WEEK TWENTY SIX – SATURDAY – OCTOBER 7, 2017 THE JOYFUL RETURN (LK 10:17-24)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will serve you and I will rejoice with you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his 72 disciples, all filled with joy.)

Context:

In this scene, Jesus speaks of the great blessings when the disciples
fulfill their mission. Satan falls. The disciples gain eternal life. Seeing all of this, Jesus sings a hymn of praise. The disciples are
more blessed than kings and prophets. This is an astounding list of
rewards for being a disciple.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The seventy two returned in joy, saying “Lord, the devils are subject
to us in your name.” Jesus said, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightening from the heavens. I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and upon all
the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. Yet, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that
your names are written in the book of heaven.”

In that hour, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you
have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and you have
revealed them to the little ones.

Yes, Father, you have graciously willed it so. Everything has been
given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father
and no one knows the Father except the Son – and anyone to whom the Son
wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to his disciples he said, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see and have not
seen them, and to hear what you have heard and not heard them.”

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

  1. The disciples’ joy is true. The devils have been subject to them. Satan has fallen from heaven at their commands.
  2. This dignity is great, but even greater is having their name in the Book of
    Life and living forever in heaven.
  3. Jesus, too, rejoices. These disciples will preach the Kingdom to all the world, even when he is no longer with them.
  4. These disciples experience divine revelation. They are seeing and
    hearing the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  5. The fullness of revelation is to know Jesus and the heavenly Father who sent him. Blessed are their eyes and ears.

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

  1. Jesus, teach me to rejoice. Teach me to see all the blessings of heaven.
  2. Place in my soul a love for my heavenly home. That is my only goal – to live with you forever.
  3. O Jesus, rejoice in me and in my efforts to spread your Kingdom.
  4. To know you, Jesus, and to know the heavenly Father, is your greatest gift to me.
  5. Blest are my eyes to see you. Blest are my ears to hear the
    gospel message. You have blessed me, Jesus.

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

  1. I will rejoice today in the riches of my Catholic faith.
  2. I will think about my heavenly home.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Rejoice, instead, that your names are written in the Book of Heaven.

OCTOBER 1, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – SATURDAY – THE JOYFUL RETURN

(Luke 10:17-24)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will serve you and I will rejoice with you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his 72 disciples, all filled with joy.)

Context:

In this scene, Jesus speaks of the great blessings when the disciples fulfill their mission. Satan falls. The disciples gain eternal life. Seeing all of this, Jesus sings a hymn of praise. The disciples are more blessed than kings and prophets. This is an astounding list of rewards for being a disciple.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The seventy two returned in joy, saying “Lord, the devils are subject to us in your name.” Jesus said, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightening from the heavens. I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and upon all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. Yet, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in the book of heaven.”

In that hour, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and you have revealed them to the little ones.

Yes, Father, you have graciously willed it so. Everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son – and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to his disciples he said, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see and have not seen them, and to hear what you have heard and not heard them.”

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

  1. The disciples’ joy is true. The devils have been subject to them. Satan has fallen from heaven at their commands.
  2. This dignity is great, but even greater is having their name in the Book of Life and living forever in heaven.
  3. Jesus, too, rejoices. These disciples will preach the Kingdom to all the world, even when he is no longer with them.
  4. These disciples experience divine revelation. They are seeing and hearing the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  5. The fullness of revelation is to know Jesus and the heavenly Father who sent him. Blessed are their eyes and ears.

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

  1. Jesus, teach me to rejoice. Teach me to see all the blessings of heaven.
  2. Place in my soul a love for my heavenly home. That is my only goal – to live with you forever.
  3. O Jesus, rejoice in me and in my efforts to spread your Kingdom.
  4. To know you, Jesus, and to know the heavenly Father, is your greatest gift to me.
  5. Blest are my eyes to see you. Blest are my ears to hear the gospel message. You have blessed me, Jesus.

