WEEK FIFTEEN – WEDNESDAY – JULY 17, 2019 REVELATION TO THE LITTLE ONES (Mt 11:25-27)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal all that is hidden.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus praising God for His disciples).

Context:
Filled with joy, the apostles return from their preaching mission. Jesus, too, experiences great joy and thanks his heavenly Father for revealing the Kingdom to his disciples.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus cried out, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent, you have revealed them to the little ones. This has seemed good in your sight.
All things have been given over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, but the Father. And no one knows the Father, except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Jesus rejoices because the disciples are understanding the Kingdom.
2. This understanding is withheld from the worldly wise and prudent.
3. Jesus credits his heavenly Father, who has revealed these mysteries to the little ones.
4. Jesus has the power to reveal even the Father himself.
5. Jesus will reveal these mysteries to all. First, they must become his disciple.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, reveal to me the mysteries of the Kingdom.
2. Even more, reveal the Father himself.
3. As my heart is caught up with the Father, You will rejoice in me.
4. When I was wise and prudent, you could not do this. Now, I am your little one.
5. O Jesus, all that is yours is to become mine. What a mystery!

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will find time for solitude, so Jesus can reveal the Father.
2. I will cherish the mysteries of Jesus’ Kingdom.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The Son reveals the Father to whomever he wishes.

WEEK FIFTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 16, 2019 Our Lady of Mount Carmel WOE TO THE UNREPENTANT CITIES (MT 11:20-24)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me the grace to repent so I can face you on the Day of Judgment.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples the importance of repentance.)

Context:
People might have some superficial relationship with their parish and think that this will get them into heaven. The gospels correct this false impression. They demand a full relationship to Jesus, one which comes from the heart. Here, Jesus mentions three cities where he has preached. They have heard Jesus but have not accepted and responded to his word.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus began to chastise the cities where he had done his miracles.
“Woe to you, Chorazin. Woe to you, Bethsaida. If the miracles worked in you had been done in other cities, they would have done penance in sackcloth and ashes. It will be more tolerable for those cities on the day of judgment than for you.
And you, Capernaum: Shall you be exalted to heaven? You shall be cast down to hell. If I had done the miracles in Sodom, the city would still exist today. It shall be more tolerable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Jesus’ words are shocking. He speaks of sackcloth, ashes, judgment and hell.
2. These cities have seen his miracles performed in their midst.
3. Chorazin and Bethsaida welcomed him and accepted his miracles. However, they did not repent.
4. Capernaum was Jesus’ headquarters. They thought they would be exalted.
5. Jesus’ preaching and miracles only increased their guilt.
6. Jesus wants a full conversion to life in His Kingdom.
7. He will bring this about if you let him.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, I have enjoyed your word and your blessings.
2. Jesus, stir my heart. Help me to respond.
3. Stay with me, Jesus. Take up your residence.
4. Jesus, I cannot bear the thought that you would condemn me on Judgment Day.
5. Chastise me now, so you need not judge me later.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. What do I need to repent of?
2. Having received much, I will return much.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
If I had done these miracles in Sodom, they would have repented.

WEEK FIFTEEN – MONDAY– JULY 15, 2019 THE REWARDS OF DISCIPLESHIP (MT 10:34 – 11:1)

Prayer: O Jesus, when I help the needy, I help you. Show me this mystery.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching His disciples to care for each other.)

Context:
Jesus praises those who show hospitality. But there is much more. A great mystery exists. When helping someone who preaches or believes the gospel, you help Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Whoever receives you, receives me. Whoever receives me, receives him who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet, receives a prophet’s reward. Whoever receives a holy man, because he is a holy man, receives a holy man’s reward. Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple – Amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.
When Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples, he left that place to teach and to preach in other towns.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. Disciples, prophets and holy people serve the church and earn a reward.
2. By helping them, you receive the same reward.
3. In fact, you welcome Jesus himself.
4. A cup of cold water means giving good example. The little ones mean new disciples.
5. These, especially, need your help and gain you a reward.
6. Jesus moves to other villages. He must preach to everyone.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, I will help those who serve your Kingdom.
2. You will reward me as you reward them.
3. Even you, Jesus, are blessed when I bless them.
4. Send me to others, so all can be blessed.
5. O Jesus, you scatter rewards everywhere. Both the giver and the receiver gain your heavenly riches.
6. Nothing escapes your eye, O Lord. You reward even my cup of cold water.
7. Give me your zeal. Let me search for others to teach.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will welcome those who come in Jesus’ name.
2. I will search out people who need God’s word.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Amen. I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

WEEK FIFTEEN – SUNDAY (B) – JULY 14, 2019 THE GOOD SAMARITAN (LK 10:25-37)

Prayer: O Jesus, you are my good Samaritan and I am wounded along the way.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples and teaching the lawyer.)

Context:
The lawyer asked a common question in Judaism, “How far must my charity extend? Who is within that circle?” Jesus uses the priest and the Levite who pass by to lead up to the Samaritan. The story’s impact comes from the identity of the caregiver, a Samaritan hated by the Jews. He is the model disciple because his love embraces 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 to distance himself from those in need.
2. In the parable, this “distancing” by the priest and Levite is unacceptable.
3. The Samaritans received no love from the Israelites. Therefore, this example is highly vivid.
4. The highest love comes from someone who has been hated.
5. A true disciple’s love is total, personal and with no reservations.
6. This love embraces everyone – the poor, despised, helpless and even enemies.
7. This love is practical. Jesus says, “Go and do likewise”.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Lord, flood my heart with the river of your love.
2. Help me to draw close to everyone.
3. Jesus, make my love for you and others limitless.
4. Give me a heart that embraces everyone.
5. O Jesus, change my heart. Change my heart. Change my heart.
6. O Jesus, I will “go and do likewise”. Only practicing love makes me your disciple.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will 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 FOURTEEN – SATURDAY – JULY 13, 2019 (MT: 10-24-33)

Prayer: O Jesus, free me from fear so I always acknowledge that I am your disciple.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with his apostles).

Context:
Jesus is sending his apostles to preach the Kingdom. This is all new for them. Jesus foresees that they will be persecuted and could easily fear and fail to acknowledge him before men. So Jesus teaches them not to fear. This is so needed because anyone who preaches Jesus will be intimidated by others.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus said to his apostles, Do not fear men who intimidate you. Nothing is hidden which will not be revealed and nothing concealed that will not become know. What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light. What you hear in private, preach on the housetops.
Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot destroy the soul. Fear him who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And yet, not one of them falls to the ground without your Father knowing it. As for you, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Therefore, do not fear. You are worth more than many sparrows.
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown before my heavenly Father.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. In the gospel, Jesus’ teachings are hidden in the hearts of the disciples. They bless the disciples but no one else.
2. That will change. The apostles will go to all the world. The words in their hearts will be totally revealed.
3. Through the Apostles, Jesus will multiply his power over the world.
4. The person preaching Jesus’ word will face persecution and possibly, death.
5. Losing bodily life is not to be feared. Fear only someone who can destroy the soul.
6. They are very valuable to the Father, more than any other part of creation.
7. The final result is clear. If they preach and are killed, Jesus will acknowledge them.
8. If they cease to preach and disown Jesus, he must disown them.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Bless me through your word, planted deeply in my heart.
2. I will preach and multiply your word to the nations.
3. Jesus, what a joy to be your voice.
4. How the Father values me. He called me to spread his Kingdom.
5. Help me to fear no one (unless they can steal heaven from me.)
6. Jesus, you will acknowledge me before the Father. You will say, “He preached my word to the nations.”

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will drink fully of Jesus’ words.
2. I will share my faith with others.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
What I tell you in darkness, speak in the light.

WEEK FOURTEEN – FRIDAY – JULY 12, 2019 PERSECUTIONS (MT 10:17-22)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, Strengthen me in moments of trial.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing His disciples for persecution.)

