Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thursday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time "Teaching the Thickheaded"

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch." Simon said in reply, "Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets." When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man." For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for revealing your tender, merciful, Sacred Heart to us. Your Heart gives me the confidence to turn back to you as many times as I fall. I know that I hurt you the most when I neglect to trust in your infinite love for me. And so now in this meditation, good and kind Jesus, I intend to rest in your love. 

Petition: Lord, give me faith so I can be a docile instrument in your great work of saving souls.

1. Jesus Sees Our Hearts: In today’s Gospel we see Our Lord presented as a wonderful teacher of souls. First, Christ is a teacher to the multitude whose hearts were opened to his teaching by his marvelous miracles. He is also more subtly presented as a teacher to Saint Peter, whom he would later choose to lead his Church. His first lesson to Peter, besides the one Peter hears Jesus preach from his boat, is the very personal message of his worth in Christ’s eyes. Jesus provides a miracle just for Peter—not to heal him of some infirmity, but to demonstrate Christ’s overflowing love for him. He speaks loudly through his action of the miraculous catch. Whether through want or abundance, health or infirmity, am I able to discern Our Lord’s lessons for me in my life? Am I open to his lessons of love?

2. From the Depths of Our Faith: Our Lord implemented a deeper lesson plan with Peter in order to prepare him for his great mission of being the first pope. Peter would need to move to a more supernatural level if Christ were to entrust him with the keys of the Kingdom of heaven. Testing his generosity, Christ commandeered Peter’s boat in order to teach the crowds gathered at the shore. Then Jesus led Peter to make an act of faith: he asked him to set out into the deep and drop his nets at a time when it didn’t appear opportune to fish. If Peter were to answer the supernatural call to be a fisher of men, he would have to depend on Our Lord’s working of miracles. Only by the grace of Christ is God able to redeem what humanly seems unsalvageable. 

3. A Lesson of Mercy: Mercy is God’s divine method of teaching: by showing mercy to sinners, Christ teaches us important lessons. Peter’s intentions are discovered and revealed in his confession at the shore. Peter confesses his lack of faith despite his “obedience” to Our Lord’s command to cast out into the deep. Our Lord taught Peter a great lesson when he blessed Peter’s feeble and meager faith with a contrastingly abundant catch of fish. Does my faith in God show in my actions? Am I willing to respond generously in the work of the New Evangelization?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me with the grace of your mercy to accept  what seems unfeasible in human terms. Help me to accept your call for me to work in establishing a civilization of love in today’s world. Help me Lord, to be always faithful to your friendship, sincere in my faith, and diligent in service to you and my neighbors in need.

Resolution: Today I will pray and make a sacrifice to Our Lord so that he sends generous and holy vocations to the Church, especially where she needs them the most.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wednesday of Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time "Risen People Called to Serve"

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ. At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for coming into my house. I am honored that you wish to stop by even when I don’t call for you. I am extremely grateful for the personal attention that you give me, especially when I am ill and in need of your grace.

Petition: Lord, cure me of my spiritual ailments so I may serve you in others.

  1. Christ Raises Us Up: There is a certain matter-of-factness about the cure in this Gospel passage: no special words of Jesus, no words of thanks, no reaction of the people. It is as if Jesus simply and routinely entered a home and helped a very sick woman up and out of bed. Not your typical miracle that draws a lot of attention. While we hope for that long-awaited miracle in our lives, we might be overlooking one of these very ordinary cures that Christ often offers us. In the spiritual realm, it may be a good confession, receiving him in the Eucharist, spiritual guidance, or a regular examination of conscience. In the physical realm, it may be just taking good care of my health by eating or sleeping properly. We don’t need to demand a special cure. Rather we must be encouraged that Christ has directed his gaze towards us.
  1. He Helps Us to Our Feet: Notice how quickly everything happens in today’s Gospel. Christ helps Simon’s mother-in-law to her feet immediately. She cooperates without skepticism or words of protest. She believes in Christ. His grace is effective. The cure is complete and instantaneous. He allows us to stand up on our own and resume our duties.
  1. He Cures Us So That We Might Serve: We are very good about pleading to Christ for cures, yet frequently hassled when he sends us the “bill” — namely that of serving others. Simon’s mother-in-law immediately begins to serve Christ, who has put her back on her feet. She immediately forgets about herself –– her problems, how she feels, how much time her sickness has set her back –– and instead focuses on the needs of others. Jesus raises up Christians from the death of sin and calls upon them to serve. Christians are risen people whose vocation is to serve.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, everybody is looking for you. You have put me back on my feet and have asked me to imitate your life of service. Help me to be generous with the life you have restored in me so that I, too, might put the interests of your Kingdom above my personal plans.

