WEEK EIGHTEEN – SATURDAY – AUGUST 12, 2017 THE BOY WITH A DEMON (MT 17:14-20)

Prayer: O Jesus, set me free from the Evil One.

Imagination: (Picture the boy’s father pleading with Jesus.)

Context:

The disciples are regressing. Formerly, they had great success in
driving out demons. Now, they are total failures. Jesus gets exasperated
at their lack of faith. The father is different. He knows his faith
is weak and says, “Help my unbelief”. That is enough for Jesus to act.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, a man said, “Master, I have brought
my son to you. He has a mute spirit who seizes him and throws him. My son foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and faints. I asked your disciples to cast him out but they could not.” Jesus said, “O unbelieving generation, how long must I be with you?
How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

When the mute spirit saw Jesus, he threw the boy on the ground and he rolled about,
foaming at the mouth. The father said, if you can do anything, please have pity on us.” Jesus said, “Everything is possible to him who believes”. With tears, the father cried out, “I do believe Lord, help my unbelief.”

Seeing the crowd gathering, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit saying,
“Deaf and dumb spirit,
I command you to leave him and never to enter him again.” Crying out,
the spirit convulsed him and left. The boy became as one dead. But Jesus,
taking him by the hand, lifted him up and he arose.

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

  1. The lengthy details show how real and powerful is the demonic world.
  2. Jesus is puzzled. People do not fully believe in his powers.
  3. Slowly, Jesus brings the father to faith, “Help my unbelief.”
  4. Finally, Jesus drives out the demon. Although seemingly dead, the boy is really free.
  5. This story symbolizes our own resurrection. Jesus will take our hand and we will rise.

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

  1. Jesus, how slow I am to believe.
  2. Cast out my restlessness, my fears, and my uncontrolled passions.
  3. Cast them out, Jesus. Rebuke them and make them leave.
  4. Jesus, You can remove problems even if they are deeply buried.
  5. Take my hand! Lift me up!
  6. Even if I am dead in my sins, I will come to you. You will still say “Arise, and show yourself to the priest.”

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

  1. I will trust in Jesus’ power over the demonic.
  2. I will go to Confession, believing that all darkness and sin will be removed.
  3. I will stay away from the occult and from Eastern religions.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Everything is possible for him who believes.

WEEK EIGHTEEN – FRIDAY – AUGUST 11, 2017 SAVING YOUR LIFE (Mt: 16-24-28)

Prayer: Jesus, how greatly I desire eternal life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples)

Context:

Jesus has just predicted his passion, death and rising. Now he extends
this mystery to everyone. Every disciple can rise with Jesus. They need only
to deliberately take the same path. The choice is extremely important. A person can lose or save their immortal soul.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself,
take up his cross and follow me. Whoever will save his life, will lose it.
And whoever loses his life for my sake,
will find it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

The Son of Man shall come with his angels in the glory of his Father and he will
repay each man according to his deeds. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until
they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

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

  1. All are invited. Anyone can follow Jesus.
  2. The conditions are awesome, to deny selfish interests and to take up the cross.
  3. The choice has gigantic consequences – to lose your soul or to gain your soul.
  4. What does it profit me to gain everything and lose my soul?
  5. What can I exchange? What has a value equal to my soul?
  6. When Jesus comes in glory with his angels, he will repay me according to my deeds.
  7. I will actually see Jesus coming in his Kingdom. Overwhelming!

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

  1. O Jesus, I accept your invitation, no matter what the cost.
  2. When I take up my cross, you will walk ahead of me.
  3. You created my soul, Jesus. Nothing on earth can equal its value.
  4. Thank you for saving me from hell.
  5. Nothing can buy my soul. I am not for sale. You bought me.
  6. O Jesus, you will come with your angels. I will await you.
  7. What is it like to share in your glory?

