AUGUST 3, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – WEDNESDAY – THE QUICK-WITTED MOTHER

(Matthew 15:21-28) Prayer – O Jesus, let me persevere in seeking your blessings. Imagination – (Picture Jesus confronted by this mother.) Context: This story occurs in Gentile territory with a Gentile mother and shows that the Kingdom will break out of its Jewish beginnings and spread to the whole world. Jesus allows her to win …

JULY 27, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – WEDNESDAY – TWO PARABLES OF JOY

(Matthew 13:44-46) Prayer: O Jesus, I will purchase your Kingdom, no matter what the price. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples) Context: Jesus continues to give a picture of a true disciple. These parables highlight joy that leads to a decision. Because Israel was invaded so many times (from every direction), many people buried their …

JULY 20, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – WEDNESDAY – THE SOWER

(Matthew 13:1-9) Prayer – Jesus, plant the powerful seed of your Kingdom in my heart. Imagination: (Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds). Context: This parable contrasts the difficult beginning of the seeds and the glorious fulfillment of the harvest. The beginning has multiple frustrations. The end has gigantic results. Jesus’ ministry is experiencing many obstacles. …

JULY 13, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – WEDNESDAY – REVELATION TO THE LITTLE ONES

(Matthew 11:25-27) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal all that is hidden. Imagination: ( Picture Jesus praising God for His disciples). Context: Filled with joy, the apostles return from their preaching mission. Jesus, too, experiences great joy and thanks his heavenly Father for revealing the Kingdom to his disciples. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) Jesus …

JULY 6, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – WEDNESDAY – COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE

 (Matthew 10:1-7) Prayer: Come, Jesus. Anoint me to preach your Kingdom. Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing his apostles for their missionary journey.) Context:    Jesus now makes his apostles into missionaries. He calls them and gives two powers – to drive out demons and to heal. He tells them how to act and what to preach. For …

JUNE 29, 2016 – WEEK THIRTEEN – WEDNESDAY – POSSESSED MEN AND A DUMB CITY

(Matthew 8:28-34) Prayer: O Jesus, how great is your power to free me. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples as he frees the two possessed men.) Context: Matthew takes this story from Mark’s gospel (5:1-20) but he shortens Mark’s story. In doing so, he highlights Jesus’ power. Unfortunately, the people ask him to leave. Gospel …

JUNE 22, 2016 – WEEK TWELVE – WEDNESDAY – THE FALSE PROPHETS

(Matthew 7:15-20) Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to be on guard lest I be deceived. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.) Context: Matthew tries to protect and form his church members. He protects them by warning against false prophets who can lead them astray. He forms them by demanding a life that brings forth good …

JUNE 15, 2016 – WEEK ELEVEN – WEDNESDAY – ACTING IN SECRET

(Matthew 6:1-4) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Teach me to act in secret. I do not want to lose my reward. Imagination   (Picture Jesus teaching the disciples how to gain their reward.) Context: Jesus contrasts Christian goodness with the goodness of the Pharisees. He highlights doing good deeds in secret, with purity of intention. Gospel Text …

JUNE 8, 2016 – WEEK TEN – WEDNESDAY – THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS

(Matthew 5:17-20) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Make me great in Jesus’ Kingdom. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples about following the Law and the Prophets.) Context: “Law and prophets” means the whole Old Testament. Jesus wants his Church to retain these books and teach them to his disciples. At the same time, these books are …

JUNE 1, 2016 – WEEK NINE – WEDNESDAY – LIVING LIKE ANGELS

(Mark 12:18-27) Prayer – O Lord, I want to live with you forever in heaven. Imagination – (Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.) Context: The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead. They present to Jesus what seems to us a foolish …

MAY 25, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – WEDNESDAY – AMBITIOUS JAMES AND JOHN

(Mark 10:35-40) Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal the glory you have prepared. Imagination – (Picture James and John seeking favors from Jesus.) Context: Jesus has just told the apostles about his future sufferings. James and John, however, are only interested in their own glory. Jesus talks about the “cup”, which means both the cup …

MAY 18, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – WEDNESDAY – AGAINST EXCLUSIVITY

(Matthew 5:38-48) Prayer: O Jesus, overcome in me any desire to exclude others. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching John and the other Eleven) Context: Jesus has just spoken about service within the Christian community. He now teaches about relating to those outside the Community. Jesus rejects a close-mindedness that would result in exclusivity. He wants the …

MAY 11, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES

(John 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 …

MAY 4, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – THE SPIRIT TEACHES

(John 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 …

APRIL 27, 2016 – FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

(John 15:1-5) Prayer:   Bring forth your fruits in me. Imagination   (Picture Jesus 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 being one with Jesus. Gospel Text (Read …

APRIL 20, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – A RECAPITULATION

(John 12:44-50) Prayer: O Jesus, do not let me stay in darkness. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple) Context: Jesus is about to leave the temple to go into hiding. His public teaching ministry is over. These verses in John’s gospel are a summary of his main themes, an overview of all that Jesus …

APRIL 13, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN

(John 6:32-39) Prayer: O Jesus, hold me tight. Never let me go. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.) Context: In the debate with Jesus, the crowd talks about the great sign of manna. In the desert, God promised Moses that he would send “bread from heaven” (Ex. 16:4). Jesus explains that the manna came from …

APRIL 6, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – SENT INTO THE WORLD

(John 3:16-21) Prayer: O Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross to save me. Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus) Context: This gospel contains the famous John 3:16 verse about God so loving the world. It explains that god’s motive was to save, not to condemn. However, anyone who rejects this light is subject to …

MARCH 30, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – PART TWO – JESUS REVEALS HIS PRESENCE

(Luke 24:25) Prayer: O Jesus, reveal your presence in my life. Imagination: (Picture the two disciples at table with Jesus.) Context: After Jesus instructs these two disciples, they invite him to stay with them. He celebrates Eucharist and “in the breaking of the bread”, their eyes are opened. They regain their dream and return to …

MARCH 30, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – PART ONE – TWO DISCIPLES LEAVING JERUSALEM TO EMMAUS

(Luke 24:13) Prayer: O Jesus, restore my hope. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with these two disciples.) Context: This is the longest story of any Easter vision and presents a model for Christian initiation.   In this first part we see the disciples’ sadness and dejection. They are walking away from being disciples. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly …