WEEK SIXTEEN – SATURDAY – JULY 29, 2017 JESUS COMES TO THEIR VILLAGE (Jn 11:17-32)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to believe that you are the resurrection and the life.

Imagination: (Picture Martha and Mary speaking with Jesus.)

Context:
Jesus speaks individually with Martha and Mary. In this way, each could express their faith that Lazarus would not have died, if Jesus had been there. Martha also expresses her faith that Lazarus would rise on the last day.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
When Jesus came to their village, Lazarus was already dead for four days. Martha went out to greet him. “If you had been here my brother would not have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask, God will give you.” Jesus said, ‘Your brother will rise again.” Martha replied, “I know he will rise again, in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even if he die, shall live. Whoever lives and believes in me, shall never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who has come into the world.”
Martha said to Mary, “The teacher is here and is asking for you”. When she heard this, she rose immediately and went to Jesus. She, too, said “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. This scene is drastically different from the message. Lazarus is not sick but dead.
2. Martha manifests great faith. Jesus would have healed her brother.
3. She already has Easter faith, a full belief in the Resurrection of body and soul.
4. Her faith is directed to Jesus. He is the Messiah, come into the world.
5. Mary has the same faith that Jesus could have healed her brother.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, your power is unlimited.
2. I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
3. O Jesus, You bring resurrection and life, blessings and favors.
4. You give me eternal life. Your glory lives within me.
5. Jesus, you always ask the same question, “Do you believe?”
6. When you arrive, your power goes forth.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
1. I will not limit God’s power to help me.
2. Since my faith is weak, I will borrow the Virgin Mary’s faith.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
I believe you are the Christ, Son of the living God.

WEEK SIXTEEN – FRIDAY – JULY 28, 2017 THE SOWER PARABLE EXPLAINED (MT. 13:18-23)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Let your Kingdom bring forth a harvest.

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

Context:

In this text, Jesus applies the parable. The original story highlighted
the power of the Kingdom. This explanation highlights the ground’s ability to
receive the seed and bring a harvest.

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 one who hears the word without understanding it. Satan steals the word from their heart.

The seed on rocky ground is the one 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 one 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 one 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 God’s word.
  2. If your heart is hard, (the path) you will easily lose the Kingdom.
  3. If your response is superficial (rocky ground), you will abandon the Kingdom during trials.
  4. If your heart is set on passing pleasures, (thorns), your worldly desires will choke the Kingdom.
  5. The conclusion is clear. To have an abundant harvest, you must give the very center of your inner life to God’s word.

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

  1. Lord, I will not let Your Kingdom be marginal and superficial.
  2. May your Kingdom sink its roots within me.
  3. Lord, remove my heart’s hardness which resists your intrusion.
  4. Remove all my sinful attachments which only choke your word.
  5. O God, totally control my heart so your word brings a harvest.

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

  1. During the day, I will examine my heart to see what forces are within me.
  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.

WEEK SIXTEEN – THURSDAY – JULY 27, 2017 THE PURPOSE OF PARABLES (MATT 13:10-13)

Prayer: O Jesus, reveal to me the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus explaining to his disciples the mystery of parables.)

Context:

All the gospels speak of “insiders” (the disciples) and “outsiders”
(those who have not yet accepted Jesus and his Kingdom). Jesus has offered to these outsiders, (called “Them”) the Kingdom but
they have not received it. Therefore, they will not hold on to the little
faith that they do have.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

His disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to them in parables? Jesus answered, “Because to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been
given to you, but to them it has not been given. To anyone who has, more will be
given and he will grow rich. From anyone who has not, even what they have will be taken away.

That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but they do not see.
They hear but they do not listen or understand.”

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

  1. The human mind cannot grasp the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  2. Only the human heart, by surrendering to God, can understand the Kingdom.
  3. The Disciples give their heart to the Kingdom. They receive much and are able to receive more.
  4. The wise and the prudent hold on to their hearts. They receive little and stand in danger of losing everything.
  5. The parables are perfectly clear to those who give their hearts.
  6. They cannot to be understood by those who refuse.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will be your disciple, able to receive your revelation.
  2. Teach me abandonment. If I surrender, I will understand.
  3. O Jesus, reveal your love, your closeness and your care. These are the mysteries of your Kingdom.
  4. Let me grow rich in your Kingdom.
  5. O Jesus, if I close my heart to you, I will lose everything.
  6. O Jesus, in these parables I meet you, heart to heart.

