THE BODY OF CHRIST (A) – JUNE 18, 2017 HIS BODY AND BLOOD (Jn 6:52-59)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me hunger for You, the bread of Life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching to the crowds.)

Context: These are among the most important verses in the New Testament because they
provide a clear teaching on the Eucharist and its power to give eternal life. They are precious to Catholics, explicitly teaching that the Eucharist is Jesus’
body and blood.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. The bread that
I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. The Jews asked, “How can this
man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, Unless you
eat the flesh of the Son of Man
and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life and I will
raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me and I live by the Father, so, whoever eats
of me will have life because of me.

This is the bread come down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. Jesus said these things while teaching in Capernaum.

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

  1. The words are strikingly clear. This “bread from heaven” is Jesus’ flesh and blood.
  2. Jesus gives an unconditional promise. Whoever eats his flesh and drinks
    his blood has everlasting life. Jesus will raise them up on the last day.
  3. Jesus also gives a warning. Unless the person eats his flesh and drinks his blood they will have no life.
  4. Jesus explains. By eating his body and drinking his blood, the person abides in Jesus, just as Jesus abides in the Father.
  5. Five times, Jesus teaches that His flesh and blood are the food come down from
    heaven and that whoever eats will live forever.
  6. The message is so important that his disciples remember that He taught this at Capernaum.

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

  1. Jesus, the Eucharist is your flesh and blood, and I am invited to your
  2. O Jesus, yourfood gives me eternal life.
  3. You will raise me up. Otherwise, I would perish forever.
  4. Abide with me. Live in me. Give me your life and I will live forever.
  5. O Jesus, your words are serious. If I do not eat this food, I will have no life with you.

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

  1. I will try to receive Eucharist every day.
  2. I will cherish this sacrament as the food of eternal life.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.

TRINITY SUNDAY A – JUNE 11, 2017 SENT INTO THE WORLD (Jn 3:16-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross to save me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus)

Context:

This gospel contains the famous John 3:16 verse about God so loving the world. It explains that God’s motive was to save, not to condemn. However, anyone who rejects this light is subject to God’s judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish,
but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world
might be saved by him.

Whoever believes in him, will not be condemned but whoever does not believe in him
is already condemned because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son.

The Judgment is this. The light came into the world and men loved the
darkness rather than the light
because their deeds were evil. Everyone who practices evil hates the light. He does not come near it so his deeds are not exposed. But whoever acts in truth comes into the light so his works can be clearly
seen as done in the light.

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

  1. When the Israelites in the desert disobeyed God, they grew sick from a serpent’s bite.
  2. God provided the remedy. When Moses nailed a bronze serpent to a cross, w
    hoever gazed on it was saved. (Numbers C21)
  3. This story prefigured Jesus being lifted up on the cross to save us.
  4. God sent Jesus because “he so loved the world”.
  5. Through faith in Jesus, all can be saved.
  6. Jesus is the eternal light.
  7. Evil people do not want this light. It reveals their deeds.
  8. Good people rejoice to have their deeds revealed. They act in truth.

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

  1. Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross for me.
  2. Only your cross can save me from eternal death.
  3. Father, loving me so much, you sacrificed your Son to save me.
  4. I believe. I accept you, Jesus. You are the Father’s only begotten Son.
  5. Come Jesus. Reveal my heart. Make me a child of light.
  6. Open my heart to light and truth.

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
  2. I will bring all my sins into Jesus’ light.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

PENTECOST SUNDAY (A) – JUNE 4, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will use the sacrament of Confession frequently.
  2. 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.”

EASTER SUNDAY (A) – APRIL 16, 2017 THE DISCIPLES AT THE TOMB (Jn 20:1-8)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ.

Imagination: Picture the disciples at the empty tomb.

Context:

If Jesus has risen from the dead, then his tomb must be empty. All four gospels begin their Easter stories with visits to the empty 
tomb and with descriptions of the disciples’ reactions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the 
tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, 
“They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they 
have placed him.”

Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, 
but was wrapped together in another place.

Then, the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home, but Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.

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

  1. The Beloved Disciple is the author of John’s gospel. All of the many details, (about the various linens, where they were placed, and who 
    arrived first), are memories of his personal experiences.
  2. Notice the readiness of these three disciples. Magdalen comes as early as possible, while Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb.
  3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen.
  4. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciple believes, but does not understand the full story. Magdalen is weeping.
  5. This is God’s first stirring. The full gift will soon come. At least, they are searching.
  6. The two disciples return home. Magdalen’s great love, however, takes her in a more important direction. She stays at the tomb.

