WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – SATURDAY – OCTOBER 21, 2017 ACKNOWLEDGING JESUS (LK 12:8-12)

Prayer: O Jesus, You are my Lord.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).

Context
This text has three separate teachings. If the disciple acknowledges Jesus,
Jesus will acknowledge him before the Father. If not, then Jesus cannot acknowledge him. The second teaching speaks of people who rejected Jesus in his earthly ministry. They will be given a second chance. This happened to the crowd at Pentecost.
(Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit means ascribing Jesus’ powers to the demons). The final scene is the disciple being helped by the Holy Spirit to defend himself in court.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man
will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man shall be forgiven but whoever blasphemes
the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

When they bring you into synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not be anxious about what you are to say because the Holy Spirit will
each you in that hour what to say.

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

  1. Jesus wants you to always think of the moment when you will come before him.
  2. That is the all-important moment. All that you have done will be manifested.
  3. This is fair. If you told others that Jesus was your friend, Jesus will tell
    the Father that you are his friend.
  4. If you have failed to do this, how can Jesus honestly say that you are his friend?
  5. You can always change. God gives you another chance to be Jesus’ friend.
  6. The gospel describes an earthly court room, a disciple on trial for his faith.
  7. How do you speak the truth in that difficult situation? Don’t worry. The Spirit of Jesus will do the talking.

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

  1. Jesus, lift my heart to heaven.
  2. O Jesus, after death, I will come before you. Prepare me for that eternal moment.
  3. Tell the Father that I am your friend. This is my life’s goal.
  4. If I have rejected you, I repent and choose you as my Lord.
  5. O Spirit of truth. Help me to speak the truth always. Sanctify my lips. Purify my desires.
  6. Come, Lord Jesus. I will await you.

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

  1. I will make my friendship with Jesus known to others.
  2. When confronted, I will ask the Spirit to put words in my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – FRIDAY – OCTOBER 20, 2017 JESUS’ WARNINGS (LK 12: 1-7)

Prayer – O Lord, you care for the sparrows. You will care also for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the dense crowds.)

Context:

This text has 2 parts. Having denounced the Pharisees to their face,
Jesus is surrounded by crowds. However, he speaks to his disciples. He calls the Pharisee teaching, hypocrisy, and speaks of the Final
Judgment when all will be revealed.

Then, he prophesies that his friends will be threatened and even killed.
They are not to fear.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The great crowds around Jesus were so dense that they tread on one another. H
e said to say to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed. Nothing secret which will not become known.

Whatever you speak in darkness, shall be said in the light. What you have whispered in back rooms will be proclaimed on the rooftops.

I say to you my friends. ‘Do not be afraid of those that kill the body and can do no more. Fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, fear him.

Are not five sparrows sold for a few pennies? Yet, not one of them is neglected by God.
Fear nothing then. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.’

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

  1. Although surrounded by these dense crowds, Jesus instructs his disciples
    because they are so important.
  2. He points out a false road. They must not follow the Pharisees’ teaching.
  3. This teaching is superficial, and cannot prepare for the Kingdom.
  4. Then, Jesus turns to a more serious topic. His friends will face death.
  5. The person who kills the body need not be feared. The person who endangers their soul must be feared.
  6. God loves even the sparrows who are sold for sacrifice. He does not abandon them in death.

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

  1. O Jesus, you take time with me. You teach me. I am important to you.
  2. Let me see what is true, what endures, what is worth sacrificing for.
  3. Point out the false roads. Save me from fruitless efforts.
  4. Never let me take the wrong paths.
  5. I am your friend, Jesus. You have won my heart. I give you my life.
  6. Remove any fear of death. Be with me so I persevere.

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

  1. During the day, I will renew my consecration to Jesus Christ.
  2. I will not let any threats make me deny what I believe.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Fear nothing. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – THURSDAY – OCTOBER 19, 2017 BLAMING THE FOREFATHERS (LK 11:47-54)

Prayer – O Jesus, fill me with a true piety which knows and loves God.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus denouncing the Pharisees)

Context:

The Jews blame their forefathers for being mistaken and killing the prophets.
However, they will do the same thing in killing Jesus. Jesus recounts human history. Abel was the first one killed in the bible and Zechariah was
the last prophet killed (2 Chr 24:20). Jesus’ accusations are
proven true by the final sentences.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord said, “Woe to you who build the tombs of the prophets but it
was your fathers who killed them. You show that you stand behind the deeds of your fathers.
They killed the prophets and you build their tombs. That is why the wisdom of God says,
‘I will send to them prophets and apostles. Some of them they will kill and persecute.’
So, this generation will have to account for the blood of all the
martyrs shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who died between
the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you. This generation must account for it.

