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 the debate so he can free her daughter.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. A Caananite woman presented herself, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me! My daughter is terribly troubled by a demon.” He did not answer her. His disciples told him, “Send her away. She is always crying out.” Jesus answered, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.”

She came and adored him, “Lord, help me.” Jesus answered, “It is not good to give the children’s food to the dogs.” She replied, “Do not the dogs eat from the crumbs falling from the master’s table?”

Jesus answered, “O woman, great is your faith. Let it be done as you will.” Her daughter was cured at that hour.

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

  1. As Jesus comes to her distant village, the mother realizes her special opportunity.
  2. This is her moment. Jesus has come to her area.
  3. Jesus hesitates, saying that his ministry is meant for the Jewish people.
  4. She cleverly twists his words and touches the heart of Jesus.
  5. Even the Gentiles should share in the Jewish banquet.
  6. Jesus’ great powers drive out the demon from afar.
  7. When the woman discovers the healing, she believes in Jesus and tells her story. That is how we know it.

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

  1. Jesus, You are always near. I always have my special opportunity.
  2. I will look for you. When I find you, I will pour out my heart.
  3. How many needs I have! How many powers you have!
  4. All my words touch your heart. You hear every one of them.
  5. You delay only so I ask again.
  6. O Jesus, how great are your powers. You can change everything.

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

  1. I will see the closeness of Jesus.
  2. I will believe in his powers.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Her daughter was cured at that hour.

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 valuables in the fields, hoping to reclaim them later. Finding a treasure in a field was common. In the second parable, pearls are both highly prized and very valuable.

In these two stories, Jesus stresses the overwhelming joy which seizes both men when they make their discovery. Upon discovering the kingdom, every true disciple experiences this overpowering joy.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. When a man finds it, he hides it again. Because of his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Also, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for good pearls. When he has found one pearl of a great price, he goes his way, sells all he has and buys it.

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

  1. Both men are searching and their finding is a great surprise.
  2. When they realize the greatness of their discovery, joy overwhelms them.
  3. This joy penetrates them and carries them away.
  4. They see that nothing else in the whole world compares to their discovery.
  5. Selling everything is a joy. They will possess the priceless treasure.

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

  1. Lord, I will search and you will help me to find.
  2. Finding you is totally your gift.
  3. The treasure is not on the surface. I must go deep into prayer.
  4. When I find you, joy overwhelms me.
  5. Jesus, penetrate my being and carry me off in joy.
  6. I will sell all to gain your presence.
  7. Even in future trials, my initial joy will carry me through.

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

  1. I will recall my joy in finding the Kingdom.
  2. I will live in that joy this day.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Because of this joy, he sold all he had and bought that field.

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. The disciples see failures, desertions and hostility. Jesus sees that God’s work is doing quite well.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

“A farmer went out to plant seeds. Some seed fell by the wayside and the birds of the air ate it.

Some seed fell on rocky ground and grew quickly because the soil was not deep. When the sun rose, it was scorched for lack of roots.

Some fell among thorns. The thorns grew and choked it and it did not yield grain.

Some fell upon good ground and brought forth abundant fruit that yielded thirty, sixty or a hundred fold. He who has ears, let him hear.

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

  1. The seeds represent the power of God’s Kingdom.
  2. God scatters these seeds abundantly in your heart.
  3. You do not accept some seeds, you do not accept. These invitations fall “by the wayside.”
  4. By the hardness of your heart, you resist other seeds. They do not take root.
  5. You mix some seeds with your worldly preoccupations. These never produce any worthwhile fruit.
  6. You receive some seeds without compromise and give them your heart.
  7. These produce abundant fruit and you rejoice.

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

  1. O Lord, sow your seeds abundantly in my heart.
  2. I will cherish these seeds of the kingdom and of eternal life.
  3. O God, at times you placed seeds in me, but I was not receptive.
  4. Jesus, why do I resist your kingdom? Why is my heart like rocky ground?
  5. O Lord, how often I make your seeds share my heart with other desires. This is not what you want.
  6. Even though I have wasted everything, Your seeds can still bring an abundant harvest. Jesus, my life can still be glorious.

