WEEK TWELVE – THURSDAY – JUNE 24, 2021 – Nativity of St. 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, “Zechariah”. 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 23, 2021 – 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 22, 2021 – 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 search 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 21, 2021 – 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. 

TWELFTH SUNDAY (B) – JUNE 20, 2021 – POWER OVER THE SEA (MK 4:35-41)

Prayer:

O Jesus, calm the storms in my life. 

Imagination:

Picture the fearful disciples and Jesus calming the sea. 

Context:

Mark begins a series of 5 stories showing Jesus’ power. The focus is on the disciples waking Jesus up to perform the miracle and their awe at his power when he does so.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When evening came, Jesus said, “Let us go to the other side.” Jesus dispersed the crowd and they took him in their boat. There were also other boats. A windy storm blew up and the waves beat against the boat which filled up with water. 

Jesus was in the rear part, asleep on a pillow. They woke him up and said, “Master, are you not concerned that we could die?” Getting up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.” The wind ceased and the sea became calm. 

Jesus said to them. “Why are you fearful? Are you lacking in faith?” They were very much afraid and said to one another, “Who is he whom even the wind and the sea obey?” 

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. If they had more faith, they would have left him sleeping. 
  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. 
  • Lord, when I awaken you, you always help me. 
  • Give me greater faith. I will let you sleep during my storms. 
  • 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: (Possibly you might want to make your own.) 

+ 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 ELEVEN – SATURDAY – JUNE 19, 2021 – TRUSTING THE FATHER (MT 6:24-34)

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:

Having told the disciples not to store up earthly treasures, Jesus responds to their questions about gaining the necessities of life.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Oh, you of little faith. Do not worry and ask “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. 
  2. Jesus explains that the Heavenly Father knows and cares about the disciples’ human needs. 
  3. Disciples are different, they must have a total faith in God’s Providence. 
  4. The disciple must seek first the Kingdom. Then he will have all the food, drink and clothing that God will provide. 
  5. The disciple must never worry about a tomorrow (which never comes). The Father provides what is needed for each day. 

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

  • Jesus, when I have little faith, I am anxious. When I have great faith, I am at peace. 
  • Lord, give me great faith. Give me others who believe. 
  • Jesus, calm my inner anxieties. 
  • Father, why do I not trust you? Did you not create me? Will you not provide? 
  • Jesus, your guidance is clear. 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.)

+ Do I seek first God’s Kingdom? That is my question today. 

+ 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 ELEVEN – FRIDAY – JUNE 18, 2021 – LAYING UP HEAVENLY TREASURES (MT 6:19-23)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to treasure heavenly riches. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching His disciples to treasure heaven.

Context:

These sayings of Jesus have a common theme. He wants the disciples to have a singleness of purpose, totally serving God and not being distracted by earthly cares.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

“Do not lay up earthly treasures for yourselves. Rust and moth corrode and thieves break in and steal. Instead, store up treasures in heaven where rust and moth do not corrode and thieves cannot break in and steal. Remember, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

The eye is the light of the body. If it is well, you will be in light. If the eye is evil, then you will be in darkness. 

No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or love one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 

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

  1. Where is your treasure? On earth or in heaven? 
  2. Why seek earthly treasures? Do they not fade? 
  3. Have the right desires, and you will walk in light. 
  4. Seek evil, and you walk in darkness. 
  5. Do not try to serve two masters. Jesus says it is impossible. 
  6. If you love Jesus, money will not be your master but your servant. 

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

  • O Holy Spirit, show me my heart. What treasure do I seek, earthly or heavenly? 
  • O Lord, remove the attraction which earthly treasures have over me. 
  • O Jesus, you offer me heavenly treasures. These I will seek. 
  • Purify my desires. Then, I will walk in light. 
  • Do not let darkness enter my heart. 
  • O Jesus, why should I choose to serve any other master? 
  • I will no longer serve money. It cannot buy eternal life. 

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

+ I will ask myself, “Which master do I serve?” 

+ I will store up heavenly treasures. 

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

You cannot serve both God and money. 

WEEK ELEVEN – THURSDAY – JUNE 17, 2021 – HOW TO PRAY (MT. 6:7-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to pray as you prayed. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching His disciples the Our Father. 

