Come to Him

Readings for Thursday July 14, 2011

Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, virgin

First Reading: Exodus 13:13-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 105
Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus said: “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." (Mt 11:28-30)

I always enjoy reading today's gospel, because each time I do, I can feel Christ's compassion and love for us. He knows full well that this world has the ability to beat us down and just drain the life out of us, but His words tell us to come to Him during those times. So many of us are burdened, and it is Christ who wants to give us rest. He doesn't want us struggling and just trying to survive in this world, He wants us to learn from Him, to take His yoke and accept what He gives for free.

Take some time today and really reflect on this passage. What does this mean to you? Are you one of the burdened who needs to come to Jesus?

At any time, no matter what, the best thing we can always do is just come to Him.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all your have blessed us with. God, your love and mercy are more than we deserve, thank you for giving us all that you offer. Help us never to take this life for granted. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Turn to the Lord

Readings for Tuesday July 12, 2011

First Reading: Exodus 2:1-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 69
Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

Pharaoh, too, heard of the affair and sought to put Moses to death. But Moses fled from him and stayed in the land of Midian. (Exodus 2:15)

In today's first reading we hear of Moses and how after slaying the Egyptian, became fearful of all those who knew. Moses, when confronted with such an accusation, did what most of us would do; he ran. Most of us are not good with conflict and in difficult times, the easiest thing to do is to just run away from your problems. But as that may seem like the easy situation at the time, our undealt with problems always seem to have a way of creeping back into our lives.

A wise decision to make when faced with conflict would be to heed the words of the psalmist, "Turn to the Lord in your time of need, and you will live." When faced with conflict or any sort of difficulties we must take them to the Lord, it is by doing this that we will be able to draw closer to Him and to truly find our life. In taking our problems to God, we will also gain greater clarity and direction on our issues. So many times we take our problems and issues to everyone else but God. We seem more than happy to take our problems to family, friends, neighbors, strangers off the street, various talk show hosts, reality TV, etc. While we will turn to everyone in the world, we seem to fail to realize that it is the creator of heaven and of earth that is really going to help us figure things out.

Like Moses, we can try to run away if we wish, but eventually we will find that there is nothing else that can save us except by turning to Him who waits for us; patiently waiting to give us the great gift of life.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you and thank you for all that we have and all that we are. Lord, help us to always turn to you in our time of need and surrender to you. Lord, help us also to always give you thanks at all times and for all that you bless us with. Lord Jesus, we praise you for your saving grace and for your great love and mercy for us. Help us to follow you no matter how big a cross we must carry and no matter where you lead us. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Job Description

Readings for Friday July 8, 2011

First Reading: Genesis 46:1-7,28-30
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 37
Gospel: Matthew 10:16-23

You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (Matthew 10:22-23)

Imagine that you are in a job interview, and the interviewer begins telling you about the job. He begins telling you that in this job you will need to sacrifice a great deal, people will hate you, men will hand you over to authorities for punishment, you will be persecuted, scourging may be a regular part of your day, and the people closest to you may betray you all because of this job. Then the interviewer says, "how does this all sound to you, are you still interested in the job?" How many of us would be eager to accept such a task? I don't imagine many of us taking a job such as this; but this is just the task however that Christ has in store for us. Yes, it will be extremely hard, but if we will just trust in Him and endure to the end, then we know that the compensation for this job is well worth the risks that it will take.

In the first readings today, God asked Jacob to trust in Him and go to Egypt, and Jacob obeyed. Today, God is asking us to trust in Him and follow Him wherever He leads us. He is warning us ahead of time that things will be challenging and difficult, but if we can push through until the end, we will have an eternal reward in heaven.

So, are you still interested in the job?

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord Jesus, we know that following you is difficult, and we pray for the strength and courage to follow you wherever you lead. Lord, help increase our faith as we go out amongst the wolves of this world, help us to persevere and to live radically for you. Lord you are our God and we aer your people, help send you spirit down so that we might allow the fruits of the spirit to manifest in our lives. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lost Sheep

Readings for Wednesday July 6, 2011

First Reading: Genesis 41:55-57,42:5-7,17-24
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33
Gospel: Matthew 10:1-7

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" (Matthew 10:5-7)

In today's gospel we see a listing of the twelve disciples along with instructions from Christ for them to not go into pagan or Samaritan areas, but rather go after the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." Jesus' instructions make it clear that He has a strong interest in His own people, and that He wants them to hear the good news and to know that the Kingdom is at hand. While many of the Jews did not believe that He was the messiah; and while Christ knew of their hardness of heart and their stubbornness, He still felt it necessary to begin working on His own people first before spreading the gospel to the gentiles. Christ is the good shepherd, who goes and calls back all of His lost sheep and seeks to bring them back to His care.