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

  1. O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses. My faith in your resurrection is based on their witness.
  2. All this evidence captures my intellect. The stone is rolled away. The body is not there. The linens are in various places.
  3. My heart is ready to believe.
  4. Let me run. Let me hurry quickly. I must find you.
  5. Give me the heart of Magdalen. I don’t want to return home to the empty world.

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

  1. I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus.
  2. I will study the scriptures

Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation)

Magdalen ran to the apostles. Peter and the Beloved Disciple ran to the tomb.

WEEK TWO – SUNDAY (A) – JANUARY 15, 2017 RECOGNIZING THE LAMB (JOHN 1:29-34)

Prayer: – O Jesus, come to me. When you come, help me to recognize you.

Imagination: (Picture John at the Jordan River, seeing Jesus among the crowd.)

Context:

In this gospel, Jesus does not get baptized. Instead, the Baptist recognizes Jesus and introduces him to the world as the 
Lamb of God. Twice, The Baptist admits that he did not recognize Jesus, even 
though that was his divine call.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God. 
Behold him who takes away the sin of the world. “About him, I have said, “After me comes someone who ranks ahead of me because 
he was before me.” I did not recognize him, even though the very reason I was 
baptizing with 
water was to reveal him to Israel.”

John also gave this testimony, “I saw the Spirit as a dove from heaven and it 
rested upon him. I did not recognize him even though the one who sent me to 
baptize with water 
had said to me, “On whomever you see the Spirit descend and remain upon, he is 
the one who will baptize in the Holy Spirit.”

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

  1. God had prepared John well for his task. He knew what he was supposed to do.
  2. Although Jesus had spent some time with him, John never realized that Jesus was the Lamb of God.
  3. Suddenly, he receives a divine revelation. Supernatural wisdom helps him to realize Jesus’ identity.
  4. John fulfills his task. He tells the world that Jesus is the Lamb of God.
  5. Jesus will take away the sin of the world, pouring out His Holy Spirit after he ascends into heaven.

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

  1. O Jesus, prepare me for my task in your Kingdom.
  2. How often you are close to me and I do not realize that you are near.
  3. Reveal yourself, Jesus and I will rejoice.
  4. Take away my sins. Cleanse me forever. Baptize me afresh in the Holy Spirit.
  5. Pour out your Holy Spirit. My heart awaits your divine fire.

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

  1. I will prepare for whatever task God has for me.
  2. Today, I will ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten me.

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

I saw the Spirit coming down upon Him.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2017 MAKING NEW WINE (JN 2:1-11)

Prayer: O Mary, my mother, you help me in all my trials.

Imagination: (Picture Mary with Jesus at the wedding feast.)

Context:

This is an extremely important story because it spells out John’s theme. The hour of the passion, when Jesus sheds his blood, is the world-saving moment. The new wine is a preview of the heavenly feast. Notice that John never uses Mary’s name. She is always “the mother of Jesus”.

Gospel Text: (This will be somewhat shorter than the original)

On the third day, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus, and his disciples, were also invited to the marriage. When the wine failed, his mother said to Jesus, “They have no wine.” Jesus responded, “Woman, what is this to you and me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the waiters, “Do whatever he tells you.
Jesus said to the waiters, “Fill the jars with water and take them to the waiter in charge”. When the headwater tasted the water made wine, he said to the groom, “People usually serve the choice wine first, but you have kept the choice wine until now.”

Jesus performed this first sign at Cana in Galilee. In this way, he revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him.

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

  1. “On the third day”, reminds us of Jesus’ resurrection.
  2. Mary wants to help the couple. Knowing the Father’s will, Jesus says that it is the wrong time.
  3. It is not yet “the hour”, the world-saving moment of his death and rising, when all will see his glory.
  4. At the Annunciation, Mary accepted the Father’s will. Now, she tells the waiters to accept Jesus’ will.
  5. The miracle happens. It is the best of wines, far beyond the hopes of the surprised bridegroom.
  6. Having seen his glory, the disciples begin to believe. They will see many more signs in the days ahead.

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

  1. O Jesus, wherever you are, there is the joy of the wedding.
  2. O Mary, you have a solution for every problem.
  3. Intercede for me, Mary. Jesus always listens to you.
  4. Jesus, pour out your glory. For this hour, you have come.
  5. Mary, teach me to do whatever Jesus wants.
  6. O Jesus, you give us the best of wines, the greatest blessings and delights.
  7. Jesus, reveal your glory in my life. Do great things in me.

