False Prophets Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus cautions his disciples about those who seem to have good intentions. Is there genuine truth and integrity in what they say and do? He tells the disciples to be prudent and look carefully at the effects of their work, a good indicator of their character. Prayer: I pray for the continued growth of your fruits within me for the life of the world. May my words and actions spring forth from all you have given me.
Posted: June 28, 2017, 4:00 am
The Narrow Gate Matthew 7:6, 12-14 This Gospel passage begins with Jesus’ words about those who oppose the Gospel. He goes on to say that the “golden rule” summarizes Old Testament tradition then concludes with reference to the “two ways” — one that leads to life, the other to destruction. Not everyone chooses the way to life. Prayer: Ever-Faithful God, though I may not be able to crack the hard exterior of some, I must not stop praying for them, confident in your ability to touch their hearts.
Posted: June 27, 2017, 4:00 am
Judging Others Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus tells his followers to let God be the judge. Focusing on others’ faults stands in the way of seeing their own. As disciples, they do have the responsibility to correct and challenge others gone astray, but they must first acknowledge their own sin. Prayer: When I stand in judgment of others, I lose sight of the good in them. Let me see them through your eyes, dear Lord, and when possible guide them lovingly in a new direction.
Posted: June 26, 2017, 4:00 am
Courage under Persecution Matthew 10:26-33 Three times Jesus tells his disciples not to fear what might cause them to abandon the mission. The disciples must boldly proclaim the kingdom of God, confident in his love for them. Though their opponents may kill the disciples’ bodies, they cannot harm their souls. Prayer: I pray this day for those throughout the world who are persecuted for their love of you. Give them consolation and courage to carry on your holy work
Posted: June 25, 2017, 4:00 am
The Birth of John/The Canticle of Zechariah Luke 1:57-66, 80 On the day of John’s circumcision, Zechariah regains his ability to speak once he confirms the name, designated by the angel, of his son. At this, Zechariah opens his mouth and prays aloud a hymn of praise. Those who witness these events are amazed and wonder who this child will one day be. Prayer: You loved and caressed me into being. Your handprint will always be on me.
Posted: June 24, 2017, 4:00 am
Praise of the Father Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus praises the Father for his wisdom, a pure gift to those willing to receive. God reveals himself to those who are open and receptive, “the little ones.” One knows the will of the Father through the Son. Rather than living as though burdened, Jesus offers his invitation to discipleship, the easy yoke — symbolism for the law — of loving God and neighbor. Prayer: Why do I make that which is so very simple, complicated to the point that I become exhausted and ready to give up? Let me rest in your love, O Lord.
Posted: June 23, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Prayer Matthew 6:7-15 Jesus tells the disciples the Father already knows what they need to make their prayer to him simple and straightforward. They are to begin by giving honor to God and then go on to petition him for their needs, mindful of the importance of the willingness to forgive as God forgives them. Prayer: Our Father, old hurts and grievances weigh me down. I give them to you only to take them back. The longer I hold on to them the less inclined I am to forgive. Please free me once and for all.
Posted: June 22, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Almsgiving, Praying, and Fasting Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Jesus talks to the disciples not so much about what they do, though that is important, but about why they do what they do. If the motivation behind prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is to impress others, then it is not of God, nor is it pleasing to God. Prayer: When I am tempted to “toot my own horn,” remind me that anything I do in your name is for your glory, not mine.
Posted: June 21, 2017, 4:00 am
Love of Enemies Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus tells his disciples that love must be inclusive. To love as God loves is to love everyone, even and especially those who are enemies or simply difficult to love. Prayer: By following your example, Jesus, may my love be an example that inspires another, and another, and another to walk in your way.
Posted: June 20, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Retaliation Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus tells his disciples there is nothing gained by responding to violence with violence. Retaliation becomes a dangerous cycle. The only way to stop the cycle is to respond with mercy and love. Prayer: “Turning the other cheek” is often easier said than done, and it doesn’t always bring the results hoped for. But it is your way, Lord.
