WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – THURSDAY – DECEMBER 3, 2020 THE PARABLE OF THE TWO HOUSES (MT 7:24-27)

Prayer –

O Jesus, I will put your word into practice so my house will always stand.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus with His disciples.)


Context:

Jesus chooses an example from the people’s daily experiences. In Israel, the rains come suddenly. A dry canal becomes quickly a raging stream. This parable is an excellent example of the sudden, unexpected moment of trial or judgment.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Everyone who hears my words and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rains fell. The floods came. The winds blew against that house, but it did not fall for it was founded on rock.
Everyone who hears my words and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rains fell. The floods came. The winds blew against that house. It collapsed and its fall was total.


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

  1. Jesus speaks this parable to believers who have heard his words.
  2. Some are wise enough to put the words into practice. Others are foolish and do not live out the words.
  3. Both houses are the same. The difference lies in their foundations on strong rock or on weak sand.
  4. The wind, the rains and the floodings are the moment of truth, the time of reckoning. Both houses experience the same destructive powers.
  5. The results are completely opposite. One remains unharmed. The other collapses.
  6. Jesus warning is stark and evident. You must build your life on God’s word.

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

  • Jesus, I have your word. I know your teaching. I will act. I will put into practice.
  • Jesus, your word is abundant. I will act on it and put it into practice.
  • O Lord, what do I build my life on? The rock of your teaching or the sand of my desires?
  • Let your word, O Lord, penetrate my heart!
  • How can I build my life on your word, unless I meditate on it daily.
  • O Lord, if I live by your word, my life will not collapse.

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

+ I will apply these meditations to my daily way of acting.

+ I will honestly examine the parts of my life built upon sand.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The wise man built his house upon rock.

WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – WEDNESDAY – DECEMBER 2, 2020 MULTIPLIED BLESSINGS (MT 15:29-37)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me hunger for your food.

Imagination:

(Picture Jesus and his disciples with the hungry crowds.)

Context:

The multiplication of food is the only miracle told in all four gospels. It is preceded by multiple healings. These stories highlight the Advent season when we await the Lord who comes with countless blessings, distributed freely to those who await him.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Large crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the cripples, the deformed, the blind, the mute and many others besides. They laid them at his feet and he cured them. The crowds marveled to see the mute speaking and the deformed made whole, cripples walking about and theblind seeing. They glorified the God of Israel. Jesus called together his disciples, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me three days with nothing to eat. I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint on the way. The disciples answered, “Where can we find so many loaves in this deserted place to feed so many? Jesus asked, “How many loaves do you have? They said, “Seven and a few little
fishes.” He commanded the crowd to sit down, and taking the seven loaves and the fishes, giving thanks, he broke and gave to his disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and had their fill, and seven baskets of fragments were left over.”

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

  1. Each person has a need. Some are sick. Some are hungry. Jesus takes care of them all.
  2. The crowds show great faith. They take extraordinary efforts to bring the crippled and the blind to this deserted place.
  3. They know the source of the healings. They place their sick at Jesus’ feet.
  4. The crowds do not complain of their hunger. They have freely chosen to stay three days.
  5. Seeing their fatigue, Jesus initiates the multiplication. The scene is like the Last Supper. Jesus takes bread, blesses, breaks and gives to the disciples.
  6. An abundance results. All are satisfied. The seven baskets left over are meant for us.

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

  • O Jesus, when will I learn to place all my needs at your feet?
  • My faith draws me to you. Nothing will keep me back.
  • Your power is unlimited, going forth to whomever draws near.
  • You are thoughtful, Jesus. Even when I do not ask, you provide.
  • Your Eucharist is every day. I will come to the table.
  • Jesus, I will gather up all your blessings. None will go to waste.

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

+ Today, I will bring my greatest need to Jesus. It is Advent and I must believe.

+ I will receive Holy Communion as often as possible during this season.


Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The crowd marveled to see the mute speaking and the cripples walking.

WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – TUESDAY – DECEMBER 1, 2020 REVEALED TO THE CHILDREN (LK 10:21-24)

Prayer –

Lord Jesus, give me a humble and accepting heart.

Imagination:

(Imagine Jesus reprimanding his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus sent out 72 disciples to proclaim the Kingdom. They have just returned with all the good news of their successes. This text is filled with rejoicing. Advent, unlike Lent, is a time to rejoice because “The Lord is near.”


Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus cried out, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, you have revealed them to the little ones. This has seemed good in your sight.
All things have been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, but the Father. And no one knows the Father, except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

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

  1. Jesus rejoices because the disciples are understanding the Kingdom.
  2. This understanding is withheld from the worldly wise and prudent.
  3. Jesus credits his heavenly Father, who has revealed these mysteries to the little ones.
  4. Jesus has the power to reveal even the Father himself.
  5. Jesus will reveal these mysteries to all. First, they must become his disciple.