Woe to you lawyers. You have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wish to enter.”

After he had left this gathering, the scribes and Pharisees began to show
fierce hostility to him and tried to catch him in his speech on many occasions.

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

  1. The leaders are ignorant that they are caught up in a history of violence.
  2. They accept violence as a legitimate means of silencing the voices of the prophets.
  3. They refuse to accept the responsibility, even though their guilt stretches for centuries.
  4. Jesus offers them a new stream, a redemption from their past violence.
  5. Unfortunately, the leaders even block people who would want to follow Jesus. They have taken away the Key of Knowledge.
  6. They try to capture Jesus in his speech. What fools! They battle divine Wisdom Himself.
  7. They do not repent. They do not change. Their hostility grows.

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

  1. O Jesus, what are my sins? And the sins of my family? Let me repent.
  2. Jesus, you offer me a pure stream, a future history purified of the past.
  3. Redeem me, Jesus, from my culture.
  4. Open the door. Give me the Key to Divine Wisdom. I will walk in your paths.
  5. Jesus, change me. Forgive me. My past will no longer burden me.
  6. You are truth. You are life. You save. You redeem. You open holy roads to those who will follow.

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

  1. I will see clearly the sins of my culture and reject them.
  2. I will be a prophet who speaks out against what is not right.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I will send to them prophets and apostles.

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – WEDNESDAY – OCTOBER 18, 2017 SEVENTY-TWO MORE MISSIONARIES (LK 10:1-12)

Prayer – O Lord, choose me and send me wherever your word needs to be preached.
Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing seventy-two more disciples to go to the villages.)
Context:
Other gospels (Mark and Matthew) record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of seventy-two. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the seventy-two are almost identical to those already given to the Twelve.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.
Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, “Peace be to this house.” If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house.
Heal the sick and say, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand.’ If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying ‘We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you.’ Yet, the Kingdom is at hand. I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.”

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

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

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will look for people who need my words about the Kingdom.
2. I will seek out the right way to preach to them. I will see the urgency to spread Jesus’ word.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – TUESDAY – OCTOBER 17, 2017 CLEANING THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CUP (LK 11:37-41)

Prayer – O Jesus, make my heart sincere in my love for you.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus dining with the Pharisees)

Context:

Jesus spent much time at table, with Pharisees who were deeply religious.
(Pharisees did not participate in any way in Jesus’ death). The gospels use the Pharisee stories to correct false religious ideas
and to highlight Jesus’ teaching on the importance of inner decisions.
This meal was probably around noon.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A certain Pharisee asked Jesus to dine with him. So Jesus entered his
house and sat down to eat. The Pharisee began to question within himself why
Jesus did not wash before dinner.

The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,
but within you are filled with rapaciousness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside, also make the inside, too? But, if you give alms, all will be wiped clean for you.

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

  1. The man invited Jesus to dinner with a good motive.
  2. However, his inner thoughts are certainly judgmental.
  3. These inner thoughts have changed the atmosphere.
  4. Jesus attacks the problem in front of everyone. He cites the basic flaw in the Pharisees’ religious practice.
  5. They stress external regulations and do nothing about their sinful hearts.
  6. If God made the inside and the outside, we should be concerned about both.
  7. As always, Jesus offers a solution. Giving alms will cleanse the heart. The inside will be clean.

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

  1. O Jesus, come to my table. Dine with me and stay with me.
  2. Jesus, who am I to judge? You judge me. You are the Lord of all history.
  3. What are my flaws, Jesus? Reveal them and I will purge them.
  4. My heart is sinful but You take away the sins of the world.
  5. Cleanse me, inside and out. All needs to be purified.
  6. What a solution! I give alms and all is cleansed. I will use my money to purchase my cleansing.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to cleanse me.
  2. I will always be generous with my money.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If you give alms, all will be wiped clean.

