WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – SATURDAY – OCTOBER 14, 2017 THE GREATER BLESSING (LK 11:27-28)

Prayer – O Lord, help me to hear your word and keep it.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds when a woman shouts out).

Context

This spontaneous cry of a woman praises motherhood. Jesus uses this to reveal true holiness, which comes when the mature disciple
hears and keeps God’s word.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was saying these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifted up her voice
and said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that gave you birth and blessed are
the breasts which nourished you.” Jesus said, “Rather, blessed are they who
hear the word of God and keep it.”
Thoughts. (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The woman was totally touched by Jesus’ preaching and caught up in admiration.
  2. She voices her affections, praising Jesus by praising his mother, who gave birth.
  3. Jesus points the woman’s gaze away from the physical relationship of mother to son.
  4. He turns her eyes to a relationship that the whole world can have (and which
    Mary possesses more than any other).
  5. Everyone on earth can hear God’s word and act upon it.
  6. God’s word forms their life and shapes their decisions.

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

  1. O Jesus, let my heart be caught up in awe and wonder at your deeds.
  2. Let me express my feeling for you by affections of the heart.
  3. Let words of praise flow from my lips.
  4. O Jesus, you invite me to know you. How blessed I am!
  5. O Mary, you perfectly heard God’s word and kept it.
  6. O Jesus, I will accept your word, take it into my heart and live according to its light.

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

  1. Today, I will have praises for Jesus always on my lips.
  2. I will read Jesus’ words each day in the gospels.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – FRIDAY – OCTOBER 13, 2017 CASTING OUT DEVILS BY GOD’S FINGER (LK 11:15-26)

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Teach me the overwhelming kindness of God.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Because the family went to bed early and would sleep in the same room,
this request for bread disturbs the whole family. They are in the middle
of their sleep and with the door bolted. Yet, the spirit of hospitality
would overcome all that. Any refusal would be impossible and unthinkable.

The parable contains the words, “Can you even imagine…”. In other words, it is totally unthinkable that the man would not get
up for his friend in need. The bread would be returned in the early morning.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “You have a friend and you go to him at midnight and say to him,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine has come from a long journey
and I have nothing to give him.’” Could you even imagine your friend saying,
“Do not trouble me! The door is shut. My children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up and give you any bread.”

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

  1. No one is to blame for this situation. The unexpected arrival was totally unforeseen.
  2. In his need, the man knew to turn to his friend.
  3. The parable is filled with hospitality. The petitioner has to be thoughtful of his newly arrived guest and the man in bed must
    respond to his friend’s plight.
  4. Both men assume their responsibilities. The one must beg. The other must get up and provide.
  5. Both men are clear examples of God who always responds with the greatest thoughtfulness.

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

  1. How close you are to me, O God! You have forged your bonds of friendship.
  2. Lord, teach me to turn to you. You are the first one I should think of.
  3. Jesus, I can never provide for all my needs. So much of life is unexpected.
  4. I have no security, except in you. You are my rock.
  5. Jesus, nothing is too much trouble for you. To refuse me would violate your eternal hospitality.
  6. How I rejoice at your unthinkable kindness!

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

  1. I will think often of God’s inconceivable kindness.
  2. I will not hesitate to turn to God in great faith.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Can you even imagine the man refusing to open the door?

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – THURSDAY – OCTOBER 12, 2017 SEEKING HELP FROM A FRIEND (LK 11:5-8)

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Teach me the overwhelming kindness of God.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Because the family went to bed early and would sleep in the same room,
this request for bread disturbs the whole family. They are in the
middle of their sleep and with the door bolted. Yet, the spirit of
hospitality would overcome all that. Any refusal would be impossible and unthinkable.

The parable contains the words, “Can you even imagine…”. In other words, it is totally unthinkable that the man would not get up
for his friend in need. The bread would be returned in the early morning.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “You have a friend and you go to him at midnight and say to him,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine has come from a long
journey and I have nothing to give him.’” Could you even
imagine your friend saying, “Do not trouble me! The door is shut.
My children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up and give you any bread.”