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

  1. In every crisis, I will turn to Mary with the greatest confidence.
  2. Today, I will do only the will of Jesus.

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Woman, what is this to you and me? My hour has not yet come.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2017 THE EARLY DISCIPLES (JN 1:35-42)

Prayer: Jesus, I will be your disciple and follow you everywhere.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his three new disciples.)

Context:

John’s gospel gives some details about the call of the first apostles. Andrew, and another, were originally disciples of John the Baptist, who told them about Jesus. Andrew brings Simon to Jesus who immediately calls him Peter.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The next day, John was with two of his disciples, when he saw Jesus walking by. He said to these disciples, “Look, there is the Lamb of God.” When they heard what he said, the two disciples followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following him, he said, “What are you looking for?” They said “Rabbi (Teacher) where are you staying?” He said, “Come and see.” So, they went and stayed with him. It was four in the afternoon.

One of the two who followed Jesus was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter. The first thing he did was to find Simon and say, “We have found the Messiah” (meaning the “Anointed One”). He brought him to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, he said, “You are Simon, son of John, your name shall be Cephas (meaning “Peter’).

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

  1. The Baptist wants these special disciples to find the Messiah.
  2. He is completely unselfish. He wants them to leave and follow Jesus.
  3. They act immediately. They take the initiative. They also want to find the Messiah.
  4. Andrew prizes this new relationship and wants his brother, Simon, to be included.
  5. Simon also responds and comes to Jesus.
  6. Jesus gives him a new name, Peter, foreshadowing his role as the rock foundation of the Church.

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

  1. Jesus, you are the Lamb of God and I want to follow you.
  2. Invite me to come.
  3. I will come and stay with you and be your disciple.
  4. I love being your disciple. I will tell others to come to you.
  5. You will accept them, also. All of us will enjoy this great privilege.
  6. You have a task for me (but that will come later). For now, remaining with you is all you ask.

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

  1. I will take every opportunity to seek and find Jesus.
  2. After finding him, I will tell others.

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Rabbi, where do you abide? “Come and see.”

MONDAY, JANUARY 2, 2017 THE BAPTIST’S FULL IDENTITY (JN 1:19-28)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to find my identity in you.

Imagination: (Picture John preaching at the Jordan River.)

Context:

The gospel of John focuses on Jesus’ identity. This gospel clarifies the Baptist’s identity so he is not confused with the messiah. John also distinguishes their two Baptisms.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The priests and Levites were sent from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He said, “I am not the Christ.” They continued. “Are you Elijah?” He answered “I am not”. “Are you the prophet?” “I am not”, he said. “Who are you, then?” He answered, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’”

Some Pharisees asked him, “If you are not the Christ, Elijah, or the prophet, then why do you baptize?” John answered, “I baptize with water, but one comes after me, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”

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

  1. The Jerusalem leaders are concerned because large crowds follow John.
  2. John clarifies all their perceptions. He is not the Christ, Elijah or a prophet.
  3. John gladly disclaims these titles, when he would easily have been believed.
  4. John’s identity comes from Jesus. He is a voice preparing everyone for the Word of God.
  5. John understands that his power is less than Jesus. Only Jesus can baptize in the Holy Spirit.

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

  1. Who am I, O Lord? Why have you created me? What is my role in the Kingdom?
  2. You have written my identity on my soul. Reveal it to me!
  3. O Jesus, in you, I discover who I am.
  4. I seek only to be the least in your Kingdom.
  5. I will be a voice proclaiming you as the Word of God.
  6. Fill me, O Lord, with the powers of your Holy Spirit.

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

  1. I will seek to know God’s place for me in his Kingdom.
  2. I will serve Jesus Christ, whose sandals I am unworthy to loosen.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

DECEMBER 31, 2016 – FRIDAY -THE WORD BECAME FLESH

(John 1:1-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, thank you for leaving the Father’s side and becoming a man.

Imagination:  (Imagine Mary telling the angel, Gabriel, that she would be God’s mother.)

Context:

Mark begins his gospel with John the Baptist. Matthew and Luke begin their gospels with infancy stories. John begins his gospel in heaven. Quickly, the gospel enters into human history, as “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.” The text is used today because tomorrow will be a new beginning.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God and all things were made by him, and without him, nothing was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made by him but the world did not know him. He came into his own and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name. These are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us. And we saw his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son, coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.

