Week Twenty-Six – Thursday, September 29, 2022 – A True Israelite (Jn 1:43-51)

Prayer: O Jesus, call me into your presence. Imagination: Picture Jesus with his early disciples. Context: Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel are all from Bethsaida. Philip leads Nathaniel to Jesus. This dialogue reveals much of Jesus’ identity. It alludes to Jacob who was filled with guile (Nathaniel has none). Jacob saw angels ascending and descending …

Week Twenty-Six – Wednesday – September 28, 2022 – Three Would Be Disciples (Lk 9:57-62)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Jesus calls and I must not delay. Imagination: Picture Jesus with the disciples and the crowd. Context: Journeying to Jerusalem seems glamorous. To set aside these false ideas, Luke places three sayings of Jesus at the very start of the journey. Discipleship is a difficult path, able to be walked only …

Week Twenty-Six – Tuesday – September 27, 2022 – Fire Upon Samaria (Lk 9:51-56)

Prayer:   O Jesus, let me follow you to Jerusalem. Imagination:   Picture Jesus walking with his disciples. Context: As Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem, he encounters people who reject him. He must pass through Samaria which was between Galilee (North) and Jerusalem (South).  The Samaritans themselves were enemies of the Jews and would not welcome Jesus. …

Week Twenty-Six – Monday – September 26, 2022 – Ambitious and Arrogant (Lk 9:46-50)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me a humble and accepting heart. Imagination: Imagine Jesus reprimanding his disciples. Context: These two stories reveal two sins of disciples – ambition and exclusivity. Ambition seeks prominence within the community. Exclusivity excludes those outside the community. Jesus quickly corrects both. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) The disciple discussed among themselves who was the greater. …

WEEK TWENTY-SIX – SUNDAY – C – SEPTEMBER 25, 2022 – THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS (LK 16:19-31)

Prayer: O Lord, awaken me by this warning.   Imagination: Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. Context: Judaism believed that riches showed God’s favor and that poverty showed sinfulness.  Jesus reveals the true picture, which shocks his audience.  The poor man, Lazarus, enjoys the highest honor of being at Abraham’s side. The rich man is buried in hell. This …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 24, 2022 – A SECOND WARNING (LK 9:43-45)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the mystery of Jesus. Imagination: Picture Jesus with his disciples. Context: Jesus has just healed the boy with a demon. While the disciples are still amazed at this, Jesus shifts the focus to his death. The warning falls on deaf ears. They have no idea of the mystery …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 – JESUS’ IDENTITY REVEALED (LK 9:18-22)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, open to my heart the mystery of Jesus Christ. Imagination: Picture Jesus with his disciples. Context: An earlier gospel showed what the Father wanted Jesus to accomplish for Israel. This gospel answers a deeper question. What is Jesus’ relationship to the Father and to Israel. At this point, only the apostles …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – THURSDAY – SEPTEMBER 22, 2022 – HEROD’S CONCLUSION (LK 9:7-9)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the fullness of Jesus. Imagination: Picture Jesus with his disciples. Context: This text is sort of an interlude as Herod ponders Jesus’ identity. Later, Peter, by divine revelation, will proclaim correctly that Jesus is the Messiah. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) Herod the Tetrarch heard of all …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 21, 2022 – MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR (MT 9:9-13)

Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit. Let me respond quickly to Jesus’ call. Imagination: Picture Jesus at table in Matthew’s house. Context: This text has two parts.  First, Matthew responds to Jesus’ call and then he invites Jesus to his house. Since Matthew is a sinner (collecting taxes for Romans) his friends are also “sinners,” so the …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 20, 2022 – A FAMILY VISIT (LUKE 8:19-21)

Prayer:  O Holy Spirit, help me to hear and act upon God’s word. Imagination: Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds. Context: Jesus forms a new family. This family is not based upon blood relationships but upon people freely choosing to hear and practice God’s word. To highlight this truth, this text contrasts Jesus’ human family …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 19, 2022 – THREE SAYINGS OF JESUS (LK 8:16-18)

