WEEK FIFTEEN – SATURDAY – JULY 22, 2017 Feast of St. Mary Magdalen (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:
If Jesus has risen from the dead, then his tomb must be empty. All four gospels begin their Easter stories with visits to the empty tomb and with descriptions of the disciples’ reactions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have placed him.”
Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, but was wrapped together in another place.
Then, the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home, but Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
1. The Beloved Disciple is the author of John’s gospel. All of the many details, (about the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first), are memories of his personal experiences.
2. Notice the readiness of these three disciples. Magdalen comes as early as possible, while Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb.
3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen. 4. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciple believes, but does not understand the full story. Magdalen is weeping.
5. This is God’s first stirring. The full gift will soon come. At least, they are searching.
6. The two disciples return home. Magdalen’s great love, however, takes her in a more important direction. She stays at the tomb.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses. My faith in your resurrection is based on their witness.
2. All this evidence captures my intellect. The stone is rolled away. The body is not there. The linens are in various places.
3. My heart is ready to believe.
4. Let me run. Let me hurry quickly. I must find you.
5. Give me the heart of Magdalen. I don’t want to return home to the empty world.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus.
2. I will study the scriptures
Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation)
Magdalen ran to the apostles. Peter and the Beloved Disciple ran to the tomb.

WEEK FIFTEEN – FRIDAY – JULY 21, 2017 LORD OF THE SABBATH (MT: 12:1-8)

Prayer – O Jesus, you are God, Lord even of the Sabbath.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples being confronted by the Pharisees).

Context:

The gospels use these confrontation stories to highlight Jesus’ authority,
to bring out new aspects of Christian life and most important,
to reveal Jesus’ identity.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

On the Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples went through a cornfield. The disciples were hungry and plucked the heads of grain and ate them. Some Pharisees saw them and said, “See here, Your disciples are doing what is
not lawful on the Sabbath.”

Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he and
his men were hungry? How he entered God’s house and took and ate the holy
bread, a thing forbidden to him and his men or to anyone except for priests?
Have you not read that the priests on
duty can break the Sabbath rest and incur no guilt! I assure you, something greater than the temple is here. If you understood the
meaning of the text, “It is mercy that I desire and not sacrifice”, you would
not have condemned these innocent men. The son of Man is indeed Lord, even of the Sabbath.

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

  1. Jewish people, walking through a cornfield, were allowed to pluck the grain. The Pharisees object because the disciples are doing this on the Sabbath.
  2. Jesus cites King David as an example of freedom.
  3. David acted correctly. His men’s well being was more important than the law.
  4. Jesus cites also the priests who help people in the temple on the Sabbath.
  5. The disciples’ serving Jesus is greater than being in the temple.
  6. Jesus leaves no doubt about his own greatness. He is the Lord with
    authority over the Sabbath.

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

  1. Jesus, Your Father has given me all of creation.
  2. Set me free, Jesus from all anxieties and false limitations.
  3. When I serve you, Jesus, I am free.
  4. You always place me first, Jesus. I am always the center of your attention.
  5. You are greater than the temple. You are God. You are Lord.
  6. You are greater than the Sabbath. You are the son of Man.
  7. You have all power. You love me, and want me to be with you forever.

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

  1. By faith in Jesus, I will try to experience true freedom.
  2. In my heart this day, I will constantly proclaim Jesus as Lord.

Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation)

A greater than the temple is here.

The Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.

WEEK FIFTEEN – THURSDAY – JULY 20, 2017 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:

Jesus speaks of “a burden” and “a yoke”. The burdened are those who
cannot seem to get out from under. Jesus is one of them. He carries the whole world on his shoulders. Jesus’ yoke is his submission to God’s will. When we accept God’s will, our daily burdens become much lighter.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart and
you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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

  1. “Come to me” is the greatest invitation in the whole world.
  2. Since all are burdened, all are invited.
  3. Jesus himself is the gift. He alone can give you rest. Come to him.
  4. Jesus’ yoke is your task in the Kingdom.
  5. To find rest, you must know Jesus and think as he does.
  6. You will find that he is gentle and humble. Your soul will experience peace.

