WEEK EIGHTEEN – SUNDAY – A – AUGUST 6, 2017 TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNTAIN (MT 17:1-9)

Prayer: O Jesus, I await your coming with all your angels.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus in a house, alone with his disciples)

Context:

Jesus has just told the parable of the owner who sowed good seed while
his enemy sowed weeds. The owner does not allow his servants to rip out the weeds. He is willing to wait for the harvest (which is always a symbol for Jesus’ second Coming.) Now, Jesus explains each part of that story and applies it to the Final Judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

After Jesus sent away the crowds, he came into the house. His disciples said, “Explain to us the parable about the weeds in the field.”

Jesus replied, “The one who sows the seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are
the followers of the Evil One. The enemy that sowed the weeds is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the world.
The reapers are the angels.

Just as the weeds are gathered up at the harvest and burned in fire, so it shall
be at the end of the world. The Son of Man shall send his angels and
they shall gather out of the world
all who cause others to sin and all the evildoers. They shall cast them into the fire and there will be weeping and
gnashing of teeth. Then, the just shall shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Let everyone heed what he hears.”

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

  1. The owner allowed the wheat and the weeds to grow alongside each other,
    as if they both were equal.
  2. “The field is the world”, says Jesus. In human life, the good and the bad are equal.
  3. People misjudge this situation. They think that good and bad are equal in God’s sight.
  4. The angels see people for what they are. They easily detect the bad from the good.
  5. They gather those who did evil and deliver them to the fire of hell.
  6. They take the good into the Father’s house, where they shine like the stars.
  7. Everyone needs to grasp this lesson. “Let everyone heed.”

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

  1. O Jesus, I want to be your wheat. To be good, is my free choice.
  2. Your angels will gather me in. I will prepare for that day.
  3. You are so patient, giving me time to repent.
  4. You are the Son of Man who will come in glory.
  5. O Jesus, I love you and I will await you.
  6. Someday, Jesus, I will shine in your Father’s house.

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

  1. Because God is patient with me, I will use this time to get my life in order.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

He will send out his angels.

WEEK SEVENTEEN – SATUDAY – AUGUST 5, 2017 BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (Mt 14:1-12)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, let me not be swayed by the opinions of others.

Imagination – (Picture Herod with his party guests)

Context:

Matthew shortens Mark’s long explanation of Herod’s party. He highlights what is familiar – the hatred of John by Herod’s wife and Herod’s foolish promise and killing of John.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Herod, the Tetrarch, heard of Jesus’ fame. He said to his servants, 
“This is John the Baptist risen from the dead. That is why he does mighty works.” Herod had put John in prison because of Herodias, his brother’s wife.

John had said, “It is not lawful for you to have her. Herod wanted to kill John, but he feared the people who esteemed him as a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter danced before his guests and pleased Herod. He then made a promise to give whatever she asked. Her mother said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

The King was sad but because of his oath and his guests, he sent and had John beheaded. The head was given to the girl who gave it to her mother. His disciples 
buried the body and told Jesus.

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

  1. Everything in this story is distorted. It begins with Herod’s fears.
  2. He even believes that Jesus is John raised from the dead.
  3. His passions are out of order, both in his marriage and at this birthday party.
  4. He makes terrible blunders, and promises a dancing girl whatever she wants.
  5. His wife is filled with evil, always desiring to kill John the Baptist.
  6. These evils accumulate and result in an unthought-of event. John is beheaded.
  7. Only his disciples act with thoughtfulness and dignity.

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

  1. Jesus, you alone save me from superstition, absurdity and darkness.
  2. Cast out all my fears. Only by your power, I will live in light and peace.
  3. Quiet my passions. Cool my evil desires.
  4. Give me your Spirit, and I will practice self-control.
  5. O Jesus, how many blunders I have made. No more. I will walk in your light.
  6. Do not let evil grow. Let me repent quickly of all my sinful decisions.
  7. I will be your disciple, with a life full of good deeds and kindly acts.

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

  1. I will examine the disorders in my life. What actions should I take?
  2. I will quickly repent of every sinful action.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The king regretted his offer but he was fearful about what his guests would think.

