, make me a child. To trust. To live one day at a time. To believe that God will give me my daily bread.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will examine my anxieties and why I grow fearful.

+ I will place greater trust in my heavenly Father.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Your Heavenly Father knows that you need all of these.

WEEK THIRTEEN – FRIDAY – JULY 1, 2022 – MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR (MT 9:9-13)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Let me respond quickly to Jesus’ call.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at table in Matthew’s house.

Context:

This text has 2 parts. First, Matthew responds to Jesus’ call and then he invites Jesus to his house. Since Matthew is a sinner (collecting taxes for Romans) his friends are also “sinners,” so the dinner becomes a controversy story, which shows us that Jesus came to call sinners, not the righteous.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.”  He got up and followed him.

Later, while Jesus was at table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and those known as sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and those who disobey the law?” Jesus heard them and said, “People who are well do not need the doctor. Sick people do. Learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ I have come to call sinners, not the self-righteous.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Matthew never searched for Jesus. He went to work one day, and Jesus found him.
  2. What a special day! Matthew began as a tax collector (working for the Roman Empire). He ends the day as Jesus’ disciple (working for the Kingdom).
  3. Everything happened so quickly. Jesus saw him and invited him. Matthew left his post and followed.  
  4. If he had hesitated or doubted, he would have missed his call.
  5. He accepts Jesus completely, opening his home and inviting the other sinners.
  6. The Pharisees try to exclude Matthew and his friends from the Kingdom. Jesus would have none of that.
  7. Jesus proclaims that they are the very ones he is calling.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, today is so important! You will come. You will pass by. You will say, “Follow me.”
  • Do not let me say “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” (like St. Augustine).
  • When you call, I will follow.
  • Come for me! I am a sinner and your Father sent you to sinners.
  • Why do I wait? Why do I continue to sit at my tax collector’s post? Why am I afraid?  Why do I not “get up and follow you?”
  • As I hear your voice in the quiet of this prayer, I respond, “Wait, Jesus, I am coming.”

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will be vigilant today.

+ I will open my whole house to Jesus.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Seeing Matthew at his post, Jesus said, “Follow me.”

WEEK THIRTEEN – THURSDAY – JUNE 30, 2022 – THE PARALYZED MAN (MT 9:1-8)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus healing the paralyzed man.

Context:

The stories in this section are controversy stories, which allow Jesus to make some pronouncement. The pronouncement in this story is that Jesus is the Son of Man with divine authority.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

People brought to him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Why do you harbor such thoughts. Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Rise and walk?’

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he then said to the paralyzed man, “Stand up. Roll up your mat and go home.”

The man stood up and went home. At the sight, a feeling of awe came over the crowd and they praised God for giving such authority to man.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The people love the paralyzed man. They, also, have faith in Jesus.
  2. Their first thought is to place him at Jesus’ feet.                         
  3. Because of their faith, Jesus forgives the man’s sins.
  4. Jesus then heals the paralyzed man to prove that he could forgive sins.
  5. The paralyzed man keeps receiving all these favors.
  6. When Jesus tells him to get up, he shows great faith. He arises and picks up his mat.
  7. The event confounds the learned critics and delights the simple believers. They believe even more in Jesus’ powers.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Lord, send me friends who believe in you.  
  • Teach me to accept the advice of others.
  • O Jesus, I want my sins to be forgiven. This is your greatest gift (which I often do not seek).
  • Jesus, you have all power and authority in heaven and on earth.
  • You heal everything – soul, mind, feelings, senses, intellect and will.
  • Speak to me Jesus. Tell me to rise from my sins.
  • Lord, make me a new creation. I will be a sign to others.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will look for friends who believe in Jesus.

+ I will let their faith bless me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

The people brought him to Jesus.

WEEK THIRTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JUNE 29, 2022 – SAINTS PETER & PAUL – PETER’S REVELATION (Mt 16:13-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, You are the Messiah, the son of God.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with Peter and the apostles.

Context:

Who is Jesus Christ? Many people still do not know. Peter, by a divine revelation of the Father, answers that question. Jesus calls him “Peter” (meaning rock) and makes him the foundation of his Church. This part of Matthew’s gospel focuses on Jesus forming his Church.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus asked the apostles, “Who do people say I am?” They responded, “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah. Others say Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He then asked, “Who do you say that I am.” Peter said, “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God.”