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

  1. I will believe that the seeds of God’s Kingdom are abundant and powerful within me.
  2. I will purify the soil, so the seeds can grow.

Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)

The harvest was thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.

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 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.)

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

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

  1. I will find time for solitude, so Jesus can reveal the Father.
  2. 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.

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 the first time, others will use Jesus’ powers.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

   Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to heal every disease and illness.

   Jesus sent them on mission as the Twelve, after giving them the following instructions. “Do not go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans. Go to the lost sheep of Israel. When you go, you are to preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse the lepers. Cast out devils. Do this freely, for you have freely received.

   

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

Jesus sends forth his most dedicated group – the Twelve.

He gives them extraordinary powers, – to cast out devils and to heal every illness.

They must not go to Gentile villages nor to Samaritan towns.

Their goal must be Israel, the special object of Jesus’ love.

They say only one thing. “The Kingdom is at hand.” At this point, that is all they understand.

They will do extremely well because they obey Jesus and use his powers.

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

O Jesus, call me. I will dedicate my life to the Kingdom.

Show me where to go and what to do.

Give me the power to preach and persuade.

Help me to lead my family and friends to faith.

Jesus, give me a simplicity of lifestyle.

Jesus, the Kingdom is at hand and everyone must know it.

How great is the need for all to hear the message! The time is short and You are coming soon.

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

In my own little way, I will announce the Kingdom to everyone.

I will believe that Jesus will equip me with His powers.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

When you preach say, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then, heal the sick.

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 Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

As Jesus approached the Gadarene boundary, two men possessed by demons came out of the tombs. They were so fierce that no one could walk that road. They cried out, “What have we to do with you, Jesus, Son of God. Are you here to torment us before the appointed time?”

Some distance away a large herd of swine was feeding. The devils asked him, “If you expel us, send us into this herd of swine.” He said, ‘Out with you.” They came out and entered the swine. The whole herd rushed down the hill into the sea and they were drowned.

The swineherds fled into the city and told everything that had happened concerning the possessed men. The whole city went out to meet Jesus. When they saw him they asked him to depart from their city.

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

  1. The demons love death and they lead possessed people to seek refuge among the tombs.
  2. Jesus changed that. Cemeteries are no longer a place of death. They are a place of sleeping where the dead await their rising.
  3. The two men possess the fierce, destructive powers of the demons, chasing others away.
  4. The demons know that Jesus’ power will chase them away.
  5. The time of their ouster is at hand. They thought they had a permanent place of rest.
  6. With one phrase, Jesus expels them and frees the two men.
  7. Their destructive forces turn against the swine. They die in the sea which Jesus has just calmed. (He has power there, also).
  8. The people make a terrible decision. They ask Jesus to leave. How many more miracles he would have done!

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

  1. O Jesus, you have conquered death. I no longer fear the tomb.
  2. All is changed.       I will sleep in peace, waiting for you to say, “Arise”.
  3. O Jesus, cast out all destructive forces in my life.
  4. You have greater power. You are the victor and I am your spoils.
  5. You shorten the time. You come for me early. Come, Lord Jesus.
  6. Free me, Jesus, like you freed these two men.
  7. Stay in my life and be King of my soul.

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

  1. I will stay away from all demonic powers.
  2. I will invite Jesus to stay with me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

They asked him to leave their city.

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 deeds.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?

Every good tree brings forth good fruit and every evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit nor a bad tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. By their fruits you shall know them.