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

  1. Jesus, you say “Come to me.” I am coming. I am coming quickly.
  2. You will be gentle, totally intent on helping me.
  3. You will be humble and serve my needs.
  4. I will rest in you and be refreshed.
  5. Jesus, I will gladly carry your yoke. It is so much easier than what I now carry.
  6. In the world, I find restlessness. In your Kingdom I discover peace.
  7. You always speak the truth. You fulfill all your promises. I can trust your words.

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

  1. I will examine any worldly burdens which I have foolishly assumed.
  2. I will choose, instead, the tasks that Jesus has for me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My yoke is easy and my burden light.

WEEK FIFTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JULY 19, 2017 REVELATION TO THE LITTLE ONES (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.

WEEK FIFTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 18, 2017 WOE TO THE UNREPENTANT CITIES (MT 11:20-24)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me the grace to repent so I can face you on the Day of Judgment.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples the importance of repentance.)

Context:

People might have some superficial relationship with their parish and think
that this will get them into heaven. The gospels correct this false impression. They demand a full relationship to Jesus,
one which comes from the heart. Here, Jesus mentions three cities where he has preached.
They have heard Jesus but have not accepted and responded to his word.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus began to chastise the cities where he had done his miracles.

“Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. If the miracles worked in you had been done in other cities, they would have done
penance in sackcloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable for those cities on the
day of judgment than for you.

And you, Capernaum: Shall you be exalted to heaven? You shall be cast down to hell. If I had done the miracles in Sodom, the city would still exist today. It shall be more tolerable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

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

  1. Jesus’ words are shocking. He speaks of sackcloth, ashes, judgment and hell.
  2. These cities have seen his miracles performed in their midst.
  3. Chorazin and Bethsaida welcomed him and accepted his miracles. However, they did not repent.
  4. Capernaum was Jesus’ headquarters. They thought they would be exalted.
  5. Jesus’ preaching and miracles only increased their guilt.
  6. Jesus wants a full conversion to life in His Kingdom.
  7. He will bring this about if you let him.

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

  1. O Jesus, I have enjoyed your word and your blessings.
  2. Jesus, stir my heart. Help me to respond.
  3. Stay with me, Jesus. Take up your residence.
  4. Jesus, I cannot bear the thought that you would condemn me on Judgment Day.
  5. Chastise me now, so you need not judge me later.

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

  1. What do I need to repent of?
  2. Having received much, I will return much.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

If I had done these miracles in Sodom, they would have repented.

WEEK FIFTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 17, 2017 THE REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP (MT 10:40 – 11:1)

Prayer: O Jesus, when I help the needy, I help you. Show me this mystery.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples to care for each other.)

Context:

Jesus praises those who show hospitality. But there is much more. A great mystery exists. When helping someone who preaches or believes the gospel, you help Jesus.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Whoever receives you, receives me. Whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet, receives a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a holy man, because he is a holy man, receives a holy man’s reward. Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because
he is a disciple – Amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples,
he left that place to teach and to preach in other towns.

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

  1. Disciples, prophets and holy people serve the church and earn a reward.
  2. By helping them, you receive the same reward.
  3. In fact, you welcome Jesus himself.
  4. A cup of cold water means giving good example. The little ones mean new disciples.
  5. These, especially, need your help and gain you a reward.
  6. Jesus moves to other villages. He must preach to everyone.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will help those who serve your Kingdom.
  2. You will reward me as you reward them.
  3. Even you, Jesus, are blessed when I bless them.
  4. Send me to others, so all can be blessed.
  5. O Jesus, you scatter rewards everywhere. Both the giver and the receiver gain your heavenly riches.
  6. Nothing escapes your eye, O Lord. You reward even my cup of cold water.
  7. Give me your zeal. Let me search for others to teach.

