MAY 11, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES

(John 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.)

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

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

  1. I will see clearly the world’s opposition to my devout life.
  2. 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.

MAY 10, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE HOUR HAS COME

(John 17:1-5)

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.)

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

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

  1. “The hour has come”. I must accept Jesus fully.
  2. 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.

MAY 9, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – THINKING THEY UNDERSTAND

(John 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.)

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

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

  1. I will seek religious experiences so my faith will be strong.
  2. 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.

MAY 8, 2016 – SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (C) – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS

(John 17:20-23)

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. O 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.”

MAY 7, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – SPEAKING PLAINLY

(John 16:23-28)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Explain to me the mysteries of Jesus.

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

Context: Jesus admits that he is using figures of speech which the disciples do not understand. You, the reader, understand them clearly because you know that Jesus rose from the dead. Not having experienced the Resurrection as yet, the disciples find these images difficult to grasp. So, Jesus speaks more plainly.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

These things I have spoken to you in figures of speech, but the hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in this way but I will speak to you plainly about the Father. On that day, you shall ask in my name. I do not say that I will ask the Father for you. The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now, I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.

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

  1. Jesus has spoken clearly to the apostles. All the mysteries have been revealed.
  2. However, the disciples do not understand because Jesus has not yet risen.
  3. After the resurrection, they understand everything.
  4. Therefore, the Father loves them and will grant all their requests.
  5. They see the whole mystery – Jesus coming from the Father and returning to the Father.

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

  1. O Jesus, I thank you that I was born after you came into the world.
  2. Now, I understand all the mysteries.
  3. I am a child of the Father, an heir of the Kingdom, a member of Christ’s Body.
  4. O Father, I speak to you as your child and I ask you to give me eternal life.
  5. O Jesus, I love you and believe that you came from the Father.
  6. Now, you have gone ahead. You await me, Jesus. I am coming. Only death separates us.

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

  1. I will meditate on the great privilege of being born after Jesus Christ lived on this earth.
  2. I will never endanger my inheritance by sinful choices.

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

The Father himself loves you because you have loved me.

MAY 6, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – IN A LITTLE WHILE

(John 16:16-22)

Prayer: O Jesus, turn my sorrows into joys.

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

Context: Jesus has spoken of “a little while.” Because the disciples are confused, Jesus explains what this means. He speaks of a joyful woman who has given birth. This “birth” is his rising from the dead.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “In a little while, you shall not see me. Again, a little while and you shall see me, because I go to the Father.”

The disciples did not understand and Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, so he said, “Why do you inquire among yourselves about this little while? Amen, amen, I say to you. You shall weep and lament while the world shall rejoice. You will be sorrowful but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow. However, when she brings forth the child, she does not remember her suffering because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So, you now have sorrow, but I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.”

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

  1. The “little while” is the darkness of those three days between Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  2. Naturally, the disciples did not understand. They could not grasp the mystery that Jesus would rise.
  3. During those three days, the world rejoiced and the disciples grew sad.
  4. Their sadness was like a woman about to give birth.
  5. Their sorrow became joy when Jesus rose from the grave.
  6. After they saw Jesus, the world could never take away the apostles’ joy.

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

  1. O Jesus, how often I experience moments of sadness, when you seem far away.
  2. In this “Little while” You hide yourself and make me wait for you.
  3. Your absence multiplies my joy at your return.
  4. Return quickly Jesus. Rise again within me.
  5. When you come to me, no one takes away my joy.
  6. At my death, you will be there. I will await you.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to come to me, today.
  2. I will never allow anything to steal my joy.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

No one will take your joy from you.

MAY 4, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – 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 3, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE SPIRIT’S TASKS

(John 16:8-11)

Prayer: O Jesus, send your Paraclete to overcome the world.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the last Supper)

Context: Jesus again shifts the focus. The Holy Spirit will not just be an advocate for the disciples. He will be a prosecuting attorney against the world. He will work within the believers, assuring them that they have correctly chosen to stand with Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When the Paraclete comes, he will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they have not believed in me. Of justice, because I go to the Father and you will see me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged.