Context:

The Lord’s prayer has seven petitions. The first three – “hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done” are really the same, asking Jesus to return in glory. The last four petitions focus on what you need to gain the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

When you pray do not use many words, for the Heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask. When you pray, say: 

“Our Father, who are in heaven. Hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” 

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

  1. In the Our Father, Jesus shows you what you should desire. 
  2. The Heavenly Father and His Kingdom must come first. 
  3. You must seek the Father’s will in all situations. 
  4. You must receive the daily bread of the Eucharist. 
  5. You need your sins forgiven to gain the Kingdom. 
  6. You must forgive all who have hurt you. 
  7. You must persevere in all trials and temptations. 
  8. The saints said this prayer slowly and devoutly. 

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

  • O Jesus, focus all my desires upon your Kingdom. 
  • O Father, I will live for your glory. 
  • Lord, let your Kingdom break into my life. 
  • Jesus, reveal the Father’s will. I will do it always. 
  • Give me a hunger for daily Eucharist. 
  • I forgive everyone, Lord. Everyone! 
  • O Jesus, help me in my temptations. 
  • Lessen the trials so I persevere. 

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

+ I will make the Our Father my daily prayer. 

+ I will make Holy Communion my daily food. 

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

When you pray do not use many words. 

WEEK ELEVEN – WEDNESDAY – JUNE 16, 2021 – ACTING IN SECRET (MT 6:1-6)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to act in secret. I do not want to lose my reward. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the disciples how to gain their reward. 

Context:

Jesus contrasts Christian goodness with the goodness of the Pharisees. He highlights doing good deeds in secret, with purity of intention.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Do not perform good deeds before men so you can be seen by them. If so, you will receive no reward from your Heavenly Father. 

When you give an alms, do not blow a trumpet, as hypocrites do. They already have their reward. Give your alms in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you. 

When you pray, go to your room and pray in secret. Your Father who sees in secret, will repay you. 

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

  1. Your heart is very twisted. You often do good deeds to be seen by others. 
  2. Acting in secret removes this evil and purifies your intention. 
  3. When done in secret, your good deeds belong totally to the Father. 
  4. You preserve the true goodness of your alms and your prayer. 
  5. In demanding secrecy, Jesus has one goal. He wants you to receive the Heavenly Father’s reward. 

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

  • O Lord, purify my selfish motives. 
  • O Jesus, how many times I value men’s esteem more than the Father’s rewards. 
  • Let me hide myself from everyone but the Father. 
  • O Father, you wait for me to come to you in secrecy, unknown to others. 
  • Where is my heart, O Lord? What do I seek? Earthly esteem or heavenly glory? 
  • O Jesus, you emptied yourself. I, too, will empty myself to grasp heaven’s reward. 

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

+ I will try to see the inner movements of my heart. 

+ I will do all for the Father’s glory. 

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

The Heavenly Father who sees in secret will repay you. 

WEEK ELEVEN – TUESDAY – JUNE 15, 2016 – LOVE YOUR ENEMIES (MT 5:43-48)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Make me perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus asking the disciples to imitate the Father. 

Context:

Jesus continues his demands concerning goodness towards enemies. He contrasts his disciple with the pagans and demands a greater holiness. At the end, Jesus reveals his goal. He wants the disciple to be as perfect as the Heavenly Father. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

You have heard it said, “You shall love your neighbor but hate your enemy.” I say to you “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you and insult you. In this way, you can be children of your Heavenly Father. He makes the sun rise on the good and the bad. He makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust. 

If you love those who love you, what reward shall you have? Do not even sinners do this? If you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not even the pagans do that? You must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 

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

  1. Jesus leads you to the height of holiness. 
  2. At this new height, Jesus asks you to love everyone and to exclude all hatred. 
  3. He offers you the highest reward. You will be a child of the Heavenly Father. 
  4. Look at how God acts. He sends his sun and his rain on everyone, good or bad. 
  5. Jesus wants you to act in every situation as the Father would act. 

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

  • Jesus, lead me to the heights of holiness. 
  • O Jesus, give me a new way to live. 
  • Let your love cast out all my hatred. Make me a child of the Heavenly Father. 
  • I will shower my love, my blessings, my goods upon everyone. 
  • You call me to be perfect as the Father. I will begin right now. Walk with me, Jesus. 
  • O Jesus, loving my friends is natural. Even sinners do that. Loving my enemies will be my new goal. 