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

  1. Jesus is the Word, perfectly conceived in the mind of the Father.
  2. He is God, equal to the Father.
  3. Through him and in him, the whole world was created.
  4. Yet, when he came into the world, people did not recognize him.
  5. Even his Jewish people did not understand that he was sent by the Father.
  6. He was a light removing the darkness.
  7. He filled all who believed with divine life, making them God’s children.
  8. He became flesh. He lived among us. People could see his glory. That is the mystery of Christmas.

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

  1. Jesus, you are eternal. You come from the Father.
  2. Jesus, you created everything. You own the whole world. You own me. I am yours.
  3. Jesus, I recognize you. I know who you are.
  4. Come into my life. I welcome you.
  5. You are life, full life, abundant life, God’s life.
  6. Make me a child of God, so I will live forever in perfect happiness.
  7. You have become flesh. People have seen you and recorded your words.
  8. Thank you for being born among us.

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

  1. In this Christmas season, I will reflect on this greatest mystery – the Word became flesh.
  2. More than anything else, I will cherish being a child of God. This is Jesus’ gift.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Word became flesh and we have seen his glory.

DECEMBER 27, 2016 – (ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST) – THE DISCIPLES AT THE TOMB

(John 20:1-8)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ.

Imagination: (Picture the disciples at the empty tomb.)

Context:

Before the gospel writers describe the Easter visions, they speak of the empty tomb and of the disciples’ reactions. In this text, Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved Disciple all have different responses. Peter sees but the Beloved Disciple believes.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have placed him.”

Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, but was wrapped together in another place.

Then, the other disciple, who came first to the tomb, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home.

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

  1. The Beloved Disciple himself wrote this account. All of the many details (the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first), are his first hand memories.
  2. These three disciples respond. Magdalen comes while it is “still dark”. Peter and the beloved disciple run to the tomb.
  3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen.
  4. Magdalen thinks someone stole the body. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciples believes, but does not understand the full story.
  5. This is God’s first stirring in their hearts. At least, they are searching (even running).
  6. The two disciples return home but they are prepared for the visions.

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

  1. O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses.
  2. O Jesus, my faith in your resurrection is based on their testimony.
  3. All this evidence helps my faith. The stone is rolled away. Your body is not there. The linens are in various places.
  4. I will run. I will hurry quickly. I must find you.
  5. Help me to believe.
  6. O Jesus, I don’t want a world that is empty of your presence.

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

  1. I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus.
  2. I will study the scriptures.

Thought for Today: (To recall your meditation)

The Beloved Disciple saw and believed.

DECEMBER 25, 2016 – CHRISTMAS (DURING THE DAY) – THE WORD BECAME FLESH

(John 1:1-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, thank you for leaving the Father’s side and becoming a man.

Imagination:  (Picture Mary giving birth to Jesus, the Word made Flesh.)

Context:

Mark begins his gospel with John the Baptist. Matthew and Luke begin their gospels with infancy stories. John begins his gospel in heaven where the Word was with the Father. Then, the gospel enters into human history, as “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God and all things were made by him, and without him, nothing was made. In him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The real light which gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made by him but the world did not know him. He came into his own and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name. These are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us. And we saw his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son, coming from the Father, filled with enduring love.

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

  1. Jesus is the Word, perfectly conceived in the mind of the Father.
  2. He is God, equal to the Father.
  3. Through him and in him, the whole world was created.
  4. Yet, when he came into the world, people did not recognize him.
  5. Even his Jewish people did not understand that he was sent by the Father.
  6. He was the light of the world removing the darkness.
  7. He filled all who believed with divine life, making them God’s children.
  8. He became flesh. He lived among us. People could see his glory. That is the mystery of Christmas.

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

  1. O Jesus, you are eternal. You come from the Father.
  2. O Jesus, you created everything. You own the whole world. You own me. I am yours.
  3. O Jesus, I recognize you. I know who you are.
  4. You are life, full life, abundant life, God’s life.
  5. Make me a child of God, who lives forever in perfect happiness.
  6. You have become flesh. People have seen you and recorded your words.
  7. Thank you for being born among us.
  8.  

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

  1. In this Christmas season, I will reflect on this greatest mystery – the Word became flesh.
  2. More than anything else, I will cherish being a child of God.       This is Jesus’ gift.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Word became flesh and we have seen his glory.