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – MONDAY – OCTOBER 16, 2017 A GREATER THAN JONAH OR SOLOMON (LK 11:29-32)

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

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although Jesus’ enemies asked for the sign, 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 upon 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 the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with this
generation and shall condemn it. At the preaching of Jonah they did
penance, but you have a greater than Jonah 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 satisfies curiosity. It does not get people to repent.
  3. Jesus gives the whole world the greatest sign, his rising from the dead.
  4. Jesus cites the Queen’s change of heart. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak. What is Solomon compared with Jesus?
  5. The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
  6. Jesus speaks about the most important moment of all. Every person in history will come before him in judgment.
  7. On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those who did not repent.

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

  1. 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. They repented when Jonah preached. I will repent at your word.
  5. Send me your Spirit of repentance.
  6. Only the moment of judgment is unchangeable. When I come
    to you after my death, let me be your friend.

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’ claim that he is greater than all other teachers.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – SUNDAY – A – OCTOBER 15, 2017 THE INVITED GUESTS (Mt 22:1-10)

Prayer – O Jesus, may I always respond to your invitations.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus confronting his enemies.)

Context:

In this gospel, Jesus confronts his opponents in Jerusalem
during the days before his capture. In this parable, the invited
guests represent Jerusalem leaders. They refuse to come, even
when the servant asks the second time. The banquet gets filled but
not with those initially invited. The man ejected is a disciple who was
baptized but does not practice the virtues.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus spoke to the chief priests and elders by using parables. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a king who had a wedding feast for his son. He sent his servants to call the invited but they would not come. He sent other servants who said, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner.
My bullocks and cattle are killed. All is ready. Come to the feast.”

But some ignored the invitation and went on their way, to their farm or to their business. Others insulted the servants and killed them. When the king heard this,
he was angry and sent his army to destroy
those murderers and burn their city.

Then he said to his servants, “The banquet is ready but those invited
to come are not worthy. Go into the byroads and invite to the wedding
whomever you might find”. The servants went into the byroads and drew
in all whom they found, the bad as well as the good.
This filled the wedding hall with banqueters.

When the king came in to greet the guests, he saw a man not properly
dressed for the wedding. He said, “My friend, how is it that you
came not properly dressed. The man had nothing to say. The king said, “Put him out into the night”. The invited are many.
The elect are few.

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

  1. The invited guests were the Jewish leaders who rejected Jesus’ invitation to the Kingdom.
  2. After this Jewish rejection, all the world is invited to the banquet.
  3. God uses every possible means to bring people into his banquet.
  4. He wants his churches filled with believers.
  5. The man without a wedding garment is a disciple who was baptized but did not clothe himself with virtues.
  6. He accepted the invitation but did nothing more.
  7. The invited guests must love and imitate the son.

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

  1. Jesus, how many times you have invited me to the banquet!
  2. I will set everything aside. Nothing must come before your Kingdom.
  3. O Jesus, You want heaven to be filled to overflowing. I will be there!
  4. O Jesus, thank you for my Baptism. Let me live it wholeheartedly.
  5. I fear only one thing – that you would ever say to me, “Depart from my Kingdom.”

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

  1. I will listen carefully today to God’s many invitations – in my heart and through others.
  2. I will thank God for my Catholic faith.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

They went everywhere to fill the wedding hall with banqueters.

OCTOBER 15, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – SATURDAY – ACKNOWLEDGING JESUS

(Luke 12:8-12)

Prayer: O Jesus, You are my Lord.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).

Context
            This text has three separate teachings. If the disciple acknowledges Jesus, Jesus will acknowledge him before the Father. If not, then Jesus cannot acknowledge him. The second teaching speaks of people who rejected Jesus in his earthly ministry. They will be given a second chance. This happened to the crowd at Pentecost. (Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit means ascribing Jesus’ powers to the demons). The final scene is the disciple being helped by the Holy Spirit to defend himself in court.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man shall be forgiven but whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

When they bring you into synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not be anxious about what you are to say because the Holy Spirit will each you in that hour what to say.

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

  1. Jesus wants you to always think of the moment when you will come before him.
  2. That is the all-important moment. All that you have done will be manifested.
  3. This is fair. If you told others that Jesus was your friend, Jesus will tell the Father that you are his friend.
  4. If you have failed to do this, how can Jesus honestly say that you are his friend?
  5. You can always change. God gives you another chance to be Jesus’ friend.
  6. The gospel describes an earthly court room, a disciple on trial for his faith.
  7. How do you speak the truth in that difficult situation? Don’t worry. The Spirit of Jesus will do the talking.