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

  1. No one is to blame for this situation. The unexpected arrival was totally unforeseen.
  2. In his need, the man knew to turn to his friend.
  3. The parable is filled with hospitality. The petitioner has to be thoughtful of his newly arrived guest and the man in
    bed must respond to his friend’s plight.
  4. Both men assume their responsibilities. The one must beg. The other must get up and provide.
  5. Both men are clear examples of God who always responds with the greatest thoughtfulness.

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

  1. How close you are to me, O God! You have forged your bonds of friendship.
  2. Lord, teach me to turn to you. You are the first one I should think of.
  3. Jesus, I can never provide for all my needs. So much of life is unexpected.
  4. I have no security, except in you. You are my rock.
  5. Jesus, nothing is too much trouble for you. To refuse me would violate your eternal hospitality.
  6. How I rejoice at your unthinkable kindness!

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

  1. I will think often of God’s inconceivable kindness.
  2. I will not hesitate to turn to God in great faith.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Can you even imagine the man refusing to open the door?

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – WEDNESDAY – OCTOBER 11, 2017 TEACH US TO PRAY (LK 11:1-4)

Prayer – O Lord, engrave these petitions in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to pray)

Context:

Understanding the Our Father will surprise you. It is a heavenly prayer which opens our eyes to Jesus’ Second Coming
and prepares us for the end of the world. Luke’s version is somewhat
shorter than what is usually said. (Matthew’s version).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

While Jesus was praying in a certain place, a disciple asked him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said to them,
“When you pray say:

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive us our sins because we also forgive all who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation”

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

  1. Jesus made us God’s children in Baptism. Now, we can call God “Father”.
  2. Now God’s holiness is manifested in Jesus’ name. So every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.
  3. “Your Kingdom come” refers to the final day, the completion of history. Being prepared for that day must be our goal.
  4. “Daily bread” has two meanings, the earthly bread we need each day
    and Holy Communion, the bread that prepares us for Jesus’ Second Coming.
  5. Luke’s prayer claims that the community always forgives others. What an important ideal!
  6. The temptation always means the final trial, when Satan will try to
    snatch our heavenly crown from us at the last minute.

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

  1. O Father, I am forever and ever your child. Let your name be always on my lips.
  2. O Jesus, in your name I glorify the Father.
  3. Come, Lord Jesus! That is the Bible’s final prayer.
  4. Provide my daily bread, O Lord.
  5. Make me hunger for the Eucharist.
  6. Jesus, guard me in the final testing.
  7. O Mary, be with me in my final hours.

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

  1. I will repeat these five petitions during the day.
  2. I will cherish my Baptism, which made me a child of God.

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

Lord, teach us to pray.

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – TUESDAY – OCTOBER 10, 2017 MARY & MARTHA (LK. 10:38-42)

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

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

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

  1. Martha is filled with good will. She invites Jesus to her home and prepares the meal.
  2. Jesus accepts both Martha’s activity and Mary’s personal attention.
  3. Martha causes the problem. She cannot see the value of her sister just sitting with Jesus.
  4. At this point, Jesus is forced to defend Mary’s choice.
  5. Mary’s attention to Jesus is the disciple’s first obligation. Martha’s activity is his second.

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

  1. Jesus, come into my life. Come into my home. My door is wide open.
  2. Be the center of all my attention.
  3. Speak, Lord. I will listen.
  4. Lord, absorb my faculties by your overwhelming presence.
  5. You will make me a disciple and I will act to serve you.
  6. O Jesus, I will embrace my tasks in the Kingdom.

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

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

Thought for today: (To recall your meditation)

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

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – MONDAY – OCTOBER 9, 2017 THE GOOD SAMARITAN (LK 10:25-37)

Prayer – Give me a loving heart, O Lord, like your own.

Imagination (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context
The lawyer’s question was common in Judaism, ‘How far must
my charity extend? Who is within that circle?”

Jesus’ parable uses the usual set of three persons. Logically, after the priest and Levite, the third person should be a
Jewish layperson. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver – a Samaritan, an enemy of Israel. He is the model disciple because
love must embrace the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied,
“What is written in the law?”

He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But, he, wishing to justify himself asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among
robbers who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead.

