NOVEMBER 19, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – SATURDAY – LIVING LIKE ANGELS

(Luke 20:34-38)

Prayer – O Lord, fill me with strong desires to live like the angels.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.)

Context:

The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul nor the resurrection of the dead. They bring to Jesus what seems to us like a foolish problem. A woman marries seven times, (after each previous husband dies). They want to know whose wife she will be in heaven. Jesus refutes their argument.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some Sadducees confronted Jesus (the ones who do not believe in the resurrection). “If a woman married seven brothers, whose wife will she be at the resurrection?” Jesus said to them, “The children of this world marry and are given on marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Nor can they die any more because they are like the angels and are the children of God, sons of the resurrection. Moses in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.

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

  1. The Sadducees could not conceive of a different existence. They did not realize that God brings about the glorified, risen body.
  2. Marriage is of earth. A person has a partner and brings forth children.
  3. In heaven, Jesus is the Bridegroom and all are united in him.
  4. The risen body cannot die. It enjoys the privileges of angels.
  5. This gift comes to “all judged worthy of the age to come”. This is the Kingdom which Jesus preaches.
  6. The person is totally changed into a son of the resurrection and a son of God.
  7. Certainly, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have gained this status, as will all who believe in Jesus.

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

  1. Jesus, someday I hope to have a glorified, risen body, just like yours. This is your gift.
  2. In heaven, my heart will be united with you and with others. We will be one.
  3. I will no longer suffer or die. I will live forever, with you, Jesus.
  4. Help me, Lord to be judged worthy of this “age to come”.
  5. Change me, Jesus. I will be a son of glory and a son of the eternal Father.
  6. Give me life in abundance. Let me not fail you.

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

  1. Today, I will think often of my heavenly home.
  2. I will think of what steps I can take to be found worthy.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

They cannot die because they live like the angels.

NOVEMBER 18, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – FRIDAY – A CLEANSED BUT UNREPENTANT TEMPLE

(Luke 19:45-48)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me your purified disciple.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus cleansing the Temple)

Context:

In all four gospels, Jesus cleanses the temple. (Therefore, it is a very important event). Luke, in his gentle manner, omits many details known from the other gospels. He focuses on Jesus’ continued teaching and the leaders’ desires to kill him.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus entered the temple, he began to cast out the sellers, and the buyers saying, “It is written “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves”.

He was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him but they had no idea of how to achieve it because all the people were listening to him, attentive to every word.

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

  1. Luke venerates the temple. He alone tells the Temple stories of Jesus’ parents presenting Jesus (at 40 days) and finding Jesus (at 12 years.
  2. He omits all the details of the buying and selling, merely mentioning “sellers and buyers”.
  3. Luke’s focus is always prayer. Jesus calls the temple “a house of prayer.”
  4. Man has changed God’s temple into a “den of thieves.”
  5. Jesus sanctifies the temple. Now, he can teach without distraction.
  6. Jesus has attacked the Temple’s financial interests. This is the final straw. He must be destroyed.
  7. The people are purified. They are free to listen and cling to his words, attentive to all his teachings.
  8. After the resurrection, the apostles will call them to repent.

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

  1. O Jesus, Your body is the new temple.       Your mystical body, the Church, is where you dwell.
  2. Cleanse me, Jesus. Purify me.
  3. Do not let me steal your glory and honor.
  4. Make my soul a “house of prayer” in which I proclaim you as Lord.
  5. If you purge me, sinful powers will not control me.
  6. Jesus, teach me and I will be attentive to your words.

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

  1. I will try to find a Church so I can pray.
  2. I will ask Jesus to purge my sinful desires.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

All the people were listening to him, attentive to his word.

NOVEMBER 17, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – THURSDAY – JESUS’ LAMENT OVER JERUSALEM

(Luke 19:41-44)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me know the time of your visitation.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.)

Context:

As Jesus comes close to Jerusalem, he suddenly stops and weeps. He knows the future destruction of this city and describes it clearly. He pinpoints the cause of the failure. They did not recognize the importance of his coming.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus drew near, he saw the city and wept over it saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days are coming when your enemies will raise a wall around you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and will kill your children within you, not leaving one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

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

  1. Jesus foresees perfectly the future destruction of Jerusalem.
  2. In 70 A.D. the Romans totally destroyed Jerusalem, killing all the children and not leaving “stone upon stone”.
  3. Having enemies on every side, Jerusalem should have depended upon God for its safety.
  4. Instead, Jerusalem kills Jesus and loses their only opportunity for peace.
  5. They do not see the “time of his visitation.”
  6. So Jesus weeps, unable to save his beloved city.

