WEEK TWENTY FOUR – WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 THE CHILDREN IN THE MARKETPLACE (LK 7:31-35)

Prayer: – O Jesus, prepare me for the moment when you come to me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples)

Context:
Besides proclaiming salvation, the parables warn us of judgment and call us to repentance. This parable has the cutting edge of urgency.
This parable shows hostility toward Jesus. Because the children cannot agree, their quarrels end their playtime. The cause is laziness. Some children expect others to do the strenuous part of dancing while they just sit around playing instruments.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplace, complaining against other children. “We have piped you a tune and you have not danced. We have sung a sorrowful song and you have not mourned.”
John came fasting and you said, “He has a devil.” The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, “Behold, a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Wisdom is vindicated by her children.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. God sends his messengers, using various personalities to appeal to everyone.
2. The people are lazy and do not respond. Instead, they criticize both John and Jesus.
3. Opportunities to accept the Kingdom are lost, and time runs out.
4. The decisive moment arrives, but no one is prepared.
5. Jesus is God’s final messenger. The Father has sent his only Son.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. How many opportunities will you give me, O Lord?
2. Speak now and give me a listening heart.
3. Jesus, the time is short. Let me respond right now.
4. I will repent, change my life and walk a new path.
5. Do not let me ruin my life.
6. Send your messengers. I will listen

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I believe God will send his messengers today. I will respond.
2. I will seek the fruits of repentance.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Children complaining in the marketplace about God’s anointed messengers.

WEEK TWENTY FOUR – TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 17,2019 THE GRIEVING WIDOW (LK 7:11-17)

Prayer: – Lord, in your compassion, give me life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus standing with the widow by the funeral)

Context:
Luke regularly stresses Jesus’ compassion and care for women. Naim is located just 3 miles away from Nazareth with a cemetery that has been used for centuries. The story obviously looks forward to Jesus’ resurrection.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
When Jesus went to Naim with his disciples and a large crowd, he met a dead man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother. A large crowd was with her.
When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity and said to her, “Weep not”. Then he came near, touched the bier. Those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man I say to you ‘arise’”. The dead man sat up and began to speak. Jesus gave him to his mother.
A fear came upon all and they glorified God saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us” and “God has visited his people”. This report spread throughout Judea and all the countryside.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Two large crowds meet. One is a crowd of death, on the way to a burial. The other is a crowd of life, on the way to Jesus’ resurrection.
2. Jesus stops the burial procession in its tracks. It will go no farther.
3. He is filled with pity. He sees in the widow a foreshadowing of his own mother’s sorrows.
4. He would normally contract ritual impurity by touching a dead body. However, his power destroys death.
5. Jesus says “arise”, a word he will say to billions on the day of Judgment.
6. The results are clear. The young man speaks, totally restored.
7. Jesus gains the victory and all rejoice in a young life restored.
8. Faith spreads like wildfire. Jesus is the prophet and God has visited his people. Faith spreads like wildfire. Jesus is the prophet and God has visited his people. How fortunate that Jesus was there at the right time.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, without you I am filled with death. With you, I have fullness of life.
2. Stop the forces of death in my heart and soul. Infuse your divine life.
3. Your compassion is great, coming to me in my every need.
4. Touch me, Jesus. Touch me and make me whole.
5. When you say “Arise”, I come back to divine life.
6. Win the victory, Lord, and we will all rejoice.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
1. I will bring my deadly sins to Jesus. He will remove them.
2. I will listen for Jesus’ word – “Arise”.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
To the widow, Jesus said “Weep not”. To her son, He said, “Arise”.

WEEK TWENTY FOUR – MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 NO NEED TO ENTER MY HOUSE (LK 7:1-10)

Prayer: – Lord, fill me with faith in your power.

Imagination: (Picture the centurion showing great faith in Jesus’ power to heal.)