A certain priest going the same way, saw him and passed by. Also,
a Levite came near, saw him and passed by. However, a Samaritan on his journey came near, saw him and was moved with compassion.

Approaching, he bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine,
put him on his beast, brought him to the inn and took care of him. The next day he gave the host two pence and said,
“Take care of him and I will repay you on my return”.

Which of these, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man?” He replied,
“The one who showed mercy”. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise’.

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

  1. The lawyer wanted a theoretical answer for his intellect.
  2. Instead, Jesus tells a story which pierces the heart. In the parable,
    the actions of the priest and Levite are unacceptable.
  3. The parable describes a disciple’s love – total, personal and with no reservations.
  4. His love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
  5. The example is highly vivid because the Samaritans received no love from the Israelites.
  6. This love is very practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

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

  1. O Lord, flood my heart with love and I will accept this river.
  2. Limitless – that is your love for me and it should be my love for you.
  3. All-embracing, that should be my willingness to serve the needy.
  4. O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
  5. O Jesus, let me “go and do likewise”. Action, not theory makes me your disciple.

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

  1. I will open my eyes and see how limited is my present love.
  2. I will see Christ in all those who have needs.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Take care of him and I will repay you.”

WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – SUNDAY – A – OCTOBER 8, 2017 TAKING AWAY THEIR VINEYARD (MT 21:33-43)

Prayer – O Lord, you have given me everything. Make me a faithful tenant.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples and his opponents.)

Context:

Jesus spoke this parable in Jerusalem when the chief priests
and elders questioned his authority. The examples fitted the situation. The tenants are the Jewish religious leaders. The vineyard is Israel. The servants who are rejected are the Old Testament prophets.
The Son, of course, is Jesus. By rejecting the son (killing him on the cross),
the religious leaders will lose their authority.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “There was a man who planted a vineyard, put a hedge, dug a
vat and erected a tower. He rented it to tenants and went on a journey. When the harvest came he sent his servants to the tenants to receive his share. The tenants beat one, killed another and stoned another. He sent more
servants and they did the same. Finally, he sent his son, thinking,
“They will respect my son.”

Seeing the son, the tenants said, “This is the heir. Let us kill him and
we shall own the vineyard.” So they killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. What will the Lord of the vineyard do, when he comes?”

They answered, “He will bring those evil men to an evil end and will give
the vineyard to those who will give him grapes at vintage time.”

Jesus said, “For this reason I say that the Kingdom of God will be taken
away from you and will be given to a people who will yield a rich harvest.

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

  1. Notice the zeal and care of the owner for his vineyard. He plants a vineyard and builds a hedge, a vat and a tower.
  2. The owner’s only desire was for his share of the grapes.
  3. The owner is patient, even when the tenants kill his servants.
  4. He gives them another chance, deciding to even risk his Son to restore the right relationship.
  5. The tenants want the whole vineyard and are willing to kill the son to get it.
  6. Instead of gaining the vineyard, they are cast out. The vineyard is taken away and given to others.

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

  1. O Jesus, you have done everything for me. You created me. You came to earth for me. You died for me.
  2. O Lord, you have a right to my praise, to my life, to everything. It is yours.
  3. O Lord, when you send your messengers, let me accept them. When you speak in my heart, let me listen.
  4. How patient you are, O Lord, waiting, always waiting until I turn to you.
  5. Father, you sent your only Son to me, even at the cost of his life.
  6. I give you everything. All that is yours is mine. You have done everything for me.

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

  1. I will give God every Sunday. The day belongs to him.
  2. I will listen to the Church and to God’s voice within me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Finally, he sent his son, thinking, “Surely, they will respect my son.”

OCTOBER 8, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN – SATURDAY – THE GREATER BLESSING

(Luke 11:27-28) 

Prayer – O Lord, help me to hear your word and keep it.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds when a woman shouts out).

Context

This spontaneous cry of a woman praises motherhood. Jesus uses this to reveal true holiness, which comes when the mature disciple hears and keeps God’s word.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was saying these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifted up her voice and said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that gave you birth and blessed are the breasts which nourished you.” Jesus said, “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

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

  1. The woman was totally touched by Jesus’ preaching and caught up in admiration.
  2. She voices her affections, praising Jesus by praising his mother, who gave birth.
  3. Jesus points the woman’s gaze away from the physical relationship of mother to son.
  4. He turns her eyes to a relationship that the whole world can have (and which Mary possesses more than any other).
  5. Everyone on earth can hear God’s word and act upon it.
  6. God’s word forms their life and shapes their decisions.

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

  1. O Jesus, let my heart be caught up in awe and wonder at your deeds.
  2. Let me express my feeling for you by affections of the heart.
  3. Let words of praise flow from my lips.
  4. O Jesus, you invite me to know you. How blessed I am!
  5. O Mary, you perfectly heard God’s word and kept it.
  6. O Jesus, I will accept your word, take it into my heart and live according to its light.

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

  1. Today, I will have praises for Jesus always on my lips.
  2. I will read Jesus’ words each day in the gospels.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

WEEK TWENTY SIX – SATURDAY – OCTOBER 7, 2017 Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary THE JOYFUL RETURN (LK 10:17-24)

(Luke 11:15-26)

Prayer – O Jesus, you always use your great power to bless us.

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

Context:

All agree that Jesus worked these miracles and cast out Satan. In this gospel, some question the source of his power. Their reasoning is contradictory. Jesus wants only to save the world from Satan’s power. In the final section, Jesus is the stronger man who sets us free.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was casting out a devil, some said, ‘It is by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others tested Jesus by wanting a sign from heaven.

Jesus said, “Every Kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to destruction. Any house torn by dissension shall fall. If Satan is divided against himself how shall his Kingdom stand – since you say that I cast out devils by Beelzebub. By whom do your children cast them out? Let them be your judges. But, if I cast out devils by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man fully armed guards his courtyard, his possessions go undisturbed. But if a stronger man then he comes upon him and overcomes him, he will take away the arms on which he was relying and distribute his spoils.

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

  1. People use many excuses to reject Jesus. They question the source of his powers.
  2. Jesus confronts this claim. To think that Satan casts out Satan is ridiculous. Satan is too intelligent to divide his house.
  3. What a powerful image! God only needs his finger to conquer Satan.
  4. If Satan is being cast out, then the entire Kingdom of God is present.
  5. Jesus describes the present situation. Satan is heavily armed and keeps secure possession of the whole world.
  6. Soon, however, all that will change. A stronger man, better armed (Jesus) will soon overthrow Satan and will set us free from his power.

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

  1. O Jesus, your powers are true, able to save me and free me.
  2. O Jesus, cast out all that is dark and satanic in me.
  3. Let the finger of God come upon me and my house will be in order.
  4. I see clearly, Jesus. Satan binds all, controls all and plots all. How I need you!
  5. You have all power. You are fully armed with the Holy Spirit. You break open and set free. Come, Jesus. I await you.

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

  1. Every day, I will ask Jesus to break the demonic powers that can bind me.
  2. I will avoid and renounce all occult involvement.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If I cast out devils by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God is upon you.

OCTOBER 6, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN – THURSDAY – SEEKING HELP FROM A FRIEND

(Luke 11:5-8)

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Teach me the overwhelming kindness of God.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Because the family went to bed early and would sleep in the same room, this request for bread disturbs the whole family. They are in the middle of their sleep and with the door bolted. Yet, the spirit of hospitality would overcome all that. Any refusal would be impossible and unthinkable.

The parable contains the words, “Can you even imagine…”. In other words, it is totally unthinkable that the man would not get up for his friend in need. The bread would be returned in the early morning.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “You have a friend and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine has come from a long journey and I have nothing to give him.’” Could you even imagine your friend saying, “Do not trouble me! The door is shut. My children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up and give you any bread.”

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

  1. No one is to blame for this situation. The unexpected arrival was totally unforeseen.
  2. In his need, the man knew to turn to his friend.
  3. The parable is filled with hospitality. The petitioner has to be thoughtful of his newly arrived guest and the man in bed must respond to his friend’s plight.
  4. Both men assume their responsibilities. The one must beg. The other must get up and provide.
  5. Both men are clear examples of God who always responds with the greatest thoughtfulness.

