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. 

WEEK NINE – FRIDAY – JUNE 4, 2021 – THE SON OF DAVID (MK 12:35-37)

Prayer:

O Jesus, You alone are my Lord. 

Imagination:

Imagine Jesus teaching in the temple. 

Context:

While Jesus is teaching in the temple, he is constantly challenged. After silencing all his critics, he goes on the offensive. He raises the question of the true relationship of David to the Messiah and says that the Messiah is David’s Lord.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David?” David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: 

“The Lord said to my Lord, 

Sit at my right hand 

Until I place your enemies under your feet.” 

If David himself calls him “Lord,” how is he the son of David? The great crowd heard this with delight. 

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

  1. Israel knew that the Messiah would come from the line of David. 
  2. Logically, David should be greater than the Messiah, who would only participate in David’s royal power. 
  3. Jesus challenges this belief. David himself called the messiah, “Lord.” 
  4. Jesus reveals a startling truth. The Messiah is greater than David. He is divine. He is David’s Lord. 
  5. This messiah will sit at God’s right hand and rule over all his enemies. 
  6. The scribes do not grasp the greatness of Jesus. 
  7. The crowds delight to see the scribes vanquished by Jesus’ wisdom. 

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

  • O Jesus, I know who you are. You are the eternal Son of God. 
  • You are the Messiah, the anointed one, the Saviour of all mankind. 
  • You are “My Lord,” and I choose you to rule over me. 
  • You are greater than David. You are greater than any earthly king. You are my king of kings. 
  • O Jesus, you sit at the Father’s right hand and you have a place for me in your Kingdom. 
  • You crush all my enemies. They are “at your feet.”
  • I delight in you, Jesus. I rejoice in who you are and what you do for me. 

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

+ I will ask Jesus today to be my king. 

+ I will picture Jesus in glory and ask to join him. 

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

David himself calls him, “Lord.” 

WEEK NINE – THURSDAY – JUNE 3, 2021 – THE SINCERE SCRIBE (MK 12:28-34)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I want to love you with all my heart and soul. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking with this good-willed scribe. 

Context:

This scribe is not hostile. His question is sincere. He searches for the most important commandment. Jesus quotes the great prayer which he himself recited each day. This had brought the scribe close to Jesus’ Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

One of the scribes asked Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied: “This is the first: ‘Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There are no other commandments greater than these.” 

The scribe said to Jesus, “Excellent Teacher, you are right in saying, ‘He is one and there is no other than He.’ Yes, to love him with all our heart and all our mind and all our soul and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourself is worth more than any burnt offering and sacrifice.’” Jesus approved his answer and told him, “You are not far from the reign of God.” And no one had the courage to ask him any more questions. 

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

  1. This scribe comes with a docile spirit. His question is fair and he accepts Jesus’ answer. 
  2. To emphasize this total consecration to God alone, Jews multiply images – heart, mind, will, strength. 
  3. Jesus adds a surprise. To this great commandment (known by all), he adds a second command, to love our neighbor. 
  4. In these two commands, Jesus has summed up his whole gospel. 
  5. The scribe agrees. Loving God and neighbor are more important than even temple sacrifices. 
  6. The scribe is close to the Kingdom. Now, he needs only to believe that Jesus is Messiah and Lord. 

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

  1. O Jesus, I consecrate myself to you – heart and mind, soul and strength. Anything less is unworthy of you. 
  2. O Jesus, give me a spirit docile to your commands. 
  3. O Jesus, when you enter my heart so does the whole world. Everyone becomes my neighbor. 
  4. You loved totally – even to your death on the cross. 
  5. Love is a total immolation. O Jesus, I offer you my heart. 
  6. You are love, Jesus. I choose you as the bridegroom of my soul. 

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

+ I will set aside time today for God alone. 

+ I will love my neighbor in thought, word and deed. 

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

Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is Lord alone. 

WEEK NINE – WEDNESDAY – JUNE 2, 2021 – LIVING LIKE ANGELS (MK 12:18-27)

Prayer:

O Lord, I want to live with you forever in heaven. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.