Jesus exclaimed, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of John, because flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Heavenly Father. I say to you, ‘You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus wants to reveal his identity. So, he begins the questioning.
  2. Peter has the right answer and can think of nothing else to say.
  3. By the light of a heavenly revelation, Peter says words far beyond his own understanding. 
  4. Peter can now receive a greater power – the Keys of the Kingdom.
  5. Jesus will build his Church and uses Peter as his foundation.
  6. The Church on earth has all the powers of heaven.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, you ask me the same question, “Who do you say I am?”
  • “You are the Christ,” I exclaim and you call me “blessed.”
  • O Jesus, may your Spirit reveal the Kingdom.
  • Give me your power and I will serve others.
  • Enlighten me by inner revelation. Show me the Kingdom’s mysteries.
  • With your powers, I can touch even heaven.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will seek to know Jesus.

+ I will ask God to reveal my task in his Church.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

And you, who do you say I am? You are the Christ, Son of the living God.

WEEK THIRTEEN – TUESDAY – JUNE 28, 2022 – POWER OVER THE SEA (MT 8:23-27)

Prayer:

O Jesus, calm the storms in my own life.

Imagination:

Picture the fearful disciples and Jesus calming the sea.

Context:

Matthew very much follows Mark’s story when Jesus sleeps in the boat. The miracle causes awe and wonder in the apostles.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus got into a boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a violent storm came up on the lake, and the boat began to be swamped with waves, but he was asleep.

They came and woke him saying, “Lord, save us. We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey him?”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. There were many boats but Jesus travels with his disciples. He wants them to be the primary witnesses of his power.
  2. The wind and the unruly sea are symbols of demonic chaos which destroys our lives as disciples.
  3. The disciples have some faith. They wake Jesus up, believing he can save them.
  4. Jesus expected more faith. His being in their boat, awake or asleep, would have saved them.
  5. Jesus rebukes the wind and the sea, just as he rebuked Satan who possessed people.
  6. The apostles understand that only God can tame the wind and sea. If so, “Who is this Jesus?”

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, travel in my boat. You are always welcome.
  • Chaos and evil surround me. You are my only safeguard.
  • Jesus, when I awaken you, you always help me.
  • Give me greater faith.  Even when you seem to sleep, I will trust you. 
  • Waking or sleeping, you always guard me.
  • You are Lord. You are God. You are Saviour. You are Redeemer. You are all in all.

Resolutions: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

+ I will never begin a task without Jesus in my boat.

+ I will always believe that his power can do all things.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Even the wind and the sea obey him.

WEEK THIRTEEN – MONDAY – JUNE 27, 2022 – THE WOULD BE DISCIPLES (MT 8:18-22)

Prayer:

O Jesus, make me your true disciple, ready to pay any price.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the crowd, challenging people to be his disciples.

Context:

This gospel is Matthew’s version of the reluctant disciple. From this story, we get a clear picture that some people followed Jesus regularly. The two mentioned here are somewhat initiated into discipleship. Yet, they lack something. Jesus uses their statements to outline the requirements of full discipleship.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus saw the great crowd gathering, he gave orders to go to the other side. A certain scribe said to him, “Master, I will follow you wherever you shall go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have their lairs and the birds of the air have their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Another of his disciples said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  But Jesus said to him, “Follow me and let the dead bury their dead.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The scribe is sincere. He wants to follow but sees that he does not comprehend the difficulties involved.
  2. Jesus describes his own total commitment. The foxes and the birds have more conveniences than Jesus does.
  3. Jesus is the “Son of Man” and he will return in glory. For now, he sacrifices everything for us.
  4. The second disciple realizes his limitations. He has an elderly father and wants to postpone his commitment.
  5. Jesus shifts this man’s priorities. Others can care for his father. He must not lose this unique moment. His call to discipleship should come first.
  6. The two little dialogues reveal this truth. Jesus’ call takes first place because nothing else equals his gift.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, let your call sweep away all my hesitations.
  • O Jesus, what you have done for me? You have accepted the most difficult life on earth to bring me the Kingdom.
  • You are the Son of Man who will come in glory. Now, you are searching for me. I will await you!
  • O Jesus, how many excuses I use to postpone my commitment.
  • Open my eyes. Change my goals. Sweep away what does not matter.
  • I will follow you, Jesus, wherever you go. Even if I have nowhere to lay my head.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will not postpone my response to Jesus’ call.

+ I will examine my own priorities. What do I put first that should not be first?

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Follow me and let the dead bury their dead.

WEEK THIRTEEN – SUNDAY (C) – JUNE 26, 2022 – THREE WOULD BE DISCIPLES (LK 9:51-62)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me not hold back my commitment to you.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.