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

  1. When experiencing the world’s persecutions, the disciples might ask, “Did we make the right choice?”
  2. In these moments, the Holy Spirit will be a powerful inner voice, comforting the disciples.
  3. As their advocate, he will put the whole world on trial.
  4. First, He will reveal the great sin of the world which refused to accept Jesus, in spite of his many miracles.
  5. Second, He will judge the world which persecutes the disciples even though they testify truly. Jesus has gone to the Father and will return in glory.
  6. Third, He will judge the world by casting out the world’s leader, Satan.
  7. Persecuting the disciples is just Satan’s final words before he has to leave.

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

  1. O Jesus, the world has made a great mistake. They refuse to accept you.
  2. I accept you. I choose you as my Lord.
  3. Your Spirit speaks within. His mighty voice says, “Blessed are you.”
  4. O Jesus, You have ascended to heaven and await my joining you.
  5. O Jesus, you have cast out Satan, the world’s prince.
  6. You are the victor. I will stand with you, my king.
  7. Thank you, Lord, for saving me from the world’s confusion.

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

  1. I will listen to the Spirit’s voice within.
  2. I will not allow the world to confuse me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your mediation)

The prince of this world is already cast out.

MAY 2, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – PART TWO – JESUS’ NEED TO DEPART

(John 16:4-7)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me faith in your word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus at the Last Supper.)

Context: The discourse shifts. Jesus turns the disciples’ attention to his future departure. Realizing that Jesus will leave, the disciples grow sorrowful. So Jesus speaks of the great gift that will follow – the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “These things I have told you so that when the hour comes, you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. Now I go to the one who sent me and none of you ask me, “Where are you going?”

Because I have said these things, sorrow fills your heart. However, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go, because if I do not go, the Paraclete will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.”

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

  1. Again, Jesus commands the apostles to remember his words. They will need them in difficult moments.
  2. Being a loving friend, Jesus did not reveal everything. He shielded his disciples like parents hide some sorrows from their children.
  3. However, he can delay no longer. They must be told. He is leaving them.
  4. He helps them to see the advantages of his leaving. The Paraclete will come.
  5. They cannot experience both the mortal Jesus and the Paraclete. One stage of God’s plan (Jesus’ mortal life) must give way to a greater moment (the Paraclete’s abiding presence).

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

  1. O Jesus, I will always treasure your words.
  2. Your words are my defense and my shield, my light and my consolation.
  3. Thank you, Jesus for keeping me from needless suffering.
  4. Jesus, I know where you have gone – to prepare a place for me.
  5. Until you return, the Paraclete will provide for me.
  6. Jesus, you have not left. You are always with me. I experience your presence by your Spirit’s touches.

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

  1. I will commit Jesus’ words to memory, especially those that touch my heart.
  2. I will invoke the Spirit of Jesus, the Guest who abides in my soul.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

It is better for you that I go. If I do not go, the Paraclete will not come.

MAY 2, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – PART ONE – WHEN THE PARACLETE COMES

(John 15:26-16:3)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will testify to the whole world about you.

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

Context: Two powers will confront the world’s hatred – the Spirit’s powerful testimony and the Church’s doctrines, based on Jesus’ own teachings. In spite of this clear light, the world will still kill the disciples.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “When the Paraclete comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify to me. And you also will testify, because you were with me from the beginning.

These things I have spoken to you, so you will not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, the hour is coming, when whoever kills you, will think he has done a service for God. These things they will do to you, because they have known neither the Father nor me.”

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

  1. Jesus has already spoken the Father’s word. Now, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, will also speak the Father’s word.
  2. The Spirit will speak within the hearts of the disciples.
  3. With the Spirit’s help, the disciples will speak to the whole world about Jesus.
  4. The result will be exactly the same. Like Jesus, the disciples will be hated, rejected and even killed.
  5. As always, the problem is the same. The world has not known the Father.
  6. Because of this blindness, they did not accept Jesus and they will not accept Jesus’ disciples.