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

+ I will let everyone into my heart this day. 

+ I will remove my hatred and critical spirit. 

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

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

WEEK ELEVEN – MONDAY – JUNE 14, 2021 – AGAINST EXCLUSIVITY (MT 5:38-42)

Prayer:

O Jesus, overcome in me any desire to exclude others.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching John and the other Eleven.

Context:

Jesus has just spoken about service within the Christian community. He now teaches about relating to those outside the Community. Jesus rejects a close-mindedness that would result in exclusivity. He wants the community to be open to all.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

John said to Jesus, “Master we saw someone casting out a devil in your name. We tried to stop him because he was not one of us.”

Jesus said, “Do not stop him. For no one can do a miracle in my name, and at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us.”

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

  1. Jesus’ power is all over the world. If anyone uses Jesus’ name with the right intention, God will act.
  2. John is narrow-minded, believing that only members of the inner circle should have these powers.
  3. He should have rejoiced to see someone invoking Jesus’ power.
  4. Jesus rejects John’s criterion that “he is not one of us.” A personal love for Jesus suffices to join everyone to the community.
  5. This exorcist knew that Jesus’ name has power.
  6. Having used his lips to invoke Jesus’ name, he cannot speak against Jesus.

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

  • O Lord, let me use your name to seek the blessings of heaven.
  • Jesus, I love you. Include me among your disciples.
  • Sanctify my lips so my words bless others.
  • Jesus, place the whole world in my heart. Help me to embrace all.
  • Give me your powers and I will cast out demons in your name.

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

+ I will use the name of Jesus to cast out the evil I encounter today.

+ I will open my heart to everyone of good will.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Anyone who is not against us is with us.

WEEK ELEVEN – SUNDAY (B) – JUNE 13, 2021 – SEEDS OF THE KINGDOM (MK 4:26-34)

Prayer:

O Jesus, plant your Kingdom in my heart. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. 

Context:

Jesus uses two parables concerning seeds to show the power of the Kingdom. In the first parable, the farmer does nothing but “go to bed.” In the second parable, the tiniest seed produces the “largest of trees.” 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man casting seed on the earth. He goes to bed and gets up, day after day. The seed grows but he does not know how because the earth itself brings forth first the blade, then the ear and then the wheat in the ear. When the crop is ready, he immediately wields the sickle because the harvest has come.” 

Jesus also said, “What comparison can we use for the Kingdom of God? Or what image can we use to portray it? It is like a grain of mustard seed planted in the earth, the smallest of all the seeds. When it grows, it becomes the largest of shrubs and gives off great branches so all the birds of the air live under its shadow.” 

By means of these parables he taught the crowds the message in the way that they could understand. When alone with the disciples, he explained things privately. 

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

  1. Jesus explains great mysteries by using images that people easily understand. 
  2. The farmer does two things. He plants the seed, and he harvests the crop. 
  3. He does not even understand the important part of the process (the seed growing). He just goes to bed. 
  4. Meanwhile, the seeds grow perfectly according to the right stages of blade, ear and wheat. 
  5. The mustard seed contains the same mystery. What a difference between the small beginning and the final result. No one does anything. They do not even harvest it. 

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

  • O Jesus, your teaching is easy to understand. 
  • Lord, open my heart to your Kingdom and allow it to grow within me. 
  • O Jesus, the abundance comes from the powerful Kingdom that you gave me in Baptism. 
  • Only Your Kingdom gives my life its full purpose. 
  • How much I will accomplish if I allow your seeds to grow! 
  • If I yield to your Kingdom, you will bless many others. 

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

+ I will totally trust the power of the Kingdom. 

+ I will believe that God wants to accomplish great things through me. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The seed grows by itself and the farmer knows nothing. 

WEEK TEN – SATURDAY – JUNE 12, 2021 – 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 and 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 TEN – FRIDAY – JUNE 11, 2021 – MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS – THE PIERCED HEART (Jn 19:31-37)

Prayer:

O Jesus, pierce my heart with your love. 

Imagination:

Picture Mary and the Beloved Disciple watching the Centurion pierce Jesus’ heart.