Context:

The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead. They present to Jesus what seems to us a foolish problem. A woman marries seven times. After each husband dies, she marries again. The Sadducees want to know whose wife she will be in heaven. In refuting their argument, Jesus explains life in heaven.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some Sadducees confronted Jesus (the ones who do not believe in the resurrection). They spoke of seven brothers who married this woman, beginning with the eldest. Each husband died and, then, the woman died. They asked, “At the resurrection, when they all come back to life, whose wife will she be?” 

Jesus said to them, “You are badly misled because you fail to understand the scriptures or the power of God. When people rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but live like angels in heaven. 

As to the raising of the dead, have you not read what Moses wrote in the passage about the burning bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob?’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead. You are mistaken.” 

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

  1. Heaven is much greater than earth. 
  2. The Sadducees did not realize how God’s power forms our glorified, risen body. 
  3. Jesus sees heaven in all its reality. To have a spouse and children helps our earthly loneliness. With God in heaven, no one is lonely. All are rejoicing. 
  4. The risen body enjoys all the privileges of angels. 
  5. The person is totally changed into a son of the resurrection and a son of God. 
  6. At the burning bush, God identified himself with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had gained heavenly life. This is our goal. 

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

  • O Jesus, someday you will give me a glorified, risen body just like yours. 
  • Jesus, in heaven my heart will be filled with your love. 
  • I will not suffer. I will not die. I will live forever with you, Jesus. 
  • Help me, Lord, to do everything possible so I am judged worthy of this “age to come”. 
  • You will change me, Jesus. By your resurrection, I will be a son of glory and a son of the eternal Father. 
  • You will give me life in abundance. I will watch and wait for your coming. 

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

+ Today, I will think often of my heavenly home. 

+ I will think of what steps I can take to be found worthy. 

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

They live like angels in heaven. 

WEEK NINE ORDINARY TIME – TUESDAY – JUNE 1, 2021 – RENDER TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S (MK 12:13-17)

Prayer:

O Lord, let me give you everything. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus confronted by the Pharisees.

Context:

Israel had two political groups. One sought total allegiance to Rome. Others sought independence, even by war if necessary. The Pharisees, by this question, hope to trip Jesus, forcing him to take one political position or another. By using the coin, Jesus evades the question, and gives a clear principal to decide these political questions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Pharisees talked among themselves about how to ensnare Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples with the Herodians saying, ‘Master, we know you are truthful and teach God’s way sincerely. You seek no one’s favor and do not act out of human respect. Therefore, tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not? Jesus, knowing their hypocrisy said, “Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” 

When they handed him a small Roman coin, he asked them, “Whose inscription is this?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. He said, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Their amazement knew no bounds. 

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

  1. The Pharisees are not open to Jesus’ word because they have their own ideas. 
  2. They begin with flattery, trying to hide their inner wickedness. 
  3. What they say is true. Jesus is truthful, a man from God, who does not seek human favor. 
  4. Jesus reads their hearts. They are hypocrites, pretending to be his friend but ready to betray him. 
  5. They bring forth their deadly question, which is meant to destroy Jesus’ popularity. 
  6. Jesus’ wisdom is greater and he wins the debate. 
  7. What is important is that we give God all we owe. 

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

  • Jesus, change my heart, make it open to your word. 
  • Reveal my inner wickedness. Strip me of all pretense. Let me stand naked in your truth. 
  • O Jesus, you have come from God and you have returned to God. You are my way to the Father. 
  • O Jesus, I surrender all my rights into your loving hands. Whom else should I trust? 
  • What do I owe you, Lord? Everything! 

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

+ I will see Jesus as the One sent by the Father. 

+ I will give Jesus all that is his. 

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

Render to God what is God’s. 

MONDAY – MAY 31, 2021 – Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – MARY VISITS ELIZABETH (LK 1:39-56)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Fill me with your joy. 

Imagination:

Picture Mary entering Zechariah’s house.

Context:

This story contains many truths. First, Jesus begins his sanctifying ministry. Second, John begins his ministry, pointing out Jesus to his mother. Third, this is an early picture of Pentecost. All are filled with the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Mary went quickly into the hill country of Judea, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and cried out in a loud voice: “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For the moment that your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you, for you have believed that the Lord’s words to you would be fulfilled.” 