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

  1. In Jesus’ time, people claiming to be true prophets, led the people astray.
  2. The Holy Spirit of Pentecost raised up true prophets to guide the people.
  3. Today, we have both true and false prophets.
  4. The true prophet proclaims Jesus as Lord and exalts him.
  5. The false prophet points to himself and his own greatness.
  6. Follow the true prophet and bring forth good fruit in your life.       Otherwise, you will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

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

  1. O Jesus, let your true voice sound loudly in my dheart.
  2. Send me your true friends to speak your word to me.
  3. You are the Lord. I exalt you and follow you. Lead me wherever you wish.
  4. O Jesus, so many voices lead me astray. Help me.
  5. I will follow your Church, the voice of the true prophet.
  6. O Jesus, I will bring forth fruit and you will not cut me down.

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

  1. I will examine who leads me to God and will follow them.
  2. I will find some minutes for inner stillness to listen to God’s word.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Every good tree brings forth good fruit.

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 (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Do not perform good deeds before men so you can be seen by them. If so, you will receive no reward from your heavenly Father.

When you give an alms, do not blow a trumpet, as hypocrites do. They already have their reward. Give your alms in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.

When you pray, go to your room and pray in secret. Your Father who sees in secret, will repay you.

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

  1. Your heart is very twisted. You often do good deeds to be seen by others.
  2. Acting in secret removes this evil and purifies your intention.
  3. When done in secret, your good deeds belong totally to the Father.
  4. You preserve the true goodness of your alms and your prayer.
  5. In demanding secrecy, Jesus has one goal. He wants you to receive the heavenly Father’s reward.

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

  1. O Lord, purify my selfish motives.
  2. O Jesus, how many times I value men’s esteem more than the Father’s rewards.
  3. Let me hide myself from everyone but the Father.
  4. O Father, you wait for me to come to you in secrecy, unknown to others.
  5. Where is my heart, O Lord? What do I seek? Earthly esteem or heavenly glory?
  6. O Jesus, you emptied yourself. I, too, will empty myself to grasp heaven’s reward.

Resolution  (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

  1. I will try to see the inner movements of my heart.
  2. I will do all for the Father’s glory.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The heavenly Father, who sees in secret, will repay you.

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 not God’s final word or his greatest gift because Jesus “fulfills” these laws and prophetic words.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Amen I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter, not even the smallest part of the letter will pass away, until all is fulfilled.

Whoever shall break one of these least commandments and teach others to do so, will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever shall keep them and teach others to do so, shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven.

I tell you that unless your goodness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven.

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

  1. Jesus makes us God’s children.
  2. The disciple must keep God’s word in the law and the prophets.
  3. They must, also, teach others to live by God’s word.
  4. Then, they will be great in the Kingdom. They will be both doers and teachers.
  5. As disciples, they must go beyond the limited goodness of the scribes and Pharisees.
  6. Their tasks are heavy but their reward is great. They will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have made me a child of the Father.
  2. Train me in your word, O Lord. Plant your truth in my heart.
  3. Let your word be a lamp for my feet and a guide for my path.
  4. Give me a zeal to instruct others in your word.
  5. May your power make me a doer of your word.
  6. You call me to be great in the Kingdom. I cherish your invitation.

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

  1. I will examine where I do not keep God’s law.
  2. I will read the Old Testament to see God’s words to Israel.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever keeps these commandments and teaches others will be great in the Kingdom.

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 problem. A woman marries seven times. After each husband dies, she marries again. The Sadducees want to know whose wife she will be in heaven. In refuting their argument, Jesus explains life in heaven.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some Sadducees confronted Jesus (the ones who do not believe in the resurrection). They spoke of seven brothers who married this woman, beginning with the eldest. Each husband died and, then, the woman died. They asked, “At the resurrection, when they all come back to life, whose wife will she be?”

Jesus said to them, “You are badly misled because you fail to understand the scriptures or the power of God. When people rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but live like angels in heaven.

As to the raising of the dead, have you not read what Moses wrote in the passage about the burning bush, how God told him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob?’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead. You are mistaken.”

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

  1. Heaven is much greater than earth.
  2. The Sadducees did not realize how God’s power forms our glorified, risen body.
  3. Jesus sees heaven in all its reality. To have a spouse and children helps our earthly loneliness.       With God in heaven, no one is lonely. All are rejoicing.
  4. The risen body enjoys all the privileges of angels.
  5. The person is totally changed into a son of the resurrection and a son of God.
  6. At the burning bush, God identified himself with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had gained heavenly life. This is our goal.