Context:
The Gentile centurion sends Jewish friends to seek the favor. As Jesus approaches, this Gentile is concerned that Jesus would contract ritual impurity if he entered his house. Jesus notes that he had not found this faith among the Israelites. The Early Church especially loved this miracle which Jesus performed at a distance for a Gentile.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, the beloved servant of a centurion was sick to the point of death. Hearing of Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and save his servant’s life. These elders asked Jesus, saying that the centurion was worthy of this. “He loves our nation and has built us a synagogue”.
Jesus went with them. When he was near the house, the centurion sent some friends to say, “Lord, do not trouble yourself. I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. For this reason, I did not see myself worthy to come to you. Say but the word and my servant shall be healed.” Jesus marveled at this and said to the crowd, “I have not found such great faith in Israel.” When the messengers returned home, they found the servant well.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. From the very beginning, the centurion sees himself as unworthy. Therefore, he sends Jewish friends to ask.
2. His long years of charity have won him a place in these Jewish hearts.
3. Seeing the man’s worthiness, Jesus sets out immediately.
4. The man is caught in a dilemma. He wants the servant healed but he does not want Jesus defiled by entering his house.
5. Faith provides an alternative. The centurion believes that Jesus can heal from a distance.
6. Jesus praises his great faith and performs the miracle.
7. How many virtues the centurion has – humility, love for Jewish friends, love for his servant and unbounded faith.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, how unworthy I am to receive your favors.
2. Lord, I will be kind to the needy. They will speak to you on my behalf.
3. O Jesus, you do not delay. You come quickly.
4. Give me unbounded faith. You can do anything, anywhere, at any time.
5. O Jesus, say but the word and my soul will be healed.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
1. I will care for the needy, day in and day out.
2. I will have unbounded faith. Jesus can do anything.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
I have not found such faith in Israel.

WEEK TWENTY FOUR –SUNDAY- C– SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 THE LOST SHEEP AND THE LOST COIN (LK 15:1-10)

Prayer: O Jesus, show me how precious I am to you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)

Context:
These twin parables are closely connected to the Prodigal Son parable. A hundred sheep was a medium sized flock. The shepherd must have been poor, unable to pay a helper. Luke’s gospel centers on God’s joy on the last day.
The parable of the lost coin has the same focus. The ten coins are the woman’s dowry, which she always carried in her headdress. She rejoices in the finding because each coin is so precious to her.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. At this, the Pharisees and scribes murmured, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So, Jesus told this parable. If a man with a hundred sheep loses one, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and search for the lost until he finds it? When he does find it, he places it on his shoulder rejoicing. On coming home, he gathers his friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.” I will tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need repentance.
Does not a woman having ten coins and losing one coin, light a candle, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? Then she calls her friends and neighbors and says, “Rejoice with me. I have found my lost coin.” In just the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy before the angels of God for one sinner doing penance.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. To leave ninety nine sheep in the desert is not a rational act. The shepherd thinks with his heart.
2. The woman treasures this special coin. For years, she has carried this coin of her dowry in her headdress.
3. Their joys cannot be contained. Friends and neighbors must share the abundance.
4. This is not a temporary finding. The sheep and the coin are symbols of heaven and an eternal union.
5. God’s joy overflows to the angels. The soul that was lost for a time is now found for an eternity.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. God, I am precious to you. Your love for me is totally beyond reason.
2. Let me repent, so you and your angels can rejoice.
3. Thank you, O Lord. You searched for me when I was lost.
4. O God, your joy will not be complete until our union is forever.
5. You give your angels charge over me. They, too, rejoice at my return.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will stop running from God. In this way, he can find me more quickly.
2. I will recall those special moments when God found me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
There will be rejoicing among the angels.