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

  1. I will rejoice today in the riches of my Catholic faith.
  2. I will think about my heavenly home.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Rejoice, instead, that your names are written in the Book of Heaven.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – FRIDAY – THE UNREPENTANT TOWNS

(Luke 10:13-16)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, let me use well this time for repentance given to me by the heavenly Father.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to his disciples and the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus mentions three towns of Galilee – Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. The gospels do not record any ministry of Jesus in the first two towns, but obviously he preached there.   They are compared with Tyre and Sidon, two Gentile towns known for their sinfulness. In Capernaum, Jesus had an extended ministry, filled with great miracles. This city was known for its pride because of its lofty stature.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “Woe to you Chorazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! For if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, they would have done penance long ago in sackcloth and ashes. It will go easier on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

And as for you, Capernaum, are you to be exalted to the heavens? You will be cast down into hell.

He who hears you, hears me. He who rejects you, rejects me. He who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.

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

  1. Jesus pulls no punches. His words are like arrows piercing the heart.
  2. The first two towns did not accept the gospel. They did not repent. They will not share in the Kingdom.
  3. Israelites despise Gentile Tyre and Sidon, but Chorazin and Bethsaida are even less worthy in God’s sight.
  4. Capernaum totally misjudges its spiritual state. It prides itself on witnessing Jesus’ miracles but refuses to accept his message and repent. They are headed to hell.
  5. For all three towns, Jesus is concerned about the Day of Judgment. These people will not be ready.
  6. To reject the missionary is to reject the gospel, the only door into eternal life.

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

  1. Jesus, pierce my heart with your words.
  2. I will accept your gospel and be with you forever.
  3. Lord, you always worry about my Day of Judgment.
  4. To prepare, I must repent and cast aside what is evil.
  5. You will exalt me, Jesus. You will take me into your heart. You will do everything for me.
  6. How important to believe in your gospel and to accept you as Lord!

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

  1. I will not delay. I will go to confession and be freed from my sins.
  2. I will humble myself and ask Jesus to exalt me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He who hears you, hears me.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – THURSDAY – SEVENTY-TWO MORE MISSIONARIES

(Luke 10:1-12)

Prayer – O Lord, send me wherever your word needs to be preached.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing 72 more disciples to go to the villages.)

Context:

Three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of 72. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the 72 are almost identical to those already given to the 12.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.

Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, “Peace be to this house.” If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house.

Heal the sick and say, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying “We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you. But know the Kingdom is at hand.” I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.

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

  1. Jesus organizes. He plans. He wastes no time. These 72 prepare villages for Jesus to follow.
  2. The disciples will face great hostilities – like lambs among wolves.
  3. The task is urgent, with no time for greeting people and passing the time of day.
  4. The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
  5. He must be disciplined; content with whatever food or housing is available.
  6. If he preaches, the village must accept the message. Otherwise, Jesus will not come and they will lose the Kingdom.
  7. How dreadful will be their punishment on the day of the Kingdom.

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

  1. Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
  2. Prepare me, Jesus, for the hostility I will face when I speak of your Kingdom.
  3. O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
  4. O Lord, I will make any sacrifice. Pay any price to bring your word.
  5. The people must listen. They must respond. O Jesus, I will do all I can. Give me your Holy Spirit.

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

  1. I will look for people who need to hear about the Kingdom.
  2. I will seek out the right way to preach to them.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – WEDNESDAY – THREE WOULD BE DISCIPLES

(Luke 9:57-62)

Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Jesus calls and I must not delay.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus with the disciples and the crowd.)

Context:

Journeying to Jerusalem seems glamorous. To set aside these false ideas, Luke places three sayings of Jesus at the very start of the journey. Discipleship is a difficult path, able to be walked only by a total dedication.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, a man cried out, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have dens. The birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead. You go and preach the Kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go home and say farewell to my family.” Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back, is ready for the Kingdom of God.”

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

  1. Jesus is on a journey. He has no time to waste. All three men must decide quickly.
  2. Jesus demands a sacrifice of material comforts that is needed to preach the Kingdom.
  3. “Burying the dead” means waiting years until the person dies. Preaching the Kingdom will not wait. People must hear the news immediately.
  4. A person who plows a field and looks back will do a poor job. The Kingdom requires our total attention.
  5. O child of God, Jesus is calling you and you are finding multiple excuses. Cut the strings. Jesus’ call is the opportunity of your lifetime.
  6. Do not forget. He is on a journey and moving quickly – like the days of your life which slip by so unnoticed.

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

  1. Jesus, please say those words to me, “Come, follow me.”
  2. Place within me the fire of your Kingdom. Consume all my other desires.
  3. O Jesus, I have found a love which is greater than family ties.
  4. Jesus, if I look back, I will hesitate. If I hesitate, I will doubt. If I doubt, I will not follow you. If I do not follow you, I will lose everything.
  5. O Jesus, your Kingdom is at hand and your call is clear. You await my decision.

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

  1. I will not fear the radical demands of Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. I will cherish those words, “Come, follow me.”

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Jesus was journeying to Jerusalem when he called three men to follow him.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – TUESDAY – FIRE UPON SAMARIA

(Luke 9:51-56)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me follow you to Jerusalem.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus walking with his disciples)

Context:

As Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem, he encounters people who reject him. He has to pass through Samaria which was between Galilee (North) and Jerusalem (South). The Samaritans themselves were enemies of the Jews, and would not welcome Jesus. However, after Pentecost, Samaria is very receptive when Philip preaches the gospel. (Acts C8)

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When the days of his being taken from this world were to be accomplished, Jesus steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to prepare his way through a Samaritan town, but the Samaritans would not welcome him because he was on his way to Jerusalem.

When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they asked “Lord, would you not have us call down fire from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned only to reprimand them. Then he set off for another town.

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

  1. Jesus ascends to Jerusalem. From there, he will ascend into heaven. Jerusalem is just a stepping stone.
  2. He is “resolved to proceed”. His face is firmly set. Otherwise, he would turn back from his cruel death.
  3. Samaria loses its opportunity to help Jesus. Like Nazareth, it has rejected the prophet.
  4. John and James react from human feelings, wanting immediate vengeance. Jesus rejects their anger.
  5. Jesus will take another route, blessing some other places. This is how God always acts, giving to others the blessing rejected by some.
  6. Samaria, however, repented at the preaching of Philip. They did not miss out when God gave them a second chance.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will accompany you. I will go with you to Jerusalem. Wait for me. I am coming.
  2. O Lord, the gifts of your death and rising await me in Jerusalem.
  3. O Jesus, you can enter my city anytime. My heart is always open to you.
  4. You are so patient. You do not call down fire. You wait for me to repent.
  5. How I have failed to listen! No more. Send your word and I will take it into my heart.

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

  1. I will be steadfast in my decision to lead a devout life.
  2. I will go to Jerusalem, seeking always God’s will for me today.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

When his days of being taken from this world came, Jesus set out for Jerusalem.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY-SIX – MONDAY – AMBITIOUS AND ARROGANT

(Luke 9:46-50)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, give me a humble and accepting heart.

Imagination: (Imagine Jesus reprimanding his disciples.)

Context:

These two stories reveal two sins of disciples – ambition and exclusivity. Ambition seeks prominence within the community. Exclusivity excludes those outside the community. Jesus quickly corrects both.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The disciple discussed among themselves who was the greater. Jesus, seeing their thoughts, placed a child by himself and said, “Whoever shall receive this child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever is least among you is the greatest.

John said, “Master, we saw a man casting out devils in your name and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company. Jesus told him in reply, “Do not stop him. Whoever is not against you, is on your side.”

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

  1. The apostles have much to learn. They have not yet witnessed Jesus lowering himself and accepting death on the cross.
  2. By placing a helpless child in their midst, Jesus demands service instead of ambition.
  3. The reward for Christian service is great. Receiving the helpless is to receive Jesus and the Kingdom.
  4. John manifests human selfishness. He wants to exclude others and not allow them to use the powers of the Kingdom.
  5. Jesus’ heart is much more open. Everyone is to be accepted unless they line up against you.

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

  1. O Jesus, destroy my ambitious spirit that serves only me.
  2. Give me a new heart, open to all.
  3. Give me your Holy Spirit of service that cares for the helpless.
  4. Where can I find you, Jesus? In all who need my help.
  5. Take down my walls. Remove my prejudices. Give me a heart open to all.
  6. In your name, I will embrace the whole world and invite them into the Christian community.