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

  1. How close you are to me, O God! You have forged your bonds of friendship.
  2. Lord, teach me to turn to you. You are the first one I should think of.
  3. Jesus, I can never provide for all my needs. So much of life is unexpected.
  4. I have no security, except in you. You are my rock.
  5. Jesus, nothing is too much trouble for you. To refuse me would violate your eternal hospitality.
  6. How I rejoice at your unthinkable kindness!

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

  1. I will think often of God’s inconceivable kindness.
  2. I will not hesitate to turn to God in great faith.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Can you even imagine the man refusing to open the door?

OCTOBER 5, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN – WEDNESDAY – TEACH US TO PRAY

(Luke 11:1-4)

Prayer – O Lord, engrave these petitions in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to pray)

Context:

Understanding the Our Father will surprise you. It is a heavenly prayer which opens our eyes to Jesus’ Second Coming and prepares us for the end of the world. Luke’s version is somewhat shorter than what is usually said. (Matthew’s version).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

While Jesus was praying in a certain place, a disciple asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said to them, “When you pray say:

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive us our sins because we also forgive all who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation”

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

  1. Jesus made us God’s children in Baptism. Now, we can call God “Father”.
  2. Now God’s holiness is manifested in Jesus’ name. So every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.
  3. “Your Kingdom come” refers to the final day, the completion of history. Being prepared for that day must be our goal.
  4. “Daily bread” has two meanings, the earthly bread we need each day and Holy Communion, the bread that prepares us for Jesus’ Second Coming.
  5. Luke’s prayer claims that the community always forgives others. What an important ideal!
  6. The temptation always means the final trial, when Satan will try to snatch our heavenly crown from us at the last minute.

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

  1. O Father, I am forever and ever your child. Let your name be always on my lips.
  2. O Jesus, in your name I glorify the Father.
  3. Come, Lord Jesus! That is the Bible’s final prayer.
  4. Provide my daily bread, O Lord.
  5. Make me hunger for the Eucharist.
  6. Jesus, guard me in the final testing.
  7. O Mary, be with me in my final hours.

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

  1. I will repeat these five petitions during the day.
  2. I will cherish my Baptism, which made me a child of God.

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

OCTOBER 4, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – TUESDAY – MARY & MARTHA

(Luke 10:38-42)

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

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

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

  1. Martha is filled with good will. She invites Jesus to her home and prepares the meal.
  2. Jesus accepts both Martha’s activity and Mary’s personal attention.
  3. Martha causes the problem. She cannot see the value of her sister just sitting with Jesus.
  4. At this point, Jesus is forced to defend Mary’s choice.
  5. Mary’s attention to Jesus is the disciple’s first obligation. Martha’s activity is his second.

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

  1. Jesus, come into my life. Come into my home. My door is wide open.
  2. Be the center of all my attention.
  3. Speak, Lord. I will listen.
  4. Lord, absorb my faculties by your overwhelming presence.
  5. You will make me a disciple and I will act to serve you.
  6. O Jesus, I will embrace my tasks in the Kingdom.

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

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

Thought for today: (To recall your meditation)

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

OCTOBER 3, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SEVEN – MONDAY – THE GOOD SAMARITAN

(Luke 10:25-37)

Prayer – Give me a loving heart, O Lord, like your own.

Imagination (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context
            The lawyer’s question was common in Judaism, ‘How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?”

Jesus’ parable uses the usual set of three persons. Logically, after the priest and Levite, the third person should be a Jewish layperson. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver – a Samaritan, an enemy of Israel. He is the model disciple because love must embrace the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law?”

He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But, he, wishing to justify himself asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among robbers who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead.

A certain priest going the same way, saw him and passed by. Also, a Levite came near, saw him and passed by. However, a Samaritan on his journey came near, saw him and was moved with compassion.

Approaching, he bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine, put him on his beast, brought him to the inn and took care of him.        The next day he gave the host two pence and said, “Take care of him and I will repay you on my return”.

Which of these, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man?” He replied, “The one who showed mercy”. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise’.

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

  1. The lawyer wanted a theoretical answer for his intellect.
  2. Instead, Jesus tells a story which pierces the heart. In the parable, the actions of the priest and Levite are unacceptable.
  3. The parable describes a disciple’s love – total, personal and with no reservations.
  4. His love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
  5. The example is highly vivid because the Samaritans received no love from the Israelites.
  6. This love is very practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

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

  1. O Lord, flood my heart with love and I will accept this river.
  2. Limitless – that is your love for me and it should be my love for you.
  3. All-embracing, that should be my willingness to serve the needy.
  4. O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
  5. O Jesus, let me “go and do likewise”. Action, not theory makes me your disciple.

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

  1. I will open my eyes and see how limited is my present love.
  2. I will see Christ in all those who have needs.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Take care of him and I will repay you.”

OCTOBER 2, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – SUNDAY (C) – THE HUMBLE SERVANT

(Luke 17:7-10)

Prayer – O Lord, let me serve you faithfully with a humble heart.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Jesus sees deeply into his disciples’ heart. He demands that they serve faithfully without any self-righteous feelings.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

If a man has a servant who ploughs the field and feeds the cattle, will he say to him when he comes in from the field, “Sit down immediately for your supper?” Will the owner not say, “Prepare my supper first. Serve me, and I will eat and drink. Afterwards, you can eat and drink.”

Does he thank the servant for doing what he is commanded? Not at all. So, when you do all these things that are commanded, just say “We are unprofitable servants. We just do that which has to be done.”

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

  1. The owner is not rich. He has just one servant who works both in the fields and in the house.
  2. This servant is totally faithful. He does all his work in both places.
  3. The servant has two responsibilities. Exteriorly, he must complete all his tasks. Interiorly, he must humble himself and think that he is “unprofitable.”
  4. The servant has no faults. He must see his work as “doing what is commanded.”
  5. No room for pride, even in a faithful servant.

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

  1. Help me, O Lord, to be your servant, faithful in the world and in my life of prayer.
  2. Let me rejoice! To serve you is my greatest privilege.
  3. When all is done, let me honestly say that my greatest efforts were very inadequate.
  4. You are everything, O Jesus. You are the beginning and the end. Serving you is more a favor than a task.
  5. My work is earthly. Your reward is heavenly. My labors will end. Your favors are forever.

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

  1. This day, I will be faithful to all of God’s interests.
  2. At the end of the day, I will rightly call myself “an unprofitable servant.”

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The servant, although totally faithful, did “only what was needed to be done.”

OCTOBER 10, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – SATURDAY – THE GREATER BLESSING

(Luke 11:27-28)

Prayer – O Lord, help me to hear your word and keep it.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds when a woman shouts out).

 Context

This spontaneous cry of a woman praises motherhood. Jesus uses this to reveal true holiness, which comes when the mature disciple hears and keeps God’s word.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was saying these things, a certain woman from the crowd lifted up her voice and said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb that gave you birth and blessed are the breasts which nourished you.” Jesus said, “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”
Thoughts.
(Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The woman was totally touched by Jesus’ preaching and caught up in admiration.
  2. She voices her affections, praising Jesus by praising his mother, who gave birth.
  3. Jesus points the woman’s gaze away from the physical relationship of mother to son.
  4. He turns her eyes to a relationship that the whole world can have (and which Mary possesses more than any other).
  5. Everyone on earth can hear God’s word and act upon it.
  6. God’s word forms their life and shapes their decisions.

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

  1. O Jesus, let my heart be caught up in awe and wonder at your deeds.
  2. Let me express my feeling for you by affections of the heart.
  3. Let words of praise flow from my lips.
  4. O Jesus, you invite me to know you. How blessed I am!
  5. O Mary, you perfectly heard God’s word and kept it.
  6. O Jesus, I will accept your word, take it into my heart and live according to its light.

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

  1. Today, I will have praises for Jesus always on my lips.
  2. I will read Jesus’ words each day in the gospels.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

OCTOBER 9, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – FRIDAY – CASTING OUT DEVILS BY GOD’S FINGER

(Luke 11:15-26) 

Prayer – O Jesus, you always use your great power to bless us.

