WEEK FOURTEEN – SATURDAY – JULY 15, 2017 MT: 10-26-33

Prayer: O Jesus, free me from fear so I always acknowledge that I am your disciple.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with his apostles).

Context

Jesus is sending his apostles to preach the Kingdom. This is all new for them. Jesus foresees that they will be persecuted and could easily fear and
fail to acknowledge him before men. So Jesus teaches them not to fear. This is so needed because anyone who preaches Jesus will be intimidated by others.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his apostles, Do not fear men who intimidate you. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed and nothing concealed that will
not become know. What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light. What you hear in private, preach on the housetops.

Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot destroy the soul. Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet, not one of them falls to the ground without your Father knowing it. As for you, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Therefore, do not fear. You are worth more than many sparrows.

Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my heavenly Father.

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

  1. In the gospel, Jesus’ teachings are hidden in the hearts of the disciples. They bless the disciples but no one else.
  2. That will change. The apostles will go to all the world. The words in their hearts will be totally revealed.
  3. Through the Apostles, Jesus will multiply his power over the world.
  4. The person preaching Jesus’ word will face persecution and possibly, death.
  5. Losing bodily life is not to be feared. Fear only someone who can destroy the soul.
  6. They are very valuable to the Father, more than any other part of creation.
  7. The final result is clear. If they preach and are killed, Jesus will acknowledge them.
  8. If they cease to preach and disown Jesus, he must disown them.

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

  1. Bless me through your word, planted deeply in my heart.
  2. I will preach and multiply your word to the nations.
  3. Jesus, what a joy to be your voice.
  4. How the Father values me. He called me to spread his Kingdom.
  5. Help me to fear no one (unless they can steal heaven from me.)
  6. Jesus, you will acknowledge me before the Father. You will say, “He preached my word to the nations.”

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

  1. I will drink fully of Jesus’ words.
  2. I will share my faith with others.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.

WEEK FOURTEEN – FRIDAY – JULY 14, 2017 PERSECUTIONS (MT 10:17-22)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, Strengthen me in moments of trial.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing His disciples for persecution.)

Context:

Jesus has just commissioned his apostles and sent them out to preach.
He warns them of difficulties. Matthew’s Church also sent out missionaries who
faced the same persecutions,
both from Jews and Romans.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Beware of men. They will hand you over to courts, and they will scourge you in the synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings for my sake, so you can give testimony
to them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not think about what you will say. The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father, his child. You shall be hated by all because of my name, but whoever perseveres to the end,
shall be saved.

The disciple is not above his master. If they have called me Beelzebub,
what will they call you?

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

  1. When you turn to Jesus, many will oppose you.
  2. By this teaching, Jesus tries to prepare you for what you will face.
  3. God has a purpose for this opposition. You can explain to your persecutors
    what God has done to you.
  4. The Spirit will give you the words that touch hearts.
  5. So, rejoice. If they persecuted the Master, they will certainly persecute you.

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

  1. Jesus, prepare me for the opposition I will meet in my devout life.
  2. Send me your Spirit so my opponents can be won over.
  3. Teach me the costs of discipleship. I will pay any price.
  4. When the opposition continues, let me stand firm.
  5. What more could I ask for? You invite me to suffer persecution with you.

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

  1. I will try to explain my conversion to all who question me.
  2. If they do not understand, I will be patient.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.

WEEK FOURTEEN – THURSDAY – JULY 13, 2017 SENDING OUT THE TWELVE (MT 10:7-15)

Prayer – O Jesus, send me forth like an apostle.

Imagination – (Picture the Twelve gathered around, listening to Jesus’ instructions.)

Context:

There is not much time to evangelize Israel, so Jesus sends out the Twelve.
This is totally his initiative. He summons, instructs, and gives his powers. They disciples must trust God to provide and the villages must respond to the message.
Urgency fills the air.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “As you go, make this announcement,
‘The reign of God is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the lepers
and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift. Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts;
no traveling bags, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking stick.

Look for a worthy citizen in every town or village you come to and stay with him
until you leave. As you enter his home bless it. If the home is deserving, your
blessing will descend on it. If not, your blessing will return to you.