Context:

This gospel begins Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem, a serious undertaking that will result in his death. Many are attracted to Jesus and want to follow him. He invites many to do so but he has to warn them of the costs of being his disciple. Mark gives three examples of an inadequate response.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, a man cried out, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus said to him, “The foxes have dens. The birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead. You go and preach the Kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go home and say farewell to my family.”  Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back, is ready for the Kingdom of God.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus is on a journey. There is no time to waste. All three men must decide quickly.
  2. Preaching the Kingdom demands a minimum of material comforts and provides no stable place to lay your head. The disciple must accept that commitment.
  3. “Burying the dead” means waiting years until the person dies. Preaching the Kingdom will not wait. People must hear the news immediately.
  4. A person who plows a field and looks back will do a poor job. The Kingdom demands all of our attention.
  5. O child of God, Jesus is calling you and you are finding multiple delays. Cut the strings.  Jesus’ call is the opportunity of your lifetime.
  6. Do not forget. Jesus moves quickly – like the days of your life which slip by so unnoticed.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, if you say, “Come, follow me,” I will follow.
  • I will put your Kingdom above all my other desires.
  • Jesus, if I look back, I will hesitate. If I hesitate, I will doubt. 
  • If I doubt, then I will not follow you. If I do not follow you, I will lose everything.
  • O Jesus, your Kingdom is at hand and your call is now. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will not fear the radical demands of Jesus’ Kingdom.

+ I will cherish his words, “Come, follow me.”

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

No one who looks back is ready for the Kingdom of God.

WEEK TWELVE – SATURDAY – JUNE 25, 2022 – FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY (LK 2:41-51)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Ghost. Help me to search for the True Heart of the Temple.

Imagination:

Picture Mary and Joseph hurrying to look for Jesus.

Context:

When Jesus was twelve years old, He, Mary and Joseph travelled with others to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of Passover, a thanksgiving to God for His goodness and mercy.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when He was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.  Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”  And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. In obedience, Jesus, Mary and Joseph kept the laws of their faith in celebrating the Passover at the temple in Jerusalem.
  2. This required sacrifice, a long journey, and joining with others for safety in the caravan.
  3. In the Temple, the House of our Father, Jesus teaches all who will listen that everything we think, say and do must be done for the Glory of the Father, especially bringing Him souls through the Merits of Jesus.
  4. Mary and Joseph suffered anxiety, grief, and sorrow when they could not find Jesus, but persevered in their search until He was found.
  5. They did not immediately understand Jesus’ actions, but Mary “kept these things in her heart.”  This is the heart which was joined to her Son’s, the heart which was obedient to the Holy Spirit in all things, even without understanding.
  6. Jesus returned home with Mary and Joseph in obedience and love.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Mary, to what temple am I travelling in haste? God’s or the world’s?
  • What am I searching for there? What have I lost that I hope to find?
  • Am I hoping to find a temple filled with success, honors, friends, money?
  • Am I hoping to find the true temple, filled with grace, mercy, hope, love?
  • O Mary, Jesus knew that He wanted to be in His Father’s house. You lived your life in the house of obedience and fidelity to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
  • Mary’s heart held the Spirit of her Son – in quiet contemplation, in sorrows, in joys, in obedience.  May my heart take courage and strength from hers.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask Mary to give me her heart so that I can find her Son, Jesus.

+ I will search the temple of my heart to look for the true Treasure of Grace.

+ When I find the Heart of the Temple, I will not leave.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Mary and Joseph searched the temple made by hands, to find the Temple of Life, whose Word made all things.

WEEK TWELVE – FRIDAY – JUNE 24, 2022 – MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS – THE LOST SHEEP (Lk 15:3-7)

Prayer:

O Jesus, come and find me.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with His disciples.

Context:

The parable of the Lost Sheep is connected to the Prodigal Son. Both show God’s love for the sinner. A hundred sheep was a medium sized flock. The shepherd must have been poor, unable to pay a helper. Matthew’s gospel stresses the shepherd’s unwearied search. Here, Luke’s gospel centers on God’s joy on the last day.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus told this parable to the Pharisees and the scribes. If a man with a hundred sheep loses one, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and search for the lost until he finds it? When he does find it, he places it on his shoulder rejoicing. On coming home, he gathers his friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.” I will tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need repentance.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. To leave ninety-nine sheep in the desert is not a rational act. The shepherd thinks with his heart.
  2. He does not abandon his search, until he finds his lost sheep.
  3. He does not scold the sheep but sees its wariness and places it on his shoulder.
  4. His joy cannot be contained. Friends and neighbors must share in it.
  5. This is not temporary. Finding the sheep is a symbol of heaven and an eternal union.
  6. God’s joy overflows to the angels. The soul that was lost for a time is now found for an eternity.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • God, I am precious to you.  
  • Your saints say you are “Mad” in your unreasonable love for me.
  • You never abandon your search for me.
  • O Jesus, carry me on your shoulders.
  • Jesus, your joy will not be complete until I am with you forever.
  • You give your angels charge over me. They, too, rejoice at my return.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will stop running from God. In this way, He can find me more quickly.