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

  1. O Jesus, someday you will give me a glorified, risen body, just like yours.
  2. Jesus, in heaven, my heart will be filled with your love.
  3. I will not suffer. I will not die. I will live forever, with you, Jesus.
  4. Help me, Lord, to do everything possible so I am judged worthy of this “age to come”.
  5. You will change me, Jesus. By your resurrection, I will be a son of glory and a son of the eternal Father.
  6. You will give me life in abundance. I will watch and wait for your coming.

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

  1. Today, I will think often of my heavenly home.
  2. I will think of what steps I can take to be found worthy.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

They live like angels in heaven.

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 of his suffering and the Eucharistic cup celebrated in Mark’s church. Before gaining any glory, Jesus must drink this cup of suffering.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. “Master, we want you to do whatever we ask.” Jesus responded, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Grant that we may sit, one at your right hand and the other at your left hand in glory”. Jesus replied, “You do not know what you are seeking. Can you drink of the chalice that I will drink of or be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?

They said, “We can.” Jesus said, “You shall indeed drink of the chalice that I drink of, and be baptized with my baptism. However, to sit at my right hand or at my left hand, is not mine to give you. It is for those for whom it is prepared.”

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

  1. These apostles have no idea of the costs of the Kingdom’s glory.
  2. Jesus tells them clearly. They are seeking what they do not understand.
  3. Even with this warning, they glibly say that they can drink the chalice.
  4. Jesus sees the future. They will run away from the chalice.
  5. After many failures, they will be martyred. However, the highest glory is reserved for others.
  6. Such is the Kingdom! God has already prepared each one’s place. His decisions are beyond our comprehension.

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

  1. O Jesus, enlighten me about your Kingdom.
  2. Teach me the cost of this glory.
  3. Pull me into the mystery of your will.
  4. Help me to drink your chalice. What a privilege to be baptized with your baptism of suffering!
  5. What a great mystery! You have already prepared my place in glory.
  6. O Jesus, You desire only to share your glory with me.

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

  1. I will find time for mental prayer so God can reveal the Kingdom to me.
  2. I will cherish God’s will, both on earth and in heavenly glory.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The Father has already decided my place in heavenly glory.

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 community to be open to all.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

John said to Jesus, “Master we saw someone casting out a devil in your name. We tried to stop him because he was not one of us.”

Jesus said, “Do not stop him. For no one can do a miracle in my name, and at the same time speak ill of me. Anyone who is not against us is with us.”

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

  1. Jesus’ power is all over the world. If anyone uses Jesus’ name with the right intention, God will act.
  2. John is narrow-minded, believing that only members of the inner circle should have these powers.
  3. He should have rejoiced to see someone invoking Jesus’ power.
  4. Jesus rejects John’s criterion that “he is not one of us.” A personal love for Jesus suffices to join everyone to the community.
  5. This exorcist knew that Jesus’ name has power.
  6. Having used his lips to invoke Jesus’ name, he cannot speak against Jesus.

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

  1. O Lord, let me use your name to seek the blessings of heaven.
  2. Jesus, I love you. Include me among your disciples.
  3. Sanctify my lips so my words bless others.
  4. Jesus, place the whole world in my heart.       Help me to embrace all.
  5. Give me your powers and I will cast out demons in your name.

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

  1. I will use the name of Jesus to cast out the evil I encounter today.
  2. I will open my heart to everyone of good will.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Anyone who is not against us is with us.

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 world to preach. Therefore, Jesus prays that they be protected “from the evil one” and sanctified in truth.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given to me, because they are yours and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine. Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of world, any more than I am of the world.

Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I send them into the world. For them do I sanctify myself, so they may be sanctified in truth.

Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones 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.)