Posted: June 19, 2017, 4:00 am
Bread of Life Discourse John 6:51-58 Those listening to Jesus’ discourse haven’t the first clue what he is talking about. Perhaps John’s community doesn’t either. Jesus is inviting them to eat a new kind of food, one that nourishes their spirits, not their bodies, and will bring them to eternal life with him. Prayer: Thank you for the faith to believe you are really present in the bread and wine consecrated.
Posted: June 18, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Oaths Matthew 5:33-37 The taking of oaths is the subject of this antithesis. Jesus tells his disciples to be simply honest and straight forward. Dishonesty is evil. To tell the truth is an expression of love. Prayer: It seems the world thrives on falsehood and dishonesty. It is sometimes difficult to speak the truth. When what we say and do is rooted in love, it is the right way, your way.
Posted: June 17, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Adultery, Divorce Matthew 5:27-32 Jesus goes on to develop God’s law with his teaching about adultery. It is more than an act. It is all the thoughts and intentions that lead to the act. Jesus also speaks about divorce and the way it had been understood, citing Deuteronomy Chapter 24. Prayer: Lord, you prompt me to think outside of myself, to always consider those affected by my words and actions. Guide me in your law of love.
Posted: June 16, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Anger Matthew 5:20-26 The first of the “antitheses” contrasts the scribe’s literal interpretation of the law with Jesus’ deeper and more demanding understanding of what it means to be holy. Jesus’ intent is not to abolish but to fulfill God’s law. Prayer: Loving and merciful God, free me from anger and move me to reconcile.
Posted: June 15, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about the Law Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus tells the disciples and the crowd that he will not abolish the Law of Moses. Nor will he let it be held over people. At the heart of the law is the commandment to love, and he will make sure that every word of the law is understood as map and compass to right relationship with God and neighbor. Prayer: Your law, Lord God, is meant to protect all that is good, right, and just and meant to guide me in becoming what you created me to be.
Posted: June 14, 2017, 4:00 am
The Similes of Salt and Light Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and light are the images Jesus uses to convey the work of the disciples. Salt not only enhances, it preserves. The disciples are to transform the world by preaching the Good News to preserve the integrity of Jesus’ vision and mission. Through them the light of Christ is to shine. Prayer: Christ Jesus, let your light shine on and, through me, to you.
Posted: June 13, 2017, 4:00 am
The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12 It is those who, by the world’s standards, seem cursed that are blessed in the eyes of God. The beatitudes are the heart of the law. The first beatitude, to be “poor in spirit” — that is, to depend completely on God — is the soul of Jesus’ teaching. Prayer: You compassionately encourage me all the time to trust in you alone. You also encourage me to encourage others to do the same.
Posted: June 12, 2017, 4:00 am
Nicodemus John 3:16-18 God loves us so much that he gave himself in the person of his Son to be with us. When the Son returned to the Father, the Spirit of their love remained to draw us into that relationship between Father and Son — the path to salvation. Prayer: What more could I want than to be loved by you, my Creator? Though I am drawn by worldly things and sin, I know you wait for me.
Posted: June 11, 2017, 4:00 am
Denunciation of the Scribes Mark 12:38-44 The act of the widow stands in sharp contrast with those of the scribes. Their religiosity is superficial, intended to call attention to themselves. The widow willingly gives all that she has, a clear sign of her absolute dependence on God. Her action is what it means to be “poor in spirit.” Prayer: As many times as I attempt to let go and let you guide me, I recognize that I do not let go entirely. I pray for the courage to trust you always.
Posted: June 10, 2017, 4:00 am
Question about David’s Son Mark 12:35-37 The scribes have been the ones asking the difficult questions up to this point in the Gospel. Now Jesus poses a question to them, not to trick them but to bring them to the truth about his relationship with God. Jesus is of the line of David, no doubt, but he is also the Son of God. Prayer: I praise you, Lord God, for all that you have done throughout the ages. I praise and thank you for all you do for me.
Posted: June 9, 2017, 4:00 am
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