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

  1. Jesus, lift my heart to heaven.
  2. O Jesus, after death, I will come before you. Prepare me for that eternal moment.
  3. Tell the Father that I am your friend. This is my life’s goal.
  4. If I have rejected you, I repent and choose you as my Lord.
  5. O Spirit of truth. Help me to speak the truth always. Sanctify my lips. Purify my desires.
  6. Come, Lord Jesus. I will await you.

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

  1. I will make my friendship with Jesus known to others.
  2. When confronted, I will ask the Spirit to put words in my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.

OCTOBER 14, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – FRIDAY – JESUS’ WARNING

(Luke 12: 1-7)

Prayer – O Lord, you care for the sparrows. You will care also for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the dense crowds.)

Context:

This text has 2 parts. Having denounced the Pharisees to their face, Jesus is surrounded by crowds. However, he speaks to his disciples. He calls the Pharisee teaching, hypocrisy, and speaks of the Final Judgment when all will be revealed.

Then, he prophesies that his friends will be threatened and even killed. They are not to fear.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The great crowds around Jesus were so dense that they tread on one another. He said to say to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed. Nothing secret which will not become known.

Whatever you speak in darkness, shall be said in the light. What you have whispered in back rooms will be proclaimed on the rooftops.

I say to you my friends. ‘Do not be afraid of those that kill the body and can do no more. Fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, fear him.

Are not five sparrows sold for a few pennies? Yet, not one of them is neglected by God. Fear nothing then. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.’

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

  1. Although surrounded by these dense crowds, Jesus instructs his disciples because they are so important.
  2. He points out a false road. They must not follow the Pharisees’ teaching.
  3. This teaching is superficial, and cannot prepare for the Kingdom.
  4. Then, Jesus turns to a more serious topic. His friends will face death.
  5. The person who kills the body need not be feared. The person who endangers their soul must be feared.
  6. God loves even the sparrows who are sold for sacrifice. He does not abandon them in death.

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

  1. O Jesus, you take time with me. You teach me. I am important to you.
  2. Let me see what is true, what endures, what is worth sacrificing for.
  3. Point out the false roads. Save me from fruitless efforts.
  4. Never let me take the wrong paths.
  5. I am your friend, Jesus. You have won my heart. I give you my life.
  6. Remove any fear of death. Be with me so I persevere.

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

  1. During the day, I will renew my consecration to Jesus Christ.
  2. I will not let any threats make me deny what I believe.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Fear nothing. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.

OCTOBER 13, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – THURSDAY – BLAMING THE FOREFATHERS

(Luke 11:47-54)

Prayer – O Jesus, fill me with a true piety which knows and loves God.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus denouncing the Pharisees)

Context:

The Jews blame their forefathers for being mistaken and killing the prophets. However, they will do the same thing in killing Jesus. Jesus recounts human history. Abel was the first one killed in the bible and Zechariah was the last prophet killed (2 Chr 24:20). Jesus’ accusations are proven true by the final sentences.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord said, “Woe to you who build the tombs of the prophets but it was your fathers who killed them. You show that you stand behind the deeds of your fathers. They killed the prophets and you build their tombs. That is why the wisdom of God says, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles. Some of them they will kill and persecute.’ So, this generation will have to account for the blood of all the martyrs shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you. This generation must account for it.

Woe to you lawyers. You have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wish to enter.”

After he had left this gathering, the scribes and Pharisees began to show fierce hostility to him and tried to catch him in his speech on many occasions.

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

  1. The leaders are ignorant that they are caught up in a history of violence.
  2. They accept violence as a legitimate means of silencing the voices of the prophets.
  3. They refuse to accept the responsibility, even though their guilt stretches for centuries.
  4. Jesus offers them a new stream, a redemption from their past violence.
  5. Unfortunately, the leaders even block people who would want to follow Jesus. They have taken away the Key of Knowledge.
  6. They try to capture Jesus in his speech. What fools! They battle divine Wisdom Himself.
  7. They do not repent. They do not change. Their hostility grows.

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

  1. O Jesus, what are my sins? And the sins of my family? Let me repent.
  2. Jesus, you offer me a pure stream, a future history purified of the past.
  3. Redeem me, Jesus, from my culture.
  4. Open the door. Give me the Key to Divine Wisdom. I will walk in your paths.
  5. Jesus, change me. Forgive me. My past will no longer burden me.
  6. You are truth. You are life. You save. You redeem. You open holy roads to those who will follow.