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

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

  1. I will see clearly the world’s opposition to my devout life.
  2. I will strengthen my resolve to be sanctified for the Father.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

I sanctify myself so they might be sanctified in truth.

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 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).

Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say, but you cannot bear them now. When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak what he hears and will show you the things that are to come.

He shall glorify me because he will receive what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I say, He will receive what is mine and reveal it to you.”

Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones 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.)

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

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

  1. I will have a special devotion to the Spirit of Jesus.
  2. Today, I will seek the Spirit’s help for all my decisions.

Thought for the Day 🙁To recall your meditation)

When the Spirit comes, he will teach you all truth.

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 slowly, possibly aloud.)

            I am the true vine. My Father is the vinedresser. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit. A branch that bears fruit, he will prune, so that it bears more fruit. You are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.

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

  1. Jesus seeks the fruit of a devout life that brings forth prayer and virtues.
  2. If a soul brings forth good works the Father prunes it.
  3. The Father (the vinedresser) does everything to gain more fruit from the vine.
  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. “Whoever abides in me brings forth much fruit.”

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

  1. Jesus, you alone are the vine that gives life. I will abide in you.
  2. I once was a dead branch, but you have grafted me onto yourself. Now, I bear fruit.
  3. Father, prune away all that is lifeless in me.
  4. Jesus, I want to bring forth greater virtues, pleasing to you.
  5. Jesus, I only need to abide in you. You do the rest.
  6. With you, all things are possible. This is the secret of staying with you.

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

  1. I will abide with Jesus by thinking of him often today.
  2. I will dedicate this whole day to Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit.

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 has taught.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me, does not just believe in me, but also in the one who sent me.

I have come into the world as light so whoever believes in me does not stay in darkness.

If any man hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him because I have not come to judge the world. Whoever despises my words is judged by the word I have spoken.   I did not speak on my own but the Father, who sent me, told me what to say and I know that his commandment is eternal life.

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

  1. These verses provide an excellent review of the Jesus’ teachings.
  2. To believe in Jesus is to believe in the Father.
  3. Jesus is the light of the world.
  4. He alone can lead us out of darkness.
  5. Therefore, when we hear Jesus’ words, we must take them to heart.
  6. If we do this, Jesus will not judge us.
  7. His words will give us everlasting life.

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

  1. O Jesus, your teaching is clear, easy to grasp.
  2. O Jesus, I will walk only in your light.
  3. You call me out of darkness.
  4. You unite me to the Father.
  5. You give me eternal life.
  6. O Jesus, I embrace your words. They lead me to eternal, abundant life.

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

  1. I will reflect on the great gift. Jesus unites me with the Father.
  2. I will accept my responsibility to keep Jesus’ word.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The Father who sent me told me what to say.

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 his Father.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always”. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst.

But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will not cast out. I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

This is the Father’s will. That I should lose nothing but raise it up again on the last day.

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

  1. In the desert, the Father gave earthly food which sustained human life for a short time.
  2. Now, the Father will give his Son, (the Word made Flesh), which sustains us forever.
  3. Although the crowd asks for this heavenly bread, they do not understand the gift.
  4. First they must believe in Jesus and come to him.
  5. To whomever comes, Jesus gives everlasting life. This is the Father’s plan.

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

  1. Jesus, you provide for every need.
  2. Father, I hunger for the true bread.
  3. Father, your greatest gift is your only-begotten Son.
  4. Jesus, you are the bread of life. I seek nothing else.
  5. O Jesus, I believe that you hold me in your hands.
  6. Call me and I will come. Keep me and I will never wander.

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

  1. I will not delay any longer. This day, I will come to Jesus.
  2. I will let him hold me. I will not walk away from his grasp.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

“I will lose nothing but will raise him up on the last day.”

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 God’s judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life.   God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by him.

Whoever believes in him, will not be condemned but whoever does not believe in him is already condemned because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son.

The Judgment is this. The light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.       Everyone who practices evil hates the light. He does not come near it so his deeds are not exposed. But whoever acts in truth comes into the light so his works can be clearly seen as done in the light.