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

  1. I will never sell my soul.
  2. I will think about Jesus coming in glory.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

WEEK EIGHTEEN – THURSDAY – AUGUST 10, 2017 THE GRAIN OF WHEAT (Jn 12:20-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to die with you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple)

Context: When Jesus enters Jerusalem for the final time, some sincere Greek-speaking Jews ask to see him. Their appearance is a sign to Jesus that his death, (the hour of glorification) is at hand.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Some Greeks had come to Jerusalem for the feast and they said to Philip, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus”. Jesus answered them, “The hour is coming when the Son of Man is to be glorified. Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.
Whoever loves his life, shall lose it. Whoever hates his life in this world, will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me, must follow me, so that where I am, he also might be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. These Greeks have excellent desires. They want to see Jesus.
2. They represent all the people whom Jesus will die for.
3. Jesus is a grain of wheat which must die to bring forth a harvest.
4. By dying, Jesus does not “remain alone.” The whole human race can rise with glory.
5. The seed gives us a lesson. By clinging to our worldly life, we remain alone. Sacrificing our worldly life, we gain eternity.
6. If we follow Jesus to the cross, the Father will honor us. What a reward1

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, I want to see you.
2. O Jesus, you died for the whole human race. We are your harvest.
3. Unless I die with you, I can only remain alone and sterile.
4. If I die with you, I will live with you.
5. Jesus, I will not cling to a worldly life that passes so quickly.
6. I will seek your life that lasts forever.
7. O Jesus, if I serve you and the Father will honor me.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. Today I will die to my selfish desires.
2. I will seek the glory which the Father gives.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
The hour is coming when the Son of Man will be glorified.

WEEK EIGHTEEN – WEDNESDAY – AUGUST 9, 2017 THE QUICK-WITTED MOTHER (MT 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.

WEEK EIGHTEEN – TUESDAY – AUGUST 8, 2017 JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER (Mt 14:22-33)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me total faith in you.

Imagination: (Picture the disciples in their boat, surprised by Jesus’ visit.)

Context:
After multiplying food, Jesus orders his disciples to get in a boat. This prepares for the miracle of walking on the water. Jesus even communicates this power to Peter who enjoys the gift until he stops believing. The miracle gets all the disciples to adore him.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
After feeding the five thousand, Jesus made his disciples get into their boat and precede him to the other side. Jesus then went up the mountain where he spent the evening alone in prayer. Meanwhile, the boat was tossed about by the waves because the wind was against it.
Jesus came to them, walking upon the sea. When they saw him, they were troubled and said, “It is a ghost.” Immediately, Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid.” Peter answered, “Lord, if it is you, then tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and walked upon the water to come to Jesus.
Seeing that the wind was strong, Peter grew afraid and began to sink. He cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hands, took hold of him and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. All adored him and said, “Indeed, you are the Son of God.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
1. Jesus deliberately set ups the entire event.
2. After dismissing the crowds, He tells the disciples to go to the other side, while he spends hours in prayer.
3. He also initiates their rescue, coming at just the right moment.
4. The disciples cannot grasp what is happening. Even after Jesus speaks, they still doubt and fear.
5. Peter is different. He is ready to join Jesus on the water.
6. However, fear destroys Peter’s faith. Jesus takes control. He lifts up Peter, calms the storm and climbs into the boat.
7. The miracle overwhelms the apostles who adore Jesus as the Son of God.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Lord, you arrange every event of my life. You are in full control.
2. Rescue me, Jesus, from all my problems.
3. Come to me in the difficult moments. Tell me, “Do not be afraid. It is I.”
4. Embolden me. Invite me to “Come out onto the water” with you.
5. Overcome my doubts. Extend your hand. Lift me up.
6. Calm my storms. Get into my boat. I will adore you as the Son of God.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will believe that Jesus guides every day of my life.
2. I will hear his voice in my soul, “Do not be afraid. It is I”.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Jesus stretched out his hand and said, “Why did you doubt?”

WEEK EIGHTEEN – MONDAY – AUGUST 7, 2017 FOOD IN A DESERTED PLACE (Mt 14:13-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, you feed me with the finest food.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus feeding the 5,000.)

Context:

When Jesus heard of John’s death (told immediately before this story)
he crosses to the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee (Gentile territory). Jesus was already known among the Gentiles for his healing powers and many
villages surrounded the Sea of Galilee. So, the scene evolves with many people
in a deserted place. Matthew highlights this miracle as a preview of the Eucharist.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Hearing of John’s death, Jesus went by boat to a deserted place. The crowd learned of this and came out of their cities by foot. When he saw the great multitude, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

At evening, the disciples said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is late. Send the crowd away so they can buy some food in the towns.” Jesus said,
“They need not do that. You give them to eat.” They answered,
“We have only five barley loaves and two fishes.” He said, “Bring them to me.”
He ordered the people to sit down. Taking the five loaves and the two fishes,
and looking up to heaven, he blessed
and broke and gave the loaves to his disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowd.

They all ate and were filled. They gathered up what remained, twelve baskets of fragments. Those who ate were five thousand men, not counting women and children.

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

  1. Jesus feels deeply the loss of John and withdraws from his ministry.
  2. However, he also feels deeply for the people who need healing and teaching. So, he reverses his decision.
  3. The disciples still lack faith, not even thinking that Jesus would provide.
  4. Jesus has the disciples bring the food that they do have.
  5. Jesus takes the food, looks to heaven, blesses it, breaks it and gives to the disciples. He will do the same actions at the Last Supper.
  6. All are filled. No one is sent away hungry.
  7. God’s miracle is clear from the twelve full baskets.

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

  1. Jesus, how deeply you feel about me.
  2. Lord, I am the object of your greatest compassion.
  3. You can do all things, Jesus. Why do I not believe?
  4. Jesus, I bring you what I have.
  5. Jesus, I will hunger for the Eucharistic bread which you bless each day.
  6. You never send me away hungry.
  7. God, your love is abundant, overflowing my needs.

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

  1. I will try to receive Holy Communion every day.
  2. I will thank God for caring for all my necessities

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

His heart was moved with pity.

WEEK EIGHTEEN – SUNDAY – A – AUGUST 6, 2017 TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNTAIN (MK 9:2-13)

Prayer – O Jesus, reveal to me your heavenly glory.

Imagination- (Picture Peter, James and John witnessing the glory of Christ.)

Context:

These three apostles witness both Jesus’ glory on the mountain and 
his agony in the Garden. Mark always links Jesus’ suffering with his glory, 
telling his persecuted Christians to persevere in their sufferings 
because their reward is great. The vision also includes Moses and Elijah, 
the two great Old Testament personalities.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzlingly white. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses and they spoke with Jesus. Peter said, 
“It is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, 
one for Elijah and one for Moses.” However, he did not really know what 
to say for he was filled with awe.

A cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Looking up, they saw no one. Only Jesus was with them.

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

  1. To bestow the experience, Jesus must withdraw the apostles to the mountain’s solitude.
  2. When they see Jesus’ heavenly glory, they are overwhelmed.
  3. Jesus is the central figure. Moses and Elijah are at his side.
  4. The events overwhelm the usually talkative Peter. He can only exclaim, “It is good to be here.”
  5. The cloud paralyzes them, making them completely attentive to the Father’s words, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to him.”
  6. When the vision is over, they see only Jesus. He is the beginning and the end of all creation.

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

  1. O Lord, invite me to your mountain of prayer. I will leave behind this valley of darkness.
  2. O Jesus, Your glory is great. My poor faculties cannot grasp your light.
  3. Let your divine cloud descend over me.
  4. You, O Lord, are the center of all history. In you, I discover who I am.
  5. Jesus, you are “the Beloved Son”. I will listen to you.
  6. I will keep my eyes only for you, Jesus.

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

  1. Many times today, I will find a moment to climb the mountain of prayer.
  2. I will value the riches which Christ offers to me.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Looking up they saw Jesus in all his glory.

AUGUST 6, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – SATURDAY – THE BOY WITH A DEMON

(Matthew 17:14-20)

Prayer: O Jesus, set me free from the Evil One.

Imagination: (Picture the boy’s father pleading with Jesus.)

Context:

The disciples are regressing.   Formerly, they had great success in driving out demons. Now, they are total failures. Jesus gets exasperated at their lack of faith. The father is different. He knows his faith is weak and says, “Help my unbelief”. That is enough for Jesus to act.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus came down from the mountain, a man said, “Master, I have brought my son to you. He has a mute spirit who seizes him and throws him. My son foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and faints. I asked your disciples to cast him out but they could not.” Jesus said, “O unbelieving generation, how long must I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me.”

When the mute spirit saw Jesus, he threw the boy on the ground and he rolled about, foaming at the mouth. The father said, if you can do anything, please have pity on us.” Jesus said, “Everything is possible to him who believes”. With tears, the father cried out, “I do believe Lord, help my unbelief.”