+ I will recall those special moments when God found me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

There will be rejoicing among the angels.

WEEK TWELVE – THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2022 – THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (LK 1:57-66)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to obey your word.

Imagination:

Picture Elizabeth and Zechariah surrounded by their neighbors.

Context:

Luke’s gospel describes the miracles that surround the conceptions and births of both John and Jesus. These numerous miracles proclaim that both are very special to God’s plan. In this text, Zechariah is healed and can speak again.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Elizabeth’s time came, she gave birth to a son. When her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his mercy towards her, they all rejoiced with her. On the eighth day, as they were to circumcise the child, they were going to call him by his father’s name, “Zachariah.” However, his mother said, “No. He will be called John.” They responded, “None of your relatives is called by that name.” 

So, they asked the father what name he would want. Demanding a writing tablet, he wrote, “John is his name.” At that moment, his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed and he began to praise God. Fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. They all wondered, saying, “What will this child be?” And “Was not the hand of the Lord upon him?”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you).

  1. The neighbors don’t know the full mystery, that Elizabeth’s child was made holy in her womb.
  2. Bestowing the wrong name would lessen God’s gift.
  3. Elizabeth’s faith confronts their wisdom. The angel revealed the name, John, and she acts on that word.
  4. The neighbors are not satisfied. They refuse to accept God’s decision. 
  5. Zechariah, however, has come to believe. He unites his faith with Elizabeth’s and writes, “His name is John.”  
  6. Having acted in faith, Zechariah experiences a reversal of his misfortune. His tongue is ready to bless God.
  7. In their deeply religious spirit, the crowd is filled with awe, wonder and fear of God.
  8. They become God’s witnesses. Their tongues, too, are loosed to tell everyone of these events.
  9. All in that hill country treasure these words in their hearts.
  10. They see that God’s hand is upon John.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, give me Elizabeth’s staunch faith.
  • Make me ready to oppose those who are obstacles to God’s will.
  • Make my inner spirit, Lord, sensitive to your inspirations.
  • How powerful, O Jesus, are two hearts united in faith. Let me find others who share my call.
  • You have chosen a name for me, O Lord. Let me cherish the saint whose name I bear.
  • Loosen my tongue and I will exalt you before others.
  • O Jesus, fill me with awe, wonder and childlike faith.
  • I am your mystery, O Lord. Your hand is upon me.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will examine the mystery of God’s call upon my life.

+ I will join my heart to someone else who also believes.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Elizabeth said, “He shall be called John.” Zechariah wrote, “John is his name.”

WEEK TWELVE – WEDNESDAY – JUNE 22, 2022 – THE FALSE PROPHETS (MT 7:15-20)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to be on guard lest I be deceived.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.

Context:

Matthew tries to protect and form his church members. He protects them by warning against false prophets who can lead them astray. He forms them by demanding a life that brings forth good deeds.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?

Every good tree brings forth good fruit and every evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit nor a bad tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. By their fruits you shall know them.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. In Jesus’ time, people claiming to be true prophets, led the people astray. 
  2. The Holy Spirit of Pentecost raised up true prophets to guide the people. 
  3. Today, we have both true and false prophets.
  4. The true prophet proclaims Jesus as Lord and exalts him.
  5. The false prophet points to himself and his own greatness.
  6. Follow the true prophet and bring forth good fruit in your life. Otherwise, you will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, let your true voice sound loudly in my heart.
  • Send me your true friends to speak your word to me.
  • You are the Lord.  I exalt you and follow you. Lead me wherever you wish.
  • O Jesus, so many voices lead me astray. Help me.
  • I will follow your Church, the voice of the true prophet.
  • O Jesus, I will bring forth fruit and you will not cut me down.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will examine who leads me to God and will follow them.

+ I will find some minutes for inner stillness to listen to God’s word.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Every good tree brings forth good fruit.

WEEK TWELVE TUESDAY – JUNE 21, 2022 – THE NARROW ROAD (MT 7:6 & 12-14)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to enter by the narrow gate of selflessness and walk the narrow road that leads to life.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus warning his disciples about the conditions for eternal life.

Context:

Matthew writes for his Church members who have chosen the Kingdom. They want eternal life, but He warns them that the gate is narrow. Many go through a wide gate that does not lead them into the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before swine. 

