WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 A SECOND WARNING (LK 9:43-45)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the mystery of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus has just healed the boy with a demon. While the disciples are still amazed at this, Jesus shifts the focus to his death.
The warning falls on deaf ears. They have no idea of the mystery that lies ahead.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

In the middle of the disciples’ astonishment at all that Jesus did,
he said to his disciples, “Place in your hearts my words.
The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men.”

They failed to understand his words. It was so concealed from
them that they did not grasp it at all
and they were afraid to question him about this matter.

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

  1. Jesus’ display of powerful healings overwhelms the disciples. They cannot grasp the mystery of suffering.
  2. The disciples do not place Jesus’ words in their hearts. They want only his glory.
  3. Jesus reveals the hardest truth. He will be delivered over as a prisoner.
  4. The full impact of his words is lost. The disciples grasp nothing.
  5. The matter seems so unimportant that they do not bother to ask.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will be a true disciple, always giving you my heart.
  2. Place your words in my heart and I will cherish them.
  3. Even when you speak to me of trials and sufferings. I will not walk away.
  4. Remove the veil that covers my mind so your words give me life.
  5. O Jesus, I will live by every word that comes from your lips.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to speak to my heart.
  2. I will take to heart his gospel teachings.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Place my words in your hearts.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – FRIDAY – SEPTEMBER 29, 2017 Feast of Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Archangels A TRUE ISRAELITE (JN 1:43-51)

Prayer: O Jesus, call me into your presence.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his early disciples.)

Context:
Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel are all from Bethsaida. Philip leads Nathaniel to Jesus. This dialogue reveals much of Jesus’ identity. It alludes to Jacob who was filled with guile (Nathaniel has none). Jacob saw angels ascending and descending on a ladder. (Nathaniel will see Jesus with angels). Nathaniel is called Bartholomew in the listing of the twelve apostles.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee, where he found Philip. Jesus said, “Follow me”. Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathaniel and said, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the law and prophets, Jesus the son of Joseph of Nazareth.”Nathaniel said, “Can anything of good come from Nazareth?” Philip said, “Come and see”.
Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him and said, “Behold a true Israelite in whom there is no guile.” Nathaniel asked, “How do you know me?” Jesus said, “Before Philip called you I saw you under a fig tree.” Nathaniel said, “Rabbi, you are the son of God. You are the King of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than these. Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
1. It seems like just a chance happening. Jesus on his way to Galilee comes upon Philip.
2. Their meeting has eternal results for Philip and Nathaniel.
3. Philip desperately wants Nathaniel to share his faith in Jesus.
4. Nazareth is never mentioned in the Old Testament, so Nathaniel must trust Philip’s faith.
5. Nathaniel is a true Israelite, without guile (not like Jacob who was full of guile).
6. When Jesus uses his prophetic power, Nathaniel believes immediately (he is without guile).
7. Jesus promises greater revelations. Nathaniel will see angels accompanying the Son of Man in glory.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, let me meet you today.
2. What a blessing to hear your words, “Come, follow me.”
3. O Jesus, I will bring others to you.
4. Remove my sophistication and make me a person without guile.
5. Jesus, you know everything about me. You see me at every moment.
6. Someday, I will see you with your angels.
7. You are the messiah coming again in glory. I await you.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will believe in Jesus and bring others into that belief.
2. I will think today of Jesus coming with his angels.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Philip sought out Nathaniel, “We have found the Messiah.”

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – THURSDAY – SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 HEROD’S CONCLUSION (LK 9:7-9)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the fullness of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

This text is sort of an interlude as Herod ponders Jesus’ identity. Later, Peter, by divine revelation, will proclaim correctly that Jesus is the Messiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing, and he was perplexed.
Some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead.” Others, “Elijah has appeared.” Still others say, “One of the prophets of old has risen. But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear all these reports?” He was very curious to see him.

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

  1. Jesus’ miracles do not lead Herod to faith but “to confusion”. His sinful
    life impeded any true understanding.
  2. The three preposterous ideas show the great religious confusion which only Jesus can remove.
  3. Herod is troubled. He cannot forget his murder of John. Jesus’ holiness stirs up these painful memories.
  4. In the gospels, many people hear reports about Jesus. Usually, this arouses faith and they bring their sick to Jesus.
  5. In Herod, the reports only stir up curiosity. He wants to see
    Jesus but not to repent and to believe.