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

  1. O Holy Spirit, Jesus has sent you to me.
  2. O, Holy Spirit, tell me about Jesus.
  3. Dwell in my heart. I will be quiet and listen to your testimony.
  4. O Jesus, I will not be silent. I will speak about you to everyone.
  5. Thank you, Jesus, for warning me about how others will treat me.
  6. O Jesus, I will tell the whole world. Some will listen and be saved.

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

  1. I will set aside time for prayer, so the Spirit can teach me.
  2. I will be a faithful witness to Jesus.

Thought for the Day. (To recall your meditation)

When the Paraclete comes, he will testify about me and you, also, will testify.

MAY 1, 2016 – SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (C) – THE IMPORTANCE OF JESUS’ WORD

(John 14:23-29)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will abide in your word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples at the Last Supper).

Context: This text focuses on Jesus’ teaching – which enjoys a surprising power. A disciple who lives this teaching will enjoy the presence of the Father and Jesus. Then, the Paraclete will amplify the teaching.

In the second part, Jesus, concerned about the effect of his going to the Father, promises his peace.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me and keeps my Word, my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling in him. Whoever does not love me, does not keep my word.

The word which you have heard is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

I have spoken these things while I abide with you. The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatever I have told you.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid.

You have heard me say that I go away and I will come back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad because I go to the Father and the Father is greater than I. I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens, you might believe.

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

  1. The door to friendship with God is loving Jesus and being true to his word.
  2. If this happens, the Father and Jesus actually come to live within the disciple.
  3. Jesus’ time of teaching is ending. From now until the end of the world, the Holy Spirit is the teacher.
  4. The situation is changing. Jesus is returning to the Father. The disciples should rejoice.
  5. Instead, they grow fearful and need Jesus’ peace.
  6. Later, they will remember these words and will believe as they see them come true.

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

  1. O Jesus, you offer me life with your Father.
  2. Thank you for dwelling in my soul.
  3. O Holy Spirit, teach me the great mysteries of the Father.
  4. O Jesus, you have gone to the Father to prepare a place for me.
  5. I am so fearful. How I need your peace.
  6. Your words are the light for my path.
  7. O Jesus, you have provided everything for my salvation.

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

  1. I will treasure God’s presence in my soul.
  2. I will ask Jesus for his peace.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

My Father will love him and we will come to him.

APRIL 30, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – THE WORLD’S HATRED

(John 15:18-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to be a servant who is just like his master.

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

Context: Jesus begins a long teaching about how this unity between the disciples and himself will arouse the world’s hatred. The world has hated Jesus and will hate his chosen disciples. In this text, Jesus makes a very sharp distinction between his disciples and the world.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own. You are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world. Therefore, the world hates you.

Remember my word. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also. Yet, all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake, because they did not know him who sent me.”

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

  1. When they preach the gospel, the disciples will be hated by the world.
  2. The world will persecute them because they do not belong to the world any longer.
  3. Being aligned with Jesus, the disciples are unacceptable to the world.
  4. How blessed are the disciples. Jesus has chosen them out of the world.
  5. Persecution is such a small price to pay to be Jesus’ disciple.
  6. The world is consistent in its hatred. Having persecuted Jesus, it will persecute his disciples.
  7. All this hatred happens because the world does not know the Father Who sent Jesus. 

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

  1. O Jesus, if I love you, the world will not love me. What a small price!
  2. What more could I ask? A servant wants to be treated like the Master.
  3. You have chosen me, and taken me away from the world.
  4. I have said my “Goodbyes.” I have parted company. I am with you forever.
  5. Being persecuted for your name is greater than any worldly honor.
  6. Jesus, the one who sent you is now my Father. You have made me his child.

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

  1. Today, I will rejoice to think, “Jesus has chosen me out of the world.”
  2. If people do not understand me, I will think of how the world misunderstood Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

If you were of the world, the world would love its own.

APRIL 29, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – NOW CALLED FRIENDS

(John 15:12-16)

Prayer: O Jesus, I seek only to be your friend.