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

  1. I will see clearly the sins of my culture and reject them.
  2. I will be a prophet who speaks out against what is not right.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I will send to them prophets and apostles.

OCTOBER 12, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – WEDNESDAY – SO MANY WOES

(Luke 11:42-46)

Prayer – O Jesus, cleanse me so you cannot condemn me.

Imagination – (Imagine Jesus at table with the Pharisees and lawyers.)

Context:

Jesus is familiar with the Pharisees’ teaching. They are confused. They put the wrong obligations first, and cause many religious problems. Jesus must clear away all this confusion.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Woe to you, Pharisees because you tithe on mint and rue and every herb, yet overlook the justice and love of God. You should do these things, but not overlook the other.

Woe to you Pharisees. You love the best seats at the synagogue and greetings in the marketplaces.           Woe to you! You are like hidden tombs over which men walk unaware.

In reply, a lawyer said, “Teacher, in speaking this way, you insult us, too”. Jesus answered, “Woe to you lawyers, also! You lay impossible burdens on men but will not lift a finger to lighten them.”

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

  1. Mint, rue, and herbs were so small that they should have been overlooked. Yet, they are the focus of religious activity.
  2. Justice to others and love for God are the important issues. These should take center stage.
  3. The Pharisees want to be recognized as holy and be acclaimed by others.
  4. However, their hearts are far from God. It is all show!
  5. People just trample such teaching under their feet and religion comes into disrepute.
  6. Many Pharisees enjoy burdening the consciences of others.
  7. Jesus comes to remove burdens so we can live like God’s children. This is freedom.

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

  1. O Jesus, loving you with all my heart – that is my goal.
  2. Jesus, give me a just and forgiving heart.
  3. Lord, I will hide my piety from the eyes of others and even from my own eyes.
  4. O Jesus, you do not burden me. Your laws set me free.
  5. Jesus, I will lift burdens from others, and help them to gain eternal life.

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

  1. I will be just to everyone I meet today.
  2. I will humble myself in my own eyes.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You overlook justice and the love of God.

OCTOBER 11, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – TUESDAY – CLEANING THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CUP

(Luke 11:37-41)

Prayer – O Jesus, make my heart sincere in my love for you.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus dining with the Pharisees)

Context:

Jesus spent much time at table, with Pharisees who were deeply religious. (Pharisees did not participate in any way in Jesus’ death). The gospels use the Pharisee stories to correct false religious ideas and to highlight Jesus’ teaching on the importance of inner decisions. This meal was probably around noon.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A certain Pharisee asked Jesus to dine with him. So Jesus entered his house and sat down to eat. The Pharisee began to question within himself why Jesus did not wash before dinner.

The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside, also make the inside, too? But, if you give alms, all will be wiped clean for you.

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

  1. The man invited Jesus to dinner with a good motive.
  2. However, his inner thoughts are certainly judgmental.
  3. These inner thoughts have changed the atmosphere.
  4. Jesus attacks the problem in front of everyone. He cites the basic flaw in the Pharisees’ religious practice.
  5. They stress external regulations and do nothing about their sinful hearts.
  6. If God made the inside and the outside, we should be concerned about both.
  7. As always, Jesus offers a solution. Giving alms will cleanse the heart. The inside will be clean.

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

  1. O Jesus, come to my table. Dine with me and stay with me.
  2. Jesus, who am I to judge?   You judge me. You are the Lord of all history.
  3. What are my flaws, Jesus? Reveal them and I will purge them.
  4. My heart is sinful but You take away the sins of the world.
  5. Cleanse me, inside and out. All needs to be purified.
  6. What a solution! I give alms and all is cleansed. I will use my money to purchase my cleansing.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to cleanse me.
  2. I will always be generous with my money.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If you give alms, all will be wiped clean.

OCTOBER 10, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-EIGHT – MONDAY – A GREATER THAN JONAH OR SOLOMON

(Luke 11:29-32)

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

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although Jesus’ enemies asked for the sign, 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 upon 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 the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with this generation and shall condemn it. At the preaching of Jonah they did penance, but you have a greater than Jonah 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 satisfies curiosity. It does not get people to repent.
  3. Jesus gives the whole world the greatest sign, his rising from the dead.
  4. Jesus cites the Queen’s change of heart. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak. What is Solomon compared with Jesus?
  5. The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
  6. Jesus speaks about the most important moment of all. Every person in history will come before him in judgment.
  7. On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those who did not repent.