If anyone does not receive you, leave that town and shake the dust from your feet. It will go easier for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than for that town.

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

  1. There is great urgency. The time is short. The gospel must be preached.
  2. Jesus takes a new initiative. He pours out his zeal upon the Twelve.
  3. They go forth two by two, showing love for each other and encouraging each other.
  4. They enjoy the powers of the Kingdom – to expel demons, to heal, and to raise the dead.
  5. They must be unselfish, being satisfied with whatever house receives them.
  6. They will bless greatly whoever welcomes them.
  7. The village must respond to their message. Otherwise, the apostles will reject them.
  8. The final judgment will be severe, worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

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

  1. O Jesus, the time is short. I must act today.
  2. Fill my heart with your zeal and holy desires.
  3. Call me to a greater level of responsibility.
  4. Join me with others. Together, we can be faithful.
  5. Give me your powers. I will free people and they will believe.
  6. O Lord, I will sacrifice everything for your Kingdom.
  7. O Jesus, if some will not listen, I will go quickly to others.

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

  1. I will be aware of opportunities to speak about the Kingdom.
  2. I will seek a friend who will join me in my task.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK FOURTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JULY 12, 2017 COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE (MT 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.)

  1. Jesus sends forth his most dedicated group – the Twelve.
  2. He gives them extraordinary powers, – to cast out devils and to heal every illness.
  3. They must not go to Gentile villages nor to Samaritan towns.
  4. Their goal must be Israel, the special object of Jesus’ love.
  5. They say only one thing. “The Kingdom is at hand.” At this point, that is all they understand.
  6. They will do extremely well because they obey Jesus and use his powers.

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

  1. O Jesus, call me. I will dedicate my life to the Kingdom.
  2. Show me where to go and what to do.
  3. Give me the power to preach and persuade.
  4. Help me to lead my family and friends to faith.
  5. Jesus, give me a simplicity of lifestyle.
  6. Jesus, the Kingdom is at hand and everyone must know it.
  7. 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.)

  1. In my own little way, I will announce the Kingdom to everyone.
  2. 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.

WEEK FOURTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 11, 2017 THE FAITH OF THE CROWD (MT 9:23-28)

Prayer: O Jesus, come to my town.

Imagination (Picture Jesus healing and teaching the crowds.)

Context:

The gospel has 2 parts. First, Jesus casts out a demon so a person begins to speak. This causes both praise and criticism. Then, Jesus tours all the villages with
multiple miracles of power.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

They brought to Jesus a dumb man who was possessed by the demon. After the demon
was cast out, the man spoke. The crowd wondered, saying “Nothing like this has
ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the prince of demons,
he casts out demons.”

Jesus went all around to their cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues and
preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. He healed every illness and disease. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were lying prostrate
from exhaustion, like a sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples. The harvest is indeed great but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send laborers into his harvest.

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

  1. The people hear the stories about Jesus, and know exactly what to do. They “bring the man to Jesus.”
  2. Jesus’ power is total. The demon leaves and the man speaks.
  3. The crowds respond in great They rejoice, never having seen such a mighty
    work in Israel.
  4. The Pharisees respond in duplicity, refusing to accept Jesus, and claiming his
    powers are demonic.
  5. Jesus releases all his powers. His compassion drives him to all the towns.
  6. Without Jesus, the people are like exhausted sheep, having no shepherd.
  7. Jesus sees their need and knows that he needs helpers. So, he begins to prepare his disciples.

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

  1. O Jesus, I know the gospel stories and I know what to do. I will come to you.
  2. Your power is total. You are not a specialist who handles only one type of illness.
  3. No one is like you, Jesus. All blessings flow from your hands.
  4. Remove my cynical spirit. Make me a child, ready to believe.
  5. How compassionate you are! Always thinking of me. Always preparing blessings ahead of time.
  6. O Jesus, send me to labor in your harvest.

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

  1. In the greatest faith, I will bring my problems to Jesus.
  2. I will offer my time to spread the gospel.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The crowds said, “Never have we seen anything like this in Israel.”