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

  • Jesus, reveal to me the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  • Even more, reveal the Father himself.
  • As my heart is caught up with the Father, You will rejoice in me.
  • When I was wise and prudent, you could not do this. Now, I am your little one.
  • O Jesus, all that is yours is to become mine. What a mystery!

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

+ I will find time for solitude, so Jesus can reveal the Father.

+ I will cherish the mysteries of Jesus’ Kingdom.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The Son reveals the Father to whomever he wishes.

WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – MONDAY – NOVEMBER 30, 2020 Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle THE FIRST TO BE CALLED (Mt 4:18-22)

Prayer –

Call me, Jesus, into your Kingdom. Help me to follow you, and leave everything behind.

Imagination:

(Picture Jesus inviting the fishermen, Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him).

Context:

Mark’s gospel moves very quickly. In this first chapter, Jesus has been baptized and led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days. Suddenly, the Baptist is arrested and can no longer preach. Jesus assumes the task of preaching and gathers his first disciples.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, saying, “This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand. Reform your lives and believe in the good news.”
Going by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, casting their nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed him.
Going a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother. They were mending their nets in the boat. He also called them. They left their father, Zebedee, and the hired hands, and followed him.”

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

  1. God’s Kingdom has its timetable. After John prepares the way, Jesus takes up the message.
  2. This is a special time with great urgency. God will bring about the Kingdom.
  3. Jesus commands two actions. We must reform our lives and believe in the gospel.
  4. These four fishermen comply with those demands. They leave their possessions and their family members.
  5. They are employed in God’s Kingdom. They will fish for people, taking lost souls out of the sea of sin and placing them in Jesus’ boat.

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

  • Today, you call me into your Kingdom. O Jesus, I will not delay.
  • You fulfill the prophesies and you fill my heart.
  • Let me believe this good news. It will save my life and save my soul.
  • Whatever you ask, I will do. Wherever you go, I will follow.
  • I will leave everything to be with you.
  • Gather me, Jesus and I will gather others.
  • I will say to the whole world, “Come, let us follow Jesus.”

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

+ I will believe that this day is quite special.

+ I will not hesitate to respond to God’s voice.

+ I will learn how to bring others to Jesus.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand.

WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – SUNDAY – B – NOVEMBER 29, 2020 THE WATCHMAN AT THE GATE (MK 13:33-37)

Prayer –

O Lord, let me be ready to welcome you.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus teaching his disciples in the temple area)


Context:

With these words, Jesus concludes a long speech that spoke of Jerusalem’s destruction, persecutions and the end of the world. His final advice uses the image of a gatekeeper who must always be ready for the master to return, (a fitting gospel to begin the Advent season).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus said to his disciples, “Be constantly on watch! Stay awake! For you do not know when the appointed time will come. It is like a man who leaves his house for a far country and places his servants in charge. Each has his own task and he tells the man at the gate to watch.
Be aware. You do not know the hour when the master of the house will return, whether at twilight, or midnight or at the cock’s crow or at dawn. Do not let him come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all, “Watch”.”


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

  1. The master returning at an unknown hour was common in Palestine.
  2. The master gives each servant a job.
  3. Jesus specifically mentions the gatekeeper. He can never complete his task and must always be watching.
  4. His task is the most difficult because the master has no scheduled hour for a return.
  5. The parable lists four times for his return. All are inconvenient.
  6. Being constantly on watch is the basic duty of a disciple. This parable sharpens that command.

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

  • O Jesus, I am so caught up in earthly concerns that I forget to think of you.
  • You come at any time, and expect me to be watching.
  • You have given me a task in the Kingdom. How lucky I am.
  • You station me at the gate and tell me to await you, the King of Kings.
  • You do not tell me when you are coming, but I love you so much that it does not matter.
  • Whenever you come, I will be watching. This is what you told me to do.

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

+ During advent, I will give more time to prayer.

+ I will be attentive to Jesus’ inspirations.


Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Be constantly on watch! Stay awake!

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – SATURDAY – NOVEMBER 28, 2020 FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE (LK 21:34-36)

Prayer:

O Jesus, teach me to watch and to pray constantly.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus in the temple teaching his disciples.)


