Monday | August 30, 2021
The initial praise and acclaim quickly turn to suspicion and ultimately rejection. Jesus tells them that Isaiah’s prophesy is fulfilled “today” in him but they do not hear what he is saying. He likens himself and their rejection of him to two great prophets, Elisha and Elijah, who were also rejected by their own. This further infuriates them.
I don’t understand how anyone can be closed to you. I want to ignore, even reject them but I know I must pray for them.
Sunday | August 29, 2021
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23:
In verse 8, Jesus exposes the Pharisee’s hypocritical “lip service” to God’s law. Their interpretation of the ritual has more to do with tradition than with those actions that honor God. Their piety is superficial. Goodness and purity come from within.
Don’t we all have the same tendencies as the Pharisees? Even in our Church today, there is an “us” and “them” mentality that can undo unity of faith. Come Holy Spirit.
Saturday | August 28, 2021
Today’s Gospel continues on the end time theme with the parable about the final judgment. Those who are “good and faithful servants” are those who use the gifts God gives them for the purpose of building the kingdom. Those who out of fear do not use their gifts are punished for their lack of resourcefulness and inactivity. Vigilance demands fruitful activity.
You have gifted me in so many ways. May I be ever grateful and willing to share those gifts with others.
Friday | August 27, 2021
Again, the uncertainty of the hour of the final coming thus the need to be vigilant is explained in the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. The wise ones recognize that the bridegroom could arrive at any time so they remain awake and prepared to greet him. The foolish bridesmaids second guess his return and are caught by surprise.
If I am not vigilant I will miss you in the ordinary moments of my life. I pray to be mindful of your constancy and to pay attention to your promptings.
Thursday | August 26, 2021
Jesus tells his disciples that no one but God knows the hour of the coming. The parable of the servant calls attention to the urgency of Jesus’ message by contrasting lack of vigilance with being prepared and watchful. The faithful servant demonstrates what it means to maintain constant care for the property of the master.
Though I joyfully anticipate seeing you face to face, I find myself neglecting necessary preparation. I do a great job of getting my house in order for company. Please help me to do better at getting my soul ready for you.
Wednesday | August 25, 2021
Jesus continues pronouncing woes on the scribes and Pharisees. He tells them they are like whitewashed tombs, again emphasizing the disparity between their interior and exterior. The final woe is the most serious. Jesus accuses them of being descendants, in every sense of the word, of those who murdered the prophets.
You know me better than I know myself. Help me to be whole and holy inside and out.
Tuesday | August 24, 2021
Scholars believe that Nathaniel and Bartholomew are one in the same. In the Gospel, Nathaniel seems skeptical about Phillip’s testimony that Jesus is the one who has been written about in Scripture. He follows him nonetheless and in meeting Jesus for the first time, discovers to his surprise that Jesus already knows him.
I praise and thank you Jesus. By your grace I have moved from simple awareness of you to relationship that grows and develops in ways I never imagined.
Monday | August 23, 2021
Through the seven “woes” Jesus expresses his upset about the words and actions of the scribes and Pharisees. What they say and do may seem righteous, but their intentions are anything but. He calls them hypocrites, blind guides and warns them about the consequences they face.
I know there are times when I am no less guilty then the scribes and Pharisees. I am thankful for your voice within me, leading and guiding me rightly.
Sunday | August 22, 2021
The disciples realize what a difficult road they travel with Jesus. Some experience a crisis of faith and turn back. Jesus asks the twelve if they want to go back. Peter speaks for all professing their belief that he is the “Holy One of God” and therefore following him is the only way to go.
I don’t always walk the walk wholeheartedly. I often stray off the path but I do believe you are the way, the only way.
Saturday | August 21, 2021
Jesus warns the crowd, his disciples included, to avoid the hypocritical piety of the scribes and Pharisees. They are completely caught up in themselves and do not practice what they preach. He reminds his listeners that a leader must be at the service of others.
Help me to be a better leader, confident in your vision, committed to your mission, humble and kind.