Context:

Sometimes, the Romans let the bodies stay on the cross for days. Since the Passover falls on a Saturday (the Sabbath), Pilate accepts the request that all the crucified be killed. The death was caused by the brutal breaking of legs. However, Jesus is the Passover Lamb (whose bones were not to be broken). That the blood and water would flow out is medically true. Here, they symbolize Baptism and Eucharist. The Church was born from Christ’s side just as Eve came from Adam’s side. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Since it was the Preparation Day, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross for the Sabbath, for that Sabbath was a solemn feast day. So, they asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and the bodies taken away. So, the soldiers came and broke the legs of those who were crucified with him. However, when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead. So, they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers thrust a lance into his side and immediately, there came out blood and water. 

This testimony has been given by an eyewitness and his testimony is true. He says what he knows is true so that you may believe. These events took place so that Scripture would be fulfilled. “Break none of his bones.” Another scripture passage says, “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.” 

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

  1. The heavenly Father uses every event for his plans. 
  2. The time is short. The Passover is about to begin. The bodies must be removed. 
  3. Jesus is dead, yet he wants to give even more of Himself to us. 
  4. His side is pierced so that we can enter his heart. 
  5. The water and blood symbolize Baptism and Eucharist, Jesus’ first gifts to us. 
  6. The gospel writer (the Beloved Disciple) sees this piercing to record it for us. 
  7. Jesus is the new Passover Lamb. His bones also will not be broken. 
  8. They look upon Jesus to receive divine mercy flowing from his side. 

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

  • O God, You know exactly when everything must happen. 
  • O Jesus, after dying for me, you give me even more. 
  • Your heart is open! I will enter quickly. 
  • Thank you, Jesus, for the sacraments. They are streams of grace. 
  • O Jesus, let me cherish the gospels, based on what eyewitnesses saw. 
  • You are my Passover Lamb, the meal of my redemption. 
  • I look at Your cross and divine mercy flows out. 

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

+ I will seek a true devotion to Jesus’ Sacred Heart. 

+ I will love the Church, Christ’s Bride, born from his side. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The soldier thrust a lance. Blood and water flowed from his side. 

WEEK TEN – THURSDAY – JUNE 10, 2021 – ANGER (MT 5:20-26)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Let your gentleness overcome my anger. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to reconcile.

Context:

Jesus teaches a “greater goodness” which is demanded by the holiness of this new Kingdom. In this gospel, he compares the Old Testament teaching on anger and his new teaching. Jesus desires a oneness among his disciples by avoiding anger.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus taught the disciples about anger, saying, “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not kill’ and ‘Whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of judgment. Whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raqa’ shall be in danger of the council. Whoever shall say ‘You fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 

If you come to the altar to offer your gift and remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your offering before the altar and go first to be reconciled to your brother. Then come and offer your gift.” 

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

  1. Jesus raises the Old Law to a new level and invites the disciples to live at that new height. 
  2. The law commanded only external compliance. Jesus’ Kingdom goes much deeper into the disciples’ hearts. 
  3. Jesus’ disciples must remove their inner anger. Then violence will cease. 
  4. He forbids angry words so that hatred has no hold. 
  5. He even demands that the temple sacrifices be delayed until the disciples reconcile. 
  6. Jesus gives new precedents and requires total selflessness. 

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

  • Jesus, make me gentle. 
  • Save me, O Lord, from the violent waters of anger. Bring me to the restful waters of your Spirit. 
  • Even on the cross, you spoke no angry word. You were silent as a lamb going to the slaughter. 
  • Release a river of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation within me. 
  • Reconcile me to all of my family and friends. 
  • O Jesus, I will drink deeply of your forgiveness. 

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

+ Today, I will forgive everyone who hurts me. 

+ I will reconcile with my enemies wherever possible. 

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

Leave your gift at the altar and go to be reconciled with your brother. 

WEEK TEN – WEDNESDAY – JUNE 9, 2021 – THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS (MT 5:17-20)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Make me great in Jesus’ Kingdom. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples about following the Law and the Prophets. 

Context:

“Law and prophets” means the whole Old Testament. Jesus wants his Church to retain these books and teach them to his disciples. At the same time, these books are not God’s final word or his greatest gift because Jesus “fulfills” these laws and prophetic words.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Amen I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter, not even the smallest part of the letter will pass away, until all is fulfilled. 

Whoever shall break one of these least commandments and teach others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever shall keep them and teach others to do so, shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven. 