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

  1. O Jesus, how many times you have cried over me.
  2. You see my entire future.
  3. Save me from the destructive forces within me and around me.
  4. Speak to me so I find the path of peace.
  5. Let me know the time of your visitation. I will await you.

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

  1. I will be ready when Jesus visits me today.
  2. I will open my eyes to the destructive forces in my life.
  3. I will say often, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You did not know the time of your visitation.

NOVEMBER 16, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – WEDNESDAY – THE SERVANTS ENTRUSTED WITH MONEY

(Luke 19:12-27)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me your faithful servant to whom you can entrust your blessings.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context

Jesus tells this parable to the disciples because they falsely believe that the reign of God is about to appear. The parable stresses the personal initiative of the disciple before Jesus returns in glory. These intervening years are not for laziness but for diligence in gaining new believers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As they neared Jerusalem, Jesus told the disciples a parable because they thought the reign of God was about to appear.

A man going to become king in a distant country called in ten servants, gave them money and said, “Invest this until I return.” When he returned, he sent for his servants. The first said, “Lord, your money has earned another ten.” “Good”, he said, “Since you were faithful in a small matter, I place you over ten villages. The second said, “Your investment has gained five more.” He said, “Take over give villages.”

The third said, “Here is your money. I had it for safekeeping. I was afraid because you are a hard man. You withdraw what you never deposit and reap what you never plant.” The king said, “You are worthless. Why did you not at least get interest on the money.” To others, he said, “Take what he has and give it to the man with ten. For, whoever has will receive more. Whoever has less will lose the little that he has.” Jesus then continued his ascent to Jerusalem.

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

  1. The disciples have the wrong idea. They will not see Jesus’ Kingdom in Jerusalem.
  2. Many years of hard work lie ahead.
  3. Although delayed, the day of accounting is inevitable.
  4. The diligent servants prepare for that day by working hard
  5. The third servant is lazy and has a false impression of the king.
  6. He loses everything, like a disciple who does not value the kingdom.
  7. Jesus continues to Jerusalem. He must fulfill his mission.

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

  1. O Jesus, I still have so far to go!
  2. Walk with me and I will persevere.
  3. Someday you will come for me. I will await you.
  4. Remove all my discouragement.
  5. O Jesus, your rewards are so great, more than I can receive.
  6. I will go with you, all the way to Jerusalem.

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

  1. I will ask for perseverance.
  2. I will think of Jesus’ great rewards.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

And Jesus continued up to Jerusalem.

NOVEMBER 15, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – TUESDAY – THE MAN UP IN THE TREE

(Luke 19:1-10)

Prayer: O Jesus, come and stay in my house this day.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus finding Zaccheus in a tree.)

Context:

Zaccheus is the second wealthy man to receive an invitation from Jesus. He accepts the gift and uses his wealth to restore justice. This story highlights Jesus as the saviour of all, even rich people and their families.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Upon entering Jericho, Jesus passed through the city. There lived a wealthy man named Zaccheus, the chief tax collector. He wanted to see Jesus but he could not, because of the crowd. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus’ route. When Jesus reached that place, he looked up and said, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for today I must stay in your house.” He came down and received him with joy.

When this was seen, many complained, “Jesus is going to the house of a sinner.” Zaccheus stood his ground and said to the Lord. “I will give half of my belongings to the poor and if I have cheated anyone in the least I will return it four-fold.” Jesus said, “Today, salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

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

  1. As a tax collector, Zaccheus works for Rome. However, his desires are for Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. Zaccheus had only one chance, one moment. Jesus was just “passing by”.
  3. His limitations help him. God prompts Zaccheus to climb a tree where Jesus easily sees him.
  4. When Jesus says, “I must stay in your house”, Zaccheus understands the great gift.
  5. He holds his ground and does not allow the crowd to steal the Kingdom.
  6. Instead, he repents, “I give half my possessions to the poor and I will repay four times over any money I have extorted.” (Lk 19:8)
  7. His conversion is lasting. He joined the early church. That is how we have his name and his story.