WEEK FOURTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 10, 2017 WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD (MT: 9:18-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me press close to you and be healed.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus, surrounded by crowds and the woman secretly
touching His garment.)

Context:

This story contains excellent teachings about healing. The woman has been
suffering for twelve years. Many people touch Jesus (as the disciples make clear)
but only the woman touches him with faith. Since we have the story with many details,
she must have been a member of Mark’s community.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As they were going, a woman with a flow of blood who had suffered for twelve years
came up behind him and touched the tassel of his garment. “If I just touch his garment,
I shall get well.” Jesus turned around and saw her and said, “Courage,
daughter, your faith has restored you to health.” That very moment, the women got well.

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

  1. This woman’s world was spiraling downward. Twelve years of hopelessness.
  2. She finds new hope in Jesus. “If I just touch his garments, I will be healed.”
  3. God’s power goes forth from Jesus.
  4. He turns to the woman, giving her all of his attention.
  5. She hears Jesus’ own words telling her that she has acted correctly.
  6. He praises her faith and guarantees that her healing is true.

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

  1. O Jesus, so much of my life spirals downward.
  2. You give me new hope, even after years of suffering.
  3. Your presence draws me close, fills me with faith and leads me to touch you.
  4. Your power goes out to me. I will never be the same.
  5. You give me your complete attention. You speak to me. You encourage me.
  6. Jesus, you assure me that Your power will last forever.

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

  1. In all my sufferings, I will look to Jesus for help.
  2. I will seek to experience his presence.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

If I just touch his garment, I will be healed.

WEEK FOURTEEN – SUNDAY (A) – JULY 9, 2017 REVELATION TO THE LITTLE ONES (MT 11:25-27)

Prayer: O Jesus, reveal all that is hidden so I know the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus praising God for His disciples)

Context:

Jesus has just reproached those towns that did not repent at his preaching. Now, he looks onward at his disciples and sees that they have been faithful
and the Father has given them the Kingdom.

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. The disciples are understanding the Kingdom.
  2. Jesus will reveal even the Father himself.
  3. He credits his heavenly Father, who has revealed these mysteries to them.
  4. The worldly wise and the prudent are excluded from Jesus’ gift.
  5. By Jesus choice, only his disciples see these mysteries.

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. O Father, by Jesus’ power I am your child.
  4. Jesus, rejoice in me. I am the first fruit of your work.
  5. When I was wise and prudent, you could not do this. Now, I am your little one.
  6. O Jesus, all that is yours is to become mine. What a mystery!
  7. Jesus, show me the Father. This is your promise.

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 my inner life with Jesus.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Son reveals the Father to whomever he wishes.

JULY 9, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – SATURDAY

(Matthew 10:26-33)

Prayer: O Jesus, free me from fear so I always acknowledge that I am your disciple.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with his apostles).

Context

   Jesus is sending his apostles to preach the Kingdom. This is all new for them. Jesus foresees that they will be persecuted and could easily fear and fail to acknowledge him before men. So Jesus teaches them not to fear. This is so needed because anyone who preaches Jesus will be intimidated by others.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

   Jesus said to his apostles, Do not fear men who intimidate you. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed and nothing concealed that will not become know. What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light. What you hear in private, preach on the housetops.

   Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot destroy the soul. Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet, not one of them falls to the ground without your Father knowing it. As for you, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Therefore, do not fear. You are worth more than many sparrows.

   Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my heavenly Father.

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

  • In the gospel, Jesus’ teachings are hidden in the hearts of the disciples. They bless the disciples but no one else.
  • That will change. The apostles will go to all the world. The words in their hearts will be totally revealed.
  • Through the Apostles, Jesus will multiply his power over the world.
  • The person preaching Jesus’ word will face persecution and possibly, death.
  • Losing bodily life is not to be feared. Fear only someone who can destroy the soul.
  • They are very valuable to the Father, more than any other part of creation.
  • The final result is clear. If they preach and are killed, Jesus will acknowledge them.
  • If they cease to preach and disown Jesus, he must disown them.