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

  1. I will welcome those who come in Jesus’ name.
  2. I will search out people who need God’s word.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Amen. I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

WEEK FIFTEEN – SUNDAY (A) – JULY 16, 2017 THE SOWER PARABLE EXPLAINED (MT 13:18-23)

Prayer: O Jesus, let your kingdom bring forth a harvest in my life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus explaining the parable of the seeds to his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus has just told the crowds the parable of the farmer who scatters seeds in
four areas – by the wayside, on rocky ground, among thorns and on good soil. Since the disciples do not grasp the parable, Jesus explains the meaning. The first three types of ground represent obstacles to the seed growing. The good ground is the faithful disciple who hears and acts on the word.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The disciples asked Jesus what was the meaning of the parable of the seeds. Jesus said:

“God is the sower and the seed is his word. The seed by the wayside is the person who hears the word without understanding it. Satan steals the word from their heart.

The seed on rocky ground is the person who receives the word with
joy but has no roots. The word lasts only for a time. When persecution
or trial comes, he abandons the word.

The seed among thorns is the person who receives the word, but worldly anxieties and
the desire for riches and pleasures, choke the word and it brings forth no fruit.

The seed placed in good ground is the person who hears the word,
understands it and bears
fruit, thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.”

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

  1. This interpretation highlights your response to the word of God.
  2. If your heart is hard, (the path) you will easily lose the Kingdom.
  3. If your response is superficial (rocky ground), you will give up the Kingdom during trials.
  4. If your heart is set on passing pleasures, (thorns), your worldly desires will choke the Kingdom.
  5. To have an abundant harvest, you must give your heart to God’s word.

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

  1. O Lord, I will not let Your Kingdom be marginal and superficial.
  2. May your Kingdom sink its roots within me.
  3. Lord, I will not resist your coming into my life. My heart is wide open.
  4. Jesus, remove all my sinful attachments which only choke your word.
  5. O God, I give you my whole heart so your word brings a harvest.

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

  1. I will examine my heart to see what blocks God’s word.
  2. I will be generous with God, believing that His word will bring about a harvest.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

If the seeds of God’s Kingdom do not grow within, my soul is a wasteland.

JULY 16, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – SATURDAY – THE ANOINTED AND CHOSEN SERVANT

(Matthew 12:14-21)

Prayer: O Jesus, anoint me with your Holy Spirit.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the crowds swarming around him.)

Context:

More than any other gospel, Matthew quotes fulfilled prophecies, to show the Jewish members of his community that their faith in Jesus is solidly founded. He also wants his Gentile members to be familiar with the Old Testament. Here, Matthew summarizes Jesus’ accomplishments to show that Jesus is the Suffering servant prophesied by Isaiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

The Pharisees began to plot against Jesus so they could destroy him. Therefore, Jesus withdrew from that place. Many followed him and he healed them, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been said through the prophet Isaiah:

Behold my servant whom I have chosen

My beloved in whom I am well pleased.

I will put my spirit upon him and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

He will not contend or cry out

Nor will his voice be heard in the streets.

The bruised reed he will not break

And the smoldering wick he will not extinguish

Until judgment is made victorious.

In his name, the Gentiles will hope.

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

  1. Jesus has two very diverse audiences. The Pharisees plot to destroy him. The crowds want to follow him.
  2. Jesus words and miracles fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy.
  3. Jesus is God’s chosen one, enjoying the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
  4. He will be gentle and His voice will be soft.
  5. He will be very conscious of people’s weaknesses, yet he will win the great victory.
  6. All can find hope in him.

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

  1. I will be like the crowds, and follow only you.
  2. Jesus, you are God’s chosen one, anointed with the Spirit.
  3. Jesus, your voice is soft. You invite. You encourage. You say “Come to me.”
  4. You do not crush me. You do not quench my spirit. You are the most gentle of all.
  5. You win the victory. You never fail. You are never defeated.
  6. All the world should hope in you.

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

  1. Today, I will ask Jesus to share his Holy Spirit with me.
  2. I will ponder the gentleness and softness of Jesus.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

In his name, all the nations will find hope.

JULY 15, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – FRIDAY – LORD OF THE SABBATH

(Matthew 12:1-8)

Prayer – O Jesus, you are God, Lord even of the Sabbath.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples being confronted by the Pharisees).