Seeing the crowd gathering, Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit saying, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you to leave him and never to enter him again.” Crying out, the spirit convulsed him and left. The boy became as one dead. But Jesus, taking him by the hand, lifted him up and he arose.

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

  1. The lengthy details show how real and powerful is the demonic world.
  2. Jesus is puzzled. People do not fully believe in his powers.
  3. Slowly, Jesus brings the father to faith, “Help my unbelief.”
  4. Finally, Jesus drives out the demon. Although seemingly dead, the boy is really free.
  5. This story symbolizes our own resurrection. Jesus will take our hand and we will rise.

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

  1. Jesus, how slow I am to believe.
  2. Cast out my restlessness, my fears, and my uncontrolled passions.
  3. Cast them out, Jesus. Rebuke them and make them leave.
  4. Jesus, You can remove problems even if they are deeply buried.
  5. Take my hand! Lift me up!
  6. Even if I am dead in my sins, I will come to you. You will still say “Arise, and show yourself to the priest.”

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

  1. I will trust in Jesus’ power over the demonic.
  2. I will go to Confession, believing that all darkness and sin will be removed.
  3. I will stay away from the occult and from Eastern religions.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Everything is possible for him who believes.

AUGUST 5, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – FRIDAY – SAVING YOUR LIFE

(Matthew 16-24-28)

Prayer: Jesus, how greatly I desire eternal life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples)

Context:

Jesus has just predicted his passion, death and rising. Now he extends this mystery to everyone. Every disciple can rise with Jesus. They need only to deliberately take the same path. The choice is extremely important. A person can lose or save their immortal soul.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. Whoever will save his life, will lose it. And whoever loses his life for my sake, will find it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

The Son of Man shall come with his angels in the glory of his Father and he will repay each man according to his deeds. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

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

  1. All are invited. Anyone can follow Jesus.
  2. The conditions are awesome, to deny selfish interests and to take up the cross.
  3. The choice has gigantic consequences – to lose your soul or to gain your soul.
  4. What does it profit me to gain everything and lose my soul?
  5. What can I exchange? What has a value equal to my soul?
  6. When Jesus comes in glory with his angels, he will repay me according to my deeds.
  7. I will actually see Jesus coming in his Kingdom. Overwhelming!

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

  1. O Jesus, I accept your invitation, no matter what the cost.
  2. When I take up my cross, you will walk ahead of me.
  3. You created my soul, Jesus. Nothing on earth can equal its value.
  4. Thank you for saving me from hell.
  5. Nothing can buy my soul. I am not for sale. You bought me.
  6. O Jesus, you will come with your angels. I will await you.
  7. What is it like to share in your glory?

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

  1. I will never sell my soul.
  2. I will think about Jesus coming in glory.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?

AUGUST 4, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – THURSDAY – TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNTAIN

(Mark 9:2-13)

Prayer – O Jesus, reveal to me your heavenly glory.

Imagination- (Picture Peter, James and John witnessing the glory of Christ.)

Context:

These three apostles witness both Jesus’ glory on the mountain and his agony in the Garden. Mark always links Jesus’ suffering with his glory, telling his persecuted Christians to persevere in their sufferings because their reward is great. The vision also includes Moses and Elijah, the two great Old Testament personalities.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them and his clothes became dazzlingly white. Elijah appeared to them along with Moses and they spoke with Jesus. Peter said, “It is good for us to be here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Elijah and one for Moses.” However, he did not really know what to say for he was filled with awe.

A cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Looking up, they saw no one. Only Jesus was with them.

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

  1. To bestow the experience, Jesus must withdraw the apostles to the mountain’s solitude.
  2. When they see Jesus’ heavenly glory, they are overwhelmed.
  3. Jesus is the central figure. Moses and Elijah are at his side.
  4. The events overwhelm the usually talkative Peter. He can only exclaim, “It is good to be here.”
  5. The cloud paralyzes them, making them completely attentive to the Father’s words, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to him.”
  6. When the vision is over, they see only Jesus. He is the beginning and the end of all creation.

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

  1. O Lord, invite me to your mountain of prayer. I will leave behind this valley of darkness.
  2. O Jesus, Your glory is great. My poor faculties cannot grasp your light.
  3. Let your divine cloud descend over me.
  4. You, O Lord, are the center of all history. In you, I discover who I am.
  5. Jesus, you are “the Beloved Son”. I will listen to you.
  6. I will keep my eyes only for you, Jesus.

