Friday | July 30, 2021
After the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus returns home and teaches in the synagogue. Admiration of Jesus turns to disbelief. Because of his lineage and lack of credentials the sceptics are not willing to accept the authenticity and authority of Jesus. Because of their lack of faith, he can do nothing more.
Jesus, master teacher, I pray to be docile, open to learning your will, the will of your Father.
Thursday | July 29, 2021
In February of 2021, this day was named by Pope Francis to be the memorial of all three friends of Jesus. There are optional readings both involving the family’s encounter with Jesus, their friend. In Luke 10:38-42, Martha and Mary, the sisters welcome Jesus into their home, each attending to him in her own way.
In John 11:19-27, The Raising of Lazarus, Mary chastises Jesus because of her grief over the loss of her brother but his response brings her to a profession of faith in him.
I do believe that you are the Son of the Living God. Unfortunately, I am often too busy to choose “the better part.” Help me balance the “doing” and the “being” in my life.
Wednesday | July 28, 2021
Matthew 13: 44-46:
The parables of the treasure and the pearl emphasize the zeal with which one should pursue God’s kingdom. Not only do they express the value of the kingdom thus the commitment deserved, they also express the joy the kingdom brings.
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.
Tuesday | July 27, 2021
Jesus offers equivalencies in this agricultural comparison to the final judgment that help the disciples to understand the meaning. In the end good will overcome evil and those who have chosen to go good “will shine.”
Though I too listen, I do not always understand that those messages at the heart of the stories told long ago are as relevant to me today as they were to the disciples. I pray to hear, to understand and to act.
Monday | July 26, 2021
There are great possibilities with even the smallest beginnings. And so it is with God’s kingdom. Jesus again uses that which is most familiar to the people, the mustard seed and yeast, to help them see and understand the power of God.
Sometimes, it is hard to believe without being able to see. Then I remember that is the definition of faith. I pray for an increase of faith and the belief that your kingdom is “already but not yet.”
Sunday | July 25, 2021
Jesus is prepared to feed the crowd gathered but asks his disciples for their thoughts. Neither Philip nor Andrew understand the possibility and respond somewhat negatively. Jesus accepts the meager amount of food from the little boy. Ceremoniously Jesus takes, blesses, breaks and shares. There is enough for all.
And with the help of this little child, Jesus, the bread of life, takes care of his hungry people.
Saturday | July 24, 2021
It seems natural to want to pull the weeds lest they infect the wheat. Jesus tells the disciples that they must remember that God alone knows what is in people’s hearts. At any point those who choose evil could turn to him. God, the harvester and sifter, is the final judge.
All too often, I stand in judgment of those human “weeds.” I want them gone but then remember just as I am yours, they are yours.
Friday | July 23, 2021
Jesus’ explanation of the parable invites the disciples to a deeper level of understanding. He states the obvious but then explains why the seed does or does not grow. The seed of the word of the God will not take root in those who are ignorant, superficial, or conflicted within.
I want so much to be instrumental in helping others, especially parents, to be open to your presence within them and to listen to your word.
Thursday | July 22, 2021
John 20:1-2, 11-18:
Mary’s grief is compounded by her discovery. She remains at the tomb after having alerted Peter and John. Mary’s exchange with the angels inside the tomb is followed by her encounter with Jesus. At first, she does not recognize him but he calls her by name and she knows. Mary, the apostle to the apostles returns to share the good news with the disciples.
I cannot imagine what it must have been like for Mary to realize that it was you. I am aware of your presence often and in so many different ways but I look forward to the day when I see you face to face.
Wednesday | July 21, 2021
Jesus tells the crowd the parable of the sower comparing and contrasting seed wasted with seed that bares rich fruit. Jesus’ mission is to spread the love and mercy of the Father. Some people ignore him, others reject him. Those who hear his word and act on it will live in the love of God.
I pray for a heartfelt desire to read and reflect on your Word every day. I pray for the wisdom and courage to act on it.