They will trample them underfoot, at best, or even tear you to shreds. Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate that leads to destruction is wide and many enter. How narrow is the gate that leads to life and how constricted is the road and how few find it.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Dogs and swine represent those who have no interest in the holy pearls of the gospel. The disciples, although preaching to all, must not expose the gospel to ridicule.
  2. To enter by the narrow gate is to accept the discipline needed to keep the commandments.
  3. Some disciples want to be lax, refusing to accept restrictions on their freedom.
  4. They are foolish. They are entering a wide gate that leads to destruction of their lives.
  5. Not only is the beginning gate narrow, but the whole road is constricted.
  6. Living by the gospel doesn’t mean just being good at the beginning (to get through the narrow gate is not enough.) The disciple must persevere on the narrow road.
  7. This gate and road are not hard to find. People do not searching because they do not want to find.
  8. All these warnings are wake-up calls!

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, your words are pearls that I will cherish.
  • Do not let me toss away your gospel.
  • O Jesus, I will enter by your narrow gate.
  • Show me the narrow road and I will walk with you.
  • Close my eyes to the wide paths of death and destruction.
  • I want your eternal life, Jesus. No matter what the cost.
  • How I love your narrow gate which leads to life.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will accept the restrictions imposed by God’s love.

+ I will seek eternal life with all my heart, not fearing the narrow way.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

How narrow is the gate that leads to life.

WEEK TWELVE – MONDAY – JUNE 20, 2022 – JUDGING OTHERS (MT 7:1-5)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me compassion and forgiveness to improve my relationships with others.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching His disciples not to judge.

Context:

Jesus praised the meek and the peacemakers. In these words, Jesus explains how to fulfill those roles. Not to judge other disciples is meekness and to remove your own faults is to make peace.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. As you judge, so you will be judged. The measure with which you measure out, will be measured out to you.

Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not see the wooden beam in your own?  Why do you say to your brother, “Let me take the splinter out of your eye” when there is a wooden beam in your eye? Hypocrite! Remove the beam in your own eye first and then you can remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Because this issue is so important, Jesus goes into great detail.
  2. “Brother” means a fellow-believer. Disciples should have a loving relationship with each other.
  3. Judging others destroys compassion and unity.
  4. Seeing the faults of others, blinds the disciple to his own greater failings.
  5. Jesus wants his disciple to stop judging and to start cleansing his own soul.
  6. Once purified, he can purify others.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how falsely I judge others.
  • Remove my critical spirit.
  • Let me excuse the faults of others, not magnify them.
  • Fill me with your compassion and mercy.
  • If I do not judge, you will not judge me.
  • Make me a little child, O Jesus, who sees goodness in every person.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Look at your relationships. What can you do to improve them?

+ Seek a child-like spirit that overlooks evil.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Do not judge, so you will not be judged.

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2022 – MOST HOLY BODY & BLOOD OF CHRIST – LOAVES AND FISHES (Lk 9:11-17)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Multiply your gifts within me.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus feeding the crowds.

Context:

This is the first of two multiplications of food in Mark’s gospel (one for a Jewish crowd and the other for Gentiles). This miracle is told in all four gospels (therefore, very important) and told six times altogether. It is so central because it prefigures Jesus’ gift of Eucharist. Epiphany means manifestation and these gospels are Jesus’ manifesting himself.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus spoke to the crowds of the Reign of God and he healed all who were in need of healing. As the day came to an end, the twelve said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the neighboring villages and buy some food, because here, we are in a deserted place.”

But Jesus said to them, “You give them to eat.” They said, “We have only five barley loaves and two fishes, unless we go and buy food for the crowd.” There were about five thousand men.  Jesus told his disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” So, they made them all sit down.

Taking the five loaves and two fishes, he looked up to heaven and blessed them. He broke and distributed to his disciples to give to the crowd. They all ate and were filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of fragments that were left over.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus does two things. He preaches and he heals.
  2. The crowd responds. They pass the whole day with Jesus, heedless of even their need to eat.
  3. Jesus will provide a great abundance, supernaturally.
  4. The disciples’ thinking lacks faith. They want to solve the problem in a natural way
  5. Jesus blessing and breaking the bread will happen again at the Last Supper. This miracle previews the Eucharist.  
  6. Jesus brings all to completion. The people have their fill and twelve baskets are left over for us.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, speak to me about the reign of God.
  • O Lord, I will stay with you during the whole day of my life.
  • O Jesus, your plans for me are supernatural, beyond my greatest dreams.
  • Every day, you multiply the bread from heaven. Help me to love the Eucharist.
  • Complete your work in me.Bring all to an abundance.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will seek out Jesus’ teachings.

+ I will seek Holy Communion every day.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have?”

He blessed them, broke them and gave them to the disciples to distribute.