Imagination (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper)

Context:   After showering his own love upon the disciples, Jesus asks that they love one another. Before asking for this love, he has made them his friends and has chosen them for an important task.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friend. You are my friends, if you do what I command you.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his lord does. I have called you friends because I have made known to you all that I have heard from the Father.

You have not chosen me. I have chosen you and have appointed you to go and bring forth abiding fruit, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.

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

  1. Loving others as you love yourself is no longer enough. Jesus gives a new commandment.
  2. You must love others as Jesus loves you.
  3. In his total love, Jesus is willing to lay down his life.
  4. Jesus has raised you to a new level. You are no longer his servant. You are his friend.
  5. You are his friend simply because he chose you.
  6. Because you are his friend, he reveals all his mysteries.
  7. You have one task – to fulfill God’s purpose in your life.

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

  1. Jesus, you loved me before I loved you.
  2. Help me to love others even before they love me.
  3. O Jesus, “I will lay down my life for you”. (Jn 13:37)
  4. What a gift – to be your friend!
  5. Reveal all your secrets to me, Jesus.   I will be attentive and listen closely.
  6. O Jesus, you have a task for me. Speak, Lord, I am listening.

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

  1. I will value my new status of being a friend of Jesus.
  2. Being Jesus’ friend, I will seek to know what he wants of me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

I no longer call you servants, because I have revealed my mysteries to you. I call you friends.

APRIL 28, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – REMAINING IN THE VINE

(John 15:6-11)

Prayer: O Jesus, stay with me, and my life will produce good fruit.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper).

Context: Jesus’ first priority is his unity with his disciples. From this oneness comes all blessings, both for the disciples and for the world. The disciples must make a choice to stay with Jesus. This decision is filled with frightening consequences. They will either be cast out into the fire or bear fruit.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

If anyone does not remain in me, he will be cast out and become a withered branch. They shall gather him up and cast him into the burning fire.

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you want and it shall be done for you. In this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

As the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love, as I have kept the Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

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

  1. Jesus highlights the disciple’s decision. Although chosen by Jesus, the disciple must freely decide to remain in him.
  2. The wrong choice is devastating. Like everyone else, they will be cast out into the fire of hell.
  3. Making the right choice merits the greatest blessings – complete access to God.
  4. The Father himself initiates their union with Jesus. He loves Jesus and Jesus loves the disciple.
  5. The union is completed by the disciple keeping the Father’s commandments.
  6. Abiding in Jesus brings an indescribable joy.

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

  1. O Jesus, I give you my consent. Claim me for yourself.
  2. Losing you, Jesus is an unthinkable disaster. Never let it happen.
  3. You attract me. You entice me. You call me to yourself.
  4. You offer me the Father’s love and say, “This is yours if you want it.”
  5. O Jesus, place your commands in my heart. They are the doors to the Father.
  6. You pour out your joy – complete and total – earthly and heavenly – for now and forever.

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

  1. I will recall that the Father’s love for Jesus can be mine, also.
  2. I will struggle to keep the commandments, never growing discouraged by my sins.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“That my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”

APRIL 27, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

(John 15:1-5)

Prayer:   Bring forth your fruits in me.

Imagination   (Picture Jesus at the Last Supper)

Context: Jesus begins a long discourse, which the apostles do not interrupt by any questions. In this text, Jesus uses the imagery of vine and branches, highlighting the necessity of the disciples being one with Jesus.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

            I am the true vine. My Father is the vinedresser. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit. A branch that bears fruit, he will prune, so that it bears more fruit. You are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.

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

  1. Jesus seeks the fruit of a devout life that brings forth prayer and virtues.
  2. If a soul brings forth good works the Father prunes it.
  3. The Father (the vinedresser) does everything to gain more fruit from the vine.
  4. Every branch must “abide”. A cut-off branch can bring forth no fruit.
  5. Jesus says it perfectly, “I am the vine. You are the branches.”
  6. His conclusion is self-evident. “Whoever abides in me brings forth much fruit.”