WEEK TWENTY THREE – SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS(Jn 3:13-17)

Prayer: O Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross to save me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus)

Context:
This gospel contains the famous John 3:16 verse about God so loving the world. It explains that God’s motive was to save, not to condemn. However, anyone who rejects this light is subject to God’s judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by him.
Whoever believes in him, will not be condemned but whoever does not believe in him is already condemned because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son.
The Judgment is this. The light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who practices evil hates the light. He does not come near it so his deeds are not exposed. But whoever acts in truth comes into the light so his works can be clearly seen as done in the light.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
1. When the Israelites in the desert disobeyed God, they grew sick from a serpent’s bite.
2. God provided the remedy. When Moses nailed a bronze serpent to a cross, whoever gazed on it was saved. (Numbers C21)
3. This story prefigured Jesus being lifted up on the cross to save us.
4. God sent Jesus because “he so loved the world”.
5. Through faith in Jesus, all can be saved.
6. Jesus is the eternal light.
7. Evil people do not want this light. It reveals their deeds.
8. Good people rejoice to have their deeds revealed. They act in truth.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross for me.
2. Only your cross can save me from eternal death.
3. Father, loving me so much, you sacrificed your Son to save me.
4. I believe. I accept you, Jesus. You are the Father’s only begotten Son.
5. Come Jesus. Reveal my heart. Make me a child of light.
6. Open my heart to light and truth.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
2. I will bring all my sins into Jesus’ light.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

WEEK TWENTY THREE – FIRDAY – SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 A BLINDED EYE (LK 6:39-42)

Prayer: – O Lord, I am blind and cannot see. Open my eyes to your Kingdom.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus speaking with his disciples.)

Context:
Jesus continues to instruct his disciples. They are blind and if they do not listen to him they will remain blind. Even worse, they will be blind to their own gigantic faults, while trying to remove faults in others.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus spoke to his disciples in images. Can a blind man guide a blind man? Will they both not fall into a ditch? The disciple is not above his master but he will be perfect if he becomes like his master.
Why look at the splinter in your brother’s eye and miss the plank in your own? How can you say, “Brother, let me remove the splinter in your eye, and you do not see the plank in your own. Hypocrite, cast out first the plank in your own eye. Then you shall see clearly how to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
6. Without Jesus, we are all blind.
7. We even join with others who are also blind. We make mistakes and fall into the pit together.
8. Although blinded by our faults, we act like someone who sees clearly.
9. Fortunately, our blindness can be healed. Jesus must be the teacher and we, his disciples.
10. If we listen to Jesus, he will remove our faults. Then, we will see perfectly. What a gift!

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
7. O Jesus, I am blind. I do not see. I do not understand. I choose poorly.
8. Jesus, give me your words. They give light to my soul.
9. I will be like you, always choosing the Kingdom and setting aside the world.
10. What gigantic planks I have in my eye. Remove them all, Jesus.
11. Freed of my blindness, I will help others. We will all see you and live in the light.
12. O Jesus, my days of being blind are over! Thank you.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
3. All during this day, I will ask for Jesus’ light in every decision.
4. I will realize my own blindness.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The disciple will be perfect when he becomes like his master.

WEEK TWENTY THREE – THURSDAY – SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 THE DEMANDS OF DISCIPLESHIP (LK 6:27-36)

Prayer: – O Lord, you demand so much but you reward so generously.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:
Jesus does not give these commands to the crowds but to his disciples. He reveals what he expects of them. The demands are high but the reward is even greater.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus said to his disciples, “Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those that curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn and offer him the other. If someone takes your cloak, offer him your coat, also.
Give to everyone who asks. When someone takes what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others as you would have them treat you. If you love those who love you, what thanks do you deserve? Sinners do the same. If you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks do you deserve? Sinners do the same. If you lend to those who will repay, what do you deserve? Sinners lend to sinners to be repaid.
Love your enemies and do good. Lend without expecting repayment. In this your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and to the wicked. Be merciful, therefore, as your Father is merciful.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. These commands demand a drastic change in behavior.
2. Jesus wants a total change in our relationships and a total rethinking of how we act.
3. Frequently, he mentions what sinners do for their friends. The disciples are called to much more for everyone.
4. God acts this way. He blesses sinners and gives them earthly goods. Should not the disciple imitate God.
5. Jesus wants disciples who are as merciful as God is merciful.