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

  1. Jesus, today you will come.
  2. O Jesus, I will not miss my chance when you pass by today.
  3. You will see me and call my name.
  4. Lord, I am entangled, but you will set me free.
  5. Yes, Jesus, come and stay in my house.
  6. I will change whatever needs to be changed.
  7. Jesus, you will rejoice. I am lost and you have saved me.
  8. I will follow you all the way to Jerusalem.

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

  1. I will be alert for those moments when Jesus will “pass by today.”
  2. When Jesus says, “This day I shall stay in your house”, I will open my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Zaccheus would not allow the crowd to rob him of the Kingdom.

NOVEMBER 14, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-THREE – MONDAY – THE BLIND BEGGAR

(Luke 18:35-43)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me cry out to you in great hope.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus and the crowd with a beggar by the roadside.)

Context:

This journey to Jerusalem began with Jesus healing a blind man and culminates with another healing of blindness. This contrasts with the disciples’ growing blindness about Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. They do not grasp his predictions of his passion. This blind man saw and followed Jesus to Jerusalem.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the wayside, begging. Hearing the crowd go by, the man asked, “What is that?” When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he cried out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. The crowd told him to be silent but he cried out even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Jesus halted and commanded that he be brought near. When he had come close, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see” said the blind man. Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you.” He saw immediately and followed Jesus on the way, giving God the glory. All the people saw this and they, too, gave glory to God.

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

  1. This beggar is at a severe disadvantage. He is blind, sits by the wayside, and does not even know what is happening.
  2. However, his blindness prepares him for this moment.
  3. He grasps quickly that Jesus is his only ray of hope.
  4. When Jesus summons him, the crowd changes its opinion. His crying out was the right thing to do.
  5. He knows the desire of his heart – to see again.
  6. With his sight restored, he sees the face of Jesus.
  7. His heart tells him to follow Jesus “up the road” to Jerusalem.
  8. What a day for the beggar! He becomes a disciple who gains the Kingdom.

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

  1. Jesus, my limitations are really favors. My heart stays with you.
  2. Lord, come close to me today.
  3. O Spirit of Jesus, whisper within my soul, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
  4. Fill me with hope and I will cry out to you, Lord.
  5. Jesus, You will hear and you will ask “What is it that I can do for you?”
  6. Everything, Lord! Bless me and I will “follow you on the way.”

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

  1. I will be attentive today to Jesus’ presence.
  2. I will have great hope that Jesus hears my every prayer.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What do you want me to do for you?

NOVEMBER 13, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – SUNDAY (C) – NOT YET THE END

(Luke 21:5-19)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me persevere until the end.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).

Context:

In teaching about his Second Coming, Jesus keeps putting it off, always speaking of events that must happen first. The “coming” is always “later”. He stresses perseverance. The disciple must not think that the road is short.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some were speaking about the temple, which was adorned with precious stones and offerings. Jesus said, “These things which you see – the days will come when one stone will not be left upon another. All will be torn down. They asked him, “Master, when will this be?” and “What shall be the sign that it is going to happen?”

He said, “Be careful not to be led astray. Many will come in my name, saying, “I am he” and “the time is at hand” but do not follow them. And when you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be disturbed. These things must first happen but the end is not yet. Nations shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There shall be earthquakes, plagues and famines in various places. Even in the sky, there will be portents and signs.

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

  1. Nothing seemed more lasting than the newly built temple.
  2. Forty years after Jesus, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple (just as Jesus predicted).
  3. In asking for a sign, the disciples are misguided. Jesus’ word is their daily guide.
  4. Jesus lists so many happenings (wars, earthquakes, plagues and famines), yet none is a sign.
  5. Jesus wants the disciples to stay on course (even if there are cosmic events).
  6. They have his true teaching. They must just be good disciples.

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

  1. O Jesus, nothing remains. Only you are eternal.
  2. Lord, I need no sign, only your presence guiding me.
  3. Your teaching is in my heart. I will cling to that.
  4. I know you will come for me. I await you in faith.
  5. O Jesus, what a world! We live with wars and famines and earthquakes!       Stay with me!
  6. Help me to stay on course, Jesus. The end is not near. I have many miles to go.

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

  1. I will use Jesus’ words to guide my day.
  2. I will detach myself from material possessions by little sacrifices.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

These things will happen but the end will not follow immediately.

NOVEMBER 21, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – SATURDAY – LIVING LIKE ANGELS

(Luke 20:34-38) 

Prayer – O Lord, fill me with strong desires to live like the angels.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.)