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

  1. Jesus begins immediately to sanctify the world. Mary is his first missionary. 
  2. John the Baptist begins his ministry pointing out the Christ to his mother. 
  3. Pentecost comes early. All are filled with the Holy Spirit. 
  4. Many years later, the apostles will gather with Mary and receive the Spirit at Pentecost. 
  5. By prophetic revelation, Elizabeth knows that Mary is the mother of God. 
  6. These two women hold all of history in their wombs. 
  7. Elizabeth has the Precursor and Mary has the Saviour. 

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

  • O Jesus, you begin immediately to save the world. 
  • O Mary, bring Jesus quickly to me. 
  • Holy Spirit, fill me with joy. 
  • Mary, invite me into your womb, the new garden of Eden, where Jesus has placed every treasure. 
  • Mary, help me to believe God’s word. 
  • O Mary, share with me the Spirit of Pentecost. 

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

+ Today, I will use Elizabeth’s words to praise Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” 

+ I will ponder the mystery that God placed all human history in Mary’s womb. 

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

Blessed are you who believed that the Lord’s words to you would be fulfilled.

SUNDAY (B) – MAY 30, 2021 – THE MOST HOLY TRINITY – THE FINAL COMMAND (Mt 28:16-20)

Prayer:

O Jesus, send me to the nations. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus on the mountain with his disciples. 

Context:

This is Jesus final appearance to the disciples. Even now, some still doubt his resurrection. Even with their unbelief, Jesus chooses them as his messengers to preach to the whole world and to baptize the nations.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

The eleven disciples made their way to Galilee to the mountain where Jesus had summoned them. When they saw him, even those who doubted, did him homage. 

Jesus said to them, “Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. Know that I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.” 

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

  1. These eleven apostles are very important to Jesus. They are the foundations of his church. 
  2. He is Lord and King and He summons them. This is a command performance. 
  3. He calls them up the mountain, the symbol of man’s relationship with God. 
  4. Many are still entangled in their doubts. What kind of preachers would they be? 
  5. Seeing the Risen Jesus brings faith. They adore Jesus. Now, they are ready to preach. 
  6. Jesus describes his new status. He is the Risen Lord, having all authority everywhere. 
  7. He gives two commands. The disciples are to teach the people and to baptize them into the Church. 
  8. What began on this mountain 2000 years ago continues to this day. Jesus is preached and people are baptized. 

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

  • O Jesus, I am important to you. You have a task for me. 
  • Summon me into your presence, Jesus. I will gladly come. 
  • O Jesus, you have all authority and all power. 
  • All must hear about you. I will tell the whole world. 
  • Make me your fervent disciple and I will make other disciples. 
  • Jesus, you do not pass away. Your authority is forever. 
  • You are with me, Jesus, stay in my heart. 

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

+ I will gladly be a disciple under Jesus’ authority. 

+ I will try to make others his disciples. 

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

I am with you always, even until the end of the world.

SATURDAY – MAY 29, 2021 – WHAT ABOUT JOHN’S BAPTISM? (Mk 11:27-33)

Prayer:

O Jesus, you have all authority in heaven and earth. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the temple, confronted by the authorities. 

Context:

The day before this event, Jesus had cleansed the temple. As he returns to Jerusalem, the temple authorities want to know by what authority he took that action. He avoids a question about his authority by confronting the leaders about John the Baptist’s authority.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders asked, “By what authority do you do these things? Who has given you the authority?”

Jesus responded, “I have a question. If you answer it, I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Where did the Baptism of John come from? Did it come from man or from heaven?” 

They thought within, “If we say from heaven, he will ask ‘Then, why did you not believe?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the crowds because all believed that John was a prophet.” So they said to Jesus, “We do not know.” Jesus said to them, “Then, neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” 

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

  1. The temple leaders should have been the most receptive toward Jesus’ ministry. 
  2. In fact, their hardness of hearts and resistance was the greatest. 
  3. The temple needed a cleansing and the leaders resented Jesus’ purifying action. 
  4. So, they attack the messenger, and try to discredit his message. 
  5. However, they had already made one mistake. The people accepted John the Baptist and they rejected him. 
  6. Jesus’ question burns their hearts. They know they were wrong and have no answer. 
  7. If they were mistaken about John, there is no need to reply to their question. They are discredited. 