DECEMBER 16, 2016 – WEEK THREE OF ADVENT – FRIDAY – JOHN – A LAMP BURNING BRIGHT

(John 5:33-36)

Prayer: O Jesus, I believe that you were sent by the Father.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

In Advent, the readings highlight the role of John the Baptist. Jesus calls John a “lamp burning bright” because he testified about Jesus. Yet, Jesus has even greater testimony, the works he performs.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to the Jews, “You sent to John and he testified about me. (I do not accept such human testimony but I receive it for your salvation). He was a burning and shining light and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.

But I have a testimony greater than John, the works which the Father has given me to accomplish. These works themselves which I perform, give testimony that the Father has sent me.”

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

  1. The Jewish leaders sought John’s opinion but did not believe him.
  2. John testified to Jesus as best he could, according to his limited understanding.
  3. For John, Jesus was the Lamb of God and the Stronger One who would baptize in the Spirit.
  4. Jesus is much more. He is the Eternal Word made flesh.
  5. Jesus already knew what he came to do. John’s testimony was for the people.
  6. The heavenly Father was a greater witness.
  7. He gave Jesus power to work miracles.

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

  1. O Jesus, I believe your gospel testimony.
  2. You are the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the Word made flesh.
  3. O Father, You so loved the world that you sent Jesus.
  4. O Jesus, so many others have told me about you!
  5. O Father, all creation witnesses to you and you witness to Jesus.
  6. Jesus, I will be your witness, a burning and shining light for my generation.

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

  1. I will thank the Father for sending Jesus.
  2. I will strengthen the faith of others.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

John was a burning and shining lamp.

OCTOBER 31, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-ONE – MONDAY – FEAST OF ALL SOULS

(John 6:37-40)

Prayer – O Jesus, prepare me for the moment when you come to me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

Besides proclaiming salvation, the parables warn us of judgment and call us to repentance. This parable has the cutting edge of urgency.

This parable shows hostility toward Jesus. Because the children cannot agree, their quarrels end their playtime. The cause is laziness. Some children expect others to do the strenuous part of dancing while they just sit around playing instruments.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplace, complaining against other children. “We have piped you a tune and you have not danced. We have sung a sorrowful song and you have not mourned.”

John came fasting and you said, “He has a devil.” The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, “Behold, a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Wisdom is vindicated by her children.

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

  1. God sends his messengers, using various personalities to appeal to everyone.
  2. The people are lazy and do not respond. Instead, they criticize both John and Jesus.
  3. Opportunities to accept the Kingdom are lost, and time runs out.
  4. The decisive moment arrives, but no one is prepared.
  5. Jesus is God’s final messenger. The Father has sent his only Son.

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

  1. How many opportunities will you give me, O Lord?
  2. Speak now and give me a listening heart.
  3. Jesus, the time is short. Let me respond right now.
  4. I will repent, change my life and walk a new path.
  5. Do not let me ruin my life.
  6. Send your messengers. I will listen

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

  1. I believe God will send his messengers today. I will respond.
  2. I will seek the fruits of repentance.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Children complaining in the marketplace about God’s anointed messengers.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FOUR – MONDAY – EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

(John 3:16-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross to save me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus)

Context:

This gospel contains the famous John 3:16 verse about God so loving the world. It explains that god’s motive was to save, not to condemn. However, anyone who rejects this light is subject to God’s judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life.   God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by him.

Whoever believes in him, will not be condemned but whoever does not believe in him is already condemned because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son.

The Judgment is this. The light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.       Everyone who practices evil hates the light. He does not come near it so his deeds are not exposed. But whoever acts in truth comes into the light so his works can be clearly seen as done in the light.

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

  1. When the Israelites in the desert disobeyed God, they grew sick from a serpent’s bite.
  2. God provided the remedy. When Moses nailed a bronze serpent to a cross, whoever gazed on it was saved. (Numbers C21)
  3. This story prefigured Jesus being lifted up on the cross to save us.
  4. God sent Jesus because “he so loved the world”.
  5. Through faith in Jesus, all can be saved.
  6. Jesus is the eternal light.
  7. Evil people do not want this light. It reveals their deeds.
  8. Good people rejoice to have their deeds revealed. They act in truth.

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

  1. Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross for me.
  2. Only your cross can save me from eternal death.
  3. Father, loving me so much, you sacrificed your Son to save me.
  4. I believe. I accept you, Jesus. You are the Father’s only begotten Son.
  5. Come Jesus. Reveal my heart. Make me a child of light.
  6. Open my heart to light and truth.