Context:

The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul nor the resurrection of the dead. They bring to Jesus what seems to us like a foolish problem. A woman marries seven times, (after each previous husband dies). They want to know whose wife she will be in heaven. Jesus refutes their argument.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Some Sadducees confronted Jesus (the ones who do not believe in the resurrection). “If a woman married seven brothers, whose wife will she be at the resurrection?” Jesus said to them, “The children of this world marry and are given on marriage, but those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Nor can they die any more because they are like the angels and are the children of God, sons of the resurrection. Moses in the passage about the bush showed that the dead rise again when he called the Lord, the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.

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

  1. The Sadducees could not conceive of a different existence. They did not realize that God brings about the glorified, risen body.
  2. Marriage is of earth. A person has a partner and brings forth children.
  3. In heaven, Jesus is the Bridegroom and all are united in him.
  4. The risen body cannot die. It enjoys the privileges of angels.
  5. This gift comes to “all judged worthy of the age to come”. This is the Kingdom which Jesus preaches.
  6. The person is totally changed into a son of the resurrection and a son of God.
  7. Certainly, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have gained this status, as will all who believe in Jesus.

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

  1. Jesus, someday I hope to have a glorified, risen body, just like yours. This is your gift.
  2. In heaven, my heart will be united with you and with others. We will be one.
  3. I will no longer suffer or die. I will live forever, with you, Jesus.
  4. Help me, Lord to be judged worthy of this “age to come”.
  5. Change me, Jesus. I will be a son of glory and a son of the eternal Father.
  6. Give me life in abundance. Let me not fail you.

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

  1. Today, I will think often of my heavenly home.
  2. I will think of what steps I can take to be found worthy.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

They cannot die because they live like the angels.

NOVEMBER 20, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – FRIDAY – A CLEANSED BUT UNREPENTANT TEMPLE

(Luke 19:45-48)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me your purified disciple.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus cleansing the Temple)

Context:

In all four gospels, Jesus cleanses the temple. (Therefore, it is a very important event). Luke, in his gentle manner, omits many details known from the other gospels. He focuses on Jesus’ continued teaching and the leaders’ desires to kill him.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus entered the temple, he began to cast out the sellers, and the buyers saying, “It is written “My house is a house of prayer but you have made it a den of thieves”.

He was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him but they had no idea of how to achieve it because all the people were listening to him, attentive to every word.

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

  1. Luke venerates the temple. He alone tells the Temple stories of Jesus’ parents presenting Jesus (at 40 days) and finding Jesus (at 12 years.
  2. He omits all the details of the buying and selling, merely mentioning “sellers and buyers”.
  3. Luke’s focus is always prayer. Jesus calls the temple “a house of prayer.”
  4. Man has changed God’s temple into a “den of thieves.”
  5. Jesus sanctifies the temple. Now, he can teach without distraction.
  6. Jesus has attacked the Temple’s financial interests. This is the final straw. He must be destroyed.
  7. The people are purified. They are free to listen and cling to his words, attentive to all his teachings.
  8. After the resurrection, the apostles will call them to repent.

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

  1. O Jesus, Your body is the new temple.       Your mystical body, the Church, is where you dwell.
  2. Cleanse me, Jesus. Purify me.
  3. Do not let me steal your glory and honor.
  4. Make my soul a “house of prayer” in which I proclaim you as Lord.
  5. If you purge me, sinful powers will not control me.
  6. Jesus, teach me and I will be attentive to your words.

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

  1. I will try to find a Church so I can pray.
  2. I will ask Jesus to purge my sinful desires.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

All the people were listening to him, attentive to his word.

NOVEMBER 19, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – THURSDAY – JESUS’ LAMENT OVER JERUSALEM

(Luke 19:41-44)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me know the time of your visitation.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus weeping over Jerusalem.)

Context:

As Jesus comes close to Jerusalem, he suddenly stops and weeps. He knows the future destruction of this city and describes it clearly. He pinpoints the cause of the failure. They did not recognize the importance of his coming.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus drew near, he saw the city and wept over it saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days are coming when your enemies will raise a wall around you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and will kill your children within you, not leaving one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

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

  1. Jesus foresees perfectly the future destruction of Jerusalem.
  2. In 70 A.D. the Romans totally destroyed Jerusalem, killing all the children and not leaving “stone upon stone”.
  3. Having enemies on every side, Jerusalem should have depended upon God for its safety.
  4. Instead, Jerusalem kills Jesus and loses their only opportunity for peace.
  5. They do not see the “time of his visitation.”
  6. So Jesus weeps, unable to save his beloved city.