Context:

Jesus is worried. He will not be returning to earth soon and the disciples will wonder why he delays. So, he exhorts them not to grow indulgent, not to give up prayer or their high moral standards. These final words before the Last Supper are an important reminder. Whether it is sooner or later, all the world will stand before him.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus said to his disciples, “Be on guard, lest your spirits become bloated with indulgence and drunkenness and worldly cares, and that day come upon you suddenly, like a trap. That day will come upon the whole earth.
Watch, therefore. Pray at all times, so you may have the strength to escape what will happen and to stand secure before the Son of Man.”

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

  1. “That day”, means the moment when all will be judged by Jesus.
  2. Because Jesus’ Second Coming didn’t happen right away, some disciples abandoned their devout life and their watchfulness.
  3. They became indifferent, drunk and involved with worldly cares.
  4. They fell into a trap which entangles everyone who abandons Jesus’ Kingdom. Inevitably they will be trapped by something.
  5. Jesus explains the remedy. They must watch their conduct and pray constantly.
  6. Jesus’ coming is inevitable. History will end in this way. All must seek one thing – to stand secure before the Son of Man.
  7. These are Jesus’ final words. Remember them.

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

  • O Jesus, what a day that will be, when every human person will stand before you.
  • O Lord, how quickly my life will pass. Do not let me fall into indulgence or give my heart to worldly cares.
  • I will watch with you. That is what you ask of me.
  • Teach me to pray. Teach me to pray constantly.
  • How will I be secure on that day, Jesus? I know. I will live always in your hands.

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

+ When am I indulgent and entangled in worldly cares? I will take action.

+ I will pray mentally every day.


Thought for the Day:

(To recall your meditation)
Pray constantly for the strength to stand before the Son of Man.

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – FRIDAY – NOVEMBER 27, 2020 THE EVENTS ARE NEAR (LK 21:29-33)

Prayer:

O Jesus, help me to act now. So much is about to happen.

Imagination:

(Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:


Jesus has just predicted the fall of Jerusalem and declared that, at a given moment, he will come on clouds of glory. Because people think that this cosmic event is far off, they push the warning aside. So, Jesus must add this image of the fig tree which says that summer is near.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus told his disciples a parable, “Look at the fig tree and all the other trees. When you see them sending forth their shoots, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things happen, know that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, the present generation will not pass away until all these things take place. The heavens and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”


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

  1. Jesus knows that delay wears down his disciples. His words lose their effectiveness.
  2. The fig tree is a perfect example. In winter, no tree looks more dead. Yet, so quickly, it comes alive, surprising everyone.
  3. No one needs special knowledge. When trees blossom, everyone knows that summer is close.
  4. Jesus has an important conclusion. When persecution comes and when the Kingdom seems to have lost its power, that is the moment of closeness.
  5. The Kingdom is always near. God’s reign is always at hand. Suddenly and surprisingly, the moment of Jesus’ presence comes upon those gathered in faith.
  6. Someday the whole world will disappear but Jesus’ words will never lose their power.

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

  • O Jesus, when I grow tired, weary and discouraged, give me new life.
  • Let your Spirit breathe upon me and his fire leap up.
  • You are always coming to me. Your Kingdom is always at hand.
  • Just when I am losing life, you surprise me. Your Spirit suddenly stirs within.
  • You whisper to me, “I am never far away. I am always near”.
  • You are my hope. You will never pass away. Never fail me. Never abandon me.

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

+ I will live in great hope today that the Kingdom is at hand.

+ I will recall my favorite words of Jesus.

Thought for the Day:

(To recall your meditation)
Know that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – THURSDAY – NOVEMBER 26, 2020 THE JERUSALEM DESTRUCTION (LK 21:20-28)

Prayer:

O Jesus, be with us in times of disasters.

Imagination:

(Picture Jesus explaining to his disciples the fall of Jerusalem)

Context:

Jesus prophesied that the Romans would destroy Jerusalem, which they did in 70 A.D. Luke wrote his gospel fifteen years after this destruction. However, these words were very important to the earlier believers. They heeded Jesus’ advice to “flee to the mountains” and were saved from death.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus said to his disciples, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by an army, then know that the desolation is near. Those in Judea should flee to the mountains. Those in the middle of the city must escape. Those in the country must not return. These are the days of vengeance when all that is written will be fulfilled. Woe to the women who are with child or are nursing at the breast. There will be great distress in the land and great wrath upon the people. People will fall beneath the sword and they
will be led captive to the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun, the moon and the stars. On the earth, nature will be in anguish due to the roaring of the waves and the sea. Men will die of fear in anticipation of what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Then, men will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. When these things begin to happen, look up. Lift up your heads because your redemption is near
at hand.”


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

  1. What powerful verses and gigantic prophecies! Jesus prophesies of two different events, the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and his Second Coming at the end of the world.
  2. The believers could escape Jerusalem if they knew, believed and acted on Jesus’ words. Thousands did just that.
  3. Jesus’ words were totally fulfilled. People either died by the sword or were taken into captivity. Only the believers were saved.
  4. The Second Coming is different. No one can escape. However, those without Jesus will die of fright.
  5. Those with Jesus will rejoice.
  6. They will see Jesus coming, the One whom they preached and suffered for.

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

  • O Jesus, how important are your words. Place them in my heart.
  • O Jesus, save me from the disasters and catastrophes. Otherwise, I will be overwhelmed.
  • Jesus, without you I would die by the sword of afflictions.
  • Some day soon, you will come for me.
  • Come, Lord Jesus. I will lift up my head and welcome you.
  • For you I live. For you I will toil until you come.

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

+ In all my difficulties, I will listen for Jesus’ advice.

+ Each day, I will prepare for the moment of my death.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Lift up your heads. Your redemption is near at hand

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – WEDNESDAY – NOVEMBER 25, 2020 THE TRIALS OF A DISCIPLE (LK 21:12-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, help me in the moments of my trials.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus explaining to the disciples their future difficulties)


Context:

After discussing all the wars and famines and earthquakes that will occur, Jesus turns to two other difficulties. The disciples will find themselves hauled into court. Also, their family and friends will turn on them. Only patient endurance will win the victory.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“Jesus said to his disciples, “Before all these things happen, they will lay hands on you. They will persecute you, bringing you to synagogues and prisons, dragging you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. You will be brought there so you can give witness.
Do not think ahead of time what you are to say for I will give you words and a wisdom which your adversaries cannot resist or refute.
You will be betrayed by your parents and your brothers, relatives and friends. Some of you will be put to death and you shall be hated by all for my name’s sake. By patient endurance you shall save your lives.”

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

  1. The problems will begin when the disciples witness to Jesus.
  2. The synagogue will reject them and this will lead to prison.
  3. They will be brought before the highest authorities – governors and kings.
  4. These arrests serve God’s purpose. The disciples will speak of Jesus to all who attend their trial.
  5. Jesus, himself, promises to be there, prompting them what to say.
  6. Even family members will not want the disciple to join this new Jesus Movement.
  7. The consequence will be dire. Some will die. Jesus will not miraculously save them.
  8. By dying, they will “save their life”, their eternal life that really matters.

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

  • Jesus, to be persecuted for you is my greatest privilege.
  • I will not be silent. I will speak about your name.
  • Many need to hear the gospel. At least, some will listen.
  • Kings and governors have limited power. You, Jesus, and your disciples hold all authority.
  • You will be there. You will give me the words. You will be my lawyer.
  • No one will intimidate me or change my decision. You are my king and my governor.
  • Jesus, give me patient endurance.

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

+ I will ask for the gift of Fortitude.

+ I will not let hatred and anger of others to silence me.


Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
By patient endurance, you will save your lives.

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 24, 2020 NOT YET THE END (LK 21:5-11)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me persevere until the end.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).


Context:


In teaching about his Second Coming, Jesus keeps putting it off, always speaking of events that must happen first. The “coming” is always “later”. He stresses perseverance. The disciple must not think that the road is short.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some were speaking about the temple, which was adorned with precious stones and offerings. Jesus said, “These things which you see – the days will come when one stone will not be left upon another. All will be torn down. They asked him, “Master, when will this be?” and “What shall be the sign that it is going to happen?”
He said, “Be careful not to be led astray. Many will come in my name, saying, “I am he” and “the time is at hand” but do not follow them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be disturbed. These things must first happen but the end is not yet. Nations shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There shall be earthquakes, plagues and famines in various places. Even in the sky, there will be portents and signs.

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

  1. Nothing seemed more lasting than the newly built temple.
  2. Forty years after Jesus, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple (just as Jesus predicted).
  3. In asking for a sign, the disciples are misguided. Jesus’ word is their daily guide.
  4. Jesus lists so many happenings (wars, earthquakes, plagues and famines), yet none is a sign.
  5. Jesus wants the disciples to stay on course (even if there are cosmic events).
  6. They have his true teaching. They must just be good disciples.

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

  • O Jesus, nothing remains. Only you are eternal.
  • Lord, I need no sign, only your presence guiding me.
  • Your teaching is in my heart. I will cling to that.
  • I know you will come for me. I await you in faith.
  • O Jesus, what a world! We live with wars and famines and earthquakes! Stay with me!
  • Help me to stay on course, Jesus. The end is not near. I have many miles to go.

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

+ I will use Jesus’ words to guide my day.