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

  1. I will not tolerate my own pride.
  2. I will welcome everyone and tear down my walls of exclusivity.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever is least among you is the greatest.

SEPTEMBER 25, 2016 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – SUNDAY (C) – THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

(Luke 16:19-31)

Prayer – O Lord, awaken me by this warning.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context:

Judaism believed that riches showed God’s favor and that poverty showed sinfulness. Jesus reveals the true picture, which shocks his audience. The poor man, Lazarus, enjoys the highest honor of being at Abraham’s side. The rich man is buried in hell.

This sets the stage for this parable of the six brothers. The rich man sees clearly that his five brothers are in danger. However, his brothers are like foolish men with no thought of the impending judgment. They must listen to the Church and its preaching.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A rich man feasts sumptuously every day. At his gates sat Lazarus, a beggar filled with sores. He desired only the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table but no one gave them.

It happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried in hell. He lifted his eyes and saw Abraham afar off with Lazarus at his side.

He cried out, Father Abraham, “Let Lazarus come and refresh me with some water.” Abraham replied, “Remember that you received good things in life and Lazarus received evil things. Now he is comforted and you are tormented. Besides, there is a great abyss between us and no one can pass from one side to another.

The rich man said, “Then send Lazarus back to earth to preach to my five brothers, so they do not come to this place of torment. Abraham said, “Let them listen to Moses and the prophets.” The rich man said, “If someone risen from the dead told them, they would do penance. Abraham said, “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not listen to one risen from the dead.”

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

  1. Lazarus highlights the problem of the rich man and his five brothers.
  2. All too late, the rich man realizes how important repentance is. Without penance, his five brothers will all join him in hell.
  3. The rich man realizes that they won’t use the normal means of Jewish religious teaching.
  4. He pleads for Lazarus to be a risen-from-the-dead preacher, to whom they will certainly listen.
  5. However, Jesus is already risen from the dead and most do not listen even now.
  6. The parable challenges us to respond to the gospel that is being preached to us.

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

  1. O Jesus, while I am here on earth, I am free to choose.
  2. When my life is over, I will have made my choice.
  3. Jesus, right now, I decide to repent, to change and to have you as my Lord.
  4. I do not need an extraordinary preacher. I need only your word.
  5. You are risen. You preach to me. You speak within. You call. You shout.
  6. I must hush all the other voices, so I can hear you.
  7. Someday, Jesus, I will be in heaven or in hell. Guide my free will.

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

  1. I will read God’s word with urgency.
  2. I will believe that God wants to welcome me into his Kingdom.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Lazarus was carried by the angels to the bosom of Abraham.

OCTOBER 3, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – SATURDAY – THE JOYFUL RETURN

(Luke 10:17-24)

Prayer – O Jesus, I will serve you and I will rejoice with you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his 72 disciples, all filled with joy.)

Context:

In this scene, Jesus speaks of the great blessings when the disciples fulfill their mission. Satan falls. The disciples gain eternal life. Seeing all of this, Jesus sings a hymn of praise. The disciples are more blessed than kings and prophets. This is an astounding list of rewards for being a disciple.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The seventy two returned in joy, saying “Lord, the devils are subject to us in your name.” Jesus said, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightening from the heavens. I have given you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and upon all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. Yet, do not rejoice that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in the book of heaven.”

In that hour, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and you have revealed them to the little ones.

Yes, Father, you have graciously willed it so. Everything has been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son – and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to his disciples he said, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see. I say to you that many prophets and kings have desired to see and have not seen them, and to hear what you have heard and not heard them.”

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

  1. The disciples’ joy is true. The devils have been subject to them. Satan has fallen from heaven at their commands.
  2. This dignity is great, but even greater is having their name in the Book of Life and living forever in heaven.
  3. Jesus, too, rejoices. These disciples will preach the Kingdom to all the world, even when he is no longer with them.
  4. These disciples experience divine revelation. They are seeing and hearing the mysteries of the Kingdom.
  5. The fullness of revelation is to know Jesus and the heavenly Father who sent him. Blessed are their eyes and ears.