WEEK SEVENTEEN – FRIDAY – AUGUST 4, 2017 THE DOUBTING HOME TOWN (Mt 13:54-58)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will believe and not doubt.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the synagogue at Nazareth)

Context:

The gospels record Jesus coming back to Nazareth and being met with a lack of faith. The people know about his miraculous powers but remain cynical. Their lack of faith limits the fruitfulness of Jesus’ powers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus came to his own town and taught in their synagogue. Yet, they wondered and said, “How did he get this wisdom and the 
power to do miracles? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary and his relatives, James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? Are not all his sisters with us? Where did he get all these powers? 
“They were scandalized concerning him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is without honor only in his own country and in his native place.” He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

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

  1. Jesus returns to Nazareth with high hopes. He has been so successful in other places.
  2. He follows his usual plan and goes to the synagogue to teach.
  3. The response here is different. The people question his powers and do not seek healings.
  4. Being too familiar with his family, they reject him.
  5. Jesus is saddened. He wanted so much to help those he grew up with.
  6. He has infinite power, but he cannot use it for people who do not believe.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have high hopes. You want to do great things for me.
  2. You come to me, just as you come to every person.
  3. You want to bless me and pour out your favors.
  4. I will not disappoint you. I will not reject you.
  5. Who are you and who am I? You are the Lord. I am the servant.
  6. O Jesus, my heart is empty and you will fill it.

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

  1. I will have great faith in Jesus’ care for me.
  2. I will ask him to come to my heart.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

He worked no miracles there.

WEEK SEVENTEEN – THURSDAY – AUGUST 3, 2017 THE CONCLUDING PARABLE (Mt 13:47-53)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to understand your Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

After preaching many parables, Jesus concludes with this parable about 
the Final Judgment. When finished, he asks the disciples if they understand. 
Then describes what he has just done by bringing forth various kinds of teachings.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea which gathers all kinds of fish. When it is filled, the men draw it out. Sitting on the shore, they place what was worthwhile in their baskets but the 
useless they throw out. So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out and separate the evil from among the just. They shall cast them into the furnace where there will be weeping 
and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all these parables?” Jesus asked. ‘Yes”, they said. He said to them, “Every scribe instructed in the kingdom of Heaven is like 
the head of the house bringing forth from his treasuries, the old and the new.” When Jesus finished this parable, he moved on from that district.

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

  1. Jesus’ heart is totally on the Kingdom of God.
  2. He constantly uses fresh images to impress this Kingdom upon his disciples’ hearts.
  3. The Kingdom already exists on earth in the hearts of good people.
  4. The wicked and the good live in the same neighborhood, seemingly equal.
  5. The angels, however, know who is who. They separate out the wicked, who are cast into the fire.
  6. The parables are simple and the disciples easily understand.
  7. Jesus provides many treasures from his storeroom of knowledge.

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

  1. O Jesus, focus my heart on your Kingdom.
  2. Impress your Kingdom onto my mind and soul.
  3. O Jesus, I cannot fool your angels. They see my heart.
  4. I cannot sneak into heaven. My soul must be truly yours.
  5. O Jesus, teach me and I will understand.
  6. You explain all the mysteries. Everything is clear. I must respond.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to show me the state of my soul.
  2. I will remember the moment of my Judgment.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Have you understood all this?

WEEK SEVENTEEN – WEDNESDAY – AUGUST 2, 2017 TWO PARABLES OF JOY (Mt 13:44-46)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will purchase your Kingdom, no matter what the price.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

Jesus continues to give a picture of a true disciple. These parables highlight 
joy that leads to a decision. Because Israel was invaded so many times 
(from every direction), many people buried their valuables in the fields, 
hoping to reclaim them later.
Finding a treasure in a field was common. In the second parable, pearls are both highly 
prized and very valuable.

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

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

WEEK SEVENTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 31, 2017 THE MUSTARD SEED AND THE LEAVEN (Mt 13:31-35)

Prayer: O Jesus, Your Kingdom is hidden but powerful.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

These two parables express the power of the kingdom, by highlighting a
beginning smallness and a final greatness. From insignificant beginnings
of mustard seed and leaven, God creates a mighty Kingdom. What began as a small ministry of a Jewish prophet (Jesus of Nazareth)
becomes the Final Age of all history.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God, to what can we compare it?” It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man planted in his field. It is the least of the seeds but when it is grown it becomes the largest of plants. It puts out its branches so that the birds of the air can dwell in its shade.”

Jesus proposed another parable, “The Kingdom is also like leaven which a woman took
and hid in three measures of flour until the whole mass was leavened.” Jesus taught the crowds in parables to fulfill what the prophet said, “I will open
my mouth in parables. I will announce what has been hidden since the creation of the world.”

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

  1. Although small, the mustard seed and the leaven are alive. They contain God’s creative powers.
  2. They are effective only by being buried – the seed into the ground and the leaven into the flour.
  3. The leaven’s effects are seen quickly. The power of the mustard seeds comes forth more slowly.
  4. They bring great blessings. The birds gain shelter and human beings gain nourishment.
  5. Like the seed and the leaven, God’s Kingdom is hidden within us and often overlooked.
  6. Really, the kingdom is filled with power and able to transform any person or society.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will cherish the seeds of your Kingdom within me.
  2. Plant your leaven within me. It will transform me completely.
  3. Jesus, your power in me can do all things.
  4. Lord, I will live by faith in your Kingdom within me.
  5. Give me patient faith. Your kingdom does not blossom overnight.

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

  1. I will believe in the power of Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. I will be patient, trusting God’s kingdom to transform me.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

To what can I compare the kingdom of God?

WEEK SEVENTEEN – SUNDAY (A) – JULY 30, 2017 TWO PARABLES OF JOY (Mt 13:44-46)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will purchase your Kingdom, no matter what the price.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

Jesus continues to give a picture of a true disciple. These parables
highlight joy that leads to a decision. Because Israel was invaded so many times (from every direction), many people
buried their valuables in the fields, hoping to reclaim them later.
Finding a treasure in a field was common. In the second parable, pearls are both
highly prized and very valuable.

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

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

JULY 30, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – SATURDAY – BEHEADING OF JOHN THE BAPTIST

(Mt 14:1-12)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, let me not be swayed by the opinions of others.

Imagination (Picture Herod with his party guests)

Context:

Matthew shortens Mark’s long explanation of Herod’s party. He highlights what is familiar – the hatred of John by Herod’s wife and Herod’s foolish promise and killing of John.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Herod, the Tetrarch, heard of Jesus’ fame. He said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist risen from the dead. That is why he does mighty works.” Herod had put John in prison because of Herodias, his brother’s wife.

John had said, “It is not lawful for you to have her. Herod wanted to kill John, but he feared the people who esteemed him as a prophet.

On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter danced before his guests and pleased Herod. He then made a promise to give whatever she asked. Her mother said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

The King was sad but because of his oath and his guests, he sent and had John beheaded. The head was given to the girl who gave it to her mother. His disciples buried the body and told Jesus.

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

  1. Everything in this story is distorted. It begins with Herod’s fears.
  2. He even believes that Jesus is John raised from the dead.
  3. His passions are out of order, both in his marriage and at this birthday party.
  4. He makes terrible blunders, and promises a dancing girl whatever she wants.
  5. His wife is filled with evil, always desiring to kill John the Baptist.
  6. These evils accumulate and result in an unthought-of event. John is beheaded.
  7. Only his disciples act with thoughtfulness and dignity.

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

  1. Jesus, you alone save me from superstition, absurdity and darkness.
  2. Cast out all my fears. Only by your power, I will live in light and peace.
  3. Quiet my passions. Cool my evil desires.
  4. Give me your Spirit, and I will practice self-control.
  5. O Jesus, how many blunders I have made. No more. I will walk in your light.
  6. Do not let evil grow. Let me repent quickly of all my sinful decisions.
  7. I will be your disciple, with a life full of good deeds and kindly acts.

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

  1. I will examine the disorders in my life. What actions should I take?
  2. I will quickly repent of every sinful action.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The king regretted his offer but he was fearful about what his guests would think.

JULY 29, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – FRIDAY – THE DOUBTING HOME TOWN

(Matthew 13:54-58)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will believe and not doubt.

Imagination:   (Picture Jesus teaching in the synagogue at Nazareth)

Context:

The gospels record Jesus coming back to Nazareth and being met with a lack of faith. The people know about his miraculous powers but remain cynical. Their lack of faith limits the fruitfulness of Jesus’ powers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus came to his own town and taught in their synagogue. Yet, they wondered and said, “How did he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary and his relatives, James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? Are not all his sisters with us? Where did he get all these powers? “ They were scandalized concerning him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is without honor only in his own country and in his native place.” He did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

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

  1. Jesus returns to Nazareth with high hopes. He has been so successful in other places.
  2. He follows his usual plan and goes to the synagogue to teach.
  3. The response here is different. The people question his powers and do not seek healings.
  4. Being too familiar with his family, they reject him.
  5. Jesus is saddened. He wanted so much to help those he grew up with.
  6. He has infinite power, but he cannot use it for people who do not believe.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have high hopes. You want to do great things for me.
  2. You come to me, just as you come to every person.
  3. You want to bless me and pour out your favors.
  4. I will not disappoint you. I will not reject you.
  5. Who are you and who am I? You are the Lord. I am the servant.
  6. O Jesus, my heart is empty and you will fill it.

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

  1. I will have great faith in Jesus’ care for me.
  2. I will ask him to come to my heart.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

He worked no miracles there.

JULY 28, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – THURSDAY – THE CONCLUDING PARABLE

(Matthew 13:47-53)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to understand your Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

After preaching many parables, Jesus concludes with this parable about the Final Judgment. When finished, he asks the disciples if they understand. Then describes what he has just done by bringing forth various kinds of teachings.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea which gathers all kinds of fish. When it is filled, the men draw it out. Sitting on the shore, they place what was worthwhile in their baskets but the useless they throw out. So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out and separate the evil from among the just. They shall cast them into the furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all these parables?” Jesus asked. ‘Yes”, they said. He said to them, “Every scribe instructed in the kingdom of Heaven is like the head of the house bringing forth from his treasuries, the old and the new.” When Jesus finished this parable, he moved on from that district.

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

  1. Jesus’ heart is totally on the Kingdom of God.
  2. He constantly uses fresh images to impress this Kingdom upon his disciples’ hearts.
  3. The Kingdom already exists on earth in the hearts of good people.
  4. The wicked and the good live in the same neighborhood, seemingly equal.
  5. The angels, however, know who is who. They separate out the wicked, who are cast into the fire.
  6. The parables are simple and the disciples easily understand.
  7. Jesus provides many treasures from his storeroom of knowledge.

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

  1. O Jesus, focus my heart on your Kingdom.
  2. Impress your Kingdom onto my mind and soul.
  3. O Jesus, I cannot fool your angels. They see my heart.
  4. I cannot sneak into heaven. My soul must be truly yours.
  5. O Jesus, teach me and I will understand.
  6. You explain all the mysteries. Everything is clear. I must respond.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to show me the state of my soul.
  2. I will remember the moment of my Judgment.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Have you understood all this?

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

(Matthew 13:44-46)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will purchase your Kingdom, no matter what the price.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

Jesus continues to give a picture of a true disciple. These parables highlight joy that leads to a decision. Because Israel was invaded so many times (from every direction), many people buried their valuables in the fields, hoping to reclaim them later. Finding a treasure in a field was common. In the second parable, pearls are both highly prized and very valuable.

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

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

JULY 26, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – TUESDAY – SENDING OUT HIS ANGELS

(Matthew 13:36-43)

Prayer: O Jesus, I await your coming with all your angels.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus in a house, alone with his disciples)

Context:

Jesus has just told the parable of the owner who sowed good seed while his enemy sowed weeds. The owner does not allow his servants to rip out the weeds. He is willing to wait for the harvest (which is always a symbol for Jesus’ second Coming.) Now, Jesus explains each part of that story and applies it to the Final Judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

After Jesus sent away the crowds, he came into the house. His disciples said, “Explain to us the parable about the weeds in the field.”

Jesus replied, “The one who sows the seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world. The good seed are the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the followers of the Evil One. The enemy that sowed the weeds is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world. The reapers are the angels.

Just as the weeds are gathered up at the harvest and burned in fire, so it shall be at the end of the world. The Son of Man shall send his angels and they shall gather out of the world all who cause others to sin and all the evildoers. They shall cast them into the fire and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then, the just shall shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Let everyone heed what he hears.”

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

  1. The owner allowed the wheat and the weeds to grow alongside each other, as if they both were equal.
  2. “The field is the world”, says Jesus. In human life, the good and the bad are equal.
  3. People misjudge this situation. They think that good and bad are equal in God’s sight.
  4. The angels see people for what they are.   They easily detect the bad from the good.
  5. They gather those who did evil and deliver them to the fire of hell.
  6. They take the good into the Father’s house, where they shine like the stars.
  7. Everyone needs to grasp this lesson. “Let everyone heed.”

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

  1. O Jesus, I want to be your wheat. To be good, is my free choice.
  2. Your angels will gather me in. I will prepare for that day.
  3. You are so patient, giving me time to repent.
  4. You are the Son of Man who will come in glory.
  5. O Jesus, I love you and I will await you.
  6. Someday, Jesus, I will shine in your Father’s house.

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

  1. Because God is patient with me,
  2. I will use this time to get my life in order.
  3. I will persevere in doing good, because that I will live forever in the Father’s house.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

He will send out his angels.

JULY 25, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – MONDAY – THE MUSTARD SEED AND THE LEAVEN

(Matthew 13:31-35)

Prayer: O Jesus, Your Kingdom is hidden but powerful.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

These two parables express the power of the kingdom, by highlighting a beginning smallness and a final greatness. From insignificant beginnings of mustard seed and leaven, God creates a mighty Kingdom. What began as a small ministry of a Jewish prophet (Jesus of Nazareth) becomes the Final Age of all history.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God, to what can we compare it?” It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man planted in his field. It is the least of the seeds but when it is grown it becomes the largest of plants. It puts out its branches so that the birds of the air can dwell in its shade.”

Jesus proposed another parable, “The Kingdom is also like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour until the whole mass was leavened.” Jesus taught the crowds in parables to fulfill what the prophet said, “I will open my mouth in parables. I will announce what has been hidden since the creation of the world.”

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

  1. Although small, the mustard seed and the leaven are alive.       They contain God’s creative powers.
  2. They are effective only by being buried – the seed into the ground and the leaven into the flour.
  3. The leaven’s effects are seen quickly. The power of the mustard seeds comes forth more slowly.
  4. They bring great blessings. The birds gain shelter and human beings gain nourishment.
  5. Like the seed and the leaven, God’s Kingdom is hidden within us and often overlooked.
  6. Really, the kingdom is filled with power and able to transform any person or society.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will cherish the seeds of your Kingdom within me.
  2. Plant your leaven within me. It will transform me completely.
  3. Jesus, your power in me can do all things.
  4. Lord, I will live by faith in your Kingdom within me.
  5. Give me patient faith. Your kingdom does not blossom overnight.

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

  1. I will believe in the power of Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. I will be patient, trusting God’s kingdom to transform me.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

To what can I compare the kingdom of God?

JULY 24, 2016 – WEEK SEVENTEEN – SUNDAY (C) – TEACH US TO PRAY

(Luke 11:1-4)

Prayer: O Lord, engrave these petitions in our hearts.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to pray)

Context:

The Our Father is a heavenly prayer which opens our eyes to Jesus’ second Coming and prepares us for the end of the world. Luke’s version is somewhat shorter than what Matthew records.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

While Jesus was praying in a certain place, a disciple asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said to them, “When you pray say:

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive us our sins because we also forgive all who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation.”

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

  1. What a privilege! We can call God “Father”. In Baptism, Jesus made us God’s children.
  2. We must want God to be praised and exalted.
  3. “Your Kingdom come” refers to the final day, the completion of history. We must be ready for that day.
  4. “Daily bread” has two meanings, the earthly bread we need each day and Holy Communion, the bread that prepares us for Jesus’ second Coming.
  5. Luke’s prayer claims that the community always forgives others.       What an important ideal.
  6. “Temptation”   refers to the final trial, when Satan will try to snatch our heavenly crown away from us at the last minute.

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

  1. O Father, I am forever and ever your child.
  2. Father, may you always be praised.
  3. Jesus, you taught me this. In heaven, I will proclaim you the eternal Father.
  4. Come, Lord Jesus! Do not delay.
  5. Provide my daily bread, O Lord.
  6. Make me hunger for the Eucharist.
  7. Forgive my sins. They are my daily burden.
  8. O Mary, be with me in my final hours. Help me to overcome the Evil One.

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

  1. I will repeat these five petitions during the day.
  2. I will cherish my Baptism, which made me a child of God.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Lord, teach us to pray.