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

  1. I will give my heart to Jesus.
  2. I will take each parable to heart, searching out its meaning.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

To anyone who has more, more will be given and he will grow rich.

WEEK SIXTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JULY 26, 2017 THE SOWER (MT 13:1-9)

Prayer – Jesus, plant the powerful seed of your Kingdom in my heart.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds).

Context:

This parable contrasts the difficult beginning of the seeds and
the glorious fulfillment of the harvest. The beginning has multiple frustrations.
The end has gigantic results.

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

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)

The harvest was thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.

WEEK SIXTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 25, 2017 Feast of St. James, Apostle THE MOTHER OF AMBITIOUS JAMES AND JOHN (MT 20:20-28)

Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal the glory you have prepared.

Imagination – (Picture James and John seeking favors from Jesus.)

Context:

Jesus has just told the apostles about his future sufferings. The mother of James and John, however, is interested in her sons’ glory. Jesus talks about the “cup”, which means both the cup of his suffering and the Eucharistic cup celebrated in Mark’s church. Before gaining any glory, Jesus must drink this cup of suffering.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to her. “Can you drink of the chalice that I will drink of or be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The Father has already decided my place in heavenly glory.

WEEK SIXTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 24, 2017 A GREATER THAN JONAH OR SOLOMON (MT 12:38-42)

Prayer – O Lord, I seek no sign or wonder. I seek only you.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus’ enemies ask for a sign but Jesus addresses this teaching to the crowds. He cites two Old Testament examples of foreigners having a change of heart. When Jonah preached in Nineveh (a perennial enemy of Israel) the people repented. When the Queen of Ethiopia came to see Solomon, she was totally impressed
with his wisdom and the glory of the temple.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowd, “This is a wicked generation because it looks for a sign. No sign shall be given except the sign of Jonah, the prophet. As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so shall the Son of Man be to this generation.

The Queen of the South shall rise in judgment against the men of this
generation and shall condemn them because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

At judgment the citizens of Nineveh will rise in judgment against this generation
and shall condemn it. They did penance at the preaching of Jonah and a greater
than Jonah is here.

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

  1. People want signs to satisfy their intellect. Really they should be surrendering their heart.
  2. A sign does not bring repentance, just curiosity.
  3. Jesus gives the whole world the sign of his rising from the dead. Like Jonah, Jesus will be three days in the belly of the tomb.
  4. Jesus cites the change of heart of the Queen of Sheba. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak.
  5. What is Solomon’s wisdom compared with Jesus’.
  6. The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
  7. Jesus speaks about that important moment when every person in history will come
    before him in judgment.
  8. On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those Jews (and us) who did not repent.

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

  1. O Jesus, give me no sign. Just give me yourself.
  2. You are risen from the dead and I will rise with you. Alleluia!
  3. Change my heart, Jesus. Turn me totally to Your way of life.
  4. If they repented when Jonah preached, can I not repent at your word?
  5. If the Queen believed in Solomon, should I not believe in you?
  6. The only unchangeable moment, Jesus, is when I come before you.
  7. I will be your friend and no one will condemn me.

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

  1. I will think today about this Sign of Jonah – the miracle of Jesus’ rising.
  2. I will ponder Jesus’ greatness.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

A greater than Jonah or Solomon is here.

WEEK 16 – SUNDAY – A – JULY 23, 2017 THE WHEAT AND THE WEEDS (MT 13:24-30)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will use my life your Judgment.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

In Jesus time, three groups tried to form the perfect religious
community of Israel – the Pharisees, the Essenes, and surprisingly, John the Baptist. All of Jesus’ actions went against this idea. For Jesus, God’s community
on earth would be very mixed. Only at the end would God do two things. He would remove the sinful and glorify the just.

In this parable, the master has two reasons for the delay. First, the servants
will make mistakes, not seeing what is weed and what is wheat. Secondly, the time for this separation is at the end. Until then, will the true
community be revealed. There must be time for repentance. The fishermen with their
nets know to wait until the end. Certainly God waits patiently, but a time
of judgment comes both for gathering
the harvest and for pulling in the net.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. While his men were asleep, an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. When the blade brought forth the wheat, the weeds also appeared.