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

  1. O Jesus, do not let my sins lead me into confusion.
  2. Quiet my sinful desires. Take away the darkness of my mind.
  3. I, too, have troubling memories. I come to you for forgiveness.
  4. I know who you are, Jesus. You died for me and you saved me from everlasting death.
  5. You are Lord. You are King.
  6. How I want to see you, to serve you, to love you forever. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. I will uproot the sinful desires that confuse my heart.
  2. I will multiply my desires to see Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Herod was perplexed and curious.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 27, 2017 SENT BY JESUS (LK 9:1-6)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, anoint me with your powers.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus sending forth his 12 apostles)

Context:

This text looks forward to the Church, when the Holy Spirit will
send the apostles to the whole world. Jesus’ words reflect what actually happened. The small Church communities sent forth preachers to the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority
to overcome all demons and to heal diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and to heal the afflicted. He told them, “Take nothing for your journey, not staff, or traveling bag.
Take no food and no money. No one is to have two coats.”

Stay at whatever house you enter and live there. Do not depart from it. Whoever will not receive you, when you leave that city, shake the dust
from your feet in testimony against them.

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the good news
everywhere and curing diseases.

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

  1. Jesus trusted that these apostles would tell the whole world. How important is the preacher of the word!
  2. The apostles only proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand. Even they
    do not yet understand this Kingdom.
  3. However, they can heal and cast out demons to show the power of this Kingdom.
  4. Because they preach a heavenly Kingdom, they must set aside earthly comforts.
  5. Any village which rejects them receives no blessing. Even the dust will not enter the Kingdom.
  6. The apostles start immediately. They set out. The Kingdom is important
    and people must hear about it.

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

  1. O Jesus, you entrust this task to me. You believe in me. You depend on me.
  2. Your Kingdom is powerful, healing people and setting them free.
  3. Unleash your powers in our midst.
  4. O Jesus, I will proclaim the Kingdom is at hand.
  5. I will set aside earthly comforts because your Kingdom deserves my whole heart.
  6. I will set out, Jesus. I will not wait. Tomorrow is too late. Your Kingdom is coming.

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

  1. I will try to listen to God. What does he want me to do?
  2. In Jesus’ name, I will pray that people be cured and set free.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He sent them forth to proclaim the Kingdom and to heal.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 A FAMILY VISIT (LK 8:19-21)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, help me to hear and act upon God’s word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus forms a new family. This family is not based upon blood
relationships but upon people freely choosing to hear and practice God’s word. To highlight this truth, this text contrasts Jesus’ human family with his new family.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

When his mother and his brothers came to Jesus, they could not reach
him because of the crowd. Jesus was told, “Your mother and your brothers
are outside, wanting to see you.”

Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of
God and act upon it.”

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

  1. Jesus’ human family standing outside represents people who have not yet received the gospel.
  2. They want to see Jesus. This represents the yearning of every human heart.
  3. Those inside do see Jesus. He dwells in their presence and teaches them. They are disciples.
  4. How did they gain this privilege? They heard God’s word and accepted the invitation.
  5. Jesus reveals his gift. All can become members of his new family.

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

  1. O Lord, my religious faith must capture my heart.
  2. O Jesus, I do not want to stand outside the door of your Kingdom.
  3. I want to see you, Jesus. I desire entrance into your presence.
  4. What a treasure to be on the inside and to hear you preach!
  5. I will form my life according to your word.
  6. Then, I will be in your family.

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

  1. I will read the Bible, (especially the gospels) every day.
  2. I will do what the gospel commands me. It is not easy.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My mother and my brothers are those who hear my word and act upon it.

Note: This text does not speak against Mary. She heard and did God’s word perfectly. She told the angel, “Let it be done according to your word.”

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SUNDAY – A – SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 THE GOOD EMPLOYER (MT 20:1-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, You are a generous employer. Let me serve you faithfully.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

This parable of the Kingdom focuses on the final Judgment. As the day goes on, the workers grow discouraged, stop seeking
work and “sit around idle.” The owner’s constant going to the
marketplace shows the urgency of the task.