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
  2. I will bring all my sins into Jesus’ light.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

MAY 22, 2016 – TRINITY SUNDAY (C) – THE SPIRIT TEACHES

(John 16:12-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit who teaches me all truth.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.)

Context:          Jesus describes the two goals which the Spirit will accomplish among the disciples (the Church). First, He will extend Jesus’ revelation, going beyond what Jesus was able to teach in his short lifetime. Second, the Spirit will explain those teachings which Jesus did say but were not comprehended by the disciples.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say, but you cannot bear them now. When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak what he hears and will show you the things that are to come.

He shall glorify me because he will receive what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I say, He will receive what is mine and reveal it to you.”

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

  1. In this final hour, Jesus reveals some special truths. After his Resurrection, He will reveal even more.
  2. However, the full revelation will come only from the Holy Spirit who will explain the mystery of Jesus.
  3. The source of these mysteries is the eternal Father, who sends both the Son and the Spirit.
  4. The Spirit gathers up all these truths about the Father and Jesus, and reveals them.
  5. He reveals them to multiply Jesus’ glory within us.

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

  1. O Spirit, reveal these mysteries to me. Then, Jesus will capture my heart.
  2. You reveal “what is coming”, so I can know what to do with my life.
  3. Teach me “all truth”. Let me be a quick learner.
  4. Reveal Jesus to me. Reveal all of his glory, all of his power, all of his love.
  5. O Spirit, taught by you, I will glorify Jesus.
  6. O Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, You are always at work on my behalf.

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

  1. I will have a special devotion to the Spirit of Jesus.
  2. Today, I will seek the Spirit’s help for all my decisions.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

When the Spirit comes, he will teach you all truth.

MAY 15, 2016 – PENTECOST SUNDAY (C) – JOHN’S PENTECOST

(John 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.)

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

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

  1. I will use the sacrament of Confession frequently.
  2. 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.”

MAY 14, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART TWO – PETER AND THE BELOVED DISCIPLE

(John 21:20-25)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to find my call.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with Peter and the Beloved Disciple)

Context:

Tomorrow is the feast of Pentecost. So today’s gospel brings an end to the Easter visions. The story of the two apostles closest to Jesus are Peter and the Beloved Disciple. Peter has just received authority in the church. This text shows that the Beloved Disciple has a different role.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

When Peter turned around, he saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following. This was the disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what shall he do?” Jesus said, “What if I have him stay until I come? How does that concern you?” As this saying spread, many thought that Jesus said that the disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say he would not die, but “Suppose I want him to stay until I come? What is that to you?”

This is the disciple who gives testimony of these things and has written them. We know that his testimony is true. There are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written down, the world itself, I think, could not contain the books that would be written.

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

  1. This final story deliberately links Peter who has Jesus’ special authority with the Beloved Disciple who had Jesus’ special love.
  2. The story prepares for the Church which always needs authority and faithful people.
  3. People who know and love Jesus will remain until he returns.
  4. Jesus’ promise was not limited to the first Beloved Disciple.       All are called to know and love Jesus.
  5. All can lean on Jesus’ heart at the moment of Holy Communion.
  6. This gospel has special credibility, written by an eyewitness, the disciple most loved by Jesus.
  7. The whole world cannot contain all the stories of Jesus because they continue to happen every day.

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

  1. O Jesus, I, too, am your beloved, special to you.
  2. Let me rest in your Sacred Heart. You want me there.
  3. Jesus, you know the length of my life and the day of my death.
  4. Thank you for the stories of your life. They are heaven in our midst.
  5. You are always drawing me into your Kingdom.
  6. O Jesus, make me your beloved disciple. This is my greatest desire.

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

  1. I will accept Jesus’ invitation to place my head on his heart.
  2. I will read some gospel stories today.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

This is the disciple who has written these things.

MAY 14, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART ONE – VOCATION OF THE BELOVED DISCIPLE

(John 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.)

  1. Today, I will allow Jesus to draw me to his heart.
  2. 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?

MAY 13, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – JESUS QUESTIONS PETER

(John 21:15-19)

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

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with Peter on the share 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.)

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

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

  1. I will hear Jesus’ question in my soul, “Do you love me?”
  2. I will follow Jesus until I die.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Lord, you know that I love you.

MAY 12, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS

(John 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.)

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

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

  1. I will thank God for my faith.
  2. 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.”