I tell you that unless your goodness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” 

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

  1. Jesus makes us God’s children. 
  2. The disciple must keep God’s word in the law and the prophets. 
  3. They must also teach others to live by God’s word. 
  4. Then they will be great in the Kingdom. They will be both doers and teachers. 
  5. As disciples they must go beyond the limited goodness of the scribes and Pharisees. 
  6. Their tasks are heavy but their reward is great. They will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

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

  • O Jesus, you have made me a child of the Father. 
  • Train me in your word, O Lord. Plant your truth in my heart. 
  • Let your word be a lamp for my feet and a guide for my path. 
  • Give me a zeal to instruct others in your word. 
  • May your power make me a doer of your word. 
  • You call me to be great in the Kingdom. I cherish your invitation. 

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

+ I will examine where I do not keep God’s law. 

+ I will read the Old Testament to see God’s words to Israel. 

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

Whoever keeps these commandments and teaches others will be great in the Kingdom. 

WEEK TEN – TUESDAY – JUNE 8, 2021 – SALT AND LIGHT (MT 5:13-16)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, bless me so I can bless others. Enlighten me so I can show others the way. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples. 

Context:

Jesus uses two images, (salt and light) to describe the good works of a true disciple. These works will manifest the Father’s goodness. Then others who have no faith will thank God. The images can also be negative. What if the salt loses its flavor or the light is hidden. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

You are the salt of the earth. However, if the salt loses its taste, how will it be salted? It is good only to be cast out and trampled underfoot. 

You are the light of the world. Men do not light a candle and put it under a basket, but upon the lampstand so that it can shine for all in the house. 

So your light must shine before men that they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

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

  1. Jesus calls the disciples to a higher level of moral ideals. If they live this way, all human life will be different. 
  2. If they do not, then they are useless and of no help to the world. 
  3. Jesus is the light of the world but he shares this power with the disciples. They, too, must be a light in the darkness. 
  4. They must not hide their light. Others must see their new lifestyle and embrace higher ideals. 
  5. If they truly live as disciples, people will glimpse how the Father loves them. Then, the whole world will glorify God. 

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

  • O Jesus, help me live up to the demands of being your disciple. 
  • Change me. Make me new, then others will change. 
  • Let me live in the light. Make me a child of the light. 
  • I will not hide my goodness. I will not fear what others think. 
  • Let my goodness be a good example to those who walk in darkness. 
  • Let all the earth glorify God. This is my goal. 

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

+ I will read chapters five and six in Matthew’s gospel to discover what Jesus expects of me. 

+ By my deeds and words, I will try to bring light to others. 

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

Put your light on the lampstand to shine for all in the house. 

WEEK TEN – MONDAY – JUNE 7, 2021 – THE FIRST FOUR BEATITUDES – (MT 5:1-5, 12)

Prayer:

O Jesus, call me to a special goodness and help me to be a faithful disciple. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus preaching to the disciples. 

Context:

Matthew’s teachings are broken into five sections, (like the five books of Moses). The beatitudes are Jesus’ first major teaching. Matthew, seeing a decline in fervor in his church, sets a high level of morality. He calls this “the greater righteousness.” We will pray these beatitudes in 2 parts. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain. After he sat down, his disciples gathered and he began to teach them. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit; the Kingdom of heaven is theirs. 

Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the land. 

Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted. 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill. 

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

  1. Climbing the mountain and sitting down show the authority of Jesus in these teachings. 
  2. He teaches his disciples. They must know what is required of those seeking the Kingdom. 
  3. To be rich in the Kingdom, the disciples must be poor in their own spirit. 
  4. To gain everything, the disciples must not claim anything as their own. 
  5. To be comforted in a surprising way, they must be sorrowful when people do not accept the Kingdom. 
  6. To be made holy, they must hunger and thirst for Jesus’ new righteousness. 

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

  • O Jesus, use your authority. Establish your Kingdom in my heart. 
  • Teach me, Jesus. I will listen attentively. I want to be your disciple. 
  • To gain your Kingdom, I will leave everything behind. 
  • If I claim nothing. You will give me every treasure of the Kingdom. 
  • O Jesus, so many people reject you. What can I do to extend your Kingdom? 
  • I want only to be close to you. What else should I seek? You are Jesus of Nazareth. 

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

+ I will say often, “Your Kingdom come.” 

+ I will have only Jesus as my teacher. 