Resolution: I will earnestly ask Christ to cure me of my most dominant defect, taking one concrete step in acquiring its opposing virtue.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time "Christ at Home in Capernaum"


Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are — the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you have looked with favor on me. You have seen in my soul fertile ground, and you have sown your word in hope of an abundant harvest. I hope never to let you down by not responding in faith. I allow you to lead me to the fullness of my vocation as your disciple.

Petition: Christ, may zeal for your friendship consume me so much that I remove all sin from my life.

  1. Great Hopes: Jesus had great plans for Capernaum –– a big city, situated by the lake on the “way of the sea,” a thoroughfare open to travelers. It was an ideal hub from which to spread the Gospel. Would anyone from such a big town have interest in his message? Christ made his home there. He exercised the greater part of his public ministry in Capernaum and graced it with more than one-third of his miracles. It was quite different from Nazareth. Christ asks us to find our Capernaum –– seeking that niche, using those talents, evangelizing that audience — where we can become the most effective apostles for him. This may demand a greater love from us, but we can see how Christ blesses this effort with his presence, teaching and healing.
  1. Simple Faith: Christ chooses to cure a man on the Sabbath in Capernaum and nobody raises an eyebrow! How different this is from Jerusalem! These people here have a simple faith, unconcerned about the legalities of ritualistic orthodoxy. “Here I can preach. Here I can heal. Here I can work!” Christ feels at home and welcomed. Here Christ finds vocations: Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew. Here Christ finds faith even among the pagans: the centurion who asks for a cure. One can sense a special predilection of Christ toward this city. From those who have been given more, more will be expected.
  1. Generosity Pushed to Its Limits: Once a soul responds in generosity, Christ opportunely draws it to the fullness of its vocation. Encouraged by Capernaum’s faith, Christ asks more of it; just as he asked of the rich young man. As we see later in the Gospel, what better place than faith-filled Capernaum for Christ to reveal to the world one of his most difficult teachings: presenting himself as the Living Bread come down from heaven? In the end, the majority leave him. “Will you go away too?” The present-day ruins of Capernaum testify to the truth of Christ’s warning: “As for you, Capernaum, ‘Are you to be exalted to the skies? You shall go down to the realm of death!’ If the miracles worked in you had taken place in Sodom, it would be standing today. I assure you, it will go easier for Sodom than for you on the Day of Judgment” (Matthew 11:23-4).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know me and you know everything about me. Let me not become blinded by the arrogance of my own opinions and ideas. Help me to keep you always before me as the goal of my life, the pearl of great price, for which I joyfully sell all I own to possess.

Resolution: I will use one of my talents to help somebody today.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist "Witness to the Truth"


Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother´s wife." Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias´s own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, "Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you." He even swore many things to her, "I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom." She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" She replied, "The head of John the Baptist." The girl hurried back to the king´s presence and made her request, "I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your wondrous shining glory, although this is hidden from my eyes. I hope in the peace and everlasting joy of the world to come, for this world is a valley of tears. I love you, even though I am not always able to discern the love in your intentions when you permit me to suffer. You are my God and my all.

Petition: Lord, let me never fear the consequences of speaking the truth.


  1. Speaking Truth to Power: Although Herod was a cruel tyrant, John the Baptist did not hesitate to condemn his adulterous conduct and to denounce his sin publicly. John was moved by the Holy Spirit to give witness and teach the people that no one can legitimately violate God’s commandments, not even a king. John did not fear the consequences of his actions, because he knew that if he were faithful, God would be at his side and never let him down, even if he had to suffer on account of the truth. We, too, need to give courageous witness to our family, friends and to the society at large. When we do, God will be with us and we will have nothing to fear.



  1. It Was Something That You Said: Mark tells us that Herod, although he resented what John said in accusing him of adultery, nonetheless “like[d] to listen to him,” and he was “much perplexed.” In his moral weakness, he persisted in his sin, yet the cries of the prophet to repent did reach his conscience. Herod was in confusion. Something was stirring in his conscience; the Holy Spirit was moving inside him to bring him to true repentance for his sin. God never abandons the sinner, but gives him grace to turn back to him. We should never lose hope for one who seems to be lost and wandering in sin. We should always continue to speak the truth with love and pray for a full conversion. God can change the heart of even the worst of sinners. He has forgiven us so much, and he can forgive others as well.



  1. A Conversion Cut Short: The Gospel tells how Herod, in an imprudent promise to Herodias’ daughter, found himself compromised and, for fear of losing face, had to order the beheading of John the Baptist. Here his moral weakness overcame the first stirrings of the grace of conversion. He closed his heart to God’s action due to his lust and vanity, and he committed the terrible crime of murder of an innocent man. How sin can darken the conscience and extinguish God’s grace in the heart of a person given over only to satisfying their passions.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to be faithful to your teachings and to be frank with those I love who need to hear your word. I know that takes prudence, courage and steadfastness. Help me to be true to you. Give me the grace of a good conscience always to speak the truth with rectitude and love for your law.

Resolution: I will pray for the grace to witness to the truth, “in season and out of season,” no matter what the consequences.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sunday, 22nd Week in Ordinary Time "Christ, the Demanding Guest"

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. "When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ´Give your place to this man,´ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ´My friend, move up to a higher position.´ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." Then he said to the host who invited him, "When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Introductory Prayer:  Lord God, I come from dust and to dust I shall return. You, however, existed before all time, and every creature takes its being from you. You formed me in my mother’s womb with infinite care, and you watch over me tenderly. I hope you will embrace my soul at my death to carry me home to heaven to be with you forever. Thank you for looking upon me and blessing me with your love. Take my love in return. I humbly offer you all that I am. 

Petition: Grant me, Lord, to put my life humbly in your hands.

1. Opening the Door to God  Today’s reading shows us Jesus dining at the house of a Pharisee. Apparently they had invited him in order to examine him closely, as they tended to find fault with everyone who was not of their sect. Jesus turns the tables by calling them to task for their pride. Inviting Jesus into our lives always means opening ourselves to a challenge. He will reward our generosity by offering us the road to greater holiness – which means that he will reveal our weaknesses to us and challenge us to be better. Christianity isn’t comfortable. We have to be ready to discover that we are not as holy and good as we thought we were. Humility is an essential virtue for any true Christian. We need to ask ourselves if we give God the first place at the table in our lives, and if we are really listening to his invitation to conquer our defects and grow in sanctity.

2. The Quickest Way Up Is to Go Down Living humility may be difficult sometimes because of our natural tendency to be self-centered, “to look out for #1.” Nonetheless, Jesus teaches that living humility is the gateway to the road that leads to happiness. If we are only looking out for ourselves, seeking the highest “places of honor,” we are bound to be disappointed. God does not reward self-love. Moreover, because of our limitations, we do not know well what is good for us, nor are we able to achieve it without God’s grace. The rewards we can expect from human beings – honors, power, pleasure – are limited in time and quantity, and cannot satisfy our soul, which yearns for God. How often has our pride been the cause of conflict and unhappiness? God will lift us up to true fulfillment only if we get down from our own ivory tower of egotism. 

3. Save Room for Dessert…  If we are humble and seek to serve God instead of our own aggrandizement, then we leave the reward up to God: He will give us the place in his plan that is best for us. God’s reward is always better than what the world can offer because he promises everlasting life and the joy of heaven. Although we don’t know exactly what that will be like, Jesus clearly tells us that it’s so good, we should strive not to be rewarded in this life. That seems to go against common sense – “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” – but if we really have faith in God and his Word, we need to put it into practice. If life is like the banquet of today’s reading, our time in this world is just the appetizer. "What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, help me to trust in you completely, not seeking myself, but doing my best to serve you with humility and letting you take care of the rest. I know you are all good and loving, and you will not let those who serve you go without their reward.

Resolution:  Today I will practice humility by putting others first in whatever way I can: yielding to them in conversation, giving them the first choice when possible…

Friday, August 26, 2016

Memorial of Saint Monica "Invest in Christ"

For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master´s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ´Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.´ His master said to him, ´Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.´ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ´Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.´ His master said to him, ´Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.´ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ´Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.´ But his master replied, ´You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.´

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I know that you don’t want me to live my life in fear. Only one type of fear is legitimate: the fear of losing you. Because I know you will never leave me, I am not afraid of this either. I know that I can lose you only if leave you. Jesus, I place my hope in you and offer you all my love.

Petition: Heavenly Father, grant me the grace of increased hope and trust in you.

1. To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected: At times, life can seem a little overwhelming, and we can feel we just don’t have what it takes. Then we are reminded of a certain truth: Christ never gives us more than we can handle! When Christ gives us a mission or allows a temptation, he always provides the talents and grace to complete that mission or resist that temptation. What, then, is there to be afraid of? Each of us has been given a certain amount of talents; thus, we are expected to bear a certain amount of fruit. We are not expected to bear fruit beyond the talents we have been given. Each of us is faithful to the degree in which we glorify God by using our talents!

2. There Is Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself: St. John tells us that “God is love.” There is, then, only one proper response to him: love. It is amazing to think that we can fear him who is described simply as “love.” We might fear what will happen in the future – college, job, family, and so on – but does this really solve anything? If we look into the past, it’s easy to see that many of our fears were unfounded and unrealized. So why is this fear present? Satan will use any means to separate us from our God who is love. If he can’t get us to fall by committing sin, he paints a picture that might make us fear or fall into discouragement. It has been said that “after mortal sin our biggest enemy is discouragement.” Our faults keep us humble, aware that we are always in need of Christ. No disposition brings greater joy to the heart of Christ than that of a humble, trustful child.

3. Take a Risk for Christ: Christ took the ultimate risk for me! He died knowing full well that I might not choose him, and yet the small chance that I would, far outweighed the chance that I would reject him. Again I am reminded that Christ didn’t die for a whole mass of people, but that he died for each of us individually: He died for me! Jesus, I want to be like the first disciples who loved you with an unrestrained love. I want to go out on a limb for you! I want to offer my life for the salvation of one soul, knowing full well that he might not choose you!

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I know that you do not want me to be afraid of failure. I know that if I try my hardest for you, there will be no such thing. Please help me always to fight courageously in order to better myself for your glory.

Resolution: Today, when the opportunity presents itself, I will speak to someone about Christ.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time "Ready or Not!"

Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, ´Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!´ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ´Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.´ But the wise ones replied, ´No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.´ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ´Lord, Lord, open the door for us!´ But he said in reply, ´Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.´ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love.

Petition: Lord, make me long for and strive to enter the kingdom of heaven.

1. A Severe Oil Shortage: The Gospel invites us to have oil for our lamps, that is, to be always ready for the coming of the Lord. He appears in moments and ways we do not expect and at all times throughout our day. The foolish virgins failed to anticipate when and how the Lord would come to them, and they were not prepared. So often we, too, get caught up in a thousand affairs and worries, and we can miss what is essential. We miss the presence of Christ in the people around us, in the circumstances in which we are living. Sometimes, Christ comes to us through some sacrifice or suffering; but we do not recognize him in it, and we reject it. We need to strengthen our faith and see how the Lord may appear in our lives.

2. The Door Closes: Over and over in the New Testament, Jesus makes clear that there is a real possibility some people, due to their own choices, may not be saved. The most terrible thing that could happen to any person would be to hear those words from the Lord who created us and died to save us: “I do not know you.” The Lord takes our freedom to choose very seriously. He never forces our will. He never imposes himself on us. Rather he invites us to make a free response of love and obedience to him and the way of life he taught us. We must choose to remain steadfast in the way of the Christian life. God cannot save us without our cooperation.

3. Stay Awake: Saint Augustine said, “Beware of the grace of God that passes and does not return.” We need to perceive God’s presence in the little things of each day and never let the opportunity to love and serve him pass us by. Our faith must be ready and watching for him. If we take him for granted, or presume that we are already saved, we can miss our chance to be with him.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, thank you for teaching us so clearly about the seriousness of our choices. How terrible it would be to opt for death instead of eternal life with you! I want to choose you and your ways, but I am weak. Make me watch and wait always, ready to see you in all things and do your will.

Resolution: I will actively look for signs of Christ in others today.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thursday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time "No Sleeping on the Job"

Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ´My master is long delayed,´ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant´s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."


Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love. 


Petition:  Lord, help me to remain alert, keeping the goal of heaven always in mind.


1. Days and Hours  None of us knows how long we have to live, nor did Jesus reveal how long human history would continue before he came again for the Final Judgment. This should make us realize we need to be always ready to meet Our Lord, to have our actions true, and our conscience always clear. We need to be living as if each day were our last, as if our eternal happiness depended on the choices and actions of this very day. Every moment is precious and important in God’s eyes, and the one necessary thing is working to attain our salvation. This is more important than anything else we can accomplish in life. 


2. True Prudence The servant who is constant and steady, who does what he is supposed to do at each moment, is the truly prudent person. God wants us to be faithful and follow his will every single day. This is the path to holiness and union with God; there is no other way we can be close to God except by doing his will, out of love and gratitude. How do my actions today reflect loving obedience to God’s will? Am I putting God at the center of my life, or do I have him and his will relegated to the margins, paying attention to what he wants of me only from time to time? 


3. A Long Delay  Often it can seem that God is distant and not involved in our lives. It can seem that he is not coming back anytime soon, and this can lead us to become distracted with many other things. Every day we need to renew our spirit of faith in God and in his constant presence, living each day to please him, no matter how long the delay seems to be. We need to live in his presence through faith in him and his revelation, which guides us along the pathway to eternal life. We need to keep a lively, operative faith in God and in his presence every day. 


Conversation with Christ:  Lord, teach me to pray with real faith in you and in your word which gives life. Help me believe at every moment so that I can please you, do your will and grow in holiness. 


Resolution:  I will renew my faith each day, frequently making conscious and fervent acts of faith.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle "Believing in the Signs"


Philip found Nathaniel and told him, "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth." But Nathaniel said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward him and said of him, "Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathaniel said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Nathaniel answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." Jesus answered and said to him, "Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this." And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in your wondrous shining glory, although this is hidden from my eyes. I hope i the peace and everlasting joy of the world to come, for this world is a valley of tears. I love you, even though I am not always able to discern the love in your intentions when you permit me to suffer. You are my God and my all.

Petition: Lord, increase my intimacy with you.


  1. The Call: It is traditionally understood that the Nathaniel St. John refers to is St. Bartholomew the apostle. Nathaniel, like all of us, receives a call to be an apostle. In Nathaniel’s case, the call does not come directly from Jesus, but through a mediator, Philip, who testifies to him who Jesus is. At first Nathaniel doubts, but he does not totally reject the idea and goes to meet Jesus. Christ calls many of us through a mediator: a friend, relative, consecrated person, etc. Even though there may be doubts, as long as there is some opening in us, Christ is able to work and draw us closer to himself.



  1. The Profession of Faith: Nathaniel’s contact with Christ results in a profession of faith, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Here there is no doubt or skepticism. The encounter with Christ produces a clear and firm affirmation. Philip, the intermediary, drops out of the picture and Nathaniel has a direct and strong personal relationship with Christ. Nathaniel becomes a convinced apostle. So too, even though we may have come to Christ through intermediaries, we gradually begin to base our faith on our own personal experience of Christ.



  1. Greater Things: Nathaniel – St. Bartholomew – went on to become one of the Twelve Apostles. Tradition has it that he preached the Gospel in India and Armenia where he died a martyr, flayed alive and beheaded. No doubt it was his insight of faith, his perception of the greater things that gave him the strength and fortitude to preach the Gospel and die a martyr. From his first simple encounter with Christ he became a great saint who lived his life in profound union with God.


Conversation with Christ: Lord, I know that sometimes I can be a skeptic, not trusting that you can transform my life. So often I have these simple prayerful dialogues with you; please help me so that these small conversations can blossom into a firm profession of faith and a tenacious apostolic zeal.

Resolution: I will pray the Creed sometime during the day to renew my faith in Christ.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tuesday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time "First Things First in Law"


Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may become clean.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love.

Petition: Lord, help me to dedicate my life to weightier matters rather than mere appearances.

  1. Tithed Up in Knots: When God originally commanded his people to tithe, it was so that they would acknowledge him as the source of all the gifts in their lives. It was to be the recognition on their part that all they had was from him, that he is Lord, and that his law is the way to salvation. Yet it became easy for the Israelites to fall into legalism and forget the true purpose of the tithe. They observed the letter of the law and forgot the meaning of the law: acknowledge the sovereignty of God. In the end, all we are and all we have belongs to God. We have to use our talents, wealth and possessions all for him and his kingdom. Is there some area in which I do not acknowledge his sovereignty in my life?
  1. What Really Counts: What are the weightier matters of the law? Jesus speaks of justice and mercy and faith. When we neglect these, we are distorting true religion, for true religion is not a question of formalisms and actions to appease God, but rather of turning our hearts to his word. We need to make our hearts more like his, in charity and mercy toward others. How many times do we miss the most important things and work only at side issues? How often do we try to please God in the wrong way, by supposing we are doing his will when really we are only doing our own will instead? How often do we forget the true essence of devotion to the law of God?
  1. Interior Cleaning: “First clean the inside of the cup…” We should tend to our soul and make sure the intentions behind our actions are holy motivations. We need to check our heart frequently so that we can work with purity of intention. Sometimes we work only to present an appearance to others, to appear virtuous and holy, but inside we are filled with negative judgments, such as lack of charity. Virtue comes from within the heart of a person, where the Spirit dwells and inspires as he wills. We need to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and follow his lead.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you know what is in my heart. Purify it and recast it in the image of your divine heart, so that I may love you and love others as you love them. Let me put aside all vanity and desire for appearances that does not give glory to you.

Resolution: I will examine my conscience as to the motives of my actions each day, making sure I am inspired by mercy, justice and faith.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Monday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?"

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of Heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. "Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ´If one swears by the Temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the Temple, one is obligated.´ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the Temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ´If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.´ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the Temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it."

Introductory Prayer:  Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me. I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my love. 

Petition: Lord, help me to be a person of great integrity – the same inside and out.

1. No Hypocrites Need Apply  The scribes and Pharisees lacked the authenticity and rectitude of conscience needed to please God. We need to let our behavior, our word and our conscience be in harmony and open before God. Conscience is that secret sanctuary where we are alone with God and we hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to us in the depths of our heart. To violate that conscience, that is, to go against what we know to be true, is to deny ourselves what is most important to our salvation. A good conscience is the greatest good thing we can possess in this life. It gives us peace, serenity and an assurance of our perseverance in good.

2. Misleading Others Has a Price  Christ is very harsh on those who lead others astray, especially those who have a responsibility to teach and guide others in the way of salvation. It is a great sin to give scandal and to lead others away from the path of truth. There are many examples of this: There are those entrusted to teach in the name of the Church but substitute their personal opinions, and those who give a testimony of disordered lifestyles, especially to the young and impressionable. The salvation of all of us is linked together; we need to build each other up and help each other on the way to Christ. Others have a right to our good example and to our speaking truth.

3. No Swearing Here!  Jesus warns against idle words, exaggerations and swearing in the name of God or by his altar. He wants us to be sincere in all we say and do, so that the integrity of our lives may be apparent to all who see us. If we live with a clear conscience and act before God in all things, we can then simply give our word and have it mean all we have inside us. What a wonderful thing it is to deal with people who are simple and transparent, who can be taken at face value, because to be devious or calculating never occurs to them, or to be in any way false or insincere. 

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, give me the grace of real sincerity of heart in dealing with you and with others. Teach me to give my word and mean it with all my heart.

Resolution:  I will review my examination of conscience to make sure I am going deep enough to know what God wants of me.

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time "The One Thing Necessary"


Jesus passed througho towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" He answered them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ´Lord, open the door for us.´ He will say to you in reply, ´I do not know where you are from.´ And you will say, ´We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.´ Then he will say to you, ´I do not know where (you) are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!´ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."

Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, my God. You called me into existence from nothingness and carefully watch over me. You have even numbered the hairs of my head. I trust in your infinite goodness, and I abandon into your loving hands my fears, my hopes, my needs, my desires, everything. I love you, Lord, and wish to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.

Petition:  I shall not fear for my salvation, but grow in confidence in you, my God.

1. Salvation: A Numbers Racket? We never stop asking the question the person in the Gospel asked Jesus. If we don’t achieve eternal life, nothing else we have attained in life matters. Jesus does not give the answer we might want to hear: that many are saved, and salvation is a sure and simple thing to reach. Instead, he warns us against presumption in this matter. As Saint Paul later said, “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). It is something we need to take with the utmost seriousness. Every day we need to pray for the grace to persevere to the end. We need to live each day with the perspective that it could be our last. We need to go back to the venerable tradition of praying for a “happy death.”

2. Narrow Gates: When Jesus speaks of the narrow gate, he is saying that salvation is not a birthright or something guaranteed. It depends on our active cooperation with his grace -- the real effort to love God and follow his will. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Jesus warned that not everyone who cries out, “Lord, Lord…” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of his Father in heaven. Obedience to God’s will is the best assurance we can have of our salvation. What is there in my life that is not in accord with his will?

3. Judge Not… We might also be surprised that those from “the east and the west” will enter the kingdom before many others. We might be surprised at those who are saved. Salvation is not a privilege of a race or a chosen people. It is a matter of how we respond in freedom to grace and the invitation of the Lord to a certain way of life. We shouldn’t give in to judging where others stand; we should only attend to our own soul. Are we at peace with God in our conscience? Can we be sure we are objective about our own situation in God’s eyes? Our conscience should be clear, and we should make sure we are serene and have peace of soul. If we find there is something between us and God’s will, we should go to confession and pray for the grace to change.

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, give me the grace to know your will and the discernment to know if there is anything in my soul that is keeping me from you. Help me to overcome any obstacle, so that I may be one with you and that your will may be my guide every day.

Resolution:  I will make frequent confession a habit and every day examine my conscience to seek union and peace with the Lord.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church "Actions Speak Louder Than Words"

Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses´ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father-- the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, though I cannot see you with my eyes, I believe you are present to me now, in my innermost being, and that you know me far better than I know myself. I also know that you love me much more than I love my own self. Thank you for loving and watching over me, though I don’t deserve your love. In return, I offer you my sorrow for my sins and my hopes to love you more each day.

Petition: Lord, help me to be humble like you. 

1. Disinterested Charity: How do we know that we are truly working for God? When we are willing to work for him for nothing. God calls some missionaries to work with the poor, who can repay their benefactors with nothing more than smiles and gratitude. Other missionaries work with the humanly and spiritually poor, who neither recognize their neediness nor value the work of Christian evangelization. Parents put in long, hidden hours of service to sustain their families, often without receiving a simple “thank you.” Christ shunned human recognition not just with his words: when the people wanted to make him king, he hurried off to proclaim the Good News somewhere else. Do I value my charity towards others more than I value any position of authority? Do I seek the praise of others for the good deeds I do?

2. Little Misunderstandings: Christian authority comes not from titles or positions, but from our faithful adherence to Christ’s commandment of charity and service. We should welcome misunderstanding in the face of our doing good. It means that God is inviting us to attain a higher level in our charity and Christian leadership. With his fidelity, Christ shows us that we have every reason to believe in the fulfillment of God’s promise. The book of Wisdom shows us that misunderstanding is part of God’s plan: “He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him” (Wisdom 2: 16-20).

3. The Cross is Our Claim to Glory: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (John 12:32). Christ did not lift himself up for others to notice; he refused to exalt himself. He refused the places of honor at banquets (he sat with the tax collectors), seats of honor in synagogues (they threw him out), and special greetings in marketplaces (“Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18)). His silence infuriated Pilate: “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” (John 19:10). They asked Christ to exalt himself by coming down from the cross, and he refused. This is the real test of our trust and love: trusting that God really cares for us when he allows us to be crucified for being faithful, and loving that crucifixion by embracing it willingly for the good of souls.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I know I will never be able to be as humble as you, but I want to desire and work for the greatest degree of humility possible for me. I want to leave behind the pride that has damaged so many areas of my life. I want to have your example always fresh in my mind so that I can keep advancing—not in order to glory in my own perfection, but in order to please you and do your will.

Resolution: I will think of the relationship in my life where my pride is most destructive. I will take concrete steps to deal with that person more positively and humbly.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time "Being Like God"


When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them a scholar of the law tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Introductory Prayer:  Dear Lord, I believe in you, because you have a plan for me that will bring me to be like you. I hope in you, because your example and your grace give me the strength to be able to identify my will with yours. I love you, because only by loving you can I be transformed into you and be holy.

Petition:  Give me, Lord, the grace to practice charity faithfully.

1. Wanting What God Wants  What is true love? Quoting the Roman historian, Sallust, Pope Benedict shows us what the authentic content of love is: “To want the same thing, and to reject the same thing was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other, and this leads to community of will and thought” (Deus Caritas Est, 17). This quote helps us understand that to love is to identify our will with God’s will. This leads us to be like God. This fact corrects the error of our first parents who disobeyed God.

2. Love Has Two Dimensions  True love has two dimensions: love for God and love for our neighbor. The first epistle of John, known as the “Magna Carta” of charity, expressess frequently and clearly the close relationship between them. One cannot exist without the other: “No one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10); “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1 John 4:7); “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another” (1 John 4:11); “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21).

3. Loving Others  Loving God requires loving others. This is not easy, especially in a world that highly esteems individualism and permits stepping on others to get ahead. If loving others according to the Old Testament requirement, “as you love yourself” is difficult, we can imagine how difficult it is to love others according to Christ’s requirement, “as I have loved you” (cf. John 13:34), which is a true Christian’s hallmark: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). How many times do we judge only from appearances, or judge people only by their physical traits or defects? It’s so easy to comment on peoples’ defects, imperfections, and ways of acting; yet, it is so difficult to praise constantly what is positive in them. One of the best ways to love our neighbor is to seek charity in speech.

Conversation with Christ:  Dear Jesus, give me the grace to love others with all my effort and good will. I want to contemplate you, Lord, so that I may learn from you how to love them to the point of giving my life for them.

Resolution:  I will practice charity towards others in a very concrete way.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time "Invited and wearing the right clothes"


Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.’ But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you because you have created me to be with you. I hope in you because you always give me what I need to be with you. I love you because you continue to invite me, in spite of my reticence and sinfulness.

Petition: Lord, grant me the grace to value heaven and to live in such a way that I can get there.

  1. How Dare You Not Accept! God invites us to accept freely the gift of union with him to which he calls us. But, lo and behold, we can use our freedom badly and not accept the only thing that can truly make us happy. This occurs when we forget about God, no longer giving him the adoration and love he deserves as our Creator and Father, putting ourselves in first place, and becoming the sole criteria for our decisions and actions. This passage helps us to remember what type of freedom we have. We do not have absolute freedom. We can’t choose what our end should be. Only God is our end. Our freedom is limited and consists in being free to choose the means that most efficaciously help us to reach that end.
  1. An Undeserved Invitation: Our possibility of getting to heaven is truly a gift from God. He invites us even though we are sinners, even though we don’t take his Son’s death and resurrection seriously, even though we continue to fall in spite of having all the grace and strength we need to overcome temptation. St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans, states how hard it is for a man to give his life for another person (see Romans 4:7). Maybe he would do it for a very good person. Christ didn’t give his life for good persons; he gave it for sinners. We should be moved to respond to this amazing manifestation of love for us: Total adherence to God is the only worthy response.
  1. Dressing for the Occasion: God is good, but he is not na├»ve. He won’t let us in to full communion with him if we do not value it properly. The robe mentioned in the Gospel passage is an image of the soul. The soul that has been purified and is prepared to enter into heaven wears a wedding robe. The soul that is full of selfishness and sin is improperly dressed. It is not a matter of God not having mercy on us. It’s a matter of the use of our freedom. When we encounter something that has value and know that it will make us better, we have to appropriate that value through conscious effort. We have to live up to it. We can’t be indifferent or superficial regarding heaven. We shouldn’t regard it as just something possible; it should be an existential need.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, so many times I give more importance to my own satisfaction than to centering my attention and efforts on achieving true communion with you. Help me to value your invitation to reach heaven through a truly Christian life that prefers virtue to sin, disinterested love to selfishness, humility to pride.

Resolution: Today I will try to work on a virtue that I need so as to respond to God’s love for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Wednesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time "Working for God"


Jesus told his disciples this parable: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o´clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ´You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.´ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o´clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o´clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ´Why do you stand here idle all day?´ They answered, ´Because no one has hired us.´ He said to them, ´You too go into my vineyard.´ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ´Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.´ When those who had started about five o´clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ´These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day´s burden and the heat.´ He said to one of them in reply, ´My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?´ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Introductory Prayer: Dear Jesus, I believe in you because you have revealed your plan of love to the Church. I hope in you because you are more interested in my happiness and salvation than I am. I love you because you have loved me without my deserving your love.

Petition: Lord, help me to appreciate and be grateful for your grace.


  1. There Is Always an Opportunity: One of the worst experiences is to accept that you have lost the last opportunity to do something you have always wanted to do. This can occur in any human situation: job opportunities, university acceptances, etc. In the spiritual life, on the other hand, there is always the opportunity to live only for God, the opportunity to be redeemed. There is always the possibility to start again. Why is this? It is because God has granted us our time on earth to walk towards him. Therefore, even if we fall, he continues to give us the strength to get up. That is why the sacrament of reconciliation is so important. When we lose grace, our spiritual strength, we can regain it in the sacraments, especially in confession.
  1. Expecting More Than You Deserve: Considered from a merely human point of view, this Gospel’s situation is an unjust one. Whoever works more should receive more than those who work less. We tend to forget, however, that in terms of the spiritual, everything is a gift. There is nothing in our nature that can demand grace. The demands of our faith are not “favors” we do for God, but existential obligations. That is why Christ reminds us, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ´We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do´” (Luke 17:10).
  1. The Generosity of God: God’s generosity is a manifestation of his love for us. He knows each and every person intimately and personally. He knows that the needs of some are bigger than those of others. To think that God loves some people more than others is an injustice to God. We owe love and respect to others because we are all human persons with the same dignity. We owe adoration and love to God because he is our creator and provident Father. But God owes nothing to his creatures. Everything he gives us is gratuitous and a fruit of his infinite love. It’s too easy to treat God in a human way, forgetting that he is God. The most beautiful gift he gives us is his grace.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, I sometimes see things from a very human and selfish point of view. Sometimes I find myself getting angry because others may have more than I do. Help me understand that the most important thing to be truly happy in my life is to be aware of the need I have of your grace.

Resolution: I will thank Christ for his grace and love and will try to imitate him by being generous to others.