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

  • O Jesus, make my heart receptive to your word. 
  • Cleanse my temple, Lord. I will not object at all. 
  • O Jesus, you have all authority. Your every word is eternal life. 
  • O Lord, forgive my past mistakes and lead me on your path. 
  • Burn my heart with the fire of your love. 
  • I am making no mistake. You are Messiah and Lord. 

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

+ I will give Jesus total authority over my life. 

+ I will admit my past mistakes so I do not repeat them. 

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

By what authority do you do these things? 

WEEK NINE- FRIDAY – MAY 28, 2021 – THE FIG TREE (MK 11:11 – 26)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me offer you the good fruit of my life. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus and the disciples looking at a withered fig tree. 

Context:

On the day after Palm Sunday, Jesus returns to Jerusalem. On the way, he seeks figs from a tree. Finding none, Jesus proclaims that the tree will never bring forth fruit. The next day. Peter sees the fig tree all withered up. Jesus, then, speaks about confidence in prayer.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

When Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he felt hungry. Seeing a fig tree with leaves, he went to see what he could find. He found only leaves because it was not yet the season for figs. Jesus said, “Never again shall anyone eat of your fruit.” The disciples heard all this. The next day, they saw the fig tree all withered up. Peter remembered Jesus’ words and said, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered up.” 

Jesus replied, “Put your trust in God. I solemnly assure you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’ and has no inner doubts but believes that what he says will happen, shall have it done for him. If you are ready to believe that you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer, it shall be done for you.” 

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

  1. The fig tree is an example. Disciples should always be bearing fruit. 
  2. The quickness of the action startles the apostles. It makes them ready for Jesus’ powerful teaching. 
  3. If the disciple trusts in God, and believes without any doubt, then even a mountain (far greater than a fig tree), will be thrown into the sea. 
  4. Mountains symbolize those gigantic obstacles that impede God’s goals and should be removed. 
  5. Jesus says, “Believe that you will receive.” 
  6. See what you need to serve Jesus and ask for it. 

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

  • Jesus, make me a disciple who always bears good fruit. 
  • O Jesus, teach me to believe like you, without any doubt. 
  • If I but ask, I will see your blessings. They are waiting for my petition. 
  • How many mountains in my life need to be cast into the sea! 
  • “Trust in God.” That is what you always say to me. 
  • You encourage me. You say “ask in prayer.” You even give me the words to say. 

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

+ Today, I will ask God in faith to remove the greatest mountain in my life. 

+ I will trust that the words I say in prayer share in Jesus’ power. 

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

Put your trust in God. If you are ready to believe, whatever you ask for in prayer, will be done. 

THURSDAY – MAY 27, 2021 – THE BLIND BEGGAR (MK 10:46-52)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me cry out to you in great hope. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the crowd and a beggar by the roadside. 

Context:

This journey to Jerusalem began with Jesus healing a blind man and culminates with this healing of blindness. In contrast, the disciples grow in their blindness about Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. They do not grasp his predictions of his passion. This blind man saw and followed Jesus to Jerusalem.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples, a blind man, Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting by the wayside, begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” The crowd told him to be silent but he cried out even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” 

Jesus commanded that he be brought near. The crowd said, “Take comfort. Arise. He is calling you.” He threw off his cloak, leaped up and came to Jesus. 

“What do you want me to do for you?” asked Jesus. “Rabboni, that I may see” said the blind man. Jesus said, “Go your way, your faith has saved you.” He saw immediately and followed Jesus on the way. 

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

  1. This beggar is at a severe disadvantage. He is blind, sits by the wayside, and does not even know what is happening. 
  2. However, his blindness prepares him for this moment. He grasps quickly that Jesus is his only ray of hope. 
  3. When Jesus hears his cries, the crowd changes its opinion. His crying out was the right thing to do. 
  4. With his sight restored, he sees the face of Jesus and can follow him “up the road” to Jerusalem. 
  5. What a day for Bartimaeus! A marginal, begging blind man becomes a disciple who follows Jesus. 