The special order of paying the last workers first sets the stage
for the parable’s meaning – the unbelievable generosity of God. The important sentence is, “Are you envious because I am generous?” (20:15) Notice that all the workers, first and last, are present at the final scene. This is the final Judgment when all the undeserving (but repentant)
people are admitted to the kingdom. The parable reveals how God acts.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

The kingdom of heaven is like an owner who went out early in the morning
to hire workers for his vineyard. Having agreed for the daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.

He went out at the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did likewise. At the eleventh hour, he found others and asked, “Why are you standing idle?”
They said, “No one has hired us.” He said, “You also, go into my vineyard.” When evening came he told the steward to call the workers and pay them,
beginning with the last ones. These received a full day’s wages. The first also received a day’s wages but felt they should receive more. So, they murmured against the owner, saying that they had suffered the heat of the day.

The owner replied, “Friend, I do you no wrong for I agreed on a day’s wages. Cannot I give to the last what I give to you? Or, are you jealous because I am generous?”

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

  1. The owner continually goes to the marketplace, anxious that every worker has
    a chance to enter the vineyard.
  2. He surprises everyone by the generous gift of a full day’s pay. Should not all rejoice that every worker had money for his family?
  3. He has no interest in making a profit. The vineyard exists to bless the unemployed and helpless.
  4. This parable portrays Judgment Day. All are lined up before the Master of the Vineyard. All the elect will hear the exact same words. “Enter into the Kingdom.”
  5. The parable parts the veil of heaven. At the Final Judgment the
    Elect will see the generosity of God.

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

  1. You search for me, Lord. In my youth, in my middle years and even in my final days, you say, “Go into my vineyard.”
  2. Why are you so zealous for me? Why do you seek to bless me?
  3. You arrange everything for my salvation. Nothing is left to chance.
  4. At the right moment, you will end my work on earth. Even though I have done so little, You will say, “It is enough”.
  5. Then, you will reward me beyond all my expectations.
  6. That is why you search for me. “Who is like to you, O Lord?”

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

  1. I will listen for God’s special words, “Go into my vineyard.”
  2. I will imitate God’s generosity, rewarding others beyond what I owe them.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Am I not free to be generous with my money?

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 25, 2017 THREE SAYINGS OF JESUS (LK 8:16-18)

Prayer – O Lord, call me to be your child of light.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context:

This text contains three separate sayings of Jesus. The first saying envisions a Greek home with a light welcoming visitors. The second sentence points out that nothing is secret to God, all will be revealed. The third sentence describes a person who is receptive to God’s word,
and will receive more, and a person who will lose what little faith he has.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus said to the crowds, “No one lights a candle and covers it over with
a basket or places it under the bed. He sets it on the candlestick so
all who come in can see the light.

There is nothing secret that will not be made known and come to light.

Be careful, then, how you hear. To the man who has, more will be given. Whoever does not have will lose even the little that he thinks he has.

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

  1. Jesus describes three different situations.
  2. A person filled with faith should not hide his light, but make it available
    so others will live by faith.
  3. A person who has dark secrets must learn to remove that darkness. God knows his evil and it will be revealed to all.
  4. A person must hear God’s word and receive it correctly, so he can receive more.
  5. Unless he safeguards the word, he will lose even what he has.

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

  1. Jesus, light the candle in my heart.
  2. Let my lamp lead others to you.
  3. Remove all darkness within me. Bring all my secrets into your light.
  4. I will treasure your word. It is your great gift.
  5. Let me receive your word and hold it securely.
  6. What a mystery. If I receive, then I get even more. Only you can be so generous.

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

  1. This day, I will walk in God’s light.
  2. I will root out the dark powers within me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – SATURDAY – A SECOND WARNING

(Luke 9:43-45)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the mystery of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus has just healed the boy with a demon. While the disciples are still amazed at this, Jesus shifts the focus to his death. The warning falls on deaf ears. They have no idea of the mystery that lies ahead.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

In the middle of the disciples’ astonishment at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, “Place in your hearts my words. The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men.”

They failed to understand his words. It was so concealed from them that they did not grasp it at all and they were afraid to question him about this matter.

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

  1. Jesus’ display of powerful healings overwhelms the disciples. They cannot grasp the mystery of suffering.
  2. The disciples do not place Jesus’ words in their hearts. They want only his glory.
  3. Jesus reveals the hardest truth. He will be delivered over as a prisoner.
  4. The full impact of his words is lost. The disciples grasp nothing.
  5. The matter seems so unimportant that they do not bother to ask.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will be a true disciple, always giving you my heart.
  2. Place your words in my heart and I will cherish them.
  3. Even when you speak to me of trials and sufferings. I will not walk away.
  4. Remove the veil that covers my mind so your words give me life.
  5. O Jesus, I will live by every word that comes from your lips.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to speak to my heart.
  2. I will take to heart his gospel teachings.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Place my words in your hearts.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – FRIDAY – JESUS’ IDENTITY REVEALED

(Luke 9:18-22)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, open to my heart the mystery of Jesus Christ.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

An earlier gospel showed what the Father wanted Jesus to accomplish for Israel. This gospel answers a deeper question. What is Jesus’ relationship to the Father and to Israel. At this point, only the apostles must know. The crowds would misinterpret this truth and make him a king.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

As Jesus was praying in seclusion, his disciples were with him. He asked them, “Whom do people say that I am. They answered, “Some say John the Baptist. Some say Elijah. Others say that one of the prophets has arisen.”

He said, “Whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “The messiah of God”. He strictly commanded them not to tell anyone, saying “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be put to death and rise on the third day.”

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

  1. When Jesus is at prayer, he sees clearly the Father’s will.
  2. The disciples, also, are especially blessed when they join Jesus in prayer.
  3. The world cannot comprehend who Jesus is or what he accomplishes.
  4. Jesus’ direct question to the disciples fills Simon Peter with faith and revelation.
  5. Jesus is the Messiah, sent by God to fulfill his divine plan.
  6. Surprisingly, the Father wills that Jesus suffer, die and rise from the dead.

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

  1. Jesus, my human intelligence cannot understand who you are and what you will do for me.
  2. Give me the light of prayer. I will understand my task.
  3. Fill me with faith. Reveal your mysteries. Draw me to yourself.
  4. You are the Messiah, sent by God to save me.
  5. I will follow you into the great mystery of your death. You will raise me from the dead, also. 

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

  1. By daily mental prayer, I will get to know Jesus Christ.
  2. I will thank Jesus who suffered and died for me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

You are the Messiah of God.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – THURSDAY – HEROD’S CONCLUSION

(Luke 9:7-9)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the fullness of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

This text is sort of an interlude as Herod ponders Jesus’ identity. Later, Peter, by divine revelation, will proclaim correctly that Jesus is the Messiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing, and he was perplexed. Some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead.” Others, “Elijah has appeared.” Still others say, “One of the prophets of old has risen. But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear all these reports?” He was very curious to see him.

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

  1. Jesus’ miracles do not lead Herod to faith but “to confusion”. His sinful life impeded any true understanding.
  2. The three preposterous ideas show the great religious confusion which only Jesus can remove.
  3. Herod is troubled. He cannot forget his murder of John. Jesus’ holiness stirs up these painful memories.
  4. In the gospels, many people hear reports about Jesus. Usually, this arouses faith and they bring their sick to Jesus.
  5. In Herod, the reports only stir up curiosity. He wants to see Jesus but not to repent and to believe.

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

  1. O Jesus, do not let my sins lead me into confusion.
  2. Quiet my sinful desires. Take away the darkness of my mind.
  3. I, too, have troubling memories. I come to you for forgiveness.
  4. I know who you are, Jesus. You died for me and you saved me from everlasting death.
  5. You are Lord. You are King.
  6. How I want to see you, to serve you, to love you forever. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. I will uproot the sinful desires that confuse my heart.
  2. I will multiply my desires to see Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Herod was perplexed and curious.

WEEK TWENTY FIVE – WEDNESDAY September 21, 2016 Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle MATTHEW, THE TAX COLLECTOR (MT 9:9-13)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Let me respond quickly to Jesus’ call.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus at table in Matthew’s house).