Context:
Jesus has just commissioned his apostles and sent them out to preach. He warns them of difficulties. Matthew’s Church also sent out missionaries who faced the same persecutions, both from Jews and Romans.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Beware of men. They will hand you over to courts, and they will scourge you in the synagogues. You will be led before governors and kings for my sake, so you can give testimony to them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not think about what you will say. The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.
Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father, his child. You shall be hated by all because of my name, but whoever perseveres to the end, shall be saved.
The disciple is not above his master. If they have called me Beelzebub, what will they call you?

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. When you turn to Jesus, many will oppose you.
2. By this teaching, Jesus tries to prepare you for what you will face.
3. God has a purpose for this opposition. You can explain to your persecutors what God has done to you.
4. The Spirit will give you the words that touch hearts.
5. So, rejoice. If they persecuted the Master, they will certainly persecute you.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. Jesus, prepare me for the opposition I will meet in my devout life.
2. Send me your Spirit so my opponents can be won over.
3. Teach me the costs of discipleship. I will pay any price.
4. When the opposition continues, let me stand firm.
5. What more could I ask for? You invite me to suffer persecution with you.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will try to explain my conversion to all who question me.
2. If they do not understand, I will be patient.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The Spirit of your Father will speak within you.

WEEK FOURTEEN – THURSDAY – JULY 11, 2019 SENDING OUT THE TWELVE (MT 10:7-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, send me forth like an apostle.

Imagination: (Picture the Twelve gathered around, listening to Jesus’ instructions.)

Context:
There is not much time to evangelize Israel, so Jesus sends out the Twelve. This is totally his initiative. He summons, instructs, and gives his powers. They disciples must trust God to provide and the villages must respond to the message. Urgency fills the air.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said to his disciples, “As you go, make this announcement, ‘The reign of God is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the lepers and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift. Provide yourselves with neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts; no traveling bags, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking stick.
Look for a worthy citizen in every town or village you come to and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his home bless it. If the home is deserving, your blessing will descend on it. If not, your blessing will return to you.
If anyone does not receive you, leave that town and shake the dust from your feet. It will go easier for Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment day than for that town.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. There is great urgency. The time is short. The gospel must be preached.
2. Jesus takes a new initiative. He pours out his zeal upon the Twelve.
3. They go forth two by two, showing love for each other and encouraging each other.
4. They enjoy the powers of the Kingdom – to expel demons, to heal, and to raise the dead.
5. They must be unselfish, being satisfied with whatever house receives them.
6. They will bless greatly whoever welcomes them.
7. The village must respond to their message. Otherwise, the apostles will reject them.
8. The final judgment will be severe, worse than Sodom and Gomorrah.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, the time is short. I must act today.
2. Fill my heart with your zeal and holy desires.
3. Call me to a greater level of responsibility.
4. Join me with others. Together, we can be faithful.
5. Give me your powers. I will free people and they will believe.
6. O Lord, I will sacrifice everything for your Kingdom.
7. O Jesus, if some will not listen, I will go quickly to others.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will be aware of opportunities to speak about the Kingdom.
2. I will seek a friend who will join me in my task.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Make the announcement, “The reign of God is at hand.”

WEEK FOURTEEN -WEDNESDAY – JULY 10, 2019 COMMISSIONING OF THE TWELVE (MT 10:1-7)

Prayer: Come, Jesus. Anoint me to preach your Kingdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus preparing his apostles for their missionary journey.)