+ I will detach myself from material possessions by little sacrifices.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
These things will happen but the end will not follow immediately.

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – MONDAY – NOVEMBER 23, 2020 THE WIDOW’S MITE (LK 21:1-4)

Prayer –

O Jesus, to you I give all I have.


Imagination –

(Picture Jesus in the temple with his disciples.)

Context:

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


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to the disciples, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk in long robes and to be saluted in the market-places. They want to sit in the first chairs in the synagogue and to have the places of honor at banquets. They devour the savings of widows and recite long prayers for appearance sake. They will receive the greatest judgment. Taking a seat opposite the treasury, Jesus saw the people putting their money into the treasury. The wealthy put in sizeable amounts. A poor widow came and put in two mites, worth about a penny. Calling his disciples, Jesus said, “Amen I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. The others put in from their abundance, but she gave from her want, all that she had to live on.”

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

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

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

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

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

+I will examine my use of money.

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

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
She has given from her need. All she had to live on.

WEEK THIRTY FOUR – SUNDAY (A) – NOVEMBER 22, 2020 THE LAST JUDGMENT (MT 25:31-46)

Prayer:

O Jesus, You are the King who is to come.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Some people die without ever hearing about Jesus. How will they be judged? In this parable, Jesus confronts this question of how they will be judged. Although they do not know Jesus (Lord, when did we see you?), they still could serve him in the needy.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Then shall the King say to the just, “Come, blessed of my Father, possess the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world. For I was hungry, thirsty, lost, naked, sick and in prison and you helped me.” The just will answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, lost, naked, sick and in prison?” “Amen, I say that as long as you did it to one of my least brothers, you did it to me.” Then he will say to the unjust, “Depart from me, you accursed into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, thirsty, lost, naked, sick and in prison and you did not help me.” They shall answer, “Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, lost, naked, sick and in prison and did not help you?” He shall answer, saying, “As long as you did
not do it to one of these least, neither did you do it for me.”


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

  1. The parable shows the cosmic Christ. All the nations (evangelized and non-evangelized) must come before him.
  2. The non-evangelized people are surprised to discover that they have served or not served this King. They have never heard about Jesus.
  3. Jesus explains that he identifies with every needy and suffering person in the whole world.
  4. The parable shows the eternal Christ. The Kingdom “was prepared from the world’s beginning.”
  5. The lesson for the disciple is this. Salvation or damnation concerns every human being (those who heard and those who have not heard about Jesus).

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

  • Lord, before I existed you prepared the kingdom for me.
  • O Jesus, your Kingdom will remain forever. May I be among its members.
  • The just served you when they didn’t even know you. Should I not serve you better, since I do know you?
  • I have heard your gospel. What great responsibilities I have.
  • Every needy person I meet today is a door into your Kingdom. Let my eyes be open.

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

+Today, I will thank God for my faith in Jesus Christ.

+I will think of my inevitable meeting with the King. What will he say to me?

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
“All the nations will be gathered before him.”

WEEK THIRTY THREE – SATURDAY – NOVEMBER 21, 2020 LIVING LIKE ANGELS (LK 20:27-38)

Prayer –

O Lord, fill me with strong desires to live like the angels.


Imagination –

(Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.)

Context:


The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul nor the resurrection of the dead. They present to Jesus what seems to us a foolish problem. A woman marries seven times, (after each previous husband dies). They want to know whose wife she will be in heaven. Jesus refutes their argument.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some Sadducees (who do not believe in the resurrection), confronted Jesus. “If a woman married seven brothers, whose wife will she be at the resurrection?” Jesus said to them, “The children of this world marry and are given on marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the
age to come and of the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Nor can they die any more because they are like the angels and are the children of God, sons of the resurrection. Moses in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he
called the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.


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

  1. The Sadducees could not conceive of a different bodily existence.
  2. They did not realize that God profoundly changes the glorified, risen body.
  3. Marriage is of earth. A person has a partner and brings forth children.
  4. Jesus sees the reality of heaven where God is the center. No one is lonely. All are united.
  5. The risen body cannot die. It enjoys the privileges of angels.
  6. This gift comes to “all judged worthy of the age to come”, the Kingdom which Jesus preaches.
  7. The person is totally changed into a son of the resurrection and a son of God.
  8. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have gained this kingdom. So will all who believe in Jesus.

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

  • O Jesus, someday I will have a glorified, risen body.
  • Lord, I will share in your resurrection.
  • In heaven, my heart will be filled with you and with others.
  • I will no longer suffer or die. I will live forever, with you, Jesus.
  • Help me, Lord to be judged worthy of this “age to come”.
  • Change me, Jesus into a son of glory and a son of the eternal Father.
  • You will give me life in abundance. Let me not fail you.