His servants said to the man, “Sir, did you not sow good seed? Where did the weeds come from?” He said, “An enemy has done this. The servants asked, “Should we gather up the weeds?” “No”, he said. “Perhaps in gathering the weeds, you will also root up the wheat.
Let both grow to harvest time. Then I will say to the reapers, “First gather the weeds
for the fire.
Then, gather the wheat into the barns.”

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea, which catches all kinds of fish. When it is full, the men set it on the shore. They place the good fish in their buckets.
The bad they throw away. So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall separate the just from the unjust.

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

  1. The servants would purify the field immediately. This would destroy the harvest.
  2. The fishermen are much wiser. They let the net catch all kinds of fish.
  3. Only when they have completed their work, do they reject the bad.
  4. This symbolizes the final purification of the Christian community. It is postponed, but inevitable.
  5. These parables describe God’s plan. Each person has time to be purified and be made ready for the final judgment.
  6. God alone has fixed the time for the end of your human life. He gives you time to get ready.

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

  1. O Lord, you give me days and years of life.
  2. You are the patient farmer and the wise fisherman.
  3. You hold back your wrath. You do not root me up. You give me time.
  4. When the day of your harvest comes, may I be wheat, and not weeds.
  5. When your net gathers me in, may you retain me for your Kingdom.
  6. So much is at stake when your angels separate the just and the unjust!
  7. I will prepare, Jesus. I want to be with you.

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

  1. I will rejoice in God’s patience with me.
  2. I will use today for the Kingdom.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

At the end of the world, the angels will separate the just from the unjust.

JULY 19, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – TUESDAY – HAVING A NEW FAMILY

(Matthew 12:46-50)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will be your brother (sister).

Imagination:(Picture yourself in the crowd with Jesus saying “These are my brother and sister”

Context:

Often, Mark begins a story, tells another story and then completes the first story. In this text, Mark concludes the story of Jesus’ family. Mark uses the key words, “outside” (to refer to the family) and “inside” (to refer to those who do God’s will). Don’t get upset by this story. It doesn’t mean that Mary complains. (Mark never uses Mary’s name. She is entirely absent in his gospel.) He wants to say that the disciples is Jesus’ mother, or brother or sister.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus was speaking to the crowds when his mother and his brothers came. They stood outside and sent someone to say, “Your mother and your brothers are outside and they wish to speak with you.”

Jesus responded, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers”? Extending his hand to those seated around him, Jesus said, ”These are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my heavenly father is brother and sister and mother to me.”

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

  1. People can be related to Jesus by nature and not by faith.
  2. They are still outside the Kingdom.
  3. Jesus uses this occasion to announce a new truth. He is forming a new family of God.
  4. His disciples have the unique opportunity of belonging to Jesus’ family.
  5. If they just do God’s will, they will be a brother or a sister, or even a mother to Jesus.

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

  1. Jesus, to know you is not enough. I must see you with the eyes of faith.
  2. I will place no obstacle to your work.
  3. Form me into your family.
  4. Oh, to be a child of God! Nothing. Nothing is a greater blessing.
  5. Jesus, your invitation overwhelms me. I can be your brother or sister.
  6. Whose heart could imagine such a blessing?
  7. Jesus, I will always do God’s will. Then, I will remain in your family forever.

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

  1. I will ponder the great privilege of being a child of God.
  2. I will seek God’s will at every moment.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whoever does the will of God is brother, sister and mother to me.

JULY 23, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – SATURDAY – THE WHEAT AND THE WEEDS

(Matthew 13:24-30)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will use my life your Judgment.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

In Jesus time, three groups tried to form the perfect religious community of Israel – the Pharisees, the Essenes, and surprisingly, John the Baptist. All of Jesus’ actions went against this idea. For Jesus, God’s community on earth would be very mixed. Only at the end would God do two things. He would remove the sinful and glorify the just.

In this parable, the master has two reasons for the delay. First, the servants will make mistakes, not seeing what is weed and what is wheat. Secondly, the time for this separation is at the end. Until then, will the true community be revealed. There must be time for repentance.

The fishermen with their nets know to wait until the end. Certainly God waits patiently, but a time of judgment comes both for gathering the harvest and for pulling in the net.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. While his men were asleep, an enemy sowed weeds among the wheat. When the blade brought forth the wheat, the weeds also appeared.