Context:
Jesus now makes his apostles into missionaries. He calls them and gives two powers – to drive out demons and to heal. He tells them how to act and what to preach. For the first time, others will use Jesus’ powers.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to expel unclean spirits and to heal every disease and illness.
Jesus sent them on mission as the Twelve, after giving them the following instructions. “Do not go to the Gentiles or to the Samaritans. Go to the lost sheep of Israel. When you go, you are to preach, ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse the lepers. Cast out devils. Do this freely, for you have freely received.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
7. Jesus sends forth his most dedicated group – the Twelve.
8. He gives them extraordinary powers, – to cast out devils and to heal every illness.
9. They must not go to Gentile villages nor to Samaritan towns.
10. Their goal must be Israel, the special object of Jesus’ love.
11. They say only one thing. “The Kingdom is at hand.” At this point, that is all they understand.
12. They will do extremely well because they obey Jesus and use his powers.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
8. O Jesus, call me. I will dedicate my life to the Kingdom.
9. Show me where to go and what to do.
10. Give me the power to preach and persuade.
11. Help me to lead my family and friends to faith.
12. Jesus, give me a simplicity of lifestyle.
13. Jesus, the Kingdom is at hand and everyone must know it.
14. How great is the need for all to hear the message! The time is short and You are coming soon.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
3. In my own little way, I will announce the Kingdom to everyone.
4. I will believe that Jesus will equip me with His powers.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
When you preach say, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then, heal the sick.

WEEK FOURTEEN – TUESDAY – JULY 9, 2019 THE FAITH OF THE CROWD (MT 9:23-28)

Prayer: O Jesus, come to my town.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus healing and teaching the crowds.)

Context:
The gospel has 2 parts. First, Jesus casts out a demon so a person begins to speak. This causes both praise and criticism. Then, Jesus tours all the villages with multiple miracles of power.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
They brought to Jesus a dumb man who was possessed by the demon. After the demon was cast out, the man spoke. The crowd wondered, saying “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the prince of demons, he casts out demons.”
Jesus went all around to their cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom. He healed every illness and disease. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were lying prostrate from exhaustion, like a sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples. The harvest is indeed great but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send laborers into his harvest.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. The people hear the stories about Jesus, and know exactly what to do. They “bring the man to Jesus.”
2. Jesus’ power is total. The demon leaves and the man speaks.
3. The crowds respond in great simplicity. They rejoice, never having seen such a mighty work in Israel.
4. The Pharisees respond in duplicity, refusing to accept Jesus, and claiming his powers are demonic.
5. Jesus releases all his powers. His compassion drives him to all the towns.
6. Without Jesus, the people are like exhausted sheep, having no shepherd.
7. Jesus sees their need and knows that he needs helpers. So, he begins to prepare his disciples.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, I know the gospel stories and I know what to do. I will come to you.
2. Your power is total. You are not a specialist who handles only one type of illness.
3. No one is like you, Jesus. All blessings flow from your hands.
4. Remove my cynical spirit. Make me a child, ready to believe.
5. How compassionate you are! Always thinking of me. Always preparing blessings ahead of time.
6. O Jesus, send me to labor in your harvest.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. In the greatest faith, I will bring my problems to Jesus.
2. I will offer my time to spread the gospel.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
The crowds said, “Never have we seen anything like this in Israel.”

WEEK FOURTEEN – MONDAY – JULY 8,2019 WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD (MT: 9:18-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me press close to you and be healed.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus, surrounded by crowds and the woman secretly touching His garment.)

Context:
This story contains excellent teachings about healing. The woman has been suffering for twelve years. Many people touch Jesus (as the disciples make clear) but only the woman touches him with faith. Since we have the story with many details, she must have been a member of Mark’s community.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
As they were going, a woman with a flow of blood who had suffered for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel of his garment. “If I just touch his garment, I shall get well.” Jesus turned around and saw her and said, “Courage, daughter, your faith has restored you to health.” That very moment, the women got well.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. This woman’s world was spiraling downward. Twelve years of hopelessness.
2. She finds new hope in Jesus. “If I just touch his garments, I will be healed.”
3. God’s power goes forth from Jesus.
4. He turns to the woman, giving her all of his attention.
5. She hears Jesus’ own words telling her that she has acted correctly.
6. He praises her faith and guarantees that her healing is true.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, so much of my life spirals downward.
2. You give me new hope, even after years of suffering.
3. Your presence draws me close, fills me with faith and leads me to touch you.
4. Your power goes out to me. I will never be the same.
5. You give me your complete attention. You speak to me. You encourage me.
6. Jesus, you assure me that Your power will last forever.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. In all my sufferings, I will look to Jesus for help.
2. I will seek to experience his presence.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
If I just touch his garment, I will be healed.