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

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

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

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
They cannot die because they live like the angels.

WEEK THIRTY THREE – FRIDAY – NOVEMBER 20, 2020 A CLEANSED BUT UNREPENTANT TEMPLE (LK 19:45-48)

Prayer:

O Jesus, make me your purified disciple.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus cleansing the Temple)

Context:


In all four gospels, Jesus cleanses the temple. (Therefore, it is a very important event).
Luke, in his gentle manner, omits many details known from the other gospels. He focuses on Jesus’ continued teaching and the leaders’ desires to kill him.


Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus entered the temple, he began to cast out the sellers, and the buyers saying, “It is written “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves”. He was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him but they had no idea of how to achieve it because all the people
were listening to him, attentive to every word.

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

  1. Luke venerates the temple. He alone tells the Temple stories of Jesus’ parents presenting Jesus (at 40 days) and finding Jesus (at 12 years).
  2. He omits all the details of the buying and selling, merely mentioning “sellers and buyers”.
  3. Luke’s focus is always prayer. Jesus calls the temple “a house of prayer.”
  4. Man has changed God’s temple into a “den of thieves.”
  5. Jesus sanctifies the temple. Now, he can teach without distraction.
  6. Jesus has attacked the Temple’s financial interests. This is the final straw. He must be destroyed.
  7. The people are purified. They are free to listen and cling to his words, attentive to all his teachings.
  8. After the resurrection, the apostles will call them to repent.

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

  • O Jesus, Your body is the new temple. Your mystical body, the Church, is where you dwell.
  • Cleanse me, Jesus. Purify me.
  • Do not let me steal your glory and honor.
  • Make my soul a “house of prayer” in which I proclaim you as Lord.
  • If you purge me, sinful powers will not control me.
  • Jesus, teach me and I will be attentive to your words.

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

  • I will try to find a Church so I can pray.
  • I will ask Jesus to purge my sinful desires.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
All the people were listening to him, attentive to his word.

WEEK THIRTY THREE – THURSDAY – NOVEMBER 19, 2020 JESUS’ LAMENT OVER JERUSALEM (LK 19:41-44)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me know the time of your visitation.

Imagination:

(Picture Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.)

Context:

As Jesus comes close to Jerusalem, he suddenly stops and weeps. He knows the future destruction of this city and describes it clearly. He pinpoints the cause of the failure. They did not recognize the importance of his coming.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“As Jesus drew near, he saw the city and wept over it saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days are coming when your enemies will raise a wall around you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and will kill your children within you, not leaving one stone upon another, because you
did not know the time of your visitation.”

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

  1. Jesus foresees perfectly the future destruction of Jerusalem.
  2. In 70 A.D. the Romans totally destroyed Jerusalem, killing all the children and not leaving “stone upon stone”.
  3. Having enemies on every side, Jerusalem should have depended upon God for its safety.
  4. Instead, Jerusalem kills Jesus and loses their only opportunity for peace.
  5. They do not see the “time of his visitation.”
  6. So Jesus weeps, unable to save his beloved city.

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

  • O Jesus, how many times you have cried over me.
  • You see my entire future.
  • Save me from the destructive forces within me and around me.
  • Speak to me so I find the path of peace.
  • Let me know the time of your visitation. I will await you.

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

+ I will be ready when Jesus visits me today.

+ I will open my eyes to the destructive forces in my life.

+ I will say often, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
You did not know the time of your visitation.

WEEK THIRTY THREE – WEDNESDAY – NOVEMBER 18, 2020 THE SERVANTS ENTRUSTED WITH MONEY (LK 19:11-28)

Prayer:

O Jesus, make me your faithful servant to whom you can entrust your blessings.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context


Jesus tells this parable to the disciples because they falsely believe that the reign of God is about to appear. The parable stresses the personal initiative of the disciple before Jesus returns in glory. These intervening years are not for laziness but for diligence in gaining new believers.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“As they neared Jerusalem, Jesus told the disciples a parable because they thought the reign of God was about to appear.
A man going to become king in a distant country called in ten servants, gave them money and said, “Invest this until I return.” When he returned, he sent for his servants. The first said, “Lord, your money has earned another ten.” “Good”, he said, “Since you were faithful in a small matter, I place you over ten villages. The second said, “Your investment has gained five more.”
He said, “Take over five villages.” The third said, “Here is your money. I had it for safekeeping. I was afraid because you are a hard man. You withdraw what you never deposit and reap what you never plant.” The king
said, “You are worthless. Why did you not at least get interest on the money.” To others, he said, “Take what he has and give it to the man with ten. For, whoever has will receive more. Whoever has less will lose the little that he has.” Jesus then continued his ascent to Jerusalem.”