Context:
This text has 2 parts. First, Matthew responds to Jesus’ call and then he invites Jesus to his house. Since Matthew is a sinner (collecting taxes for Romans) his friends are also “sinners”, so the dinner becomes a controversy story. This leads to the pronouncement that Jesus came to call sinners, not the righteous.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him.
Later, while Jesus was at table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors came and sat with Jesus. Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such people?” Jesus heard them and said, “Those who are well do not need the doctor. The sick do. Learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ I came to call sinners, not the righteous.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Matthew never searched for Jesus. He just went to work one day and Jesus found him.
2. What a special day! Matthew began as a tax collector (working for the Roman Empire). He ends the day as Jesus’ disciple (working for the Kingdom.)
3. Everything happened so quickly. Jesus saw him and invited him. Matthew left his post and followed.
4. If he had hesitated or doubted, he would have missed his call.
5. He accepts Jesus completely, opening his home and inviting the other sinners.
6. The Pharisees try to exclude Matthew and his friends from the Kingdom. Jesus would have none of that.
7. Jesus proclaims that they are the very ones he is calling.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, today is so important! You will come. You will pass by. You will say, “Follow me.”
2. Do not let me say “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” (like St. Augustine)
3. When you call, I will follow.
4. Come for me! I am a sinner and your Father sent you to sinners.
5. Why do I wait? Why do I continue to sit at my tax collector’s post? Why am I afraid? Who do I not “get up and follow you?”
6. In the quiet of this prayer, I hear your voice. I respond, “Wait, Jesus, I am coming.”

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will be vigilant today.
2. I will open my whole house to Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Seeing Matthew at his post, Jesus said, “Follow me.”

SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – WEDNESDAY – SENT BY JESUS

(Luke 9:1-6)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, anoint me with your powers.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus sending forth his 12 apostles)

Context:

This text looks forward to the Church, when the Holy Spirit will send the apostles to the whole world. Jesus’ words reflect what actually happened. The small Church communities sent forth preachers to the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to heal diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and to heal the afflicted. He told them, “Take nothing for your journey, not staff, or traveling bag. Take no food and no money. No one is to have two coats.”

Stay at whatever house you enter and live there. Do not depart from it. Whoever will not receive you, when you leave that city, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the good news everywhere and curing diseases.

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

  1. Jesus trusted that these apostles would tell the whole world. How important is the preacher of the word!
  2. The apostles only proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand. Even they do not yet understand this Kingdom.
  3. However, they can heal and cast out demons to show the power of this Kingdom.
  4. Because they preach a heavenly Kingdom, they must set aside earthly comforts.
  5. Any village which rejects them receives no blessing. Even the dust will not enter the Kingdom.
  6. The apostles start immediately. They set out. The Kingdom is important and people must hear about it.

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

  1. O Jesus, you entrust this task to me. You believe in me. You depend on me.
  2. Your Kingdom is powerful, healing people and setting them free.
  3. Unleash your powers in our midst.
  4. O Jesus, I will proclaim the Kingdom is at hand.
  5. I will set aside earthly comforts because your Kingdom deserves my whole heart.
  6. I will set out, Jesus. I will not wait. Tomorrow is too late. Your Kingdom is coming.

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

  1. I will try to listen to God. What does he want me to do?
  2. In Jesus’ name, I will pray that people be cured and set free.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He sent them forth to proclaim the Kingdom and to heal.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – TUESDAY – A FAMILY VISIT

(Luke 8:19-21)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, help me to hear and act upon God’s word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus forms a new family. This family is not based upon blood relationships but upon people freely choosing to hear and practice God’s word. To highlight this truth, this text contrasts Jesus’ human family with his new family.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

When his mother and his brothers came to Jesus, they could not reach him because of the crowd. Jesus was told, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, wanting to see you.”

Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.”

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

  1. Jesus’ human family standing outside represents people who have not yet received the gospel.
  2. They want to see Jesus. This represents the yearning of every human heart.
  3. Those inside do see Jesus. He dwells in their presence and teaches them. They are disciples.
  4. How did they gain this privilege? They heard God’s word and accepted the invitation.
  5. Jesus reveals his gift. All can become members of his new family.

