DECEMBER 10, 2015 – WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – THURSDAY – THE GREATNESS OF JOHN

(Matthew 11:11-15) Prayer:   O Jesus, prepare me for the greatness of your Kingdom. Imagination: (Picture Jesus talking to his disciples about John.) Context: John is the greatest of the Old Testament prophets. Yet, because he did not live to see Jesus’ Kingdom, the least in Jesus’ Kingdom is greater than John. An extraordinary proclamation! Just …

DECEMBER 9, 2015 – WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – WEDNESDAY – THE EASY YOKE

(Matthew 11:28-30) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to take up Jesus’ easy yoke and light burden. Imagination: (Picture Jesus inviting all his disciples to come to him.) Context: The burdened are those who cannot seem to get out from under. Jesus is one of them. He carries the whole world on his shoulders. Jesus’ …

DECEMBER 8, 2015 – WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – TUESDAY – THE LOST SHEEP

(Matthew 18:12-14)  Prayer: O Jesus, come and find me. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.) Context: This parable is closely connected to the prodigal Son parable. A hundred sheep was a medium sized flock. The shepherd must have been poor and unable to pay a helper. Matthew’s gospel stresses the shepherd’s unwearied search and his …

DECEMBER 7, 2015 – WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – MONDAY – FORGIVING SINS

(Luke 5:17-26) Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith. Imagination- (Picture Jesus healing the paralyzed man.) Context: These stories in Mark’s gospel are controversy stories. Each dispute allows Jesus to make some pronouncement. In this story, Jesus says that he is the Son of Man with divine authority. Gospel Text: (Read …

DECEMBER 6, 2015 – WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – SUNDAY (C) – THE BAPTIST COMES ON THE SCENE

(Luke 3:1-6) Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Help me to prepare for Christmas. Imagination: (Picture yourself at the Jordan with John.) Context: Luke has told the stories of Jesus infancy, ending with Jesus being lost in the temple. The next 18 years are Jesus’ hidden life. Now the drama opens and John the Baptist is the …

DECEMBER 5, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – SATURDAY – THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S REIGN

(Matthew 9:35-10:8) Prayer: O Jesus, your goodness is everywhere. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples, healing the crowds). Context: The advent gospels are filled with Jesus’ compassion and power. That compassion brings forth physical healings and makes Jesus a shepherd to the poor. Unable to do all by himself, he shares his powers with the …

DECEMBER 4, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – FRIDAY – HEALING THE BLIND

(Matthew 9:27-31) Prayer: O Jesus, make me confident that you can make me see. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples.) Context: After raising the little girl to life, Jesus encounters two blind men. They give him the Messianic title, “Son of David” and proclaim that they have confidence that he can heal them Filled with …

DECEMBER 3, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – THURSDAY – THE PARABLE OF THE TWO HOUSES

(Matthew 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 …

DECEMBER 2, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – WEDNESDAY – MULTIPLIED BLESSINGS

(Matthew 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 …

DECEMBER 1, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – TUESDAY – REVEALED TO THE CHILDREN

(Luke 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 …

NOVEMBER 30, 2015 – WEEK ONE OF ADVENT – MONDAY – A CENTURION WITH GREAT FAITH

(Matthew 8:5-11) Prayer: O Jesus, fill me with faith in your power. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the Centurion.) Context: Advent is a time of faith and the church selects the Gentile centurion as the first model. He believed that Jesus could heal at a distance (unheard of in Judaism). Even Jesus proclaims his extraordinary faith. …

NOVEMBER 29, 2015 – WEEK THREE OF ADVENT – SUNDAY (C) – FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE

(Luke 21:34-36) Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to watch and to pray constantly. Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the temple teaching his disciples.) Context: These are Jesus’ final words of teaching before the Last Supper. Jesus is worried. He will not be returning to earth soon. The disciples will wonder why he delays. So, he exhorts …

NOVEMBER 28, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – SATURDAY – FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE

(Luke 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 …

NOVEMBER 27, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – FRIDAY – THE EVENTS ARE NEAR

(Luke 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, …

NOVEMBER 26, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – THURSDAY – THE JERUSALEM DESTRUCTION

(Luke 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 …

NOVEMBER 25, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – WEDNESDAY – THE TRIALS OF A DISCIPLE

(Luke 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 …

NOVEMBER 24, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – TUESDAY – NOT YET THE END

(Luke 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 so the disciple does not think that the road is …

NOVEMBER 23, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – MONDAY – THE WIDOW’S MITE

(Mark 12:38-44) 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 people, linked by the word widow.   The scribes want everyone to see their goodness while secretly they steal widow’s money. The widow, on the contrary, gives …

NOVEMBER 22, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY FOUR – SUNDAY (B) – JESUS’ TESTIMONY BEFORE PILATE

(Mark 18:33-38) Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Make Jesus the king of my heart. Imagination: (Picture Jesus standing before Pilate) Context: Pilate has inquired from the Jews about the charges against Jesus. They said that he claims to be King of the Jews. In conducting his investigation he allows Jesus to explain his Kingship and …

NOVEMBER 21, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – SATURDAY – LIVING LIKE ANGELS

(Luke 20:34-38)  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 bring to Jesus what seems to us like …