His servants said to the man, “Sir, did you not sow good seed? Where did the weeds come from?” He said, “An enemy has done this. The servants asked, “Should we gather up the weeds?” “No”, he said. “Perhaps in gathering the weeds, you will also root up the wheat. Let both grow to harvest time. Then I will say to the reapers, “First gather the weeds for the fire. Then, gather the wheat into the barns.”

The Kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea, which catches all kinds of fish. When it is full, the men set it on the shore. They place the good fish in their buckets. The bad they throw away. So it shall be at the end of the world. The angels shall separate the just from the unjust.

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

  1. The servants would purify the field immediately. This would destroy the harvest.
  2. The fishermen are much wiser.       They let the net catch all kinds of fish.
  3. Only when they have completed their work, do they reject the bad.
  4. This symbolizes the final purification of the Christian community. It is postponed, but inevitable.
  5. These parables describe God’s plan. Each person has time to be purified and be made ready for the final judgment.
  6. God alone has fixed the time for the end of your human life. He gives you time to get ready.

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

  1. Lord, you give me days and years of life.
  2. You are the patient farmer and the wise fisherman.
  3. You hold back your wrath.       You do not root me up. You give me time.
  4. When the day of your harvest comes, may I be wheat, and not weeds.
  5. When your net gathers me in, may you retain me for your Kingdom.
  6. So much is at stake when your angels separate the just and the unjust!
  7. I will prepare, Jesus.       I want to be with you.

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

  1. I will rejoice in God’s patience with me.
  2. I will use today for the Kingdom.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

At the end of the world, the angels will separate the just from the unjust.

JULY 22, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – FRIDAY – THE SOWER PARABLE EXPLAINED

(Matthew 13:18-23)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Let your Kingdom bring forth a harvest.

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

Context:

In this text, Jesus applies the parable. The original story highlighted the power of the Kingdom. This explanation highlights the ground’s ability to receive the seed and bring a harvest.

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 one who hears the word without understanding it. Satan steals the word from their heart.

The seed on rocky ground is the one 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 one 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 one 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 God’s word.
  2. If your heart is hard, (the path) you will easily lose the Kingdom.
  3. If your response is superficial (rocky ground), you will abandon the Kingdom during trials.
  4. If your heart is set on passing pleasures, (thorns), your worldly desires will choke the Kingdom.
  5. The conclusion is clear. To have an abundant harvest, you must give the very center of your inner life to God’s word.

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

  1. Lord, I will not let Your Kingdom be marginal and superficial.
  2. May your Kingdom sink its roots within me.
  3. Lord, remove my heart’s hardness which resists your intrusion.
  4. Remove all my sinful attachments which only choke your word.
  5. O God, totally control my heart so your word brings a harvest.

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

  1. During the day, I will examine my heart to see what forces are within me.
  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 21, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – THURSDAY – THE PURPOSE OF THE PARABLES

(Matthew 13:10-13)

Prayer: O Jesus, reveal to me the mysteries of the Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus explaining to his disciples the mystery of parables.)

Context:

All the gospels speak of “insiders” (the disciples) and “outsiders” (those who have not yet accepted Jesus and his Kingdom). Jesus has offered to these outsiders, (called “Them”) the Kingdom but they have not received it. Therefore, they will not hold on to the little faith that they do have.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

His disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to them in parables? Jesus answered, “Because to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but to them it has not been given. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich. From anyone who has not, even what they have will be taken away.

That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but they do not see. They hear but they do not listen or understand.”

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

  1. The human mind cannot grasp the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  2. Only the human heart, by surrendering to God, can understand the Kingdom.
  3. The Disciples give their heart to the Kingdom.   They receive much and are able to receive more.
  4. The wise and the prudent hold on to their hearts.   They receive little and stand in danger of losing everything.
  5. The parables are perfectly clear to those who give their hearts.
  6. They cannot to be understood by those who refuse.

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

  1. O Jesus,   I will be your disciple, able to receive your revelation.
  2. Teach me abandonment. If I surrender, I will understand.
  3. O Jesus, reveal your love, your closeness and your care. These are the mysteries of your Kingdom.
  4. Let me grow rich in your Kingdom.
  5. O Jesus, if I close my heart to you, I will lose everything.
  6. O Jesus, in these parables I meet you, heart to heart.

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

  1. I will give my heart to Jesus.
  2. I will take each parable to heart, searching out its meaning.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

To anyone who has more, more will be given and he will grow rich.

JULY 20, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – WEDNESDAY – THE SOWER

(Matthew 13:1-9)

Prayer – Jesus, plant the powerful seed of your Kingdom in my heart.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preaching to the crowds).

Context:

This parable contrasts the difficult beginning of the seeds and the glorious fulfillment of the harvest. The beginning has multiple frustrations. The end has gigantic results.

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

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)

The harvest was thirty, sixty and a hundredfold.

JULY 18, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – MONDAY – A GREATER THAN JONAH OR SOLOMON

(Matthew 12:38-42)

Prayer – O Lord, I seek no sign or wonder. I seek only you.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus’ enemies ask for a sign but Jesus addresses this teaching to the crowds. He cites two Old Testament examples of foreigners having a change of heart. When Jonah preached in Nineveh (a perennial enemy of Israel) the people repented. When the Queen of Ethiopia came to see Solomon, she was totally impressed with his wisdom and the glory of the temple.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowd, “This is a wicked generation because it looks for a sign. No sign shall be given except the sign of Jonah, the prophet. As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so shall the Son of Man be to this generation.

The Queen of the South shall rise in judgment against the men of this generation and shall condemn them because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

At judgment the citizens of Nineveh will rise in judgment against this generation and shall condemn it. They did penance at the preaching of Jonah and a greater than Jonah is here.

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

  1. People want signs to satisfy their intellect. Really they should be surrendering their heart.
  2. A sign does not bring repentance, just curiosity.
  3. Jesus gives the whole world the sign of his rising from the dead. Like Jonah, Jesus will be three days in the belly of the tomb.
  4. Jesus cites the change of heart of the Queen of Sheba. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak.
  5. What is Solomon’s wisdom compared with Jesus’.
  6. The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
  7. Jesus speaks about that important moment when every person in history will come before him in judgment.
  8. On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those Jews (and us) who did not repent.

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

  1. O Jesus, give me no sign. Just give me yourself.
  2. You are risen from the dead and I will rise with you. Alleluia!
  3. Change my heart, Jesus. Turn me totally to Your way of life.
  4. If they repented when Jonah preached, can I not repent at your word?
  5. If the Queen believed in Solomon, should I not believe in you?
  6. The only unchangeable moment, Jesus, is when I come before you.
  7. I will be your friend and no one will condemn me.

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

  1. I will think today about this Sign of Jonah – the miracle of Jesus’ rising.
  2. I will ponder Jesus’ greatness.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

A greater than Jonah or Solomon is here.

JULY 17, 2016 – WEEK SIXTEEN – SUNDAY – C – MARY & MARTHA

(Luke 10:38-42)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Make Jesus the center of my attention.

Imagination: (Picture Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet.)

Context:

Luke places this story right after the Good Samaritan to emphasize that the disciple must first love Jesus. Serving others is important (like the Good Samaritan) but not enough to be a disciple.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When Jesus entered a village, a woman named Martha invited him to come to her home. She had a sister named Mary, who delighted in sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to him.

Martha was burdened with the task of serving. So, she stood and said, “Lord, are you not upset that my sister leaves me alone to do the serving. Tell her to help me.” Jesus replied, “Martha, Martha, you are troubled about many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

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

  1. Martha is filled with good will. She invites Jesus to her home and prepares the meal.
  2. Jesus accepts both Martha’s activity and Mary’s personal attention.
  3. Martha causes the problem. She cannot see the value of her sister just sitting with Jesus.
  4. At this point, Jesus is forced to defend Mary’s choice.
  5. Mary’s attention to Jesus is the disciple’s first obligation.       Martha’s activity is his second.
  6. Jesus, come into my life. Come into my home. I have already opened the door.
  7. Be the center of all my attention.
  8. Lord, absorb my faculties by your overwhelming presence.
  9. If I listen, then you can make me a disciple.
  10. Once I am your disciple, I will do my tasks in the Kingdom.

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

  1. Today, I will seek some quiet moments spent in Jesus’ presence.
  2. I will prize the interior life of prayer (which I so often neglect).

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Mary sat at his feet listening to him. She chose the better part.