A Brother Who Sins Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus tells his disciples that reconciling a sinner among them is the responsibility of the community. To bring an erring member back, there are steps that need to be taken beginning with a one-on-one discussion. If that does not work then witnesses are brought in. If necessary, then the conversation is held before the entire community. Prayer: This day let us pray for our parish communities, that we are renewed in the communal spirit of care and concern for every member.
Posted: August 16, 2017, 4:00 am
Canticle of Mary Luke 1:39-56 (Mass During the Day) Elizabeth greets Mary with words of joy and thanksgiving for Mary’s presence and, more importantly, for her “yes” to God. Mary gives glory to God for all the blessings she has received. Both women exude humility and grace. Prayer: Dearest Mother, in the face of the unknown, you gave yourself fully to God. Pray that I may do the same.
Posted: August 15, 2017, 4:00 am
Payment of the Temple Tax Matthew 17:22-27 By virtue of their overwhelming grief, the disciples seem to understand what lies ahead for Jesus. The tax collectors’ questioning Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax follows the second prediction of Jesus’ passion. In the end, Jesus pays the tax so as not to offend or cause scandal, but he does so in an unusual way. Prayer: I look to you, Lord, as one in the world but not of the world. It is a difficult balance, so I lean on you to guide me in doing what is right.
Posted: August 14, 2017, 4:00 am
Walking on the Water Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus demonstrates his command over the powerful waters. He offers the same power to Peter who attempts to walk on the water but fails. Peter’s love of the Lord is not enough to overcome his weak faith, but he is a work in progress. Prayer: Holy Spirit, strengthen within me the virtues of faith, hope, and love so that I am able to follow, even on the water.
Posted: August 13, 2017, 4:00 am
Healing of a Boy with a Demon Matthew 17:14-20 The father of the boy possessed by a demon goes first to Jesus’ disciples seeking healing for his son. They have so little faith they fail to heal the boy. Jesus rebukes his disciples by telling them that even faith the size of the smallest of seeds can move mountains. Prayer: Thank you for the gift of faith. I pray for faith that will get me to the point when I will no longer need it because I will be with you.
Posted: August 12, 2017, 4:00 am
Conditions of Discipleship Matthew 16:24-28 This Gospel passage follows Jesus’ first prediction of his passion. Discipleship comes with both cost and reward. A disciple must be willing to deny everything, including him or herself, and set sight only on fulfilling the will of God. Prayer: “ Let go and let God,” they say. That’s easier said than done, I respond. Saint Clare, like your friend, Francis, you were able to let go and follow. Pray for me that I may do the same.
Posted: August 11, 2017, 4:00 am
Coming of Jesus’ Hour John 12:24-26 Jesus uses the analogy of what comes from planting a grain of wheat to explain what will come in his life. He hands himself over to death by which he attains the glory of eternal life for all. In a similar way we are called to give our lives away. In so doing, we will flourish. Prayer: Persecution takes on many forms. Let us pray for all who are persecuted for their faith — spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Saint Lawrence, pray for us.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 4:00 am
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus rebuffs the Gentile woman in this passage. His mission thus far has been to the Israelites. The woman’s persistence and remarkable faith causes him to listen to her and grant her appeal to him to heal her daughter — indicative of the widening of Jesus’ mission to include all people. Prayer: Saint Teresa Benedicta, Edith Stein, your conversion that led to your ultimate sacrifice reminds me that no matter how impossible the journey might seem, with God anything is possible. Pray for us.
Posted: August 9, 2017, 4:00 am
Walking on the Water Matthew 14:22-36 Jesus leaves the disciples to pray. They are out in the boat without him and are not faring well on rough seas. Jesus walks across the water to rescue them, and Peter impulsively gets out of the boat to go to him. Then Peter’s fear causes him to falter, but Jesus grabs hold of him. After this, they all travel to and come to land at Gennesaret, where Jesus heals all who touch him. Prayer: Creator God, by your word I know that I am beautifully, wonderfully made — mind, body and spirit. Help me to be all that you have created me to be. Saint Dominic, pray for us.
Posted: August 8, 2017, 4:00 am
Feeding of the Five Thousand Matthew 14:13-21 Jesus’ attempt to get away is thwarted. There would be no time to grieve, no rest for the weary. The persistence of the people touches Jesus and he responds to their need. He heals the sick and then rather than send them home, he keeps them together and feeds them in body and spirit. Prayer: Everything you said and did in your ministry modeled perfectly what it means to be a selfless giver. Help me to remember that when I let my needs outweigh the needs of others.
