Friday, December 29, 2023

Simeon’s Inspired Words (Lk 2:25-27) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Lead me this day to your divine appointment. Imagination:  Picture Simeon praising God with Jesus in his arms. Context:                 After forty days, Mary and Joseph fulfill the Mosaic Law by presenting Jesus in the temple. Surprisingly, Simeon appears on the scene. Luke says that the …

Thursday, December 28, 2023 The Holy Innocents

Herod’s Massacre (Mt 2:13-18) Prayer: O Lord Jesus, I would love to shed my blood for you. Imagination:  Picture Mary, Joseph and the Child fleeing into Egypt. Context: In Matthew’s gospel, Joseph is the central person in the infancy stories and God’s usual way of communicating with him is by an angel in his dreams. …

Wednesday, December 27, 2023 St. John The Evangelist

The Disciples At The Tomb (Jn 20:1-8) Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ. Imagination:  Picture the disciples at the empty tomb. Context: Before the gospel writers describe the Easter visions, they speak of the empty tomb and of the disciples’ reactions. In this text, Magdalene, Peter and the …

Tuesday, December 26, 2023, St. Stephen, Martyr

Persecutions (Mt 10:17-22) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, Strengthen me in moments of trial. Imagination:  Picture Jesus preparing His disciples for persecution. Context: Jesus has just commissioned his apostles and sent them out to preach. He warns them of difficulties. Matthew’s Church also sent out missionaries who faced the same persecutions, both from Jews and Romans. …

Monday, December 25, 2023, Christmas

Christmas Day The Word Became Flesh (Jn 1:1-18) Prayer: O Jesus, thank you for leaving the Father’s side and becoming a man. Imagination:  Picture Mary giving birth to Jesus, the Word made Flesh. Context:                 Mark begins his gospel with John the Baptist. Matthew and Luke begin their gospels with infancy stories. John begins his …

Sunday, December 24, 2023 – See Also December 24 Christmas Vigil Readings Fourth Sunday Of Advent

Mary’s Questioning And Acceptance (Lk 1:26-38) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to say “Yes” to God’s plan. Imagination:  Picture Mary speaking with the Angel. Context:                 Luke records the greatest moment in human history, when God becomes flesh in Mary’s womb. This text highlights Mary’s struggle to understand the mystery. Once all is clear, …

Christmas Vigil December 24, 2023

The Birth Of Jesus (Lk 2:1-14) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Take me to Bethlehem. Imagination: Picture Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. Context:                 Throughout his gospel, Luke describes the historical setting. His purpose is subtle. He names Caesar Augustus to show that he is not as important as the Christ Child. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly …

Saturday, December 23, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

The Birth Of John The Baptist (Lk 1:57-66) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to obey your word. Imagination:  Picture Elizabeth and Zechariah surrounded by their neighbors. Context:                 Luke’s gospel describes the miracles that surround the conceptions and births of both John and Jesus. These numerous miracles proclaim that both are very special to …

Friday, December 22, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

Mary’s Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Inspire your prayer in my heart. Imagination: Picture Mary praising God in Elizabeth’s presence. Context:                 Mary knows the Old Testament song of Hannah, mother of Samuel (1Sam 2:1-10). Hannah rejoiced that she conceived by God’s power after years of hopelessness. Mary enters into an even greater …

Thursday, December 21, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

Mary Visits Elizabeth (Lk 1:39-45) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Fill me with your joy. Imagination: Picture Mary entering Zechariah’s house. Context:                 This story contains many truths. First, Jesus begins his sanctifying ministry. Second, John begins his ministry, pointing out Jesus to his mother. Third, this is an early picture of Pentecost. All are filled …

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

Mary’s Questioning And Acceptance (Lk 1:26-38) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to say “Yes” to God’s plan. Imagination:  Picture Mary speaking with the Angel. Context:                 Luke records the greatest moment in human history, when God becomes flesh in Mary’s womb. This text highlights Mary’s struggle to understand the mystery. Once all is clear, …

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

Zechariah’s Doubting Faith (Lk 1:5-20) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to believe in God’s word to me. Imagination:  Picture the Angel appearing to Zechariah. Context:                 In these early stories, Luke speaks of two couples, Zechariah with Elizabeth and Joseph with Mary. Zechariah fails this test of faith. His lack of belief is later …

Monday, December 18, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

Joseph’s Dilemma (Mt 1:18-25) Prayer:  Come, Holy Spirit. Give to me Joseph’s fidelity to God’s plan. Imagination:  Picture Joseph receiving the angel’s message. Context:                 Luke tells us about Mary accepting her role as Mother of God. In Matthew’s gospel, the stories focus on Joseph’s dilemma. How does an upright Jewish man resolve the dilemma …

Sunday, December 17, 2023 Week Three Of Advent

The Baptist’s Identity (Jn 1:19-28) Prayer:  O Jesus, help me to find my identity in you. Imagination:  Picture John preaching at the Jordan River. Context:                 The gospel of John focuses on Jesus’ identity. This text clarifies the Baptist’s identity so he is not confused with the messiah. John identifies Jesus as the one who …

Saturday, December 16, 2023 Week Two Of Advent

The New Elijah (Mt 17:10-13) Prayer:  O Jesus, help me to see the Father’s saving plan. Imagination:  Picture Jesus coming down the mountain with Peter, James and John. Context:                 These three apostles have just seen the transfigured Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah on the mountaintop. This experience leads them to bring up a …

Friday, December 15, 2023 Week Two Of Advent

The Children Singing And Dancing In The Marketplace (Mt. 11:16-19) Prayer: O Jesus, open my heart to all the messengers you send to me. Imagination:  Picture Jesus with His disciples. Context:                 This parable shows hostility toward Jesus. The children cannot agree, so their quarrels end their playtime. The cause is laziness. Some children expect …

Thursday, December 14, 2023 Week Two Of Advent

The Greatness Of John (Mt 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 …

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 Week Two Of Advent

The Easy Yoke (Mt 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 …

Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Mary’s Questioning And Acceptance (Lk 1:26-38) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit.  Help me to say “Yes” to God’s plan. Imagination: Picture Mary speaking with the Angel Context:                 Luke records the greatest moment in human history, when God becomes flesh in Mary’s womb.  This text highlights Mary’s struggle to understand the mystery.  Once all is clear, …

Monday, December 11, 2023 Week Two Of Advent

Forgiving Sins (Lk 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 …