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

  • Lord, you will come near to me this day. 
  • O Holy Spirit, whisper within my soul, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 
  • With great hope, I will cry out to you, O Lord. 
  • You will hear me, and call me to your side. 
  • You will ask, “What is it that I can do for you?” 
  • Do everything for me, Lord! Bless me and I will “follow you on the way.” 

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

+ I will be attentive today to the Spirit speaking in my heart. 

+ I will have great hope that Jesus will hear my every cry. 

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

He saw immediately and followed Jesus on the way.

WEDNESDAY – MAY 26, 2021 – AMBITIOUS JAMES AND JOHN (MK 10:32-45)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal the glory you have prepared. 

Imagination:

Picture James and John seeking favors from Jesus. 

Context:

Jesus has just told the apostles about his future sufferings. James and John, however, are only interested in their own glory. Jesus talks about the “cup,” which means both the cup of his suffering and the Eucharistic cup celebrated in Mark’s church. Before gaining any glory, Jesus must drink this cup of suffering. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. “Master, we want you to do whatever we ask.” Jesus responded, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

“Grant that we may sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left hand in glory.” Jesus replied, “You do not know what you are seeking. Can you drink of the chalice that I will drink of or be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?”

They said, “We can.” Jesus said, “You shall indeed drink of the chalice that I drink of, and be baptized with my baptism. However, to sit at my right hand or at my left hand, is not mine to give you. It is for those for whom it is prepared.” 

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

  1. These apostles have no idea of the costs of the Kingdom’s glory. 
  2. Jesus tells them clearly. They are seeking what they do not understand. 
  3. Even with this warning, they glibly say that they can drink the chalice. 
  4. Jesus sees the future. They will run away from the chalice. 
  5. After many failures, they will be martyred. However, the highest glory is reserved for others. 
  6. Such is the Kingdom! God has already prepared each one’s place. His decisions are beyond our comprehension. 

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

  • O Jesus, enlighten me about your Kingdom. 
  • Teach me the cost of this glory. 
  • Pull me into the mystery of your will. 
  • Help me to drink your chalice. What a privilege to be baptized with your baptism of suffering! 
  • What a great mystery! You have already prepared my place in glory. 
  • O Jesus, You desire only to share your glory with me. 

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

+ I will find time for mental prayer so God can reveal the Kingdom to me. 

+ I will cherish God’s will, both on earth and in heavenly glory. 

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

The Father has already decided my place in heavenly glory.

TUESDAY – MAY 25, 2021 – RECEIVING THE HUNDRED-FOLD (MK 10:28-31)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to set aside everything for love of you. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus instructing his apostles.

Context:

A young man has walked away from Jesus because he was rich. In contrast, Peter is a model disciple who has set all aside. Jesus spells out the rewards, in this life and in eternity.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Peter said to Jesus, “Behold, we have left all things to follow you.” Jesus responded, “Amen I say to you, that there is no one who has left brothers or sisters, or fathers or mothers or children or lands for my sake and the gospel who will not receive in this age a hundred times as many homes, brothers and sisters, mothers, children and property – and persecution besides – and in the age to come, everlasting life. 

Many who are first shall be last and the last shall come first.”

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

  1. Peter says that he and the other apostles have left everything behind. 
  2. Jesus accepts Peter’s claim as true and spells out the great rewards. 
  3. The early Christians were already experiencing this hundredfold. The people who had joined the Church shared all their possessions. 
  4. By sharing their properties, people really had access to a hundred homes. 
  5. Mark slips in a warning. The disciples will be persecuted (which they already were experiencing). 
  6. The greatest rewards will be “in the age to come,” everlasting life with Jesus, and a sharing in His resurrection. 

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

  • O Jesus, teach me how to leave everything behind and follow you. 
  • O Jesus, how great are your rewards, even in this life. 
  • You give peace of soul and freedom from sins. 
  • You give me others as my brothers and sisters. This is the great blessing of devout communities. 
  • Teach me to be a brother and sister to others by sharing my life and my goods. 
  • O Jesus, persecutions will come. Be with me in my trials. 
  • What will my life be “in the age to come?” What is everlasting life? What is it like to live with you forever? Don’t let me miss out. 

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

+ I will make a sincere effort to detach myself today from some material goods. 

+ I will think about Jesus’ promises. He always keeps His word. 