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

  • Bless me through your word, planted deeply in my heart.
  • I will preach and multiply your word to the nations.
  • Jesus, what a joy to be your voice.
  • How the Father values me. He called me to spread his Kingdom.
  • Help me to fear no one (unless they can steal heaven from me.)
  • Jesus, you will acknowledge me before the Father. You will say, “He preached my word to the nations.”

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

  • I will drink fully of Jesus’ words.
  • I will share my faith with others.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.

JULY 8, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – FRIDAY – PERSECUTIONS

(Matthew 10:17-22)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, Strengthen me in moments of trial.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing His disciples for persecution.)

Context:

Jesus has just commissioned his apostles and sent them out to preach. He warns them of difficulties. Matthew’s Church also sent out missionaries who faced the same persecutions, both from Jews and Romans.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Beware of men. They will hand you over to courts, and they will scourge you in the synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings for my sake, so you can give testimony to them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not think about what you will say. The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father, his child. You shall be hated by all because of my name, but whoever perseveres to the end, shall be saved.

   The disciple is not above his master. If they have called me Beelzebub, what will they call you?

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

When you turn to Jesus, many will oppose you.

By this teaching, Jesus tries to prepare you for what you will face.

God has a purpose for this opposition. You can explain to your persecutors what God has done to you.

The Spirit will give you the words that touch hearts.

So, rejoice. If they persecuted the Master, they will certainly persecute you.

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

Jesus, prepare me for the opposition I will meet in my devout life.

Send me your Spirit so my opponents can be won over.

Teach me the costs of discipleship. I will pay any price.

When the opposition continues, let me stand firm.

What more could I ask for? You invite me to suffer persecution with you.

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

I will try to explain my conversion to all who question me.

If they do not understand, I will be patient.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.

JULY 7, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – THURSDAY – SENDING OUT THE TWELVE

(Matthew 10:7-15)

Prayer – O Jesus, send me forth like an apostle.

Imagination (Picture the Twelve gathered around, listening to Jesus’ instructions.)

Context:

   There is not much time to evangelize Israel, so Jesus sends out the Twelve. This is totally his initiative. He summons, instructs, and gives his powers. They disciples must trust God to provide and the villages must respond to the message. Urgency fills the air.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

   Jesus said to his disciples, “As you go, make this announcement, ‘The reign of God is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the lepers and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift. Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts; no traveling bags, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking stick.

   Look for a worthy citizen in every town or village you come to and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his home bless it. If the home is deserving, your blessing will descend on it. If not, your blessing will return to you.

   If anyone does not receive you, leave that town and shake the dust from your feet. It will go easier for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than for that town.

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

  • There is great urgency. The time is short. The gospel must be preached.
  • Jesus takes a new initiative. He pours out his zeal upon the Twelve.

They go forth two by two, showing love for each other and encouraging each other.

They enjoy the powers of the Kingdom – to expel demons, to heal, and to raise the dead.

They must be unselfish, being satisfied with whatever house receives them.

They will bless greatly whoever welcomes them.

The village must respond to their message. Otherwise, the apostles will reject them.

The final judgment will be severe, worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

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

O Jesus, the time is short. I must act today.

Fill my heart with your zeal and holy desires.

Call me to a greater level of responsibility.

Join me with others. Together, we can be faithful.

Give me your powers. I will free people and they will believe.

O Lord, I will sacrifice everything for your Kingdom.

O Jesus, if some will not listen, I will go quickly to others.

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

  • I will be aware of opportunities to speak about the Kingdom.
  • I will seek a friend who will join me in my task.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.”

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.

JULY 5, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – TUESDAY – THE FAITH OF THE CROWD

 (Matthew 9:23-28)

Prayer: O Jesus, come to my town.

Imagination (Picture Jesus healing and teaching the crowds.)

Context:

   The gospel has 2 parts. First, Jesus casts out a demon so a person begins to speak. This causes both praise and criticism. Then, Jesus tours all the villages with multiple miracles of power.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

   They brought to Jesus a dumb man who was possessed by the demon. After the demon was cast out, the man spoke. The crowd wondered, saying “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the prince of demons, he casts out demons.”

   Jesus went all around to their cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. He healed every illness and disease. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were lying prostrate from exhaustion, like a sheep without a shepherd.