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

The disciples gathered around Jesus and he began to teach them. 

SUNDAY – JUNE 6, 2021 – MOST HOLY BODY & BLOOD OF CHRIST – (Mk 14:12-16 and 22-26)

Prayer:

O Jesus, prepare my heart for Holy Communion. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at the Last Supper with his apostles. 

Context:

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and preached there during Holy Week. Knowing that he would be crucified, he gathers his apostles for his Last Supper. Then, he gives his greatest gift, his own Body and Blood as their food and drink.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

On the first day of the Unleavened Bread, when the Passover was sacrificed, his disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to go to prepare the Passover supper for you?” He said to two disciples, “Go into the city. There you will find a man carrying a water jar. Follow him and whatever house he enters, say to the owner, The Master says, ‘Where is the guestroom where I might eat my Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, furnished and all in order. There you will prepare a place for us.” 

The disciples went off. When they arrived at the city, they found it exactly as Jesus said and they prepared the Passover supper. 

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke and gave it to them saying, “Take this. This is my body.” Taking the chalice and giving thanks, he gave it to them. They all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which shall be shed for many. Amen I say to you, that I will no more drink of the wine until that day when I drink it anew in the Kingdom of God.” After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 

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

  1. The Passover is the most important night, the greatest moment. 
  2. The special preparations are a sign of the importance of this meal. 
  3. The Upper Room becomes very holy – the place of the Eucharist, of appearances by the Risen Jesus and of the descent of the Spirit. What a room! 
  4. It is large and well furnished, worthy of its greatness in history. 
  5. Jesus’ giving is total. He gives his body, his blood, his life, his soul, and his divinity. All are present in the Eucharist. 
  6. This meal inaugurates the Kingdom. A covenant of blood exists between God and man. 
  7. This covenant is heavenly, looking forward to the new wine of the Kingdom. 
  8. The night ends with singing and then that fateful walk to the Garden of Gethsemane. 

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

  • O Jesus, I will prepare my heart. It will become a large room furnished with the greatest of virtues. 
  • O Jesus, you give yourself totally. I will give myself totally to you. 
  • In this Eucharist, You come. You are in our midst. 
  • You make a covenant with me, a pledge of eternal life in your Kingdom. 
  • O Jesus, I must sing. My heart overflows at this banquet. 
  • Prepare me for my suffering and death. 

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

+ I will attend Mass as often as possible, even daily. 

+ I will offer my body and blood to Jesus. 

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

Take and eat. Take and drink. 

WEEK NINE – SATURDAY – JUNE 5, 2021 – THE WIDOW’S MITE (MK 12:38-44)

Prayer:

O Jesus, to you I give all I have. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus in the temple with his disciples. 

Context:

This gospel joins two different scenes, which describe two contrasting groups. The scribes want everyone to see their goodness while secretly they steal widows’ money. The widow, on the contrary, gives her money in secret. She is the saving hope of Israel.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to the disciples, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk in long robes and to be saluted in the market-places. They want to sit in the first chairs in the synagogue and to have the places of honor at banquets. They devour the savings of widows and recite long prayers for appearance sake. They will receive the greatest judgment.” 

Taking a seat opposite the treasury, Jesus saw the people putting their money into the treasury. The wealthy put in sizeable amounts. A poor widow came and put in two mites, worth about a penny. Calling his disciples, Jesus said, “Amen I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. The others put in from their abundance, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on.” 

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

  1. Jesus’ criticism of the temple authorities reaches a high point. There is no hope of their repentance. 
  2. They are hypocrites, wanting to look devout yet with rapacious hearts. 
  3. He does not want his disciples to imitate their practices. 
  4. This temple scene involves money and rich people, whose hearts are still attached to their wealth. 
  5. The widow is different. Her gift is total. She despoils herself, and trusts in God. 
  6. She is an image of Jesus. In a few days, he will lay down his life for the world. 

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

  • O Jesus, do not let my heart grow hardened. 
  • Let me not imitate the world’s selfishness. 
  • Jesus, I will always be loyal to you and generous to your people. 
  • Detach my heart from my wealth. Let me not cling to my possessions. Empty me. 
  • I will give you everything, until I have nothing left. Then, we will walk together. 

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

+ I will examine my use of money. 

+ I will be totally honest and sincere in all my dealings. 

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

She has given from her need. All she had to live on.