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

  1. O Jesus, how many times you have cried over me.
  2. You see my entire future.
  3. Save me from the destructive forces within me and around me.
  4. Speak to me so I find the path of peace.
  5. Let me know the time of your visitation. I will await you.

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

  1. I will be ready when Jesus visits me today.
  2. I will open my eyes to the destructive forces in my life.
  3. I will say often, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You did not know the time of your visitation.

NOVEMBER 18, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – WEDNESDAY – THE SERVANTS ENTRUSTED WITH MONEY

(Luke 19:12-27)

Prayer: O Jesus, make me your faithful servant to whom you can entrust your blessings.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context

Jesus tells this parable to the disciples because they falsely believe that the reign of God is about to appear. The parable stresses the personal initiative of the disciple before Jesus returns in glory. These intervening years are not for laziness but for diligence in gaining new believers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As they neared Jerusalem, Jesus told the disciples a parable because they thought the reign of God was about to appear.

A man going to become king in a distant country called in ten servants, gave them money and said, “Invest this until I return.” When he returned, he sent for his servants. The first said, “Lord, your money has earned another ten.” “Good”, he said, “Since you were faithful in a small matter, I place you over ten villages. The second said, “Your investment has gained five more.” He said, “Take over give villages.”

The third said, “Here is your money. I had it for safekeeping. I was afraid because you are a hard man. You withdraw what you never deposit and reap what you never plant.” The king said, “You are worthless. Why did you not at least get interest on the money.” To others, he said, “Take what he has and give it to the man with ten. For, whoever has will receive more. Whoever has less will lose the little that he has.” Jesus then continued his ascent to Jerusalem.

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

  1. The disciples have the wrong idea. They will not see Jesus’ Kingdom in Jerusalem.
  2. Many years of hard work lie ahead.
  3. Although delayed, the day of accounting is inevitable.
  4. The diligent servants prepare for that day by working hard
  5. The third servant is lazy and has a false impression of the king.
  6. He loses everything, like a disciple who does not value the kingdom.
  7. Jesus continues to Jerusalem. He must fulfill his mission.

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

  1. O Jesus, I still have so far to go!
  2. Walk with me and I will persevere.
  3. Someday you will come for me. I will await you.
  4. Remove all my discouragement.
  5. O Jesus, your rewards are so great, more than I can receive.
  6. I will go with you, all the way to Jerusalem.

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

  1. I will ask for perseverance.
  2. I will think of Jesus’ great rewards.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

And Jesus continued up to Jerusalem.

NOVEMBER 17, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – TUESDAY – THE MAN UP IN THE TREE

(Luke 19:1-10)

Prayer: O Jesus, come and stay in my house this day.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus finding Zaccheus in a tree.)

Context:

Zaccheus is the second wealthy man to receive an invitation from Jesus. He accepts the gift and uses his wealth to restore justice. This story highlights Jesus as the saviour of all, even rich people and their families.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Upon entering Jericho, Jesus passed through the city. There lived a wealthy man named Zaccheus, the chief tax collector. He wanted to see Jesus but he could not, because of the crowd. So, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree which was along Jesus’ route. When Jesus reached that place, he looked up and said, “Zaccheus, come down quickly, for today I must stay in your house.” He came down and received him with joy.

When this was seen, many complained, “Jesus is going to the house of a sinner.” Zaccheus stood his ground and said to the Lord. “I will give half of my belongings to the poor and if I have cheated anyone in the least I will return it four-fold.” Jesus said, “Today, salvation has come to this house, for this is what it means to be a son of Abraham. The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

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

  1. As a tax collector, Zaccheus works for Rome. However, his desires are for Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. Zaccheus had only one chance, one moment. Jesus was just “passing by”.
  3. His limitations help him. God prompts Zaccheus to climb a tree where Jesus easily sees him.
  4. When Jesus says, “I must stay in your house”, Zaccheus understands the great gift.
  5. He holds his ground and does not allow the crowd to steal the Kingdom.
  6. Instead, he repents, “I give half my possessions to the poor and I will repay four times over any money I have extorted.” (Lk 19:8)
  7. His conversion is lasting. He joined the early church. That is how we have his name and his story.

