of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Category: <span>Meditations</span>

Category: Meditations

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2024 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

JESUS QUESTIONS PETER (Jn 21:15-19)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking with Peter on the share of Galilee.

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will follow Jesus until I die.

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

THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2024 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS (Jn 17:20-26)

Prayer:

O Jesus, restore our oneness in your glory.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

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

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will thank God for my faith.

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

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

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2024 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES (Jn 17:11-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, consecrate me to the Father.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2024 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

NOW CALLED FRIENDS (Jn 15:9-17)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will value my new status of being a friend of Jesus.

+ Being Jesus’ friend, I will seek to know what he wants of me.

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

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2024 SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

THINKING THEY UNDERSTAND (Jn 16:29-33)

Prayer:

O Jesus, strengthen me in the time of trial.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2024 SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES (Jn 17:11-19)

Prayer:

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

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.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2024 SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

SPEAKING PLAINLY (Jn 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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

  • O Jesus, I thank you that I was born after you came into the world.
  • Now, I understand all the mysteries.
  • I am a child of the Father, an heir of the Kingdom, a member of Christ’s Body.
  • O Father, I speak to you as your child and I ask you to give me eternal life.
  • O Jesus, I love you and believe that you came from the Father.
  • 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.)

+ I will meditate on the great privilege of being born after Jesus Christ lived on this earth.

+ I will never endanger my inheritance by sinful choices.

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

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2024 SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

IN A LITTLE WHILE (Jn 16:20-23)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will ask Jesus to come to me, today.

+ I will never allow anything to steal my joy.

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

THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2024 ASCENSION THURSDAY

THE FINAL COMMAND (MK 16:15-20)

Prayer:

O Jesus, send me to the nations.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus on the mountain with his disciples.

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will try to make others his disciples.

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

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2024 SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

THE SPIRIT TEACHES (Jn 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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will have a special devotion to the Spirit of Jesus.

+ Today, I will seek the Spirit’s help for all my decisions.

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

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2024 SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

THE SPIRIT’S TASKS (Jn 16:5-11)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will listen to the Spirit’s voice within.

+ I will not allow the world to confuse me.

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

MONDAY, MAY 6, 2024 SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER

WHEN THE PARACLETE COMES (Jn 15:26-16:4)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will set aside time for prayer, so the Spirit can teach me.

+ I will be a faithful witness to Jesus.

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

SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2024 SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

THE SAMARITAN WOMAN (Jn 4:1-15)(Jn 4:7-10)

Prayer:

O Jesus, give me the living waters of the Kingdom.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus speaking to the woman by the well.

Context:

John’s gospel has three central stories.  The Woman at the Well represents a beginner.  The healed blind man (C9) represents a disciple in the middle of trials and Lazarus (C11) represents the disciple facing death.  In this first part, her conversion begins.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

  1. This meeting at the well seems like a chance occurrence.  Really, God planned this “from the beginning.”
  2. Jesus humbles himself.  He breaks all the social customs which divide a Jew from a Samaritan or a man from a woman.
  3. Both are deeply interested in water.  The woman for natural water and Jesus for the “water welling up to eternal life.”
  4. Because of her thirst, she opens her heart.  “Sir, give me this water.” 
  5. She is prepared to receive, but some obstacles are present.

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

  • O God, you meet me in the common events of my daily life.
  • O Jesus, You come to me.  You speak.  You invite.
  • As I respond you reveal yourself to me.
  • Lord, I thirst for doors to your Kingdom.
  • Give me your water and I will thirst even more.
  • O Jesus, I am created for pure heavenly water.
  • Help me to reject polluted earthly water.

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

+ Today, I will see Jesus coming to me in ordinary events.

+ I will ask for living water.

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

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

THE WORLD’S HATRED (Jn 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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

  • O Jesus, if I love you, the world will not love me.  What a small price!
  • What more could I ask? A servant wants to be treated like the Master.
  • You have chosen me, and taken me away from the world.
  •  I have said my “Goodbyes.”  I have parted company.  I am with you forever.
  • Being persecuted for your name is greater than any worldly honor.
  • 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.)

+ Today, I will rejoice to think, “Jesus has chosen me out of the world.”

+ If people do not understand me, I will think of how the world misunderstood Jesus.

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

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER Sts. Philip & James, Apostles

SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:6-14)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

  • O Jesus, I know you. You are the Father’s only son.
  • When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
  • When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father.  When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
  • O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. You are bound together by the Holy Spirit of love.
  • 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.)

+ I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.

+ I will thank the Father for sending Jesus.

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

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

REMAINING IN THE VINE (Jn 15:9-11)

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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will recall that the Father’s love for Jesus can be mine, also.

+ I will struggle to keep the commandments, never growing discouraged by my sins.

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

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

THE DOUBTING HOME TOWN (Mt 13:54-58)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I will believe and not doubt.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the synagogue at Nazareth.

Context:

The gospels record Jesus coming back to Nazareth and being met with a lack of faith.  The people know about his miraculous powers but remain cynical.  Their lack of faith limits the fruitfulness of Jesus’ powers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

  1. Jesus returns to Nazareth with high hopes.  He has been so successful in other places.
  2. He follows his usual plan and goes to the synagogue to teach.
  3. The response here is different.  The people question his powers and do not seek healings.
  4. Being too familiar with his family, they reject him.
  5. Jesus is saddened. He wanted so much to help those he grew up with.
  6. He has infinite power, but he cannot use it for people who do not believe.

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

  • O Jesus, you have high hopes.  You want to do great things for me.
  • You come to me, just as you come to every person.
  • You want to bless me and pour out your favors.
  • I will not disappoint you.  I will not reject you.
  • Who are you and who am I? You are the Lord.  I am the servant.
  • O Jesus, my heart is empty and you will fill it.

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

+ I will have great faith in Jesus’ care for me.

+ I will ask him to come to my heart.

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

TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

JESUS’ FAREWELL GIFT (Jn 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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will try to understand Jesus’ infinite love for me.

+ I will seek his peace so I can serve him.

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

MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2024 FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

REVEALED TO THE DISCIPLES (Jn 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.)

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those 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.)

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

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

+ I will treasure the presence of Father, Son and Spirit in my soul.

+ I will seek quiet moments, so the Spirit can teach me.

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

SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2024 WEEK FIVE OF EASTER

THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES (Jn 15:1-5)

Prayer:

Jesus, bring forth your fruits in me.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching 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’ union with Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

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

  1. The good fruit is a devout life that brings forth prayer and virtues.
  2. The Father (the vinedresser) does everything to gain fruit from the vine.
  3. If a soul brings forth good works he prunes it so it will bear more.
  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. “Without me, you can do nothing.”

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

  • O Jesus, you alone are the vine that gives life. I will abide in you.
  • I once was a dead branch, but you have grafted me onto yourself. Now, I bear fruit.
  • O Father, prune away all that is lifeless in me.
  • O Jesus, I want to bring forth greater virtues pleasing to you.
  • O Jesus, I only need to abide in you. Then, your life flows in me.
  • With you, all things are possible. This is the secret of a fruitful life.

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

+ I will abide with Jesus by thinking of him often today.

+ I will dedicate this whole day to Jesus.

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