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

1. O Jesus, help me to pray for my enemies and to do good to those who hate me.
2. Jesus, I will love those who do not deserve love. This will be my gift.
3. Jesus, I am special to you. I am your disciple. You expect much more of me.
4. I see clearly, Jesus. My heavenly Father acts this way and You reveal his heart.
5. I will give and seek no reward. This is how you love me.
6. O Lord, I will pour out my mercy upon all, no exceptions. I will imitate the Father who has mercy for all.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will examine how I treat the people in my life.
2. I will make changes and ask God for help.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Most High.

WEEK TWENTY THREE -WEDNESDAY – SEPTEMBER 11,2019 BLESSINGS AND WOES (LK 6:20-26)

Prayer: – O Jesus, let me seek your ever-abundant blessings.

Imagination: – (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.)

Context:
To understand the gospels, look carefully at the audience. When Jesus teaches the crowds, he is inviting them to join his Kingdom. When Jesus teaches his disciples, he explains the mysteries and duties of the Kingdom. Here, he talks of the duties and blessings of the Kingdom, or, the opposite, the evils for not choosing the Kingdom.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
Jesus raised his eyes to his disciples and said:
Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and ostracize you and insult you and call you evil for the sake of the Son of Man. On the day they do so, rejoice and exult, for your reward shall be great in heaven. Thus it was that your fathers treated the prophets.
But woe to you rich, for your consolation is now.
Woe to you who are filled, for you shall hunger.
Woe to you who now laugh, for you shall mourn.
Woe to you when all speak well of you. Their fathers treated the false prophets in just that way.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Notice the contrast between the present and the future. When the Kingdom comes everything is reversed.
2. The poor become rich. The hungry are filled. The sorrowful laugh and the persecuted rejoice.
3. The disciples will experience poverty, hunger, difficulties and criticism. They must see this as a road to the Kingdom’s blessings.
4. Some disciples will reject Jesus and choose riches, comforts, merriment and praise. Jesus warns that these earthly favors will pass away.
5. Jesus promises what is future. The disciples must believe and persevere.
6. Others must be shaken out of their comforts. Otherwise, they will not find the Kingdom.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, help me to sacrifice the present to gain a future glory.
2. When I experience poverty I will think of the riches you have for me.
3. When I experience hunger, I will think of my place at the heavenly banquet.
4. When I weep because of injustice, I will think of the joy of being with you forever.
5. When I am criticized because of you, I will think of your praise and your words, “Come into my Kingdom.”
6. Jesus, never let me disappoint you.
7. May I never hear a rebuke from your lips.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will make little sacrifices for Jesus today.
2. I will think often of my heavenly reward. This will delight Jesus.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Your reward shall be great in heaven.

WEEK TWENTY THREE – TUESDAY – SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 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 THREE – MONDAY – SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 A HEALING ON THE SABBATH (LK 6:6-11)

Prayer: – O Jesus, you have come that I might have life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the synagogue curing the man’s withered hand.)

Context:
Although Jesus heals the man’s withered hand, the healing seems secondary to the confrontation. This reveals the unbelievable lack of compassion of many hearts.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
On another sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. A man with a withered right hand was there. The scribes and Pharisees watched to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath so they could find a charge against him. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to the man, “Arise and stand here in front.” He rose and stood.
Jesus said to them, “I ask you if it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, preserve life or to destroy it?” Looking around at all of them, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was perfectly restored.
They became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. This story involves Jesus, the sick man, and Jesus’ opponents. All have different feelings.
2. Jesus is filled with compassion, knowing that he has God’s power to heal.
3. The man is filled with hope and expectation. The long years of his illness might come to an end.
4. The opponents are filled with hardness of heart. They do not share Jesus’ compassion for the sick man’s suffering.
5. Jesus works his miracle. The sick man experiences God’s healing. The opponents’ hearts are hardened even more.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus make my feelings like yours.
2. Fill me with compassion for all who suffer.
3. Fill me with hope. You will do great wonders in me.
4. You call me. You tell me to stand before you. I will stand there in faith.
5. Break open my hardened heart. Too often I close my heart to others.
6. When I am healed, what will I do for you? I will bring everyone to be healed.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will live in the deepest faith in Jesus’ powers.
2. I will not harden my heart to those who are suffering.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
“Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and it was restored.