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

  1. O Lord, my religious faith must capture my heart.
  2. O Jesus, I do not want to stand outside the door of your Kingdom.
  3. I want to see you, Jesus. I desire entrance into your presence.
  4. What a treasure to be on the inside and to hear you preach!
  5. I will form my life according to your word.
  6. Then, I will be in your family.

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

  1. I will read the Bible, (especially the gospels) every day.
  2. I will do what the gospel commands me. It is not easy.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My mother and my brothers are those who hear my word and act upon it.

Note: This text does not speak against Mary. She heard and did God’s word perfectly. She told the angel, “Let it be done according to your word.”

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – MONDAY – MATTHEW THE TAX COLLECTOR

(Matthew 9:9-13)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Let me respond quickly to Jesus’ call.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus at table in Matthew’s house).

Context:

This text has 2 parts. First, Matthew responds to Jesus’ call and then he invites Jesus to his house. Since Matthew is a sinner (collecting taxes for Romans) his friends are also “sinners”, so the dinner becomes a controversy story, which shows us that Jesus came to call sinners, not the righteous.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him.

Later, while Jesus was at table in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and those known as sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and those who disobey the law?” Jesus heard them and said, “People who are well do not need the doctor. Sick people do. Learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ I have come to call sinners, not the self-righteous.”

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

  1. Matthew never searched for Jesus. He went to work one day and Jesus found him.
  2. What a special day! Matthew began as a tax collector (working for the Roman Empire). He ends the day as Jesus’ disciple (working for the Kingdom.)
  3. Everything happened so quickly. Jesus saw him and invited him. Matthew left his post and followed.
  4. If he had hesitated or doubted, he would have missed his call.
  5. He accepts Jesus completely, opening his home and inviting the other sinners.
  6. The Pharisees try to exclude Matthew and his friends from the Kingdom. Jesus would have none of that.
  7. Jesus proclaims that they are the very ones he is calling.

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

  1. Jesus, today is so important! You will come. You will pass by. You will say, “Follow me.”
  2. Do not let me say “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” (like St. Augustine)
  3. When you call, I will follow.
  4. Come for me! I am a sinner and your Father sent you to sinners.
  5. Why do I wait? Why do I continue to sit at my tax collector’s post? Why am I afraid? Why do I not “get up and follow you?”
  6. As I hear your voice in the quiet of this prayer, I respond, “Wait, Jesus, I am coming.”

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

  1. I will be vigilant today.
  2. I will open my whole house to Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Seeing Matthew at his post, Jesus said, “Follow me.”

SEPTEMBER 18, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SUNDAY (C) – THE UNJUST STEWARD

(Luke 16:1-8)

Prayer: O Jesus, wake me up to the imminence of the Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context:

The parable uses real-life details. Rich owners often lived at a distance and depended on stewards who held promissory oaths of debtors. The steward wants his changes put into the original handwriting of the debtors (so the deception goes undetected).

The master’s surprising praise of his unjust steward has puzzled many. Jesus uses the parable to shock us into action in the crisis of our own imminent judgment. The unjust steward was caught up this personal crisis. He sized up the situation quickly, came up with a solution and acted decisively. We, too, should be shocked into decisive action concerning our personal salvation.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

A rich man had a steward who had wasted his goods. He said to him, “What is this I hear of you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can be steward no longer.”

The steward thought to himself, “What shall I do, because my master will take away my stewardship. To dig, I am not able. To beg, I am ashamed. I know what I will do so that after I am removed from my stewardship, they might receive me into their houses.” He called in his master’s debtors. To the first he asked, “How much do you owe my master? He said, “A hundred barrels of oil”. The steward said, “Take your bill and quickly write fifty”. He said to another, “How much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred bushels of wheat”. The steward said, “Take your bill and write eighty.” The Lord commended the unjust steward for he had acted wisely. For the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”

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

  1. The crux of the parable is that disaster is imminent. The Master will fire the steward.
  2. The steward knows he must act while he still has access to his master’s debtors.
  3. He acts quickly and effectively. He ingratiates himself with those who have money.
  4. By commending this action, Jesus says to the crowd, “You, also, are in imminent trouble. The judgment is at the door. Imitate the man’s quickness and cleverness.”
  5. The parable has a shock value. By the surprise ending, Jesus accuses the crowds of their failure to realize that the judgment is imminent.