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

And in the age to come, everlasting life. 

MONDAY – MAY 24, 2021 – Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church – THE PIERCED HEART (Jn 19:25 – 34)

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 Jews 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. 

PENTECOST SUNDAY – MAY 23, 2021 – JOHN’S PENTECOST (Jn 20:19-23)

Prayer:

Jesus, breathe upon me and send your Holy Spirit. 

Imagination:

Picture the Risen Jesus appearing to the fearful disciples. 

Context:

Jesus comes to the frightened disciples on Easter Sunday night. This is “John’s Pentecost,” because Jesus bestows the Holy Spirit. At Pentecost, Luke speaks of the disciples praying in tongues. John’s gospel goes deeper. Having received the Spirit, the apostles will be able to forgive sins. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Late that same day, the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be to you.” 

When He had said this, He showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Therefore, He said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I send you. Having said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, are forgiven them. Whose sins you retain, are retained.” 

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

  1. Jesus will use these disciples as the church’s foundation. 
  2. Filled with fear, they are not ready for the task. 
  3. They lock the doors. How could they go out to all the world? 
  4. How they need Jesus! 
  5. Jesus’ body has new qualities. He now comes through locked doors. 
  6. He is the same Jesus of Nazareth with wounds in his hands and side. 
  7. Seeing Jesus has immediate effects. Joy replaces fear. 
  8. Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you.” Reestablish a relationship broken by the apostles running away. 
  9. He breathes on them (as God breathed life into Adam) and gives them God’s Holy Spirit. 
  10. They share Jesus’ greatest power. They, too, can take away the sins of the world. 

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

  • O Jesus, please come. I am filled with so many fears. 
  • You are risen. You can come anywhere. Come, Lord Jesus. 
  • Jesus, say your special words in my heart, “Peace be with you.” 
  • Show me your wounds, and I will know it is you. 
  • Breathe on me, Jesus, and I will have eternal life. 
  • Send me. I will go to the whole world. 
  • Thank you for a Church which can forgive my sins, Jesus. They are so numerous. 

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

+ I will use the sacrament of Confession frequently. 

+ I will ask Jesus for his Holy Spirit. 

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

He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – MAY 22, 2021 – VOCATION OF THE BELOVED DISCIPLE (Jn 21:20-25)

Prayer:

O Jesus, draw me to your heart. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking with Peter. 

Context:

This is the final story in John’s gospel and defines the relationship between Peter and the Beloved Disciple. The Church needs authority (Peter) and faithful disciples (John). Both will remain until the end of time.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

At the Sea of Galilee, Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. This was the disciple who laid his head on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is the one who will betray you?” Peter, seeing this disciple, asked Jesus, “What will this man do?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You are to follow me.” 

The rumor went about that this disciple would not die, but Jesus did not say he would not die. He only said, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?” This is the disciple who has given testimony and has written these things. We know that his testimony is true. There are many other things which Jesus did. If all of these were written, I think the world itself could not contain all the books. 

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

  1. Jesus has told Peter that he will be martyred. The Beloved Disciple will not be. 
  2. The Beloved Disciple enjoys an intimacy with Jesus to which even Peter has no access. 
  3. Peter is curious about this relationship, but Jesus allows no discussion. 
  4. The Beloved Disciple will have his own role in the Church. 
  5. Peter is the Shepherd, the teacher, the hierarchical head. The Beloved Disciple is the faithful soul, the believer and the lover. 
  6. These faithful souls will sustain the Church until the end of the world. 
  7. The Beloved Disciple knew Jesus and wrote this gospel, to explain the great mystery. Jesus is the “Word Made Flesh among us.” 

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

  1. Make me your Beloved Disciple, faithful in everything. 
  2. How close you hold me! What intimacy you offer to me! Why should I seek anything else? 
  3. O Jesus, captivate my heart. Never let me go. 
  4. Make me faithful to the very end. 
  5. Reveal your secrets to me, O Lord, and I will make You known to the whole world. 

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

+ Today, I will allow Jesus to draw me to his heart. 

+ I will curb my imagination and limit my curiosity about world events, so God can reveal his mysteries. 