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

  1. Jesus, teach me to rejoice. Teach me to see all the blessings of heaven.
  2. Place in my soul a love for my heavenly home. That is my only goal – to live with you forever.
  3. O Jesus, rejoice in me and in my efforts to spread your Kingdom.
  4. To know you, Jesus, and to know the heavenly Father, is your greatest gift to me.
  5. Blest are my eyes to see you. Blest are my ears to hear the gospel message. You have blessed me, Jesus.

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

  1. I will rejoice today in the riches of my Catholic faith.
  2. I will think about my heavenly home.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Rejoice, instead, that your names are written in the Book of Heaven.

OCTOBER 2, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – FRIDAY – THE UNREPENTANT TOWNS

(Luke 10:13-16)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, let me use well this time for repentance given to me by the heavenly Father.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus speaking to his disciples and the crowds.)

Context:

Jesus mentions three towns of Galilee – Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. The gospels do not record any ministry of Jesus in the first two towns, but obviously he preached there.   They are compared with Tyre and Sidon, two Gentile towns known for their sinfulness. In Capernaum, Jesus had an extended ministry, filled with great miracles. This city was known for its pride because of its lofty stature.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “Woe to you Chorazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! For if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, they would have done penance long ago in sackcloth and ashes. It will go easier on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.

And as for you, Capernaum, are you to be exalted to the heavens? You will be cast down into hell.

He who hears you, hears me. He who rejects you, rejects me. He who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.

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

  1. Jesus pulls no punches. His words are like arrows piercing the heart.
  2. The first two towns did not accept the gospel. They did not repent. They will not share in the Kingdom.
  3. Israelites despise Gentile Tyre and Sidon, but Chorazin and Bethsaida are even less worthy in God’s sight.
  4. Capernaum totally misjudges its spiritual state. It prides itself on witnessing Jesus’ miracles but refuses to accept his message and repent. They are headed to hell.
  5. For all three towns, Jesus is concerned about the Day of Judgment. These people will not be ready.
  6. To reject the missionary is to reject the gospel, the only door into eternal life.

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

  1. Jesus, pierce my heart with your words.
  2. I will accept your gospel and be with you forever.
  3. Lord, you always worry about my Day of Judgment.
  4. To prepare, I must repent and cast aside what is evil.
  5. You will exalt me, Jesus. You will take me into your heart. You will do everything for me.
  6. How important to believe in your gospel and to accept you as Lord!

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

  1. I will not delay. I will go to confession and be freed from my sins.
  2. I will humble myself and ask Jesus to exalt me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He who hears you, hears me.

OCTOBER 1, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – THURSDAY – SEVENTY-TWO MORE MISSIONARIES

(Luke 10:1-12)

Prayer – O Lord, send me wherever your word needs to be preached.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus preparing 72 more disciples to go to the villages.)

Context:

Three gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), record Jesus sending the Twelve. Only Luke mentions this larger number of 72. Obviously, the early Church communities sent out large numbers of missionaries. The instructions given for the 72 are almost identical to those already given to the 12.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Lord appointed seventy-two and sent them two by two before him where he was to visit. He said, “The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.

Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither walking staff nor traveling bag. Greet no one along the way. Whatever house you enter say, “Peace be to this house.” If there is a peaceable man, your peace will rest upon him. If not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house, eating and drinking what is put before you. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Do not move from house to house.

Heal the sick and say, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” If the city does not receive you, then leave, saying “We shake the dust of this city from our feet as testimony against you. But know the Kingdom is at hand.” I assure you, on that day, the fate of Sodom will not be as severe as for that town.

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

  1. Jesus organizes. He plans. He wastes no time. These 72 prepare villages for Jesus to follow.
  2. The disciples will face great hostilities – like lambs among wolves.
  3. The task is urgent, with no time for greeting people and passing the time of day.
  4. The disciple is a missionary, a preacher with an important message.
  5. He must be disciplined; content with whatever food or housing is available.
  6. If he preaches, the village must accept the message. Otherwise, Jesus will not come and they will lose the Kingdom.
  7. How dreadful will be their punishment on the day of the Kingdom.