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

  1. Jesus, today you will come.
  2. O Jesus, I will not miss my chance when you pass by today.
  3. You will see me and call my name.
  4. Lord, I am entangled, but you will set me free.
  5. Yes, Jesus, come and stay in my house.
  6. I will change whatever needs to be changed.
  7. Jesus, you will rejoice. I am lost and you have saved me.
  8. I will follow you all the way to Jerusalem.

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

  1. I will be alert for those moments when Jesus will “pass by today.”
  2. When Jesus says, “This day I shall stay in your house”, I will open my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Zaccheus would not allow the crowd to rob him of the Kingdom.

NOVEMBER 16, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – MONDAY – THE BLIND BEGGAR

(Luke 18:35-43)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me cry out to you in great hope.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus and the crowd with a beggar by the roadside.)

Context:

This journey to Jerusalem began with Jesus healing a blind man and culminates with another healing of blindness. This contrasts with the disciples’ growing blindness about Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. They do not grasp his predictions of his passion. This blind man saw and followed Jesus to Jerusalem.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the wayside, begging. Hearing the crowd go by, the man asked, “What is that?” When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he cried out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me”. The crowd told him to be silent but he cried out even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Jesus halted and commanded that he be brought near. When he had come close, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see” said the blind man. Jesus said, “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you.” He saw immediately and followed Jesus on the way, giving God the glory. All the people saw this and they, too, gave glory to God.

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

  1. This beggar is at a severe disadvantage. He is blind, sits by the wayside, and does not even know what is happening.
  2. However, his blindness prepares him for this moment.
  3. He grasps quickly that Jesus is his only ray of hope.
  4. When Jesus summons him, the crowd changes its opinion. His crying out was the right thing to do.
  5. He knows the desire of his heart – to see again.
  6. With his sight restored, he sees the face of Jesus.
  7. His heart tells him to follow Jesus “up the road” to Jerusalem.
  8. What a day for the beggar! He becomes a disciple who gains the Kingdom.

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

  1. Jesus, my limitations are really favors. My heart stays with you.
  2. Lord, come close to me today.
  3. O Spirit of Jesus, whisper within my soul, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
  4. Fill me with hope and I will cry out to you, Lord.
  5. Jesus, You will hear and you will ask “What is it that I can do for you?”
  6. Everything, Lord! Bless me and I will “follow you on the way.”

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

  1. I will be attentive today to Jesus’ presence.
  2. I will have great hope that Jesus hears my every prayer.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

What do you want me to do for you?

NOVEMBER 15, 2015 – WEEK THIRTY THREE – THIRD SUNDAY (B) – ALERT TO HIS COMING

(Mark 13:24-32)

Prayer: O Jesus, prepare me for your coming.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).

Context:

As we arrive at the end of the Church’s liturgical year, the gospels concern Jesus’ Second Coming. The first part of this text describes the cosmic signs that will accompany Jesus’ coming at the end of the world. The second part shows Jesus preparing the disciples for that event. Their value is perennial.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “In those days, after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. The stars of heaven will fall and the heavenly powers will be shaken. Then, men will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. He shall send his angels and they shall gather his elect from the farthest ends of the sea and sky.

Now learn from the fig tree. When the branch is tender and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is near. So, when you see these things happen, you know that he is near, even at the door. Amen I say to you. This generation shall not pass away until all these things are accomplished. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.

As to the exact day and hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son. Only the Father.

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

  1. Jesus describes the great tribulation.       After that happens, Jesus will return.
  2. His coming ends the world. The sun, moon and stars no longer function.       Their tasks are over.
  3. People will see Jesus, the Son of Man, coming toward the earth. The angels will gather the elect.
  4. Jesus has given many hints and signs. He even draws conclusions.
  5. People must take a hint from the fig tree, which blossoms quickly.
  6. All must prepare to meet Jesus.
  7. “No one knows”, means that people cannot prepare by some secret knowledge. They must be good disciples.
  8. Everyone can be ready if they live by Jesus’ teaching. Otherwise, they will not want Jesus coming back.

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

  1. O Jesus, whenever you come, I will be ready.       I await you.
  2. O Jesus, I choose your Kingdom because this world will certainly end.
  3. I will see you, Jesus. You will come for me and reveal yourself to me.
  4. Your word does not pass away. It is my sure light.
  5. You are near, Jesus. You are at the door. No time is left. I choose you now.
  6. Gather me in. Send your angels.

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

  1. I will see the world as passing away.
  2. I will think of the moment when I will see Jesus.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Men will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds.