Monday, July 24, 2017

Feast of Saint James, Apostle - Called to Be Servants

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?´´ They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, in spite of my many failures, I know you continue to call me. Your Spirit continues to guide me. I trust in you, love you and praise you for all your gifts to me. Amen.

Petition: Lord Jesus, grant me a renewed sensitivity to the deepest needs of others.


  1. Called to Serve: In an era of Catholicism in which catch-phrases such as “called to serve” have been overused to the point of becoming clichés, we risk forgetting how central service is to the Christian life. The minutes of our lives are consumed in an incessant cascade of apparently important and urgent things to do. Doesn’t it happen, however, that in the midst of all this we actually miss any number of opportunities to serve? Called to serve, yes, but we miss the call! And our service gets sidelined. If service to my brothers and sisters is not an ordinary element of my daily life as a Christian, I can be sure that I have succumbed to self-deception or taken a critically wrong turn somewhere.



  1. A Continuation of Christ: We are called to give ourselves unreservedly to others as a continuation of Christ. “A continuation of Christ”: now, wouldn’t that make a wonderful epitaph?! For truly, if our Christian service is not a prolongation, an extension of Jesus’ love, if we are not giving him to others, if those whom we serve are not discovering him in us, then our service is simply not service. It might be philanthropy, it might be empathy, but it falls short of genuine Christian service if those whom we serve do not discover Christ in us. Like John the Baptist, we must become less so that Jesus can become more in us, so that our brothers and sisters are not cheated out of encountering that Christ whom they secretly long to discover in each of us.



  1. What Service Means: Here it will be helpful simply to examine ourselves on some of the essentials of Christian service. Is my daily life characterized by a concern for the genuine good of others and by a readiness to do all the good I can for my brothers and sisters? Do I actually engage in daily acts of service, whether big or small? Do I examine myself frequently on the sin of omission? Do I strive, in carrying on the ordinary service required by my state in life, to do so with extraordinary deliberateness and full, conscious self-giving?


Conversation with Christ: Father, you call me to serve, and I know that service also means suffering at times. If suffering is to be a part of your plan for me, give me the grace to collaborate with Christ your son in the salvation of souls by offering that suffering generously to you. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Resolution: Out of love for Christ, present in the least of my brothers and sisters, I will examine myself on what genuine Christian service means to me in practice, and what place it usually has in my daily life.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time - “They Love Me… They Love Me Not…”

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, my prayer will “work” only if I have humility in your presence. So I am approaching you with meekness and humility of heart. I have an infinite need for you and your grace. Thinking about this helps me grow in humility. I trust in you and your grace. Thank you for the unfathomable gift of your love.

Petition:  Lord, let me love the way you love – with self-giving generosity.  

1. The Hurdle of Pride: “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” The relationship of the scribes and Pharisees with Jesus is uni-directional. They demand that he perform a sign if he wishes to be found worthy of their esteem, but they have closed their hearts to any possible openness toward him in advance. Pride makes impossible demands on others and will not be satisfied until these impossible demands are met! Thus pride is never satisfied. It is the cause of division, resentment and bitterness in relationships. Rather than make demands on Christ, we need to make demands on ourselves. We need to make demands that we grow in humility, selflessness and authentic love in imitation of the Lord. 



2. To Love or Not to Love: Pope Benedict XVI teaches us about self-giving love in his encyclical letter, Deus Caritas Est. Commenting on the Song of Songs, he writes: “The poems contained in this book were originally love-songs, perhaps intended for a Jewish wedding feast and meant to exalt conjugal love. In this context it is highly instructive to note that in the course of the book two different Hebrew words are used to indicate ‘love.’ First there is the word dodim, a plural form suggesting a love that is still insecure, indeterminate and searching. This comes to be replaced by the word ahabà. By contrast with an indeterminate, ‘searching’ love, this word expresses the experience of a love which involves a real discovery of the other, moving beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier. Love now becomes concern and care for the other. No longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness; instead it seeks the good of the beloved, it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice” (no. 6).

3. Nineveh and Love: Jesus tells us that at the Judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with the generation of people surrounding him and condemn it. The reason is that the contemporaries of Jonah repented at his preaching. True self-giving love begins with repentance. When I repent I acknowledge the person of God who is worthy of all my love. I feel remorse for having loved him so little or for having offended him who is all love. Love-filled remorse implies a bending of my will affectionately toward the other. This is a form a self-giving love that we can all achieve at any moment of our lives. 

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, I love you. I want to strengthen the habit of self-giving love within me. Presently my love is weak and short-lived. I can always practice loving sorrow for having offended you. Lord, grant me the grace of practicing contrition of heart throughout the day. 

Resolution:  Today I will practice contrition in order to grow in effective love.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Rolling Up the Sleeves and Gathering the Sheaves

Jesus proposed another parable to them. "The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ´Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?´ He answered, ´An enemy has done this.´ His slaves said to him, ´Do you want us to go and pull them up?´ He replied, ´No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, "First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn."´

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your Church. I believe that it is the sacrament of salvation, and that you have chosen to lead me to heaven. Lord, I hope in you. I hope in you because you have gone to prepare a place for me in heaven. Lord, I love you because you loved me first. I love you for giving yourself up for me on the cross.

Petition: Forgive me, Lord, for offending you, and help me to make reparation.

1. Verdant Farm or Barren Wasteland? Lord, you have given me the gift of Baptism and of being your child. “Baptism is God´s most beautiful and magnificent gift” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1216). This gift you have given me is something that I do not deserve. I was born with original sin, and yet, out of your infinite goodness and mercy, you have chosen to nourish my barren field and offer me the Kingdom of heaven. Through the life-giving waters of the sacrament of Baptism, you have taken my field that used to be wasteland and desert and have made it flourish. You have sown wheat in my field so that it may yield abundant fruit.

2. A Tainted Field? Lord, even though you have grafted me into your family through Baptism, there are times when I forget the goal of my life, which is heaven. I am weak, and because of my weakness, at times I taint my field with weeds. “Certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, ‘the tinder for sin’ (fomes peccati); since concupiscence ‘is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ.’ Indeed, ‘an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1264).

3. God Never Gives Up On Me: Lord, even though I have let weeds grow in my field where there was once only wheat, you have given me time to let the good grain grow. You know that all is not lost. There is still hope, and there is still time. Even though I have offended you because of my sins, and even though I have not conquered myself and my tendency to sin, I still experience your love and your mercy. You have not given up on me, although it seems to me that I have often given up on myself. You have given me the gift of time for me to weed my field and to increase the good wheat that is within it, so that the harvest I bear may be fruitful and rich.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, thank you for the gift of your mercy. Thank you for being patient with me, for loving me for who I am, and for encouraging me to continue to grow as I should. 

Resolution: I shall take some time to prepare to make a good confession.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene - Two Hearts Beat as One

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ´I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.´" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and wanting to grow in love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many, yet I trust in your grace never to stay down and always to get up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart. So I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.

Petition: Lord, grant me a love similar to Mary Magdalene’s passionate love for Christ.

1. The Lone Guard: How sad Mary Magdalene must have been as she sat and wept outside our Lord’s tomb! Our Lord had healed her soul; he had cast seven demons from her heart. She had stood at the foot of our Lord’s cross, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John. She had washed our Lord’s feet with her tears; now her tears flow down her face. She’s alone. Or rather she experienced an existential loneliness in the face of the bitter events of Good Friday. But she wasn’t alone. We are never alone in our suffering. Do I suffer alone, or do I open my heart to Our Lord in all my trials? 

2. “Mary!” - How Mary Magdalene must have endeared herself to our Lord. The other followers were locked up in their rooms. Yet here was this simple, humble woman, trying to accompany our Lord in the only way she knew. We have much to learn from this beautiful soul. How she moved the heart of Jesus! She’s the first one he appears to after his resurrection. What a gift. What a gift to have the Risen Lord say your name. Despite her anguish she wishes to honor her Lord who she is about to discover is God. In moments of trial and pain, do I remember to honor God with my thoughts, desires, intentions and actions? Does he remain number one for me no matter what I’m going through?

3. The Ultimate Message: As Mary Magdalene touched our Lord’s heart, he would now touch hers, and she would become the apostle to the apostles. She’s the first one to announce to the world that our Lord has risen from the dead. Jesus is the Lord of life. What was moving through her heart as she hurried towards the apostles? Let’s ask Christ for that gift – to have the same zeal as Mary Magdalene did as she went to proclaim that she had met the Risen Lord! Am I a witness to the saving message of Our Lord including, or especially, in the midst of great personal suffering?

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I want to endear myself to you just as Mary Magdalene did at your tomb. Then, fill me with the joy you instilled in her heart on that first Easter morning.

Resolution: Today I will see how I caxn help at my parish, in imitation of Mary Magdalene’s assistance to our Church 2,000 years ago.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time - Condemning the Innocent on the Sabbath

Jesus was going through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath." He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, ´I desire mercy, not sacrifice,´ you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." 

Introductory Prayer: Almighty and ever-living God, I seek new strength from the courage of Christ our shepherd. I believe in you, I hope in you, and I seek to love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. I want to be led one day to join the saints in heaven, where your Son Jesus Christ lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. 

Petition:  Help me to make every Sunday a special day for me and my family.

1. Fasting on Sunday? It was the Sabbath, a day of rest. The disciples had had a difficult and busy week, and they were hungry. Jesus allowed them to look for food in the fields. This could have discouraged them, not having a meal waiting for them. But they were accustomed to hardship. They were busy and had much to do. There was little free time. Christ was busy on weekends; his mission didn’t stop. The disciples were united with Jesus, participating in his mission. This made all their sacrifices worthwhile and easier to cope with. When we trust in and unite ourselves with Christ, we can be patient and at peace in the midst of trials.

2. The Confrontation: The Sabbath was established in order for the Jewish people to remember and reflect on their special covenant relationship with God. He had delivered them from slavery and given them rest. The Pharisees, however, focused on “what you can’t do” and failed to see “what you should do.” On Sundays, we should focus more on what we should do in order to worthily receive Christ. Then secondary things will not distract us from what is essential. God has a special relationship with us. He has delivered us from slavery. He continues to love us and asks that we love him and others with all our heart. On Sundays, do I recall my covenant relationship with Our Lord? Am I mindful and grateful for all the good things he has done and continues to do for me? Does God take first place for me on Sundays

3. Sunday Service: Christ instructed his disciples about his mission. They grew to understand, appreciate and live it. He taught them to participate at the Sabbath service with fervor, but also to be open to any needs others might have, even on the Sabbath. It is lawful to do good any day of the week, especially the Lord’s Day. Christ cured the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, fed his disciples on the Sabbath, and cured another woman with a bent back on the Sabbath. Charity will inspire us to do good to others even on a Sunday. “Sunday service” and “Service-on-Sunday” go together. Do I ever dedicate my Sundays, or part of them, to bring rest to those who are most in need? What can I do to help the poor and marginalized on that day? How can I instill this spirit of service in my children? 

Conversation with Christ: You long to share your Word and Body with me at Sunday Mass and at every Mass I can attend during the week. May I always have a hunger for this encounter with your love and friendship. May I serve others with the same charity and love as you serve me. May Sunday be the most important day of the week for me and my family. 

Resolution: I will organize this coming Sunday to be a day of worship and rest. I will try to do good to someone this Sunday, and I will help someone come back to Sunday Mass attendance.

Consecration to Mary at @ St. Mark


I want to invite each of you to prepare with me for consecration (or a renewal of your consecration) to Our Lady, on August 22nd, the Queenship of Mary.  Each day for our 33 days of preparation, I'll post the intention and prayer for the day, to help you remember  To learn more, I invite you to visit the St Mark's website for information on how to access the full "33 Days to Morning Glory" retreat for free, through www.formed.org


create an account by using our code: XPDYVT


Go menu:




1-to study




2-faith formation




3-scroll down until you find the group retreat :)




and give your life to Jesus through the Immaculate heart of Mary


I'll be sharing Dayli on Facebook and website on the pastor blog some of the insights and prayers

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time - The Yoke of Love

Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” 


Introductory Prayer: Lord, you know the sincerity of my desire to spend this time with you. As I begin this meditation, I believe that you are here with me, that you never abandon me. Because I love you, my one wish is to please and console you in your solitude in the tabernacle. I hope in the boundless mercy that motivated your incarnation. May we one day meet again in your heavenly kingdom.


Petition: Mary, you who are the perfect model of humility, help me to be meek and humble like Christ your Son, who out of love for me became a helpless infant at Bethlehem.


1. Who Is This Man? Who is this man who stands before us in this Gospel—the man whose gaze has penetrated into the most secret recesses of our souls and discovered what lies hidden there? A man who recognizes that we labor, that we are burdened by the demands of life, weighed down by our sins and imperfections, straining under the load of our passions and unfulfilled desires. Who is this man who would dare promise what we have always longed for in the inner sanctuaries of our consciences, yet never quite allowed ourselves to hope for? Who could utter such a simple, gentle, and appealing invitation, more than we could ever find ourselves worthy of: “Come to me… and I will give you rest”? Who but God himself? 


2. How Can We Come to Him? How can we accept the invitation of the one who is God become man? How can we come to him? How can we attain what our souls have longed for all the days of our existence? Christ himself gives us the answer: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” He is so humble that he does not even wait for us to respond to his invitation. He humbles himself so that he can first come to us at Christmas. To discover how to turn to him with our heavy burden of selfishness and unrestrained passions, we can first approach the manger where the King of Kings lies so helplessly.


3. A Mystery of Humility and Love: Bethlehem is a mystery of humility and love. Doesn’t Christ seem humble to you, reduced to the state of a helpless infant? Without words or speeches he teaches a living lesson we need to feel with all the intensity of which we are capable, allowing the consequences to spring forth on their own. Can we imagine any other state in which the goodness and humility of God radiate more clearly? Before this helpless child, who is God Incarnate out of love for us, we are reduced to silent wonder. All vain ambitions fade, all anger and bitter passion soften and all idle pursuits are driven far from our hearts. The yoke that burdened us, the rod of our taskmaster, is smashed and it is replaced by the light and easy yoke of love.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to penetrate more deeply into the mystery of your becoming a helpless and innocent child at Bethlehem for me. Help me to grow in goodness of heart so I can radiate your goodness to those around me.


Resolution: On my way to and from work today, I will contemplate Christ meek and humble in the manger at Bethlehem. I will imitate his loving humility in my own life and have the confidence to turn to him for help with my failings.