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

  1. 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. They repented when Jonah preached. I will repent at your word.
  5. Send me your Spirit of repentance.
  6. Only the moment of judgment is unchangeable. When I come to you after my death, let me be your friend.

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’ claim that he is greater than all other teachers.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

A greater than Jonah or Solomon is here.

OCTOBER 9, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – SUNDAY (C) – THE TEN LEPERS

(Luke 17:11-19)

Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Fill me with a spirit of thanksgiving.

Imagination: (Picture the one leper returning to give thanks)

Context:

This story is somewhat like a parable and ends with Jesus pronouncing the saving faith of the Samaritan. Obviously, the group consisted of nine Jewish lepers and one Samaritan. Their illness bonded them together and overcame their religious differences. The Samaritan emulates Naaman, a Syrian, who returned to thank the prophet Elisha for healing him of leprosy. (2 Kg 5:15).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As Jesus was going to Jerusalem, he passed through Samaria and Galilee. In a certain town, ten lepers met him. Standing far away, they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, master, have pity on us.”

Seeing them, Jesus said, “Go and show yourselves to the priest.” As they went, they were cleansed. One, seeing he was cleansed, went back, glorifying God in a loud voice. Falling on his face, he gave thanks. He was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? Where are the other nine? Is there no one found to return and give thanks except this stranger.” Jesus said, “Get up and go your way. Your faith has made you whole.”

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

  1. All ten realize their unique opportunity. Jesus has come to their village.
  2. United in prayer, all ten “lift up their voices” and ask for pity.
  3. All are obedient. All go to the priest. All are cleansed.
  4. Nine return home, thinking they have no further responsibility.
  5. Only one leper returns to Jesus. By faith, he receives total cleansing.
  6. Jesus is disappointed. He wanted all ten to return, so he could say, “Your faith has made you whole”.

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

  1. O Jesus, come to me today.
  2. I will cry out to you!
  3. Cleanse me of my faults, my sins, my leprosies.
  4. Have pity on me, Jesus. I am a sinner.
  5. Let my voice be loud in thanksgiving.
  6. You have more blessings waiting for me when I return to give thanks.
  7. O Jesus, make me whole.

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

  1. I will thank those who have helped me in the past – parents, teachers, friends.
  2. All day long, I will give thanks for God’s blessings.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Go on your way, your faith has made you whole.”

OCTOBER 17, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – SATURDAY – ACKNOWLEDGING JESUS

(Luke 12:8-12)

Prayer: O Jesus, You are my Lord.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples).

Context
            This text has three separate teachings. If the disciple acknowledges Jesus, Jesus will acknowledge him before the Father. If not, then Jesus cannot acknowledge him. The second teaching speaks of people who rejected Jesus in his earthly ministry. They will be given a second chance. This happened to the crowd at Pentecost. (Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit means ascribing Jesus’ powers to the demons). The final scene is the disciple being helped by the Holy Spirit to defend himself in court.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man shall be forgiven but whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

When they bring you into synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not be anxious about what you are to say because the Holy Spirit will each you in that hour what to say.

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

  1. Jesus wants you to always think of the moment when you will come before him.
  2. That is the all-important moment. All that you have done will be manifested.
  3. This is fair. If you told others that Jesus was your friend, Jesus will tell the Father that you are his friend.
  4. If you have failed to do this, how can Jesus honestly say that you are his friend?
  5. You can always change. God gives you another chance to be Jesus’ friend.
  6. The gospel describes an earthly court room, a disciple on trial for his faith.
  7. How do you speak the truth in that difficult situation? Don’t worry. The Spirit of Jesus will do the talking.

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

  1. Jesus, lift my heart to heaven.
  2. O Jesus, after death, I will come before you. Prepare me for that eternal moment.
  3. Tell the Father that I am your friend. This is my life’s goal.
  4. If I have rejected you, I repent and choose you as my Lord.
  5. O Spirit of truth. Help me to speak the truth always. Sanctify my lips. Purify my desires.
  6. Come, Lord Jesus. I will await you.

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

  1. I will make my friendship with Jesus known to others.
  2. When confronted, I will ask the Spirit to put words in my heart.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.