   Then he said to his disciples. The harvest is indeed great but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send laborers into his harvest.

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

The people hear the stories about Jesus, and know exactly what to do. They “bring the man to Jesus.”

Jesus’ power is total. The demon leaves and the man speaks.

The crowds respond in great simplicity. They rejoice, never having seen such a mighty work in Israel.

The Pharisees respond in duplicity, refusing to accept Jesus, and claiming his powers are demonic.

Jesus releases all his powers. His compassion drives him to all the towns.

Without Jesus, the people are like exhausted sheep, having no shepherd.

Jesus sees their need and knows that he needs helpers. So, he begins to prepare his disciples.

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

O Jesus, I know the gospel stories and I know what to do. I will come to you.

Your power is total. You are not a specialist who handles only one type of illness.

No one is like you, Jesus. All blessings flow from your hands.

Remove my cynical spirit. Make me a child, ready to believe.

How compassionate you are! Always thinking of me. Always preparing blessings ahead of time.

O Jesus, send me to labor in your harvest.

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

In the greatest faith, I will bring my problems to Jesus.

I will offer my time to spread the gospel.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The crowds said, “Never have we seen anything like this in Israel.”

JULY 4, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – MONDAY – WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD

(MT: 9:18-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me press close to you and be healed.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus, surrounded by crowds and the woman secretly touching His garment.)

Context:

   This story contains excellent teachings about healing. The woman has been suffering for twelve years. Many people touch Jesus (as the disciples make clear) but only the woman touches him with faith. Since we have the story with many details, she must have been a member of Mark’s community.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

   As they were going, a woman with a flow of blood who had suffered for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel of his garment. “If I just touch his garment, I shall get well.” Jesus turned around and saw her and said, “Courage, daughter, your faith has restored you to health.” That very moment, the women got well.

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

  • This woman’s world was spiraling downward. Twelve years of hopelessness.
  • She finds new hope in Jesus. “If I just touch his garments, I will be healed.”

God’s power goes forth from Jesus.

He turns to the woman, giving her all of his attention.

She hears Jesus’ own words telling her that she has acted correctly.

He praises her faith and guarantees that her healing is true.

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

  • O Jesus, so much of my life spirals downward.
  • You give me new hope, even after years of suffering.

Your presence draws me close, fills me with faith and leads me to touch you.

Your power goes out to me. I will never be the same.

You give me your complete attention. You speak to me. You encourage me.

Jesus, you assure me that Your power will last forever.

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

In all my sufferings, I will look to Jesus for help.

I will seek to experience his presence.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

If I just touch his garment, I will be healed.

JULY 3, 2016 – WEEK FOURTEEN – SUNDAY (C) – SEVENTY-TWO MORE MISSIONARIES

(Luke 10:1-12)

Prayer – O Lord, choose me and send me wherever your word needs to be preached.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing seventy-two more disciples to go to the villages.)

Context:

Other gospels (Mark and Matthew) record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of seventy-two. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the seventy-two are almost identical to those already given to the Twelve.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest. Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, “Peace be to this house.” If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house.

Heal the sick and say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying ‘We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you.’ Yet, the Kingdom is at hand. I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.”

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

  1. Jesus organizes. He plans. He wastes no time.
  2. These seventy-two will go to definite villages and Jesus will follow.
  3. They will face great hostilities – like lambs going among wolves.
  4. The task is very urgent. There is no time for greeting people and having a chat.
  5. The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
  6. They must be disciplined, content with whatever food or housing is available.
  7. If they preach, the village must accept the message. Otherwise, Jesus will not come and they will lose the Kingdom.
  8. How dreadful will be their punishment on the day of Jesus’ Second Coming.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
  2. Give me courage against the hostility I will face.
  3. O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
  4. O Lord, I will make any sacrifice and pay any price to bring your word.
  5. The people must listen. They must respond.
  6. O Jesus, I will do all I can. Give me your Holy Spirit.

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

  1. I will look for people who need my words about the Kingdom.
  2. I will seek out the right way to preach to them. I will see the urgency to spread Jesus’ word.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”