Context:

The gospels use these confrontation stories to highlight Jesus’ authority, to bring out new aspects of Christian life and most important, to reveal Jesus’ identity.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

On the Sabbath, Jesus and his disciples went through a cornfield. The disciples were hungry and plucked the heads of grain and ate them. Some Pharisees saw them and said, “See here, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath.”

Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry? How he entered God’s house and took and ate the holy bread, a thing forbidden to him and his men or to anyone except for priests? Have you not read that the priests on duty can break the Sabbath rest and incur no guilt! I assure you, something greater than the temple is here. If you understood the meaning of the text, “It is mercy that I desire and not sacrifice”, you would not have condemned these innocent men. The son of Man is indeed Lord, even of the Sabbath.

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

  1. Jewish people, walking through a cornfield, were allowed to pluck the grain. The Pharisees object because the disciples are doing this on the Sabbath.
  2. Jesus cites King David as an example of freedom.
  3. David acted correctly. His men’s well being was more important than the law.
  4. Jesus cites also the priests who help people in the temple on the Sabbath.
  5. The disciples’ serving Jesus is greater than being in the temple.
  6. Jesus leaves no doubt about his own greatness. He is the Lord with authority over the Sabbath.

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

  1. Jesus, Your Father has given me all of creation.
  2. Set me free, Jesus from all anxieties and false limitations.
  3. When I serve you, Jesus, I am free.
  4. You always place me first, Jesus. I am always the center of your attention.
  5. You are greater than the temple. You are God. You are Lord.
  6. You are greater than the Sabbath. You are the son of Man.
  7. You have all power. You love me, and want me to be with you forever.

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

  1. By faith in Jesus, I will try to experience true freedom.
  2. In my heart this day, I will constantly proclaim Jesus as Lord.

Thought for Today: (To recall your Meditation)

A greater than the temple is here.

The Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.

JULY 14, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – THURSDAY – THE EASY YOKE

(Matthew 11:28-30)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to take up Jesus’ easy yoke and light burden.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus inviting all his disciples to come to Him.)

 Context:

Jesus speaks of “a burden” and “a yoke”. The burdened are those who cannot seem to get out from under. Jesus is one of them. He carries the whole world on his shoulders. Jesus’ yoke is his submission to God’s will. When we accept God’s will, our daily burdens become much lighter.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

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

  1. “Come to me” is the greatest invitation in the whole world.
  2. Since all are burdened, all are invited.
  3. Jesus himself is the gift. He alone can give you rest. Come to him.
  4. Jesus’ yoke is your task in the Kingdom.
  5. To find rest, you must know Jesus and think as he does.
  6. You will find that he is gentle and humble. Your soul will experience peace.

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

  1. Jesus, you say “Come to me.” I am coming. I am coming quickly.
  2. You will be gentle, totally intent on helping me.
  3. You will be humble and serve my needs.
  4. I will rest in you and be refreshed.
  5. Jesus, I will gladly carry your yoke. It is so much easier than what I now carry.
  6. In the world, I find restlessness. In your Kingdom I discover peace.
  7. You always speak the truth. You fulfill all your promises.       I can trust your words.

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

  1. I will examine any worldly burdens which I have foolishly assumed.
  2. I will choose, instead, the tasks that Jesus has for me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My yoke is easy and my burden light.

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 12, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – TUESDAY – WOE TO THE UNREPENTANT CITIES

(Matthew 11:20-24)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me the grace to repent so I can face you on the Day of Judgment.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples the importance of repentance.)

Context:

   People might have some superficial relationship with their parish and think that this will get them into heaven. The gospels correct this false impression. They demand a full relationship to Jesus, one which comes from the heart. Here, Jesus mentions three cities where he has preached. They have heard Jesus but have not accepted and responded to his word.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus began to chastise the cities where he had done his miracles.

   “Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. If the miracles worked in you had been done in other cities, they would have done penance in sackcloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable for those cities on the day of judgment than for you.