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

If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – MAY 21, 2021 – JESUS QUESTIONS PETER (Jn 21:15-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, fill my heart with love so I can serve you. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking with Peter on the shore of Galilee. 

Context:

This text is extremely important. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gives Peter the Keys to the Kingdom. In this passage, Jesus also gives Peter authority, using the image of “feeding the sheep.”

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He answered, ‘Lord you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” A second time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Tend my sheep.” A third time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon was annoyed because he asked a third time. He said, “Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” 

“Amen, amen I say to you. When you were younger, you would dress yourself and go where you wanted. When you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another shall lead you where you do not want to go.” With these words, Jesus signified by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. Then he said, “Follow me.” 

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

  1. Jesus’ three questions give Peter an opportunity to reverse his three denials. 
  2. For Jesus, Peter’s personal love is important. He had to know where Peter’s heart was. 
  3. Assured of his love, Jesus makes Peter the guiding Shepherd of the Church. 
  4. Jesus speaks of Peter’s first moments, when his task concludes. 
  5. The impetuous Peter won’t choose his path. His young man’s strength will fail. 
  6. He will go where others take him. This requires spiritual maturity. 

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

  • Lord, you always give me an opportunity. 
  • I will correct my errors and undo my mistakes. 
  • Lord, please ask me if I love you. 
  • Lord, you know where my heart is. Claim it as your own. 
  • You know everything, O Lord. You know my call. You know my future. You know the moment of my death. 
  • I will go where you want me to go. 
  • Your final words touch my heart. “Follow me,” you say. 

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

+ I will hear Jesus’ question in my soul, “Do you love me?” 

+ I will follow Jesus until I die. 

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

Lord, you know that I love you. 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – MAY 20, 2021 – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS (Jn 17:20-26)

Prayer:

O Jesus, restore our oneness in your glory. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper. 

Context:

Jesus’ prayer is for us, the future believers. Two thousand years later, as the word reaches us, we receive the same glory given by the Father to Jesus, and from Jesus to his Church.

If Jesus’ word forges a unity, the world also, will believe in Jesus.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said, “I pray not only for them, but for all who will believe in me through their word. That they all may be one, as you Father are in me and I in you. That they, also, may be one in Us, so that the world will believe that you have sent me. 

I have given them the glory that you gave me, so they might be one as We are one, I in them and you in me, that they might be brought to perfection as one, and that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them as you loved me.” 

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

  1. Jesus looks to the future. He sees the billions of people who will believe through the disciples’ preaching. 
  2. Jesus wants all believers to enjoy the oneness that He enjoys with the Father. 
  3. This unity of believers will be Jesus’ instrument to bring the whole world to faith in Him. 
  4. This oneness comes from Jesus giving all believers a share in His glory. 
  5. By seeing His disciples united, the world (His persecutor) will see that the Father loves the world. 
  6. This is Jesus’ only plan for the world’s salvation. 
  7. His Church must be clothed in his glory and one with each other. 

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

  • Jesus, you prayed for me, knowing that I would believe your word. 
  • Now, you want me to join with other believers. 
  • You share your glory with all of us. 
  • You make us one in this glory. 
  • By our oneness, others will believe in you. 
  • When the whole world believes, you will come again. 

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

+ I will thank God for my faith. 

+ I will seek other believers to share my devout life. 

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

“I pray that they may be one so the world believes.” 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – MAY 19, 2021 – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES (Jn 17:11-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, consecrate me to the Father. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

In this part of his prayer, Jesus sharpens the distinction between His disciples and the world. In spite of difficulties, Jesus refuses to segregate the disciples from the world. They must stay in the world to preach. Therefore, Jesus prays that they be protected “from the evil one” and sanctified in truth. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given to me, because they are yours and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine. Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of world, any more than I am of the world. 

Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I send them into the world. For them do I sanctify myself, so they may be sanctified in truth. 

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

  1. Jesus cannot pray for a world that refuses to believe and become His disciples. 
  2. He can pray for these disciples because they belong to the Father. 
  3. They must stay in the world even though they are the world’s enemies and cannot avoid the world’s hatred. 
  4. The problem is the Evil One. He owns the world. 
  5. Even in this hostile environment, the Father can still sanctify them. 
  6. Having sanctified himself, Jesus now sanctifies them. 

