WEEK TWENTY NINE – SATURDAY – OCTOBER 28, 2017 Feast of Sts. Simon & Jude, Apostles PRAYER, SELECTION AND HEALING (LK 6:12-19)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, if you choose me, I will serve you with all my heart.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples and the crowds.)

Context:
This text has 3 different scenes. First, Jesus is alone in prayer. Second, he is with his disciples. Third, he comes down the mountain and the crowds join him. Each scene has an important teaching.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus went up the mountain to pray, spending the night in communion with God. At day break, he called his disciples and selected twelve of them to be his apostles. Simon, whom he called Peter, and his brother, Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James, the son of Alpheus, and Simon the Zealot, Jude, the brother of James and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
He came down to a level place where there were many disciples. A large crowd of people came to hear him and he healed them of their diseases. Also, those who were troubled by unclean spirits were cured. The whole crowd tried to touch him because power went out from him which cured all.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Jesus was always in communion with his Father, but he climbed the mountain to spend hours in prayer.
2. His prayer helps him to he make a vital decision, choosing twelve disciples to be his inner circle of apostles.
3. At the lower level are more disciples and the crowds. These, too, will be blessed according to their capacity.
4. The crowds have heard the stories. Filled with enthusiasm, they bring their sick.
5. God’s power goes forth from Jesus’ humanity. Just touching him caused great healings.

Affections. (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, teach me to pray. Give me the gift of communing with the Father.
2. Let all my decisions come from prayer.
3. Lord, call me to your side. Make me your special friend.
4. Jesus, speak to my heart. Make me attentive. I want to hear you.
5. I know all your healing stories, Jesus. I come to you in faith.
6. Let me touch you. That is enough. Power will go forth and I will be made new.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will make time for prayer today.
2. I will ask Jesus to give me tasks for his glory.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Power went out from him which healed all.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – FRIDAY – OCTOBER 27, 2017 INTERPRETING THE URGENCY (LK 12:54-59)

Prayer – O Lord, do not let me lose the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context:

This text has two parts. First, people should be able to see that the Kingdom is at hand. Second, the disciple must act now and accept the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say
that rain is coming and so it does. When you see the south wind blow you
say that it will be hot and so it is. You, hypocrites, you know how to
interpret the portents of earth and sky,
why can you not discern this present time?

Tell me, why do you not judge for yourselves what is just. When you go with your opponent to the magistrate, try to settle with him on
the way, lest he turn you over to the judge and the judge give you to the
jailer and the jailer put you in jail. You will not be released until
you have paid the last penny.”

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

  1. Jesus wants the crowds to become his disciples.
  2. However, they see his miracles but hold back their decision. So Jesus uses an example.
  3. Jesus talks about the western clouds and the southern winds. Seeing these, people understand that rain or heat is coming.
  4. So, they are hypocrites. They see Jesus’ miracles but they refuse
    to see that the Kingdom is coming.
  5. Jesus uses a more urgent example. Someone on his way to the courtroom knows he is going to jail. What does he do? He settles immediately, before he arrives.
  6. Jesus is calling the crowds (and you) to a quick and total commitment to be a disciple.

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

  1. Jesus, You want me to be your disciple. I will put this off no longer.
  2. Your Kingdom is at hand. I will no longer stand outside.
  3. I see your love for me. I see your hand in my life. How can I not choose you as King?
  4. How urgent this is, Jesus. Not much time is left. I must get this settled.
  5. If I act quickly, I will avoid eternal death. I will be saved from the prison of hell.

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

  1. I will not postpone the decision I need to make.
  2. I will not just be a member of the crowd. I will join Jesus as his disciple.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.)

Why can you not discern the present time?

WEEK TWENTY NINE – THURSDAY – OCTOBER 26, 2017 ENKINDLING A FIRE (LK 12:49-53)

Prayer – O Jesus, light your fire in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:

This text contains two separate sayings of Jesus. The first shows
his greatest desire – to cast the fire of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. The second speaks about the problems which will arise when people embrace
Jesus’ Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth.
How I wish the blaze was ignited! I have a baptism by which I must be baptized. What anguish I feel until it is over.

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to this earth? The contrary is true.
I have come for division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three.
The father will be divided against his son and the son against his father. The daughter against the mother and the mother against the daughter.
Mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

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

  1. Jesus suddenly stops his teaching and speaks very personally of his deepest desires.
  2. He can no longer hold back his great anguish.
  3. He wants to cast a purifying fire upon the whole earth, making the disciples ready for the Kingdom.
  4. He will pay a heavy price for this gift. His baptism will be a bath of suffering.
  5. He admits to his great anguish before it is accomplished.
  6. He sees the sufferings of his disciples, which they cannot avoid.
  7. They cannot have peace at any price. The disciples will encounter family opposition.
  8. The opposition arises from their closest relatives who will not accept Jesus.