Prayer: O Lord, call me to be your child of light. Imagination: Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. Context: This text contains three separate sayings of Jesus. The first saying envisions a Greek home with a light welcoming visitor.  The second sentence points out that nothing is secret to God, all will be revealed. The third …

WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – SUNDAY – C – SEPTEMBER 18, 2022 THE UNJUST STEWARD (LK 16:1-13)

Prayer:  O Jesus, wake me up to the imminence of the Kingdom. Imagination: Picture Jesus with His disciples. Context: The parable uses real-life details. Rich owners often lived at a distance and depended on stewards who held promissory oaths of debtors. The steward wants his changes put into the original handwriting of the debtors (so …

WEEK TWENTY-FOUR – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 17, 2022 – THE SOWER (LK 8:4-15)

Prayer: Jesus, plant the powerful seed of your Kingdom in my heart. Imagination: Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds. Context: This parable contrasts the difficult beginning of the Kingdom and its glorious fulfillment. The beginning has multiple frustrations. The end has a gigantic harvest. Jesus’ ministry is experiencing many obstacles. The disciples see failures, desertions and hostility.  …

WEEK THREE – MONDAY – JANUARY 24, 2022 – CASTING OUT SATAN (MK 3:22-30)

Prayer: O Jesus, by your power, free me from the Evil One. Imagination: Picture Jesus in his controversy with the scribes. Context:             Mark presents another group of critics, the scribes. However, Jesus does not answer them. Jesus speaks to the crowds to get a fair hearing.  He destroys the scribe’s argument by sheer logic. Then, he …

WEEK THREE – SUNDAY (C) – JANUARY 23, 2022 – THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS (LK 4:14-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, send the Spirit of the Father upon me. Imagination: Picture Jesus teaching in the synagogue. Context:             Having overcome Satan’s three temptations, Jesus begins his public ministry. Other gospels record this visit to the synagogue but Luke gives it preeminence. This is Jesus’ inauguration address highlighting all the themes of Luke’s gospel. Gospel …

WEEK TWO – SATURDAY – JANUARY 22, 2022 – HAVING A NEW FAMILY (MK 3:20-21, 31-35)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me be a member of your family. Imagination: Picture Jesus saying to you, “You are my brother and sister and mother.” Context:             Mark often begins a story, tells another story and then completes the first story. This story begins with the family squabble (3:20-21). The word, “outside” refers to the family.  “Inside” …

WEEK TWO – FRIDAY – JANUARY 21, 2022 – CALLING THE TWELVE APOSTLES (MK 3:13-19)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to respond to your call. Imagination:   Picture Jesus on the mountain calling his twelve apostles. Context:             The mountain top symbolizes Jesus’ closeness to the Father and the great importance of this decision.  These twelve apostles represent the new twelve tribes of Israel.  Both the names of the tribes and the names of …

WEEK TWO – THURSDAY – JANUARY 20, 2022 – TRYING TO TOUCH JESUS (MK 3:7-12)

Prayer:   Draw near, O Lord, so I can touch you in faith. Imagination:   Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds who are healed as they touch him. Context:             In this section, Mark pauses.  Jesus tries to get out of the limelight by spending time with his disciples.  However, his fame has spread. He must get into the boat …

WEEK TWO – WEDNESDAY – JANUARY 19, 2022 – THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND (Mk 3:1-6)

Prayer:   Come, Holy Spirit.  Give me faith in Jesus’ powers. Imagination:   Picture Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. Context:             For a while, Jesus continues his ministry within the synagogue.  Unfortunately, this great healing of a withered hand is overshadowed by a controversy. This leads to the pronouncement that “doing good” and “saving life” is more …

WEEK TWO – TUESDAY – JANUARY 18, 2022 – EATING GRAIN ON THE SABBATH (MK 2:23-28)

Prayer: O Jesus, be the Lord of my life. Imagination:   Picture Jesus with his disciples in the grain fields. Context:             This controversy is not about picking off heads of grain (which was an accepted practice), but about picking them on the Sabbath.  This controversy allows Jesus to pronounce that persons are more important than the law.  Jesus …