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

  • Jesus, the Father has given me to you. I am yours forever. 
  • Right now, you pray for me at the right hand of the Father. 
  • Protect me, Jesus. For now, I must remain in the world. 
  • Even in the world, you can sanctify me, but I must be careful. 
  • Keep me from the world. Make me a stranger to the world just as you were. 
  • Release your Spirit and I will be like you – sanctified in truth. 

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

+ I will see clearly the world’s opposition to my devout life. 

+ I will strengthen my resolve to be sanctified for the Father. 

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

I sanctify myself so they might be sanctified in truth. 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – MAY 18, 2021 – THE HOUR HAS COME (Jn 17:1-11)

Prayer:

O Jesus, lead me to eternal life. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper. 

Context:

After teaching the apostles, Jesus prays to his Father and has them listen in. This prayer has three parts. In this section, Jesus declares that He has glorified God by giving everyone eternal life. He reveals that knowing Him and knowing the Father are the same, and bring God’s glory. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus, lifting up his eyes to heaven, said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify you. You have given Him power over all people, so He may give eternal life to all whom you gave to Him. Now this is eternal life. That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 

I have glorified you on earth. I have finished the work you have given me to do. Now, glorify me, O Father, with yourself, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.” 

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

  1. Although Jesus speaks directly to the Father, He wants the apostles to overhear His prayer. 
  2. The Father and the Son reveal each other’s glory so the disciples can see. 
  3. Having revealed the glory of the Father, Jesus’ work is finished. 
  4. Now, the Father will reveal Jesus’ glory by raising Him from the dead. 
  5. After the Resurrection, the disciples will see the glory which Jesus had “from the beginning.” 
  6. By knowing the Father and Jesus, all can gain eternal life. 

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

  • Jesus, this mystery overwhelms me. Both you and the Father want to reveal yourselves to me. 
  • Complete your work in me, O Jesus. Fully reveal your Father. 
  • Jesus, the “hour has come.” Let me no longer put off my task of coming to know you. 
  • Jesus, give me eternal life. The Father gave you this task. 
  • This is eternal life, to know you, Father, and Jesus whom you have sent. 

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

+ “The hour has come.” I must accept Jesus fully. 

+ I will value Jesus’ eternal glory above all earthly gifts. 

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

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son. 

SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – MAY 17, 2021 – THINKING THEY UNDERSTAND (Jn 16:29-33)

Prayer:

O Jesus, strengthen me in the time of trial. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

Jesus speaks plainly and the disciples think they understand. However, not having experienced the death and resurrection of Jesus, their faith is far too weak. Jesus shatters their self-confidence by predicting that they will desert Him. However, Jesus concludes with a promise of victory. 

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

The disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly and not with parables. Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to ask you. Because of this, we believe that you came from God.” 

Jesus said, “Do you believe? The hour is coming and is already here, when you will be scattered, each to his own home and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone. The Father is with me. 

I have spoken these things so you may have peace. In the world, you will have distress. Have confidence. I have overcome the world.” 

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

  1. The apostles think that they believe firmly. 
  2. Their solid faith will come only after Jesus rises. 
  3. Jesus sees that their faith is frail and incomplete, totally unable to withstand His death. 
  4. When the Roman soldiers test their resolve, the disciples will scatter, leaving Jesus alone. 
  5. Their desertion hurts Jesus but His faith lies in the Father, not in the disciples. 
  6. The disciples will remember Jesus’ words and regain their peace. 
  7. Even more important, Jesus will rise and they will share in his victory over the world. 

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

  • Jesus, speak plainly to me and I will understand. 
  • Strengthen my faith, so I do not desert you in the crisis. 
  • When my resolve is tested, I will stand with you, Jesus. 
  • How often Your words console me in my failures! 
  • Jesus, You chose me, even knowing that I would abandon you and leave you alone. 
  • O Jesus, I rejoice in your victory, the ultimate victory, the only victory that matters, and my eternal salvation. 
  • I will live with you forever. 

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

+ I will seek religious experiences so my faith will be strong. 

+ In my trials, I will ask Jesus to stay with me. 

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

The hour is coming when you will be scattered.