Posted: August 7, 2017, 4:00 am
Transfiguration of Jesus Matthew 17:1-9 Peter, James, and John are given insight into the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In a sense, this glimpse balances the earlier prediction of his passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus instructs the trio not to share what they have seen and heard because they don’t fully understand and won’t until he has risen. Prayer: All too often ignorance and fear cloud my understanding of what is and what will be. I pray for clarity and for the courage to walk in truth, toward the truth.
Posted: August 6, 2017, 4:00 am
Herod’s Opinion of Jesus Matthew 14:1-12 Herod wonders if Jesus is John the Baptist resurrected. Matthew inserts the story of John’s death in the Gospel as a means of pointing out the parallels between John and the fate that awaits Jesus. Both were thought of as prophets and yet arrested and executed on the whim of a very weak and corrupt leader. Prayer: I pray for the courage to tell the truth, to confront wrongdoing, and to stand strong in my faith no matter the consequences.
Posted: August 5, 2017, 4:00 am
Rejection at Nazareth Matthew 13:54-58 At first it seems that the people are amazed at Jesus’ words and deeds. It is quickly evident that they choose to reject him rather than believe in him. This saddens Jesus. Because of the people’s lack of faith he refuses to perform miracles. Prayer: Saint John Vianney, we ask your intercession for those who serve as catechists, those newly committed to the ministry, and those who feel the stirring of the Spirit within but have not said yes to the call.
Posted: August 4, 2017, 4:00 am
Treasures Old and New Matthew 13:47-53 In Matthew’s final parable about the Kingdom, a net is thrown over all humanity under which the good and bad coexist in the hope that bad will turn to good. The separation will take place at the final judgment. The Gospel passage concludes with a reminder of how Jewish tradition is being given new life in Jesus. Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray you strengthen in me the gift of understanding. I know that I am limited by my human nature, but I also know that you have given me divine potential.
Posted: August 3, 2017, 4:00 am
More Parables Matthew 13:44-46 Again, we hear the parables about the buried treasure and the pearl of great price. Jesus is telling his disciples that the value of God’s kingdom is so great they must devote their lives to zealously pursuing it no matter the cost. Prayer: Why would I want anything but to live in your love for all eternity? Be with me when the tests and trials of life distract me from my pursuit of living with you forever.
Posted: August 2, 2017, 4:00 am
The Explanation of the Parable of the Weeds Matthew 13:36-43 In the first reading from the Book of Exodus, Moses meets with God. He proclaims God’s kindness and mercy but acknowledges that God does not “declar[e] the guilty guiltless.” In the Gospel reading, Jesus explains to the disciples that the parable of the weeds and the wheat is about the final judgment. Separating the righteous from sinners is like the sorting of the weeds and the wheat at the harvest. Prayer: Father, I pray to become who you created me to be, to listen attentively to you guiding me in what I say and do. St. Alphonsus, pray for us.
Posted: August 1, 2017, 4:00 am
The Use of Parables Matthew 13:31-35 Jesus tells the crowds about the reign of God in two parables: The smallest mustard seed grows into a large plant that gives shelter to the birds. A bit of yeast makes three measures of flour raise to provide nourishing bread. Like the parables, ordinary things hold the fullness and promise of the Kingdom for those who believe. Prayer: Our Father, your kingdom come, your will be done. Saint Ignatius, pray for us.
Posted: July 31, 2017, 4:00 am
Treasures New and Old Matthew 13:44-52 Jesus uses parables to speak about the kingdom of God. He uses the treasure and the pearl to show that the value of the Kingdom is so great that it must be pursued with determination and zeal. He goes on to remind the disciples in the parable of the fishing net that there will be a final judgement when the good and bad are separated. Prayer: I love your word, O Lord, especially when I hear you pull me back from distractions and worldly things to you.
Posted: July 30, 2017, 4:00 am
Martha and Mary John 11:19-27 or Luke 10:38-42 The lectionary includes two options for the Gospel, one from John and the other from Luke, each giving insight into Martha and Mary. No doubt they are friends of Jesus, but what is most significant is how their faith develops, especially evident in Martha responding to Jesus’ question by saying, “I have come to believe…” Prayer: It is by your grace that my belief, my faith, grows and develops. It will never be full or perfect because I am not. Yet you are in me, and I long to be with you in the fullness of eternity.
Posted: July 29, 2017, 4:00 am
Explanation of the Parable of the Sower Matthew 13:18-23 Seeds sown on the path, on rocky ground, or among the thorns, will die. The soil is not conducive to seeds taking root. However, if the soil is rich and fertile, the seeds will grow. Jesus is speaking to the crowd about the spiritual disposition to hear the word of God and about that which gets in the way of their hearing God’s word and will. Prayer: Your law is perfect. Though some see it as restrictive, I see it as freeing. I am thankful to have it as compass and guide on the journey.
Posted: July 28, 2017, 4:00 am