OCTOBER 16, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – FRIDAY – JESUS’ WARNINGS

(Luke 12: 1-7)

Prayer – O Lord, you care for the sparrows. You will care also for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the dense crowds.)

Context:

This text has 2 parts. Having denounced the Pharisees to their face, Jesus is surrounded by crowds. However, he speaks to his disciples. He calls the Pharisee teaching, hypocrisy, and speaks of the Final Judgment when all will be revealed.

Then, he prophesies that his friends will be threatened and even killed. They are not to fear.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The great crowds around Jesus were so dense that they tread on one another. He said to say to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed. Nothing secret which will not become known.

Whatever you speak in darkness, shall be said in the light. What you have whispered in back rooms will be proclaimed on the rooftops.

I say to you my friends. ‘Do not be afraid of those that kill the body and can do no more. Fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, fear him.

Are not five sparrows sold for a few pennies? Yet, not one of them is neglected by God. Fear nothing then. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.’

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

  1. Although surrounded by these dense crowds, Jesus instructs his disciples because they are so important.
  2. He points out a false road. They must not follow the Pharisees’ teaching.
  3. This teaching is superficial, and cannot prepare for the Kingdom.
  4. Then, Jesus turns to a more serious topic. His friends will face death.
  5. The person who kills the body need not be feared. The person who endangers their soul must be feared.
  6. God loves even the sparrows who are sold for sacrifice. He does not abandon them in death.

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

  1. O Jesus, you take time with me. You teach me. I am important to you.
  2. Let me see what is true, what endures, what is worth sacrificing for.
  3. Point out the false roads. Save me from fruitless efforts.
  4. Never let me take the wrong paths.
  5. I am your friend, Jesus. You have won my heart. I give you my life.
  6. Remove any fear of death. Be with me so I persevere.

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

  1. During the day, I will renew my consecration to Jesus Christ.
  2. I will not let any threats make me deny what I believe.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Fear nothing. You are worth more than a flock of sparrows.

OCTOBER 15, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – THURSDAY – BLAMING THE FOREFATHERS

(Luke 11:47-54)

Prayer – O Jesus, fill me with a true piety which knows and loves God.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus denouncing the Pharisees)

Context:

The Jews blame their forefathers for being mistaken and killing the prophets. However, they will do the same thing in killing Jesus. Jesus recounts human history. Abel was the first one killed in the bible and Zechariah was the last prophet killed (2 Chr 24:20). Jesus’ accusations are proven true by the final sentences.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord said, “Woe to you who build the tombs of the prophets but it was your fathers who killed them. You show that you stand behind the deeds of your fathers. They killed the prophets and you build their tombs. That is why the wisdom of God says, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles. Some of them they will kill and persecute.’ So, this generation will have to account for the blood of all the martyrs shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you. This generation must account for it.

Woe to you lawyers. You have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not gained access, yet you have stopped those who wish to enter.”

After he had left this gathering, the scribes and Pharisees began to show fierce hostility to him and tried to catch him in his speech on many occasions.

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

  1. The leaders are ignorant that they are caught up in a history of violence.
  2. They accept violence as a legitimate means of silencing the voices of the prophets.
  3. They refuse to accept the responsibility, even though their guilt stretches for centuries.
  4. Jesus offers them a new stream, a redemption from their past violence.
  5. Unfortunately, the leaders even block people who would want to follow Jesus. They have taken away the Key of Knowledge.
  6. They try to capture Jesus in his speech. What fools! They battle divine Wisdom Himself.
  7. They do not repent. They do not change. Their hostility grows.

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

  1. O Jesus, what are my sins? And the sins of my family? Let me repent.
  2. Jesus, you offer me a pure stream, a future history purified of the past.
  3. Redeem me, Jesus, from my culture.
  4. Open the door. Give me the Key to Divine Wisdom. I will walk in your paths.
  5. Jesus, change me. Forgive me. My past will no longer burden me.
  6. You are truth. You are life. You save. You redeem. You open holy roads to those who will follow.

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

  1. I will see clearly the sins of my culture and reject them.
  2. I will be a prophet who speaks out against what is not right.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I will send to them prophets and apostles.

OCTOBER 14, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – WEDNESDAY – SO MANY WOES

(Luke 11:42-46)

Prayer – O Jesus, cleanse me so you cannot condemn me.

Imagination – (Imagine Jesus at table with the Pharisees and lawyers.)