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

  1. Jesus, you alone are the vine that gives life. I will abide in you.
  2. I once was a dead branch, but you have grafted me onto yourself. Now, I bear fruit.
  3. Father, prune away all that is lifeless in me.
  4. Jesus, I want to bring forth greater virtues, pleasing to you.
  5. Jesus, I only need to abide in you. You do the rest.
  6. With you, all things are possible. This is the secret of staying with you.

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

  1. I will abide with Jesus by thinking of him often today.
  2. I will dedicate this whole day to Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit.

APRIL 26, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – JESUS’ FAREWELL GIFT

(John 14:27-31)

Prayer: O Jesus, fill me with your total peace.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples at the Last Supper).

Context:

This gospel concludes Jesus’ teaching at the Last Supper. He tries to prepare the apostles in two ways. First, he promises to place a lasting peace in their hearts. Second, he explains that his death results from his battle with Satan, the prince of this world. Jesus suffers because he is obedient to the Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid. You have heard me say to you, I go away and I come back to you. If you loved me you indeed would be glad, because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe. I will not go on saying many things. For the prince of this world comes and he has no hold on me. However, the world must know that I love the Father and I do as the Father commanded.

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

  1. The heart of Jesus is broken. Obeying the Father entails leaving the apostles in great distress.
  2. He tries to soften this hardship by filling their hearts with peace.
  3. His “going away” is just for “a little while”, the three days in the tomb.
  4. He will come back. Only Jesus could do that.
  5. They must try to enter into Jesus’ joy. He will be returning to the Father.
  6. He prophesies all these events, so that they believe.
  7. He must stop speaking. The battle is at hand, the eternal combat between Jesus and Satan.
  8. His death on the cross will prove to the whole world that he loves the Father.

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

  1. O Jesus, your heart is always broken for me in all my trials.
  2. Fill me with your peace.
  3. O Jesus, for a little while you have “gone away”.
  4. Come back, Jesus. Return soon.
  5. By your words, I know you live within me.
  6. O Jesus, all your words have proven true. I believe.
  7. I see your arms, extended on the cross, in obedience to your Father.
  8. You have destroyed my adversary, Satan. You have won the victory for me.

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

  1. I will try to understand Jesus’ infinite love for me.
  2. I will seek his peace so I can serve him.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Prince of this world has no control over me.

APRIL 25, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – REVEALED TO THE DISCIPLES

(John 14:21-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, send me the Holy Spirit who will teach me all things.

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

Context:

Jesus has promised that the apostles would see him. In this text, he explains that this seeing will not be an external manifestation, but an internal, religious experience. These gifts are new and the Spirit will explain them. For now, they must be at peace.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Judas (not the Iscariot) said, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him. We will come to him and make our abode with him.

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatever I have told you.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid.”

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

  1. This is an important question, “Why does not the whole world see Jesus? Why does Jesus reveal himself only to these disciples?”
  2. Jesus and the Father are revealed internally. Only a disciple who loves God can receive this revelation.
  3. Keeping the commandments prepares the disciple’s heart to be God’s dwelling place.
  4. After coming to the disciple, Jesus will send the “Paraclete”, the Holy Spirit.
  5. This Spirit will teach and remind the disciples of Jesus’ teaching.
  6. The final result is a peace, which removes all fear from their hearts.

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

  1. O Jesus, what a great mystery! You manifest yourself to me but not to the world.
  2. If I love you, you and the Father will come and abide with me.
  3. O Jesus, send your Spirit into my heart. He will teach me.
  4. O Jesus, let your peace burst forth and flood my whole being.
  5. O Holy Spirit, how can I grow troubled when you abide with me?

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

  1. I will treasure the presence of Father, Son and Spirit in my soul.
  2. I will seek quiet moments, so the Spirit can teach me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My Father and I will come and abide with him.

APRIL 24, 2016 – SUNDAY – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER (C) – JUDAS ISCARIOT

(John 13:31-35)

Prayer:  O Jesus, I will glorify you by my love for others.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus at the Last Supper.)