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

  1. Jesus, you have a plan for me, a place in your Kingdom and a task to be accomplished.
  2. Prepare me, Jesus, for the hostility I will face when I speak of your Kingdom.
  3. O Jesus, the whole world must hear and I must speak. How urgent is my task.
  4. O Lord, I will make any sacrifice. Pay any price to bring your word.
  5. The people must listen. They must respond. O Jesus, I will do all I can. Give me your Holy Spirit.

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

  1. I will look for people who need to hear about the Kingdom.
  2. I will seek out the right way to preach to them.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Say to them, “The reign of God is at hand.”

SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – WEDNESDAY – THREE WOULD BE DISCIPLES

(Luke 9:57-62)

Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Jesus calls and I must not delay.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus with the disciples and the crowd.)

Context:

Journeying to Jerusalem seems glamorous. To set aside these false ideas, Luke places three sayings of Jesus at the very start of the journey. Discipleship is a difficult path, able to be walked only by a total dedication.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As Jesus journeyed toward Jerusalem, a man cried out, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have dens. The birds of the air have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their dead. You go and preach the Kingdom of God.”

Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go home and say farewell to my family.” Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back, is ready for the Kingdom of God.”

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

  1. Jesus is on a journey. He has no time to waste. All three men must decide quickly.
  2. Jesus demands a sacrifice of material comforts that is needed to preach the Kingdom.
  3. “Burying the dead” means waiting years until the person dies. Preaching the Kingdom will not wait. People must hear the news immediately.
  4. A person who plows a field and looks back will do a poor job. The Kingdom requires our total attention.
  5. O child of God, Jesus is calling you and you are finding multiple excuses. Cut the strings. Jesus’ call is the opportunity of your lifetime.
  6. Do not forget. He is on a journey and moving quickly – like the days of your life which slip by so unnoticed.

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

  1. Jesus, please say those words to me, “Come, follow me.”
  2. Place within me the fire of your Kingdom. Consume all my other desires.
  3. O Jesus, I have found a love which is greater than family ties.
  4. Jesus, if I look back, I will hesitate. If I hesitate, I will doubt. If I doubt, I will not follow you. If I do not follow you, I will lose everything.
  5. O Jesus, your Kingdom is at hand and your call is clear. You await my decision.

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

  1. I will not fear the radical demands of Jesus’ Kingdom.
  2. I will cherish those words, “Come, follow me.”

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Jesus was journeying to Jerusalem when he called three men to follow him.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – TUESDAY – FIRE UPON SAMARIA

(Luke 9:51-56)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me follow you to Jerusalem.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus walking with his disciples)

Context:

As Jesus begins his journey to Jerusalem, he encounters people who reject him. He has to pass through Samaria which was between Galilee (North) and Jerusalem (South). The Samaritans themselves were enemies of the Jews, and would not welcome Jesus. However, after Pentecost, Samaria is very receptive when Philip preaches the gospel. (Acts C8)

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When the days of his being taken from this world were to be accomplished, Jesus steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to prepare his way through a Samaritan town, but the Samaritans would not welcome him because he was on his way to Jerusalem.

When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they asked “Lord, would you not have us call down fire from heaven to destroy them?” Jesus turned only to reprimand them. Then he set off for another town.

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

  1. Jesus ascends to Jerusalem. From there, he will ascend into heaven. Jerusalem is just a stepping stone.
  2. He is “resolved to proceed”. His face is firmly set. Otherwise, he would turn back from his cruel death.
  3. Samaria loses its opportunity to help Jesus. Like Nazareth, it has rejected the prophet.
  4. John and James react from human feelings, wanting immediate vengeance. Jesus rejects their anger.
  5. Jesus will take another route, blessing some other places. This is how God always acts, giving to others the blessing rejected by some.
  6. Samaria, however, repented at the preaching of Philip. They did not miss out when God gave them a second chance.

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

  1. O Jesus, I will accompany you. I will go with you to Jerusalem. Wait for me. I am coming.
  2. O Lord, the gifts of your death and rising await me in Jerusalem.
  3. O Jesus, you can enter my city anytime. My heart is always open to you.
  4. You are so patient. You do not call down fire. You wait for me to repent.
  5. How I have failed to listen! No more. Send your word and I will take it into my heart.