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

Context:

All agree that Jesus worked these miracles and cast out Satan. In this gospel, some question the source of his power. Their reasoning is contradictory. Jesus wants only to save the world from Satan’s power. In the final section, Jesus is the stronger man who sets us free.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus was casting out a devil, some said, ‘It is by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils.’ Others tested Jesus by wanting a sign from heaven.

Jesus said, “Every Kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to destruction. Any house torn by dissension shall fall. If Satan is divided against himself how shall his Kingdom stand – since you say that I cast out devils by Beelzebub. By whom do your children cast them out? Let them be your judges. But, if I cast out devils by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

When a strong man fully armed guards his courtyard, his possessions go undisturbed. But if a stronger man then he comes upon him and overcomes him, he will take away the arms on which he was relying and distribute his spoils.

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

  1. People use many excuses to reject Jesus. They question the source of his powers.
  2. Jesus confronts this claim. To think that Satan casts out Satan is ridiculous. Satan is too intelligent to divide his house.
  3. What a powerful image! God only needs his finger to conquer Satan.
  4. If Satan is being cast out, then the entire Kingdom of God is present.
  5. Jesus describes the present situation. Satan is heavily armed and keeps secure possession of the whole world.
  6. Soon, however, all that will change. A stronger man, better armed (Jesus) will soon overthrow Satan and will set us free from his power.

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

  1. O Jesus, your powers are true, able to save me and free me.
  2. O Jesus, cast out all that is dark and satanic in me.
  3. Let the finger of God come upon me and my house will be in order.
  4. I see clearly, Jesus. Satan binds all, controls all and plots all. How I need you!
  5. You have all power. You are fully armed with the Holy Spirit. You break open and set free. Come, Jesus. I await you.

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

  1. Every day, I will ask Jesus to break the demonic powers that can bind me.
  2. I will avoid and renounce all occult involvement.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If I cast out devils by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God is upon you.

OCTOBER 8, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – THURSDAY – SEEKING HELP FROM A FRIEND

(Luke 11:5-8)

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Teach me the overwhelming kindness of God.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:

Because the family went to bed early and would sleep in the same room, this request for bread disturbs the whole family. They are in the middle of their sleep and with the door bolted. Yet, the spirit of hospitality would overcome all that. Any refusal would be impossible and unthinkable.

The parable contains the words, “Can you even imagine…”. In other words, it is totally unthinkable that the man would not get up for his friend in need. The bread would be returned in the early morning.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “You have a friend and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves. A friend of mine has come from a long journey and I have nothing to give him.’” Could you even imagine your friend saying, “Do not trouble me! The door is shut. My children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up and give you any bread.”

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

  1. No one is to blame for this situation. The unexpected arrival was totally unforeseen.
  2. In his need, the man knew to turn to his friend.
  3. The parable is filled with hospitality. The petitioner has to be thoughtful of his newly arrived guest and the man in bed must respond to his friend’s plight.
  4. Both men assume their responsibilities. The one must beg. The other must get up and provide.
  5. Both men are clear examples of God who always responds with the greatest thoughtfulness.

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

  1. How close you are to me, O God! You have forged your bonds of friendship.
  2. Lord, teach me to turn to you. You are the first one I should think of.
  3. Jesus, I can never provide for all my needs. So much of life is unexpected.
  4. I have no security, except in you. You are my rock.
  5. Jesus, nothing is too much trouble for you. To refuse me would violate your eternal hospitality.
  6. How I rejoice at your unthinkable kindness!

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

  1. I will think often of God’s inconceivable kindness.
  2. I will not hesitate to turn to God in great faith.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Can you even imagine the man refusing to open the door?

OCTOBER 7, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – WEDNESDAY – TEACH US TO PRAY

(Luke 11:1-4)

Prayer – O Lord, engrave these petitions in my heart.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples to pray)

Context:

Understanding the Our Father will surprise you. It is a heavenly prayer which opens our eyes to Jesus’ Second Coming and prepares us for the end of the world. Luke’s version is somewhat shorter than what is usually said. (Matthew’s version).

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

While Jesus was praying in a certain place, a disciple asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Jesus said to them, “When you pray say:

Father, hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come

Give us this day our daily bread

Forgive us our sins because we also forgive all who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation”

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

  1. Jesus made us God’s children in Baptism. Now, we can call God “Father”.
  2. Now God’s holiness is manifested in Jesus’ name. So every tongue must confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father.
  3. “Your Kingdom come” refers to the final day, the completion of history. Being prepared for that day must be our goal.
  4. “Daily bread” has two meanings, the earthly bread we need each day and Holy Communion, the bread that prepares us for Jesus’ Second Coming.
  5. Luke’s prayer claims that the community always forgives others. What an important ideal!
  6. The temptation always means the final trial, when Satan will try to snatch our heavenly crown from us at the last minute.

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

  1. O Father, I am forever and ever your child. Let your name be always on my lips.
  2. O Jesus, in your name I glorify the Father.
  3. Come, Lord Jesus! That is the Bible’s final prayer.
  4. Provide my daily bread, O Lord.
  5. Make me hunger for the Eucharist.
  6. Jesus, guard me in the final testing.
  7. O Mary, be with me in my final hours.

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

  1. I will repeat these five petitions during the day.
  2. I will cherish my Baptism, which made me a child of God.

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

Lord, teach us to pray.

OCTOBER 6, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – TUESDAY – MARY & MARTHA

(Luke 10:38-42)

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

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

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

  1. Martha is filled with good will. She invites Jesus to her home and prepares the meal.
  2. Jesus accepts both Martha’s activity and Mary’s personal attention.
  3. Martha causes the problem. She cannot see the value of her sister just sitting with Jesus.
  4. At this point, Jesus is forced to defend Mary’s choice.
  5. Mary’s attention to Jesus is the disciple’s first obligation. Martha’s activity is his second.

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

  1. Jesus, come into my life. Come into my home. My door is wide open.
  2. Be the center of all my attention.
  3. Speak, Lord. I will listen.
  4. Lord, absorb my faculties by your overwhelming presence.
  5. You will make me a disciple and I will act to serve you.
  6. O Jesus, I will embrace my tasks in the Kingdom.

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

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

Thought for today: (To recall your meditation)

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

OCTOBER 5, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SEVEN – MONDAY – THE GOOD SAMARITAN

(Luke 10:25-37)

Prayer – Give me a loving heart, O Lord, like your own.

Imagination (Picture Jesus with His disciples)

Context

The lawyer’s question was common in Judaism, ‘How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?”

Jesus’ parable uses the usual set of three persons. Logically, after the priest and Levite, the third person should be a Jewish layperson. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver – a Samaritan, an enemy of Israel. He is the model disciple because love must embrace the whole world.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A lawyer asked Jesus, “What must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the law?”

He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you shall live.” But, he, wishing to justify himself asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered, “A man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho fell among robbers who stripped him, wounded him and left him half dead.

A certain priest going the same way, saw him and passed by. Also, a Levite came near, saw him and passed by. However, a Samaritan on his journey came near, saw him and was moved with compassion.

Approaching, he bound up his wounds, poured on oil and wine, put him on his beast, brought him to the inn and took care of him.        The next day he gave the host two pence and said, “Take care of him and I will repay you on my return”.

Which of these, in your opinion, was neighbor to the man?” He replied, “The one who showed mercy”. Jesus said, “Go and do likewise’.

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

  1. The lawyer wanted a theoretical answer for his intellect.
  2. Instead, Jesus tells a story which pierces the heart. In the parable, the actions of the priest and Levite are unacceptable.
  3. The parable describes a disciple’s love – total, personal and with no reservations.
  4. His love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
  5. The example is highly vivid because the Samaritans received no love from the Israelites.
  6. This love is very practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise.”

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

  1. O Lord, flood my heart with love and I will accept this river.
  2. Limitless – that is your love for me and it should be my love for you.
  3. All-embracing, that should be my willingness to serve the needy.
  4. O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
  5. O Jesus, let me “go and do likewise”. Action, not theory makes me your disciple.

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

  1. I will open my eyes and see how limited is my present love.
  2. I will see Christ in all those who have needs.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

“Take care of him and I will repay you.”