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

  1. O Jesus, what a deep love you have for me.
  2. Send your fire. Purify me. Refine me. Prepare me for your Kingdom.
  3. What a price you paid! You were in anguish about your death on the cross.
  4. You even worry about my suffering.
  5. Should I not be eager for your Kingdom? Am I not your disciple?
  6. Let nothing hold me back from you, Jesus. What is the cost of being your disciple? I will pay it.

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

  1. Ask Jesus to place a divine fire in your heart.
  2. What obstacles hold you back from a total commitment?

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I have come to cast fire on the earth.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – WEDNESDAY – OCTOBER 25, 2017 THE TWO SERVANTS (LK 12:41 – 48)

Prayer – O Jesus, make me your faithful servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching Peter and the others.)

Context:

This parable deals with handling responsibility, with being a good servant,
whether in the Church or in daily life. The owner is extremely
fair and generous but he demands high standards.
Jesus describes two kinds of servants, faithful and unfaithful.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Peter said, “Lord, does this teaching refer to us or to all?”
The Lord said, “Whom do you think is the faithful and far sighted
servant whom the Lord sets over his household to dispense their ration
of grain in due time? Blessed is that servant whom, when the Lord comes,
he shall find busy. He will put him in charge of all his property.

However, if that servant says in his heart, ‘My Lord is delayed in coming’
and he begins to beat the housemen and the servant girls, to eat and to
drink and get drunk, will not the Lord come on a day which he does not
expect and at an unknown hour. He will punish him severely and count
him among the untrustworthy.

When much has been given to a man, much will be expected. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted.”

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

  1. Throughout the parable, the Lord of the house is more than fair. He balances both the reward and the punishment.
  2. Jesus wants the disciples’ hearts. They must care for his Church.
  3. He will bless them beyond their wildest imagination, putting them in charge of everything.
  4. Sometimes, the servant believes the delay is too long. He can enjoy selfish behavior.
  5. The owner suddenly returns. The actions are revealed. The servant is banished.
  6. Those servants who have received much will be held to a higher standard. More will be asked of them and their reward will be greater.

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

  1. O Jesus, how fair you are. More than fair, you are merciful and generous.
  2. Entrust me with your tasks. Where do you want me to serve?
  3. Who else will reward me as you do? Who else can fulfill all my desires? Who else can give me eternal life?
  4. Do not let me take advantage of your patience. Even if you delay, I will watch.
  5. O Lord, how surprisingly you will return. I will be ready, a faithful servant.
  6. Jesus, you expect much. I will give you everything.

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

  1. I will examine my talents. Which ones am I not using for the Lord?
  2. I will think of the joy of being with Jesus in the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed is that servant whom the Lord finds busy when he comes.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – TUESDAY – OCTOBER 24, 2017 THE WIDE AWAKE SERVANTS (LK 12:35-38)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will be your vigilant servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus describes the perfect disciples. The robe gathered in by a belt shows a man at work. The burning lamps show that the servants are awake. The Master even proceeds to wait on them,
(a reversal of roles which happens in the Kingdom). Jesus spells out his expectations. The disciples must be ready even if he comes at midnight or before sunrise.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Let your belts be fastened around your waists
and your lamps be burning ready. You are like men who are
waiting for their Lord to return from the wedding s
o that when he comes and knocks, you can open immediately.

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord finds watching when he comes. Amen I say to you, he will put on an apron and make them sit down
at table while he proceeds to wait on them.

Whether he comes at midnight or before sunrise should he find them ready,
it will go well with them.

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

  1. Jesus tells this parable to his disciples. This is what he expects
    of those dedicated to the Kingdom.
  2. They work hard, with their robes fastened by a belt. At the same time, they are ready to welcome him with their burning lamps.
  3. They toil on earth but they always have their hearts in heaven, a difficult assignment.
  4. There must be no delay, no fumbling for the lamp when the Master comes.
    This demands a total, single-hearted commitment to the Master.
  5. The reward is great. The master himself prepares the best of meals.
  6. The commitment is open ended. There are no office hours. Even if it is midnight or before sunrise, the disciples will be ready.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have high expectancies of me. I will live up to them.
  2. Teach me to live in two worlds, doing my work on earth but always keeping my heart for heaven.
  3. I will always be ready, devoted and single-minded. Only your Kingdom is important.
  4. What a great eternal reward! I will sit with you in the heavenly banquet. This is your firm promise.
  5. My commitment has no limit. I do not watch the clock. I watch for you. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. Where do I fall short of Jesus’ expectations.
  2. I will rejoice today because I am called to the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those servants whom the Master finds watching when he comes.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – MONDAY – OCTOBER 23, 2017 THE RICH FOOL (LK 12:16-20)

Prayer – O Lord, do not allow my material possessions to ruin my faith.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

A person asked Jesus to gain him his rightful inheritance.
Jesus refuses to accept this task. Jesus wants people to avoid greed.
Owning property is irrelevant in the new Age. This parable explains
why Jesus sees earthly wealth as unimportant.

Because of his gigantic harvest, the farmer need not fear if future years bring bad crops. His security makes him into a fool (in the biblical sense). He does not need God and does not realize God’s impending judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy but his possessions do not guarantee him life.”
He told them a parable:

“A rich man had land which produced a gigantic harvest. He thought within himself,
“What shall I do? I have no room for this harvest. This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and all my goods. I will say to myself, I have enough grain for many years to come.
I will eat, drink and make merry.”

But God said to him, “You fool. This night your soul is required of you. Who will inherit all that you have stored up?”

Thus it will be for one who stores up treasures for himself but is
not rich in what matters to God.

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

  1. Greed tries to guarantee an abundant future.
  2. Jesus’ future goal is heavenly life, not earthly abundance.
  3. The great harvest gets the farmer thinking.
  4. His riches make him into a “biblical fool”, blinding him to spiritual realities.
  5. The barns filled with grain make him forgot God’s coming judgment.
  6. His vision is false. His soul will be judged this very night.
  7. Jesus warns that nothing can put off the judgment.

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

  1. Jesus, help me to avoid greed.
  2. I entrust my future into your hands.
  3. Your judgments are inevitable, Jesus. Nothing can postpone them.
  4. Give me a repentant heart. In this way, I am prepared.
  5. Remove all my foolish reasoning. Destroy all my illusions.
  6. Come close to me, O Lord. You alone are my security.
  7. Soon, so very soon, the whole cosmos will fold up. History will be over. In that moment, I will be with you.

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

  1. I will live today as if I will come before God this night.
  2. I will honestly face my own “foolishness”, my pushing God to the background.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You fool! Tonight your soul is required of you.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – SUNDAY – A – OCTOBER 22, 2017 RENDER TO GOD WHAT IS GOD’S (MT 22:15-21)

Prayer –O Lord, let me give you everything.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus confronted by the Pharisees.)

Context:

Israel had two political groups. One sought total allegiance to Rome. The other sought independence, even by war if necessary. The Pharisees want to force Jesus to take one political position or another. By using the coin, Jesus evades the question and provides a
solid principle in these questions. Some things belong to Caesar and some to God.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Pharisees talked among themselves about how to ensnare Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, ‘Master,
we know that you are truthful and teach God’s way sincerely. You seek no one’s favor and do not act out of human respect.
Therefore, tell us what you think. Is it lawful to pay tribute to Caesar or not. Jesus, knowing their wickedness said, “Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin used for the tax.”

When they handed him a small Roman coin, he asked them, “Whose inscription is this?”
“Caesar’s”, they replied. He said, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s
and to God what belongs to God.”

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

  1. The Pharisees have hardened hearts. They are not open to Jesus’ word.
  2. They begin with flattery, covering over their inner wickedness.
  3. What they say is correct. Jesus is truthful, a man from God, and he does not seek human favor.
  4. Jesus reads their hearts. They are hypocrites, pretending to be his friend but wanting to trick him.
  5. Their deadly question is meant to destroy Jesus’ popularity. However, his wisdom is greater.
  6. What could be more obvious. Caesar and God have rights. Give to each what belongs to them.

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

  1. Jesus, give me a heart open to your words of everlasting life.
  2. Reveal my inner wickedness. Strip me of all pretense. Let me stand in your truth.
  3. O Jesus, you have come from God and you have returned to God. You are the only way.
  4. Jesus, how great is your wisdom. Share your light with me.
  5. O Jesus, I render everything to you. I surrender all my rights to you.
  6. Whom else should I trust? You are the Holy One of God.

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

  1. I will see Jesus as the One sent by the Father.
  2. I will give Jesus everything.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Render to God what belongs to God.

OCTOBER 22, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – SATURDAY – THE FIG TREE

(Luke 13:6-9)

Prayer – O Lord Jesus, let me use my time to repent and receive the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although the judgment is inevitable, God marvelously extends the time for repentance. This is the gift of the Fig Tree Parable. In Palestine, the first three years of a fig tree’s growth were allowed to elapse without the owner seeking fruit. In the parable, another three years has passed, a total of six years.

The fig tree absorbs large amounts of nourishment, thus depriving surrounding vines of their needed sustenance. Fertilizing a fig tree is highly unusual. This tree, therefore, will receive special, unmerited care.

The owner’s patience is past its limits, yet his mercy grants a stay of execution. When this extra year is over, no human power can prolong the time of salvation.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A man planted a fig tree in his vineyard and came to gather its fruit. He said to the gardener, “For three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and have found none. So, cut it down. Why should it continue to exhaust the soil?”

The gardener answered him, “Lord, let it alone for one year more. I will dig around it and put manure on it. Hopefully, it will bear fruit. If not, then you can cut it down.”