   And you, Capernaum: Shall you be exalted to heaven? You shall be cast down to hell. If I had done the miracles in Sodom, the city would still exist today. It shall be more tolerable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

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

Jesus’ words are shocking. He speaks of sackcloth, ashes, judgment and hell.

These cities have seen his miracles performed in their midst.

Chorazin and Bethsaida welcomed him and accepted his miracles. However, they did not repent.

Capernaum was Jesus’ headquarters. They thought they would be exalted.

Jesus’ preaching and miracles only increased their guilt.

Jesus wants a full conversion to life in His Kingdom.

He will bring this about if you let him.

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

O Jesus, I have enjoyed your word and your blessings.

Jesus, stir my heart. Help me to respond.

Stay with me, Jesus. Take up your residence.

Jesus, I cannot bear the thought that you would condemn me on Judgment Day.

Chastise me now, so you need not judge me later.

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

What do I need to repent of?

Having received much, I will return much.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

If I had done these miracles in Sodom, they would have repented.

JULY 11, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – MONDAY – THE REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP

(Matthew 10:40 – 11:1)

Prayer: O Jesus, when I help the needy, I help you. Show me this mystery.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples to care for each other.)

Context:

   Jesus praises those who show hospitality. But there is much more. A great mystery exists. When helping someone who preaches or believes the gospel, you help Jesus.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

   Whoever receives you, receives me. Whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet, receives a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a holy man, because he is a holy man, receives a holy man’s reward. Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple – Amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

   When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he left that place to teach and to preach in other towns.

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

Disciples, prophets and holy people serve the church and earn a reward.

By helping them, you receive the same reward.

In fact, you welcome Jesus himself.

A cup of cold water means giving good example. The little ones mean new disciples.

These, especially, need your help and gain you a reward.

Jesus moves to other villages. He must preach to everyone.

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

O Jesus, I will help those who serve your Kingdom.

You will reward me as you reward them.

Even you, Jesus, are blessed when I bless them.

Send me to others, so all can be blessed.

O Jesus, you scatter rewards everywhere. Both the giver and the receiver gain your heavenly riches.

Nothing escapes your eye, O Lord. You reward even my cup of cold water.

Give me your zeal. Let me search for others to teach.

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

I will welcome those who come in Jesus’ name.

I will search out people who need God’s word.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Amen. I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

JULY 10, 2016 – WEEK FIFTEEN – SUNDAY (C) – THE GOOD SAMARITAN

(Luke 10:25-37)

Prayer: O Jesus, you are my good Samaritan and I am wounded along the way.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples and teaching the lawyer.)

Context:

The lawyer asked a common question in Judaism, “How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?” Jesus uses the priest and the Levite who pass by to lead up to the Samaritan. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver, a Samaritan hated by the Jews. He is the model disciple because his love embraces the whole world.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But, he, wishing to justify himself asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among robbers who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead.

A certain priest going the same way, saw him and passed by. Also, a Levite came near, saw him and passed by. However, a Samaritan on his journey came near, saw him and was moved with compassion. Approaching, he bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine, put him on his beast, brought him to the inn and took care of him. The next day he gave the host two pence and said, “Take care of him and I will repay you on my return”.

Which of these, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man?” He replied, “The one who showed mercy”. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise”.

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

  1. The lawyer wanted to distance himself from those in need.
  2. In the parable, this “distancing” by the priest and Levite is unacceptable.
  3. The Samaritans received no love from the Israelites.       Therefore, this example is highly vivid.
  4. The highest love comes from someone who has been hated.
  5. A true disciple’s love is total, personal and with no reservations.
  6. This love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
  7. This love is practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise”.

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

  1. O Lord, flood my heart with the river of your love.
  2. Help me to draw close to everyone.
  3. Jesus, make my love for you and others limitless.
  4. Give me a heart that embraces everyone.
  5. O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
  6. O Jesus, I will “go and do likewise”. Only practicing love makes me your disciple.

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

  1. I will see how limited is my present love.
  2. I will see Christ in all those who have needs.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

“Take care of him and I will repay you.”