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

  1. When the Israelites in the desert disobeyed God, they grew sick from a serpent’s bite.
  2. God provided the remedy. When Moses nailed a bronze serpent to a cross, whoever gazed on it was saved. (Numbers C21)
  3. This story prefigured Jesus being lifted up on the cross to save us.
  4. God sent Jesus because “he so loved the world”.
  5. Through faith in Jesus, all can be saved.
  6. Jesus is the eternal light.
  7. Evil people do not want this light. It reveals their deeds.
  8. Good people rejoice to have their deeds revealed. They act in truth.

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

  1. Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross for me.
  2. Only your cross can save me from eternal death.
  3. Father, loving me so much, you sacrificed your Son to save me.
  4. I believe. I accept you, Jesus. You are the Father’s only begotten Son.
  5. Come Jesus. Reveal my heart. Make me a child of light.
  6. Open my heart to light and truth.

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
  2. I will bring all my sins into Jesus’ light.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

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 Jerusalem. There, they can begin again.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the two disciples. “How foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets said. Should not the Christ have suffered these things and so to enter his glory?” Then, beginning with Moses and the prophets, he explained all the scriptures that spoke of himself. As they came to Emmaus, he pretended to go on, but they said, “Stay with us, for it is late and the day is far spent.” He went in with them and when he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they knew him. He, then, vanished from their sight.

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke on the way and opened the scriptures for us.” At once, they returned to Jerusalem and told the eleven gathered there, who said, “The Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon”. They told them of all that happened on the road and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

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

  1. In one sentence, Jesus dismisses their thinking. “How foolish you are.”
  2. His sufferings were no mistake. His death was no defeat. They led Jesus “to enter his glory.”
  3. The disciples regain enough hope to say “Stay with us.       It is almost night.”
  4. When Jesus repeats the Last Supper, they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
  5. Jesus vanishes, His work is complete. The disciples know that he has risen.
  6. They do not delay. They return immediately.
  7. They find a community which also believes that “He is risen.”

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

  1. Teach me, Lord for I am slow to believe.
  2. Explain the Scriptures and my heart will burn within.
  3. Stay with me, Lord. It is already dark. The night is at hand.
  4. At Mass, open my eyes to your presence.
  5. Give me back my dream, and I will resume my work.
  6. Place me with others who believe.

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

  1. I will attend mass as often as possible.
  2. I will recall my broken dreams and lost hopes. There is still time!

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Their eyes were opened. They knew him in the breaking of the bread.

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 aloud)

Two disciples left Jerusalem to go to Emmaus, discussing all that had happened. Jesus joined them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

“What are you discussing?” Jesus asked. Cleopas responded, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who does not know the things that happened?” “What things?” Jesus asked.

“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet powerful in word and deed, before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers delivered him to death and crucified him. We were hoping that he would redeem all Israel.

Also, this is the third day and some women of our group astounded us. Before dawn, they were at the tomb. They did not find the body but said they had seen angels who said he was alive. Some of our number went to the tomb. They found it just as the women said, but did not find him.”

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

  1. Without God, our happiness depends upon events that are outside of our control.
  1. These two disciples see only one choice. They leave Jerusalem and abandon their dream.
  2. In their despair, they cannot recognize Jesus. They can only talk about these events.
  3. Cleopas is even annoyed that this stranger doesn’t know what happened.
  4. The whole story seemingly ends in confusion. The tomb is empty. Angels have spoken. Some have seen the empty tomb but no one has seen Jesus.

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

  1. O Jesus, do not let external events control my life.
  2. Jesus, if I lose you, I will lose my dream.
  3. Draw near, Lord Jesus. My life is in shambles and all is in confusion.
  4. Stay with me, even if I do not recognize you.
  5. When life crushes all my dreams, you are my only hope.

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

  1. I will place all my hope in the Risen Jesus.
  2. I will not abandon the dreams which Jesus has given me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

We were hoping that he would redeem all Israel.