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

  1. Let me not delay, O Lord. Losing my soul is an eternal disaster.
  2. Let me not say, “Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow.” (St. Augustine)
  3. Jesus, the obligations are serous. The decisions are weighty.
  4. Let me move quickly. Let me take the steps. The Kingdom is mine if I act. You will receive me into an eternal dwelling.
  5. Lord, if you need to shock me, you have my permission. Awaken me from my lethargy.

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

  1. I will examine my life to see my situation clearly and to do what is needed.
  2. I will act quickly and not delay.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Jesus commended the steward for acting wisely.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – SATURDAY – A SECOND WARNING

(Luke 9:43-45)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the mystery of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus has just healed the boy with a demon. While the disciples are still amazed at this, Jesus shifts the focus to his death. The warning falls on deaf ears. They have no idea of the mystery that lies ahead.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

In the middle of the disciples’ astonishment at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, “Place in your hearts my words. The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of men.”

They failed to understand his words. It was so concealed from them that they did not grasp it at all and they were afraid to question him about this matter.

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

  1. Jesus’ display of powerful healings overwhelms the disciples. They cannot grasp the mystery of suffering.
  2. The disciples do not place Jesus’ words in their hearts. They want only his glory.
  3. Jesus reveals the hardest truth. He will be delivered over as a prisoner.
  4. The full impact of his words is lost. The disciples grasp nothing.
  5. The matter seems so unimportant that they do not bother to ask.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will be a true disciple, always giving you my heart.
  2. Place your words in my heart and I will cherish them.
  3. Even when you speak to me of trials and sufferings. I will not walk away.
  4. Remove the veil that covers my mind so your words give me life.
  5. O Jesus, I will live by every word that comes from your lips.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to speak to my heart.
  2. I will take to heart his gospel teachings.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Place my words in your hearts.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – FRIDAY – JESUS’ IDENTITY REVEALED

(Luke 9:18-22)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, open to my heart the mystery of Jesus Christ.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

An earlier gospel showed what the Father wanted Jesus to accomplish for Israel. This gospel answers a deeper question. What is Jesus’ relationship to the Father and to Israel. At this point, only the apostles must know. The crowds would misinterpret this truth and make him a king.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

As Jesus was praying in seclusion, his disciples were with him. He asked them, “Whom do people say that I am. They answered, “Some say John the Baptist. Some say Elijah. Others say that one of the prophets has arisen.”

He said, “Whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “The messiah of God”. He strictly commanded them not to tell anyone, saying “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and be put to death and rise on the third day.”

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

  1. When Jesus is at prayer, he sees clearly the Father’s will.
  2. The disciples, also, are especially blessed when they join Jesus in prayer.
  3. The world cannot comprehend who Jesus is or what he accomplishes.
  4. Jesus’ direct question to the disciples fills Simon Peter with faith and revelation.
  5. Jesus is the Messiah, sent by God to fulfill his divine plan.
  6. Surprisingly, the Father wills that Jesus suffer, die and rise from the dead.

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

  1. Jesus, my human intelligence cannot understand who you are and what you will do for me.
  2. Give me the light of prayer. I will understand my task.
  3. Fill me with faith. Reveal your mysteries. Draw me to yourself.
  4. You are the Messiah, sent by God to save me.
  5. I will follow you into the great mystery of your death. You will raise me from the dead, also. 

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

  1. By daily mental prayer, I will get to know Jesus Christ.
  2. I will thank Jesus who suffered and died for me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

You are the Messiah of God.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – THURSDAY – HEROD’S CONCLUSION

(Luke 9:7-9)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, reveal to me the fullness of Jesus.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

This text is sort of an interlude as Herod ponders Jesus’ identity. Later, Peter, by divine revelation, will proclaim correctly that Jesus is the Messiah.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing, and he was perplexed. Some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead.” Others, “Elijah has appeared.” Still others say, “One of the prophets of old has risen. But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who is this man about whom I hear all these reports?” He was very curious to see him.