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

  1. Many times today, I will find a moment to climb the mountain of prayer.
  2. I will value the riches which Christ offers to me.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Looking up they saw Jesus in all his glory.

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.

AUGUST 2, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – TUESDAY

(Matthew 15:1 + 10-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me be planted by your heavenly Father

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds.)

Context:

This gospel mentions two enemies of Jesus – the scribes from Jerusalem (fierce opponents) and Pharisees (misguided opponents). The scribes raise the question of purification of hands before eating. The Pharisees object to eating certain foods. Since they both deal with food, Matthew joins these two controversies.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The scribes from Jerusalem said to Jesus, ‘Why do your disciples transgress the traditions of the ancients? For example, they do not wash their hands before eating a meal.

Jesus summoned the crowd and said, “Hear and understand. It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of his heart. This is what defiles a man.”

His disciples said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were scandalized when they heard these words. Jesus answered, “Every plant which my Father has not planted, shall be rooted up.

Let them alone. They are blind and are leaders of the blind. If the blind lead the blind they will both fall into the pit.”

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

  1. The scribes are not concerned about good health habits.       They are clinging to religious traditions, but not to the living God.
  2. Jesus rejected these practices because they did not change people’s hearts.
  3. The Pharisees stressed dietary laws so people would be holy.
  4. For Jesus, the food going into the stomach is not important.
  5. Good or evil depend on the desires coming from the heart.
  6. Jesus corrects the disciples’ awe toward the Pharisees.       Otherwise, they would follow their teaching.
  7. Only what the heavenly Father does in our hearts will not be uprooted.

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

  1. Jesus, I will keep my eyes on you and my heart upon your words.
  2. Change my heart, O Lord. Create a new spirit within me.
  3. Show me, O Lord, the inner workings of my own heart.
  4. Bring my hidden desires into the light.
  5. O Jesus, what I eat is not important. Being like you is very important.
  6. O Father, plant eternal life in my heart.

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

  1. I will be careful about whose advice I follow.
  2. I will guard my thoughts, words and deeds.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What comes out of a man’s heart determines what he is.

AUGUST 1, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – MONDAY – FOOD IN A DESERTED PLACE

(Matthew 14:13-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, you feed me with the finest food.

Imagination:  Picture Jesus feeding the 5,000.)

Context:

When Jesus heard of John’s death (told immediately before this story) he crosses to the eastern bank of the Sea of Galilee (Gentile territory). Jesus was already known among the Gentiles for his healing powers and many villages surrounded the Sea of Galilee. So, the scene evolves with many people in a deserted place. Matthew highlights this miracle as a preview of the Eucharist.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Hearing of John’s death, Jesus went by boat to a deserted place. The crowd learned of this and came out of their cities by foot. When he saw the great multitude, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

At evening, the disciples said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is late. Send the crowd away so they can buy some food in the towns.” Jesus said, “They need not do that. You give them to eat.” They answered, “We have only five barley loaves and two fishes.” He said, “Bring them to me.” He ordered the people to sit down. Taking the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke and gave the loaves to his disciples and the disciples gave them to the crowd.

They all ate and were filled. They gathered up what remained, twelve baskets of fragments. Those who ate were five thousand men, not counting women and children.

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

  1. Jesus feels deeply the loss of John and withdraws from his ministry.
  2. However, he also feels deeply for the people who need healing and teaching. So, he reverses his decision.
  3. The disciples still lack faith, not even thinking that Jesus would provide.
  4. Jesus has the disciples bring the food that they do have.
  5. Jesus takes the food, looks to heaven, blesses it, breaks it and gives to the disciples. He will do the same actions at the Last Supper.
  6. All are filled. No one is sent away hungry.
  7. God’s miracle is clear from the twelve full baskets.

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

  1. Jesus, how deeply you feel about me.
  2. Lord, I am the object of your greatest compassion.
  3. You can do all things, Jesus. Why do I not believe?
  4. Jesus, I bring you what I have.
  5. Jesus, I will hunger for the Eucharistic bread which you bless each day.
  6. You never send me away hungry.
  7. God, your love is abundant, overflowing my needs.

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

  1. I will try to receive Holy Communion every day.
  2. I will thank God for caring for all my necessities

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

His heart was moved with pity.