Context:

Judas has just left the Last Supper. Only the eleven apostles remain. Jesus speaks of two great realities – he will glorify God by his obedient death and the apostles must love one another so all the world sees that they belong to Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

After Judas had left the Upper Room, Jesus said, “Now is the son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorifies in him, God also will glorify him in himself and immediately he will glorify him.

Little children, I will not be with you much longer. A new commandment I give to you. That you love one another. As I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.”

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

  1. When Judas left to betray him, Jesus knew that his death was inevitable.
  2. His obedient death is the way he will give glory to the Father.
  3. The Father will reciprocate. He will glorify Jesus in the resurrection.
  4. While all these events are happening, the disciples will feel abandoned.
  5. For a “little while” Jesus will be taken from them. He cannot do anything to avoid that suffering.
  6. They are ready for the greatest commandment, far beyond loving each other as they love themselves.
  7. They must love as Jesus loved them.
  8. This is the great sign to the whole world.

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

  1. Jesus, teach me obedience to the Father.
  2. O Father, I, too, will glorify you and you will glorify me.
  3. O Jesus, how dark it is when you are absent.
  4. Let it be “just a little while”. Come back soon!
  5. Jesus, give me your Holy Spirit so I can love as you loved.
  6. Your love can change me and the whole world.

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

  1. I will imitate Jesus’ obedience to the Father.
  2. I will love everyone with Jesus’ love.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

I will not be with you much longer.

APRIL 23, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART ONE – SEEING THE FATHER

(John 14:7-10)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will know you so I can know the Father.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper

Context: In this text, Jesus describes two different periods of time, before the resurrection (when the disciples do not really know Jesus) and after the resurrection (when they did know him).

Philip’s question allows Jesus to expand upon what he has said.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “If you had known me, then you would also have known my Father. From now on, you do know him and you have seen him. Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long a time and still you do not know me? Philip, he who sees me, sees the Father also. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?”

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

  1. Jesus expands his glory to the disciples. They will know Jesus and see the Father.
  2. Philip grows excited and blurts out the unthinkable request, “Show us the Father” (whom none have ever seen.)
  3. Jesus is disappointed. Philip has not yet understood.
  4. Philip already experiences the Father by seeing Jesus.
  5. This extraordinary blessing comes through Mary who gave Jesus his body.
  6. Philip must do just one thing – believe that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus.

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

  1. O Jesus, I know you. You are the Father’s only son.
  2. When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
  3. When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father. When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
  4. O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. You are bound together by the Holy Spirit of love.
  5. O Jesus, how long will I be with you and still not understand? You and the Father are one.

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

  1. I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.
  2. I will thank the Father for sending Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

APRIL 23, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART TWO – DOING GREATER WORKS

(John 14:11-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to do great work for your glory.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper).

Context:

In this text, Jesus makes two promises. The apostles will do greater works and their prayers in Jesus’ name will be answered. First, however they must believe in Jesus’ relationship with his Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? Otherwise, believe because of the works I do. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do even greater than these because I go to the Father.

Whatever you will ask the Father in my name, I will do, so that the Father will be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, that I will do.

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

  1. Jesus always demands that the apostles believe in him.
  2. The works he does helps them to believe.
  3. Suddenly, Jesus offers them a new gift.
  4. The disciples will do the same works as Jesus, and even greater ones.
  5. They will enjoy great intercessory power with the Father.
  6. Jesus himself will answer their requests.
  7. Jesus has changed the whole reality. A new stage of divine power resides in Jesus’ name.

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

  1. O Jesus, you always have greater promises and new gifts.
  2. I believe in you.
  3. You will give me everything that I need for eternal life.
  4. O Jesus, you share your powers with me so I can give glory to the Father.
  5. You have gone to the Father and pour out heaven’s gifts upon the earth.
  6. O Jesus, if I believe, you will rain down heavenly treasures.

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

  1. Today, I will intercede with great hope.
  2. I will thank Jesus for going to the Father and changing all reality.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do.