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

  1. Jesus’ miracles do not lead Herod to faith but “to confusion”. His sinful life impeded any true understanding.
  2. The three preposterous ideas show the great religious confusion which only Jesus can remove.
  3. Herod is troubled. He cannot forget his murder of John. Jesus’ holiness stirs up these painful memories.
  4. In the gospels, many people hear reports about Jesus. Usually, this arouses faith and they bring their sick to Jesus.
  5. In Herod, the reports only stir up curiosity. He wants to see Jesus but not to repent and to believe.

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

  1. O Jesus, do not let my sins lead me into confusion.
  2. Quiet my sinful desires. Take away the darkness of my mind.
  3. I, too, have troubling memories. I come to you for forgiveness.
  4. I know who you are, Jesus. You died for me and you saved me from everlasting death.
  5. You are Lord. You are King.
  6. How I want to see you, to serve you, to love you forever. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. I will uproot the sinful desires that confuse my heart.
  2. I will multiply my desires to see Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Herod was perplexed and curious.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – WEDNESDAY – SENT BY JESUS

(Luke 9:1-6)

Prayer – O Holy Spirit, anoint me with your powers.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus sending forth his 12 apostles)

Context:

This text looks forward to the Church, when the Holy Spirit will send the apostles to the whole world. Jesus’ words reflect what actually happened. The small Church communities sent forth preachers to the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority to overcome all demons and to heal diseases. He sent them forth to proclaim the reign of God and to heal the afflicted. He told them, “Take nothing for your journey, not staff, or traveling bag. Take no food and no money. No one is to have two coats.”

Stay at whatever house you enter and live there. Do not depart from it. Whoever will not receive you, when you leave that city, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.

So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the good news everywhere and curing diseases.

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

  1. Jesus trusted that these apostles would tell the whole world. How important is the preacher of the word!
  2. The apostles only proclaim that the Kingdom is at hand. Even they do not yet understand this Kingdom.
  3. However, they can heal and cast out demons to show the power of this Kingdom.
  4. Because they preach a heavenly Kingdom, they must set aside earthly comforts.
  5. Any village which rejects them receives no blessing. Even the dust will not enter the Kingdom.
  6. The apostles start immediately. They set out. The Kingdom is important and people must hear about it.

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

  1. O Jesus, you entrust this task to me. You believe in me. You depend on me.
  2. Your Kingdom is powerful, healing people and setting them free.
  3. Unleash your powers in our midst.
  4. O Jesus, I will proclaim the Kingdom is at hand.
  5. I will set aside earthly comforts because your Kingdom deserves my whole heart.
  6. I will set out, Jesus. I will not wait. Tomorrow is too late. Your Kingdom is coming.

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

  1. I will try to listen to God. What does he want me to do?
  2. In Jesus’ name, I will pray that people be cured and set free.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He sent them forth to proclaim the Kingdom and to heal.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY FIVE – TUESDAY – A FAMILY VISIT

(Luke 8:19-21)

Prayer: O Holy Spirit, help me to hear and act upon God’s word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus forms a new family. This family is not based upon blood relationships but upon people freely choosing to hear and practice God’s word. To highlight this truth, this text contrasts Jesus’ human family with his new family.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

When his mother and his brothers came to Jesus, they could not reach him because of the crowd. Jesus was told, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, wanting to see you.”

Jesus answered, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act upon it.”

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

  1. Jesus’ human family standing outside represents people who have not yet received the gospel.
  2. They want to see Jesus. This represents the yearning of every human heart.
  3. Those inside do see Jesus. He dwells in their presence and teaches them. They are disciples.
  4. How did they gain this privilege? They heard God’s word and accepted the invitation.
  5. Jesus reveals his gift. All can become members of his new family.

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

  1. O Lord, my religious faith must capture my heart.
  2. O Jesus, I do not want to stand outside the door of your Kingdom.
  3. I want to see you, Jesus. I desire entrance into your presence.
  4. What a treasure to be on the inside and to hear you preach!
  5. I will form my life according to your word.
  6. Then, I will be in your family.

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

  1. I will read the Bible, (especially the gospels) every day.
  2. I will do what the gospel commands me. It is not easy.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My mother and my brothers are those who hear my word and act upon it.

Note: This text does not speak against Mary. She heard and did God’s word perfectly. She told the angel, “Let it be done according to your word.”