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

  1. The disciples have the wrong idea. They will not see Jesus’ Kingdom in Jerusalem.
  2. Many years of hard work lie ahead.
  3. Although delayed, the day of accounting is inevitable.
  4. The diligent servants prepare for that day by working hard
  5. The third servant is lazy and has a false impression of the king.
  6. He loses everything, like a disciple who does not value the kingdom.
  7. Jesus continues to Jerusalem. He must fulfill his mission.


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

  • O Jesus, I still have so far to go!
  • Walk with me and I will persevere.
  • Someday you will come for me. I will await you.
  • Remove all my discouragement.
  • O Jesus, your rewards are so great, more than I can receive.
  • I will go with you, all the way to Jerusalem.

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

I will ask for perseverance.

I will think of Jesus’ great rewards.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
And Jesus continued up to Jerusalem

WEEK THIRTY THREE – TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 17, 2020 THE MAN UP IN THE TREE (LK 19:1-10)

Prayer: O Jesus, come and stay in my house this day.


Imagination:

(Picture Jesus finding Zaccheus in a tree.)


Context:


Zaccheus is the second wealthy man to receive an invitation from Jesus. He accepts the gift and uses his wealth to restore justice. This story highlights Jesus as the saviour of all, even rich people and their families.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

“Upon entering Jericho, Jesus passed through the city. There lived a wealthy man named Zaccheus, the chief tax collector. He wanted to see Jesus but he could not, because of the crowd. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus’ route. When Jesus reached that place, he looked up and said, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for today I must stay in your house.” He came down and received him with joy. When this was seen, many complained, “Jesus is going to the house of a sinner.”
Zaccheus stood his ground and said to the Lord. “I will give half of my belongings to the poor and if I have cheated anyone in the least I will return it four-fold.” Jesus said, “Today, salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

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

  1. As a tax collector, Zaccheus works for Rome. However, his desires are for Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. Zaccheus had only one chance, one moment. Jesus was just “passing by”.
  3. His limitations help him. God prompts Zaccheus to climb a tree where Jesus easily sees
    him.
  4. When Jesus says, “I must stay in your house”, Zaccheus understands the great gift.
  5. He holds his ground and does not allow the crowd to steal the Kingdom.
  6. Instead, he repents, “I give half my possessions to the poor and I will repay four times over any money I have extorted.” (Lk 19:8)
  7. His conversion is lasting. He joined the early church. That is how we have his name and his story.

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

  • Jesus, today you will come.
  • O Jesus, I will not miss my chance when you pass by today.
  • You will see me and call my name.
  • Lord, I am entangled, but you will set me free.
  • Yes, Jesus, come and stay in my house.
  • I will change whatever needs to be changed.
  • Jesus, you will rejoice. I am lost and you have saved me.
  • I will follow you all the way to Jerusalem.
    Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
  • I will be alert for those moments when Jesus will “pass by today.”
  • When Jesus says, “This day I shall stay in your house”, I will open my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)


Zaccheus would not allow the crowd to rob him of the Kingdom

WEEK THIRTY THREE – MONDAY – NOVEMBER 16, 2020 THE BLIND BEGGAR (LK 18:35-43)

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


Imagination: (Picture Jesus and the crowd with a beggar by the roadside.)

Context:
This journey to Jerusalem began with Jesus healing a blind man and culminates with another healing of blindness. This contrasts with the disciples’ growing blindness about Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. They do not grasp his predictions of his passion. This blind man saw and
followed Jesus to Jerusalem.


Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the wayside, begging. Hearing the crowd go by, the man asked, “What is that?” When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he cried out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. The crowd told him to be silent but he
cried out even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Jesus halted and commanded that he be brought near. When he had come close, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see” said the blind man.
Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you.” He saw immediately and followed Jesus on the way, giving God the glory. All the people saw this and they, too, gave glory to God.



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

  1. This beggar is at a severe disadvantage. He is blind, sits by the wayside, and does not even know what is happening.
  2. However, his blindness prepares him for this moment.
  3. He grasps quickly that Jesus is his only ray of hope.
  4. When Jesus summons him, the crowd changes its opinion. His crying out was the right thing to do.
  5. He knows the desire of his heart – to see again.
  6. With his sight restored, he sees the face of Jesus.
  7. His heart tells him to follow Jesus “up the road” to Jerusalem.
  8. What a day for the beggar! He becomes a disciple who gains the Kingdom.
    Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
  9. Jesus, my limitations are really favors. My heart stays with you.
  10. Lord, come close to me today.
  11. O Spirit of Jesus, whisper within my soul, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
  12. Fill me with hope and I will cry out to you, Lord.
  13. Jesus, You will hear and you will ask “What is it that I can do for you?”
  14. Everything, Lord! Bless me and I will “follow you on the way.”
    Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
  15. I will be attentive today to Jesus’ presence.
  16. I will have great hope that Jesus hears my every prayer.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
What do you want me to do for you?