Context:

Jesus is familiar with the Pharisees’ teaching. They are confused. They put the wrong obligations first, and cause many religious problems. Jesus must clear away all this confusion.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Woe to you, Pharisees because you tithe on mint and rue and every herb, yet overlook the justice and love of God. You should do these things, but not overlook the other.

Woe to you Pharisees. You love the best seats at the synagogue and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like hidden tombs over which men walk unaware.

In reply, a lawyer said, “Teacher, in speaking this way, you insult us, too”. Jesus answered, “Woe to you lawyers, also! You lay impossible burdens on men but will not lift a finger to lighten them.”

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

  1. Mint, rue, and herbs were so small that they should have been overlooked. Yet, they are the focus of religious activity.
  2. Justice to others and love for God are the important issues. These should take center stage.
  3. The Pharisees want to be recognized as holy and be acclaimed by others.
  4. However, their hearts are far from God. It is all show!
  5. People just trample such teaching under their feet and religion comes into disrepute.
  6. Many Pharisees enjoy burdening the consciences of others.
  7. Jesus comes to remove burdens so we can live like God’s children. This is freedom.

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

  1. O Jesus, loving you with all my heart – that is my goal.
  2. Jesus, give me a just and forgiving heart.
  3. Lord, I will hide my piety from the eyes of others and even from my own eyes.
  4. O Jesus, you do not burden me. Your laws set me free.
  5. Jesus, I will lift burdens from others, and help them to gain eternal life.

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

  1. I will be just to everyone I meet today.
  2. I will humble myself in my own eyes.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You overlook justice and the love of God.

OCTOBER 13, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – TUESDAY – CLEANING THE WRONG SIDE OF THE CUP

(Luke 11:37-41)

Prayer – O Jesus, make my heart sincere in my love for you.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus dining with the Pharisees)

Context:

Jesus spent much time at table, with Pharisees who were deeply religious. (Pharisees did not participate in any way in Jesus’ death). The gospels use the Pharisee stories to correct false religious ideas and to highlight Jesus’ teaching on the importance of inner decisions. This meal was probably around noon.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A certain Pharisee asked Jesus to dine with him. So Jesus entered his house and sat down to eat. The Pharisee began to question within himself why Jesus did not wash before dinner.

The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside, also make the inside, too? But, if you give alms, all will be wiped clean for you.

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

  1. The man invited Jesus to dinner with a good motive.
  2. However, his inner thoughts are certainly judgmental.
  3. These inner thoughts have changed the atmosphere.
  4. Jesus attacks the problem in front of everyone. He cites the basic flaw in the Pharisees’ religious practice.
  5. They stress external regulations and do nothing about their sinful hearts.
  6. If God made the inside and the outside, we should be concerned about both.
  7. As always, Jesus offers a solution. Giving alms will cleanse the heart. The inside will be clean.

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

  1. O Jesus, come to my table. Dine with me and stay with me.
  2. Jesus, who am I to judge?   You judge me. You are the Lord of all history.
  3. What are my flaws, Jesus? Reveal them and I will purge them.
  4. My heart is sinful but You take away the sins of the world.
  5. Cleanse me, inside and out. All needs to be purified.
  6. What a solution! I give alms and all is cleansed. I will use my money to purchase my cleansing.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to cleanse me.
  2. I will always be generous with my money.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If you give alms, all will be wiped clean.

OCTOBER 12, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY EIGHT – MONDAY – A GREATER THAN JONAH OR SOLOMON

(Luke 11:29-32)

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

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although Jesus’ enemies asked for the sign, 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 upon 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 the judgment, the citizens of Nineveh will rise along with this generation and shall condemn it. At the preaching of Jonah they did penance, but you have a greater than Jonah 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 satisfies curiosity. It does not get people to repent.
  3. Jesus gives the whole world the greatest sign, his rising from the dead.
  4. Jesus cites the Queen’s change of heart. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak. What is Solomon compared with Jesus?
  5. The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
  6. Jesus speaks about the most important moment of all. Every person in history will come before him in judgment.
  7. On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those who did not repent.

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

  1. 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. They repented when Jonah preached. I will repent at your word.
  5. Send me your Spirit of repentance.
  6. Only the moment of judgment is unchangeable. When I come to you after my death, let me be your friend.

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’ claim that he is greater than all other teachers.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

A greater than Jonah or Solomon is here.