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

  1. I will be steadfast in my decision to lead a devout life.
  2. I will go to Jerusalem, seeking always God’s will for me today.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

When his days of being taken from this world came, Jesus set out for Jerusalem.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – MONDAY – AMBITIOUS AND ARROGANT

(Luke 9:46-50)

Prayer – Lord Jesus, give me a humble and accepting heart.

Imagination: (Imagine Jesus reprimanding his disciples.)

Context:

These two stories reveal two sins of disciples – ambition and exclusivity. Ambition seeks prominence within the community. Exclusivity excludes those outside the community. Jesus quickly corrects both.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The disciple discussed among themselves who was the greater. Jesus, seeing their thoughts, placed a child by himself and said, “Whoever shall receive this child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever is least among you is the greatest.

John said, “Master, we saw a man casting out devils in your name and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company. Jesus told him in reply, “Do not stop him. Whoever is not against you, is on your side.”

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

  1. The apostles have much to learn. They have not yet witnessed Jesus lowering himself and accepting death on the cross.
  2. By placing a helpless child in their midst, Jesus demands service instead of ambition.
  3. The reward for Christian service is great. Receiving the helpless is to receive Jesus and the Kingdom.
  4. John manifests human selfishness. He wants to exclude others and not allow them to use the powers of the Kingdom.
  5. Jesus’ heart is much more open. Everyone is to be accepted unless they line up against you.

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

  1. O Jesus, destroy my ambitious spirit that serves only me.
  2. Give me a new heart, open to all.
  3. Give me your Holy Spirit of service that cares for the helpless.
  4. Where can I find you, Jesus? In all who need my help.
  5. Take down my walls. Remove my prejudices. Give me a heart open to all.
  6. In your name, I will embrace the whole world and invite them into the Christian community.

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

  1. I will not tolerate my own pride.
  2. I will welcome everyone and tear down my walls of exclusivity.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever is least among you is the greatest.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2015 – WEEK TWENTY SIX – SUNDAY (B) – GAINING HEAVEN

(Mark 9:38-43; 47-48)

Prayer – O Jesus, purify my heart and guide my decisions.

Imagination – (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:

This gospel has many little parts. Some teach about relationships within the believing community. Others explain what is needed for personal salvation. Both are important. Jesus mentions the “fire of Gehenna”. This was a rubbish place outside of Jerusalem where there were constant fires.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out devils in your name. Because he is not of our company, we tried to stop him.” Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no man can do a miracle in my name and speak ill of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.

Anyone who gives you a cup of cold water in my name because you belong to Christ, Amen, I tell you, he shall not lose his reward. But it would be better, if anyone leads astray one of these little ones who believe in me, that a millstone be tied around his neck and he be plunged into the sea.

If your hand is a difficulty, cut it off! Better for you to enter life with one hand than to keep both hands and enter into the fire of Gehenna.

If your foot is your undoing, cut it off! Better for you to enter life with one foot than, with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.

If your eye is your downfall, pluck it out! It is better to enter life with one eye than to be thrown with two eyes into Gehenna, where the worm dies not and the fire is never extinguished.

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

  1. Jesus confronts John’s He cannot accept an outsider sharing in Jesus’ powers.
  2. Jesus confronts scandal, when new believers see older members who do not fulfill Jesus’ commands.
  3. Believers must give a “cup of cold water”, that is, the good example of their Christian lives.
  4. Jesus confronts sin within the Church. The goal is heaven and damnation must be avoided at all costs.
  5. This is a true disciple – humble, open to others, setting good example and avoiding sinful activity.

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

  1. O Lord, how holy is your name, containing all power in heaven and earth.
  2. O Jesus, let every tongue proclaim your name for the Father’s glory.
  3. I am your follower. Let my life lead others to follow you.
  4. Help me so I never lead others astray.
  5. O Jesus, your Kingdom is worth any price!
  6. Cut out of my life whatever cuts me off from you.

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

  1. I will use Jesus’ name to release God’s power.
  2. I will remove anything that gives bad example.

Thought for the day (To recall your meditation)

He will not lose his reward.