WEEK THIRTY THREE – SUNDAY – A – NOVEMBER 15, 2020 THE SERVANTS ENTRUSTED WITH MONEY (MT 25:14-30)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me your faithful servant to whom you can entrust your blessings.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:
This parable is directed to the scribes. Surprisingly, the emphasis is upon the third servant (a symbol of the scribes). They have received the word of God but had neglected the gift. This is a crisis parable. Jesus attempts to awaken us to the gravity of each moment and the importance of his unexpected return.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
A man going on a journey called in his three servants. To one he gave five talents, to another two and to another, one, each according to his ability. The first one traded and gained five more. The second traded and gained two more. The third hid his one talent in the earth.
After a long time, the master returned and asked for an accounting. Hearing that the first servant had gained five more, he said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. I will place you over many things because you have been faithful with the few. Enter into the Lord’s joy.” The same thing happened with the second servant who had gained two more. He also was placed over many things.
However, the servant with one talent said, “I know you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter. Being afraid, I hid my talent. Now I return it to you.” The man said, “Wicked and lazy servant. You should have put my money in the bank and on my return I would receive my money back with interest. Take away this talent from him and give it to the others.”

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

  1. The parable centers on the day of accounting.
  2. Each is asked to produce “according to their ability”. God does not expect extraordinary accomplishments.
  3. The successful work results in the two servants entering into the master’s joy.
  4. The third servant is “worthless and lazy,” not worthy of his master’s joy.
  5. The time of accounting is a stark contrast. Two have overwhelming blessings. The third is cast out into the darkness.
  6. The judgment is final. There is no second chance.

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

  1. O Lord, so much hangs in the balance.
  2. Jesus, I will use every day for your Kingdom.
  3. O Lord, you are the fairest and most loving of masters.
  4. O Jesus, you want me to enter into your joy and glory.
  5. I will not fear you. You seek only my honest efforts.
  6. If I work for your kingdom, I will be ready for the accounting.
  7. Return quickly, Jesus, while I am still a fervent disciple.

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

  1. I will ask, “What talents has the Lord given me?”
  2. I will use this day for the Lord.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Enter into the joy of your Lord.

WEEK THIRTY TWO – SATURDAY – NOVEMBER 14, 2020 THE UNJUST JUDGE (LK 18:1-8)

Prayer – O Jesus, let me cry out to you day and night.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:
The real focus in this parable is the unjust judge. Although he is a complete opposite of God, he still grants the widow’s request. In the middle of trials, the destitute must believe that God hears their prayers and will intervene for their deliverance. The final sentence about “finding faith on the earth” is very important. In trials, will we persevere in trusting God?

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity of praying always and not losing heart.

A judge in a certain city did not fear God or man. A widow in that city begged him “Give me a just decision against my adversary.” For a long time, he would not do so. However, he eventually thought, “I do not fear God or man. However, this widow bothers me. I will give her a just decision lest she wear me out.”
Jesus said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God vindicate his elect who cry out to him day and night, even if he seems slow to answer them” I say that he will avenge them unexpectedly. But, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

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

  1. The dishonest judge has every bad quality. He has no fear of God, no fear of man and is totally corrupt.
  2. He is the total opposite of the compassionate Jesus who wept over human suffering. Yet, he grants the request.
  3. This parable describes the loving God who brings about a surprising reversal.
  4. The suffering and the persecuted must do one thing. They must “cry out to God day and night.”
  5. Their deliverance is assured. Justice will come quite unexpectedly.
  6. The question is, “Does the person persevere in trusting God even when the trial continues?”

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

  1. O Jesus, to whom else shall I go?
  2. Jesus, teach me to pray without ceasing. Let me lift my heart to you “day and night.”
  3. You will come. You will not delay. You will give me “unexpected justice.”
  4. Let me gather with others. We will “cry out” together.
  5. O Jesus, even if you delay, I will persevere in faith.
  6. You will find me watching.

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

  1. Trials will not discourage me. They will cause me to cry out “day and night.”
  2. In faith, I will await God’s “surprising answer.”

Thought for the Day. (To recall your meditation)
Will God be slow to answer those who call out to him day and night?