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

  1. The vineyard represents all of creation. The fig tree is each person.
  2. Three years represents a fullness of time, certainly enough for the fig tree to blossom.
  3. The owner’s expectations are reasonable. A fig tree should produce figs. His decision is just. He has sought fruit for three years.
  4. Even so, the tree will be given more time. It will even receive the special care of fertilizer to nourish it.
  5. However, the farmer’s mercy cannot totally excuse the fig tree.       It must respond to all these helps and produce life.

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

  1. O God, you have given me so much, for such a long time.
  2. You ask only that I produce virtues according to my state in life.
  3. Jesus, how patient you have been with me. Year after year you came looking for virtues.
  4. You even use your choicest graces, surrounding me with every possible help.
  5. Jesus, I will delay no longer. I will choose a devout life and bring forth virtues.
  6. When you come next year, I will have fruit for you.

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

  1. I will look at my whole life and see all that God has provided.
  2. I will no longer delay. I will no longer put off my decision. I know what God is calling me to do.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Lord, give it another year. If it bears no fruit, then cut it down.”

OCTOBER 21, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – FRIDAY – INTERPRETING THE URGENCY

(Luke 12:54-59)

Prayer – O Lord, do not let me lose the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context:

This text has two parts. First, people should be able to see that the Kingdom is at hand. Second, the disciple must act now and accept the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say that rain is coming and so it does. When you see the south wind blow you say that it will be hot and so it is. You, hypocrites, you know how to interpret the portents of earth and sky, why can you not discern this present time?

Tell me, why do you not judge for yourselves what is just. When you go with your opponent to the magistrate, try to settle with him on the way, lest he turn you over to the judge and the judge give you to the jailer and the jailer put you in jail. You will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

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

  1. Jesus wants the crowds to become his disciples.
  2. However, they see his miracles but hold back their decision. So Jesus uses an example.
  3. Jesus talks about the western clouds and the southern winds.       Seeing these, people understand that rain or heat is coming.
  4. So, they are hypocrites. They see Jesus’ miracles but they refuse to see that the Kingdom is coming.
  5. Jesus uses a more urgent example. Someone on his way to the courtroom knows he is going to jail.       What does he do? He settles immediately, before he arrives.
  6. Jesus is calling the crowds (and you) to a quick and total commitment to be a disciple.

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

  1. Jesus, You want me to be your disciple. I will put this off no longer.
  2. Your Kingdom is at hand. I will no longer stand outside.
  3. I see your love for me. I see your hand in my life. How can I not choose you as King?
  4. How urgent this is, Jesus. Not much time is left. I must get this settled.
  5. If I act quickly, I will avoid eternal death. I will be saved from the prison of hell.

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

  1. I will not postpone the decision I need to make.
  2. I will not just be a member of the crowd. I will join Jesus as his disciple.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.)

Why can you not discern the present time?

OCTOBER 20, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – THURSDAY – ENKINDLING A FIRE

(Luke 12:49-53)

Prayer – O Jesus, light your fire in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:

This text contains two separate sayings of Jesus. The first shows his greatest desire – to cast the fire of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. The second speaks about the problems which will arise when people embrace Jesus’ Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth. How I wish the blaze was ignited! I have a baptism by which I must be baptized. What anguish I feel until it is over.

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to this earth? The contrary is true. I have come for division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. The father will be divided against his son and the son against his father. The daughter against the mother and the mother against the daughter. Mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

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

  1. Jesus suddenly stops his teaching and speaks very personally of his deepest desires.
  2. He can no longer hold back his great anguish.
  3. He wants to cast a purifying fire upon the whole earth, making the disciples ready for the Kingdom.
  4. He will pay a heavy price for this gift. His baptism will be a bath of suffering.
  5. He admits to his great anguish before it is accomplished.
  6. He sees the sufferings of his disciples, which they cannot avoid.
  7. They cannot have peace at any price. The disciples will encounter family opposition.
  8. The opposition arises from their closest relatives who will not accept Jesus.

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

  1. O Jesus, what a deep love you have for me.
  2. Send your fire. Purify me. Refine me. Prepare me for your Kingdom.
  3. What a price you paid! You were in anguish about your death on the cross.
  4. You even worry about my suffering.
  5. Should I not be eager for your Kingdom? Am I not your disciple?
  6. Let nothing hold me back from you, Jesus. What is the cost of being your disciple? I will pay it.

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

  1. Ask Jesus to place a divine fire in your heart.
  2. What obstacles hold you back from a total commitment?

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I have come to cast fire on the earth.

OCTOBER 19, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – WEDNESDAY – THE TWO SERVANTS

(Luke 12:41 – 48)

Prayer – O Jesus, make me your faithful servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching Peter and the others.)

Context:

This parable deals with handling responsibility, with being a good servant, whether in the Church or in daily life. The owner is extremely fair and generous but he demands high standards. Jesus describes two kinds of servants, faithful and unfaithful.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Peter said, “Lord, does this teaching refer to us or to all?” The Lord said, “Whom do you think is the faithful and far sighted servant whom the Lord sets over his household to dispense their ration of grain in due time? Blessed is that servant whom, when the Lord comes, he shall find busy. He will put him in charge of all his property.

However, if that servant says in his heart, ‘My Lord is delayed in coming’ and he begins to beat the housemen and the servant girls, to eat and to drink and get drunk, will not the Lord come on a day which he does not expect and at an unknown hour. He will punish him severely and count him among the untrustworthy.

When much has been given to a man, much will be expected. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted.”

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

  1. Throughout the parable, the Lord of the house is more than fair.       He balances both the reward and the punishment.
  2. Jesus wants the disciples’ hearts. They must care for his Church.
  3. He will bless them beyond their wildest imagination, putting them in charge of everything.
  4. Sometimes, the servant believes the delay is too long. He can enjoy selfish behavior.
  5. The owner suddenly returns. The actions are revealed. The servant is banished.
  6. Those servants who have received much will be held to a higher standard. More will be asked of them and their reward will be greater.

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

  1. O Jesus, how fair you are. More than fair, you are merciful and generous.
  2. Entrust me with your tasks. Where do you want me to serve?
  3. Who else will reward me as you do? Who else can fulfill all my desires? Who else can give me eternal life?
  4. Do not let me take advantage of your patience. Even if you delay, I will watch.
  5. O Lord, how surprisingly you will return. I will be ready, a faithful servant.
  6. Jesus, you expect much. I will give you everything.

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

  1. I will examine my talents. Which ones am I not using for the Lord?
  2. I will think of the joy of being with Jesus in the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed is that servant whom the Lord finds busy when he comes.

OCTOBER 18, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – TUESDAY – THE WIDE AWAKE SERVANTS

(Luke 12:35-38)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will be your vigilant servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus describes the perfect disciples. The robe gathered in by a belt shows a man at work. The burning lamps show that the servants are awake. The Master even proceeds to wait on them, (a reversal of roles which happens in the Kingdom). Jesus spells out his expectations. The disciples must be ready even if he comes at midnight or before sunrise.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Let your belts be fastened around your waists and your lamps be burning ready. You are like men who are waiting for their Lord to return from the wedding so that when he comes and knocks, you can open immediately.

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord finds watching when he comes. Amen I say to you, he will put on an apron and make them sit down at table while he proceeds to wait on them.

Whether he comes at midnight or before sunrise should he find them ready, it will go well with them.

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

  1. Jesus tells this parable to his disciples. This is what he expects of those dedicated to the Kingdom.
  2. They work hard, with their robes fastened by a belt. At the same time, they are ready to welcome him with their burning lamps.
  3. They toil on earth but they always have their hearts in heaven, a difficult assignment.
  4. There must be no delay, no fumbling for the lamp when the Master comes. This demands a total, single-hearted commitment to the Master.
  5. The reward is great. The master himself prepares the best of meals.
  6. The commitment is open ended. There are no office hours. Even if it is midnight or before sunrise, the disciples will be ready.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have high expectancies of me. I will live up to them.
  2. Teach me to live in two worlds, doing my work on earth but always keeping my heart for heaven.
  3. I will always be ready, devoted and single-minded. Only your Kingdom is important.
  4. What a great eternal reward! I will sit with you in the heavenly banquet. This is your firm promise.
  5. My commitment has no limit. I do not watch the clock. I watch for you. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. Where do I fall short of Jesus’ expectations.
  2. I will rejoice today because I am called to the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those servants whom the Master finds watching when he comes.

WEEK TWENTY NINE – MONDAY October 17, 2016 THE RICH FOOL (LK 12:16-20)

Prayer – O Lord, do not allow my material possessions to ruin my faith.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:
A person asked Jesus to gain him his rightful inheritance. Jesus refuses to accept this task. Jesus wants people to avoid greed. Owning property is irrelevant in the new Age. This parable explains why Jesus sees earthly wealth as unimportant.
Because of his gigantic harvest, the farmer need not fear if future years bring bad crops. His security makes him into a fool (in the biblical sense). He does not need God and does not realize God’s impending judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” He told them a parable:
“A rich man had land which produced a gigantic harvest. He thought within himself, “What shall I do? I have no room for this harvest. This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and all my goods. I will say to myself, I have enough grain for many years to come. I will eat, drink and make merry.”
But God said to him, “You fool. This night your soul is required of you. Who will inherit all that you have stored up?”
Thus it will be for one who stores up treasures for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Greed tries to guarantee an abundant future.
2. Jesus’ future goal is heavenly life, not earthly abundance.
3. The great harvest gets the farmer thinking.
4. His riches make him into a “biblical fool”, blinding him to spiritual realities.
5. The barns filled with grain make him forgot God’s coming judgment.
6. His vision is false. His soul will be judged this very night.
7. Jesus warns that nothing can put off the judgment.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, help me to avoid greed.
2. I entrust my future into your hands.
3. Your judgments are inevitable, Jesus. Nothing can postpone them.
4. Give me a repentant heart. In this way, I am prepared.
5. Remove all my foolish reasoning. Destroy all my illusions.
6. Come close to me, O Lord. You alone are my security.
7. Soon, so very soon, the whole cosmos will fold up. History will be over. In that moment, I will be with you.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
1. I will live today as if I will come before God this night.
2. I will honestly face my own “foolishness”, my pushing God to the background.

OCTOBER 16, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-NINE – MONDAY – THE RICH FOOL

(Luke 12:16-20)

Prayer – O Lord, do not allow my material possessions to ruin my faith.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

A person asked Jesus to gain him his rightful inheritance. Jesus refuses to accept this task.   Jesus wants people to avoid greed. Owning property is irrelevant in the new Age. This parable explains why Jesus sees earthly wealth as unimportant.

Because of his gigantic harvest, the farmer need not fear if future years bring bad crops. His security makes him into a fool (in the biblical sense). He does not need God and does not realize God’s impending judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” He told them a parable:

“A rich man had land which produced a gigantic harvest. He thought within himself, “What shall I do? I have no room for this harvest. This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and all my goods. I will say to myself, I have enough grain for many years to come. I will eat, drink and make merry.”

But God said to him, “You fool. This night your soul is required of you. Who will inherit all that you have stored up?”

Thus it will be for one who stores up treasures for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.

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

  1. Greed tries to guarantee an abundant future.
  2. Jesus’ future goal is heavenly life, not earthly abundance.
  3. The great harvest gets the farmer thinking.
  4. His riches make him into a “biblical fool”, blinding him to spiritual realities.
  5. The barns filled with grain make him forgot God’s coming judgment.
  6. His vision is false. His soul will be judged this very night.
  7. Jesus warns that nothing can put off the judgment.

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

  1. Jesus, help me to avoid greed.
  2. I entrust my future into your hands.
  3. Your judgments are inevitable, Jesus. Nothing can postpone them.
  4. Give me a repentant heart. In this way, I am prepared.
  5. Remove all my foolish reasoning. Destroy all my illusions.
  6. Come close to me, O Lord. You alone are my security.
  7. Soon, so very soon, the whole cosmos will fold up. History will be over. In that moment, I will be with you.

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

  1. I will live today as if I will come before God this night.
  2. I will honestly face my own “foolishness”, my pushing God to the background.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You fool! Tonight your soul is required of you.

OCTOBER 24, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – SATURDAY – THE FIG TREE

(Luke 13:6-9)

Prayer – O Lord Jesus, let me use my time to repent and receive the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.)

Context:

Although the judgment is inevitable, God marvelously extends the time for repentance. This is the gift of the Fig Tree Parable. In Palestine, the first three years of a fig tree’s growth were allowed to elapse without the owner seeking fruit. In the parable, another three years has passed, a total of six years.

The fig tree absorbs large amounts of nourishment, thus depriving surrounding vines of their needed sustenance. Fertilizing a fig tree is highly unusual. This tree, therefore, will receive special, unmerited care.

The owner’s patience is past its limits, yet his mercy grants a stay of execution. When this extra year is over, no human power can prolong the time of salvation.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

A man planted a fig tree in his vineyard and came to gather its fruit. He said to the gardener, “For three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and have found none. So, cut it down. Why should it continue to exhaust the soil?”

The gardener answered him, “Lord, let it alone for one year more. I will dig around it and put manure on it. Hopefully, it will bear fruit. If not, then you can cut it down.”

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

  1. The vineyard represents all of creation. The fig tree is each person.
  2. Three years represents a fullness of time, certainly enough for the fig tree to blossom.
  3. The owner’s expectations are reasonable. A fig tree should produce figs. His decision is just. He has sought fruit for three years.
  4. Even so, the tree will be given more time. It will even receive the special care of fertilizer to nourish it.
  5. However, the farmer’s mercy cannot totally excuse the fig tree.       It must respond to all these helps and produce life.

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

  1. O God, you have given me so much, for such a long time.
  2. You ask only that I produce virtues according to my state in life.
  3. Jesus, how patient you have been with me. Year after year you came looking for virtues.
  4. You even use your choicest graces, surrounding me with every possible help.
  5. Jesus, I will delay no longer. I will choose a devout life and bring forth virtues.
  6. When you come next year, I will have fruit for you.

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

  1. I will look at my whole life and see all that God has provided.
  2. I will no longer delay. I will no longer put off my decision. I know what God is calling me to do.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Lord, give it another year. If it bears no fruit, then cut it down.”

OCTOBER 23, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – FRIDAY – INTERPRETING THE URGENCY

(Luke 12:54-59)

Prayer – O Lord, do not let me lose the Kingdom.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context:

This text has two parts. First, people should be able to see that the Kingdom is at hand. Second, the disciple must act now and accept the Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say that rain is coming and so it does. When you see the south wind blow you say that it will be hot and so it is. You, hypocrites, you know how to interpret the portents of earth and sky, why can you not discern this present time?

Tell me, why do you not judge for yourselves what is just. When you go with your opponent to the magistrate, try to settle with him on the way, lest he turn you over to the judge and the judge give you to the jailer and the jailer put you in jail. You will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

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

  1. Jesus wants the crowds to become his disciples.
  2. However, they see his miracles but hold back their decision. So Jesus uses an example.
  3. Jesus talks about the western clouds and the southern winds.       Seeing these, people understand that rain or heat is coming.
  4. So, they are hypocrites. They see Jesus’ miracles but they refuse to see that the Kingdom is coming.
  5. Jesus uses a more urgent example. Someone on his way to the courtroom knows he is going to jail.       What does he do? He settles immediately, before he arrives.
  6. Jesus is calling the crowds (and you) to a quick and total commitment to be a disciple.

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

  1. Jesus, You want me to be your disciple. I will put this off no longer.
  2. Your Kingdom is at hand. I will no longer stand outside.
  3. I see your love for me. I see your hand in my life. How can I not choose you as King?
  4. How urgent this is, Jesus. Not much time is left. I must get this settled.
  5. If I act quickly, I will avoid eternal death. I will be saved from the prison of hell.

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

  1. I will not postpone the decision I need to make.
  2. I will not just be a member of the crowd. I will join Jesus as his disciple.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation.)

Why can you not discern the present time?

OCTOBER 22, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – THURSDAY – ENKINDLING A FIRE

(Luke 12:49-53)

Prayer – O Jesus, light your fire in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:

This text contains two separate sayings of Jesus. The first shows his greatest desire – to cast the fire of the Holy Spirit upon all believers. The second speaks about the problems which will arise when people embrace Jesus’ Kingdom.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have come to cast fire upon the earth. How I wish the blaze was ignited! I have a baptism by which I must be baptized. What anguish I feel until it is over.

Do you think that I have come to bring peace to this earth? The contrary is true. I have come for division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. The father will be divided against his son and the son against his father. The daughter against the mother and the mother against the daughter. Mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

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

  1. Jesus suddenly stops his teaching and speaks very personally of his deepest desires.
  2. He can no longer hold back his great anguish.
  3. He wants to cast a purifying fire upon the whole earth, making the disciples ready for the Kingdom.
  4. He will pay a heavy price for this gift. His baptism will be a bath of suffering.
  5. He admits to his great anguish before it is accomplished.
  6. He sees the sufferings of his disciples, which they cannot avoid.
  7. They cannot have peace at any price. The disciples will encounter family opposition.
  8. The opposition arises from their closest relatives who will not accept Jesus.

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

  1. O Jesus, what a deep love you have for me.
  2. Send your fire. Purify me. Refine me. Prepare me for your Kingdom.
  3. What a price you paid! You were in anguish about your death on the cross.
  4. You even worry about my suffering.
  5. Should I not be eager for your Kingdom? Am I not your disciple?
  6. Let nothing hold me back from you, Jesus. What is the cost of being your disciple? I will pay it.

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

  1. Ask Jesus to place a divine fire in your heart.
  2. What obstacles hold you back from a total commitment?

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

I have come to cast fire on the earth.

OCTOBER 21, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – WEDNESDAY – THE TWO SERVANTS

(Luke 12:41 – 48)

Prayer – O Jesus, make me your faithful servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching Peter and the others.)

Context:

This parable deals with handling responsibility, with being a good servant, whether in the Church or in daily life. The owner is extremely fair and generous but he demands high standards. Jesus describes two kinds of servants, faithful and unfaithful.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Peter said, “Lord, does this teaching refer to us or to all?” The Lord said, “Whom do you think is the faithful and far sighted servant whom the Lord sets over his household to dispense their ration of grain in due time? Blessed is that servant whom, when the Lord comes, he shall find busy. He will put him in charge of all his property.

However, if that servant says in his heart, ‘My Lord is delayed in coming’ and he begins to beat the housemen and the servant girls, to eat and to drink and get drunk, will not the Lord come on a day which he does not expect and at an unknown hour. He will punish him severely and count him among the untrustworthy.

When much has been given to a man, much will be expected. More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted.”

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

  1. Throughout the parable, the Lord of the house is more than fair.       He balances both the reward and the punishment.
  2. Jesus wants the disciples’ hearts. They must care for his Church.
  3. He will bless them beyond their wildest imagination, putting them in charge of everything.
  4. Sometimes, the servant believes the delay is too long. He can enjoy selfish behavior.
  5. The owner suddenly returns. The actions are revealed. The servant is banished.
  6. Those servants who have received much will be held to a higher standard. More will be asked of them and their reward will be greater.

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

  1. O Jesus, how fair you are. More than fair, you are merciful and generous.
  2. Entrust me with your tasks. Where do you want me to serve?
  3. Who else will reward me as you do? Who else can fulfill all my desires? Who else can give me eternal life?
  4. Do not let me take advantage of your patience. Even if you delay, I will watch.
  5. O Lord, how surprisingly you will return. I will be ready, a faithful servant.
  6. Jesus, you expect much. I will give you everything.

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

  1. I will examine my talents. Which ones am I not using for the Lord?
  2. I will think of the joy of being with Jesus in the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed is that servant whom the Lord finds busy when he comes.

OCTOBER 20, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – TUESDAY – THE WIDE AWAKE SERVANTS

(Luke 12:35-38)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will be your vigilant servant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples.)

Context:

Jesus describes the perfect disciples. The robe gathered in by a belt shows a man at work. The burning lamps show that the servants are awake. The Master even proceeds to wait on them, (a reversal of roles which happens in the Kingdom). Jesus spells out his expectations. The disciples must be ready even if he comes at midnight or before sunrise.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Let your belts be fastened around your waists and your lamps be burning ready. You are like men who are waiting for their Lord to return from the wedding so that when he comes and knocks, you can open immediately.

Blessed are those servants whom the Lord finds watching when he comes. Amen I say to you, he will put on an apron and make them sit down at table while he proceeds to wait on them.

Whether he comes at midnight or before sunrise should he find them ready, it will go well with them.

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

  1. Jesus tells this parable to his disciples. This is what he expects of those dedicated to the Kingdom.
  2. They work hard, with their robes fastened by a belt. At the same time, they are ready to welcome him with their burning lamps.
  3. They toil on earth but they always have their hearts in heaven, a difficult assignment.
  4. There must be no delay, no fumbling for the lamp when the Master comes. This demands a total, single-hearted commitment to the Master.
  5. The reward is great. The master himself prepares the best of meals.
  6. The commitment is open ended. There are no office hours. Even if it is midnight or before sunrise, the disciples will be ready.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have high expectancies of me. I will live up to them.
  2. Teach me to live in two worlds, doing my work on earth but always keeping my heart for heaven.
  3. I will always be ready, devoted and single-minded. Only your Kingdom is important.
  4. What a great eternal reward! I will sit with you in the heavenly banquet. This is your firm promise.
  5. My commitment has no limit. I do not watch the clock. I watch for you. Come, Lord Jesus.

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

  1. Where do I fall short of Jesus’ expectations.
  2. I will rejoice today because I am called to the heavenly banquet.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those servants whom the Master finds watching when he comes.

OCTOBER 19, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY NINE – MONDAY – THE RICH FOOL

(Luke 12:16-20)

Prayer – O Lord, do not allow my material possessions to ruin my faith.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

A person asked Jesus to gain him his rightful inheritance. Jesus refuses to accept this task.   Jesus wants people to avoid greed. Owning property is irrelevant in the new Age. This parable explains why Jesus sees earthly wealth as unimportant.

Because of his gigantic harvest, the farmer need not fear if future years bring bad crops. His security makes him into a fool (in the biblical sense). He does not need God and does not realize God’s impending judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the crowd, “Avoid greed in all its forms. A man may be wealthy but his possessions do not guarantee him life.” He told them a parable:

“A rich man had land which produced a gigantic harvest. He thought within himself, “What shall I do? I have no room for this harvest. This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones. I will store all my grain and all my goods. I will say to myself, I have enough grain for many years to come. I will eat, drink and make merry.”

But God said to him, “You fool. This night your soul is required of you. Who will inherit all that you have stored up?”

Thus it will be for one who stores up treasures for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.

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

  1. Greed tries to guarantee an abundant future.
  2. Jesus’ future goal is heavenly life, not earthly abundance.
  3. The great harvest gets the farmer thinking.
  4. His riches make him into a “biblical fool”, blinding him to spiritual realities.
  5. The barns filled with grain make him forgot God’s coming judgment.
  6. His vision is false. His soul will be judged this very night.
  7. Jesus warns that nothing can put off the judgment.

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

  1. Jesus, help me to avoid greed.
  2. I entrust my future into your hands.
  3. Your judgments are inevitable, Jesus. Nothing can postpone them.
  4. Give me a repentant heart. In this way, I am prepared.
  5. Remove all my foolish reasoning. Destroy all my illusions.
  6. Come close to me, O Lord. You alone are my security.
  7. Soon, so very soon, the whole cosmos will fold up. History will be over. In that moment, I will be with you.

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

  1. I will live today as if I will come before God this night.
  2. I will honestly face my own “foolishness”, my pushing God to the background.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

You fool! Tonight your soul is required of you.