These instructions are just as important for us today. While it is important for us to go out and spread the gospel to those who do not know Christ, it is just as important for us to make sure that we are helping and calling back the lost sheep within our own church. Think about in your parish, how many people are just going through the motions and are very lukewarm in their faith? We all know people who maybe come to Sunday mass once in a while, or maybe they don't even go at all. How many people do we know that are Catholic by association but live a very worldly life? It is these lost sheep that we need to somehow connect with and get them excited about their faith. We need to find someway to lead these people back to the faith that will give them new life and help them find their original purpose for living.

As followers of Christ, we have a duty and a mission just like the disciples did. We need to share the good news to all those we can, and we need to work to call back the lost sheep in our churches.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord we thank you and praise you for our lives and all that we have. Lord, help us to spread your name and your word in this world, help us the be the light in the darkness. Lord, many of our brothers and sisters have fallen away, give us the wisdom and courage to help bring them back. We pray for all of our youth, for their dignity and for their formation in the faith. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Good Shepherd

Readings for Tuesday July 5, 2011

First Reading: Genesis 32:23-33
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 17
Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:35-36)

In today's gospel we see Jesus performing many miracles and proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom. What is also amazing in today's gospel is seeing the love and mercy that Jesus has for us. It says, "at the sight of the crowds, His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd." Jesus does not ignore the people or turn a deaf ear to them, instead He sees their struggles and their pains, He hears their prayers and knows their misfortunes. Christ also does the same with us. There are many times in life when we feel alone, abandoned, afraid, or that no one hears us; but this is not true. Christ is always there, rejoicing with us in our blessings, and sharing our tears in our pains and sorrows. Christ is the good shepherd, He has and will always step up when needed because of His great love and mercy.

Today, let us also reflect on the words of Psalm 23 to understand more of how God is our good and faithful shepherd, and how His love and mercy reign in our lives:
"The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;
you guide me me along the right path for the sake of your name.
Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.
You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come."

Father above, we thank you and praise you for this day. Lord, you are our rock and our strength, help us to put all of our trust in you and to rely on you at all times. Lord we are weak, but you are mighty and strong, Lord our strength lies in you. Lord, give us courage to face the obstacles in our day, help us to give you all glory and honor for all we do. We pray for all of our priests and for their ministries. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Readings for Friday July 1, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

First Reading: Deuteronomy 7:6-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-16
Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. (1 Jn 4:7-12, 16)

Today reflect on the readings, and ask yourself; what is leading you in your life? Is it love, or is it your own desires? Those who let love lead, are letting God lead.

May we always be mindful of one simple truth: God's love is endless and for everyone.

Lord, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day and for loving us so much more than we deserve. Amen.


God Sees Our Faith

Readings for Thursday June 30, 2011

First Reading: Genesis 22:1-19
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 115
Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." (Matthew 9:1-2)

We know how amazing and awesome God is. Although we are also aware that He knows and sees everything, do we always act and think as though He is watching? In today's gospel reading, Jesus heals a man who is paralyzed, but this is only after it says, "when Jesus saw their faith." We also see in the first reading Abraham was following God's instructions and was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac, but God seeing how devoted Abraham was stopped him and provided the sacrifice. In both of these cases, God saw the faith that man had and blessed them for their faith.

In the readings for today, we see men who were blessed for showing their faithfulness to God. Many times we think, "well I have been faithful and I have done good works, where are my blessings?" But we must understand and trust that God's blessings do not come in our time, they come in His time. The man who was paralyzed did receive physical healing, but it was his spiritual healing that was the true blessing. Abraham never did get to see his great number of descendants while on earth, but he still trusted in God enough to go along with His plan. We must remember, that we are not working for any sort of earthly rewards, we are working towards the great gift of eternal life in heaven, that is the true blessing. We must be sure that we are faithful in heart and in mind, as well in our good works. We should always be working towards His glory and not our own; and it should not be out of fear, but rather love of our Lord.

We must remember that God is not like some parent who turns their head or leaves the room giving us a window of opportunity to do wrong without their knowledge. God is everywhere, and He knows and sees everything. So the question that we must ask ourselves is, does God sees our faith in everything we are doing, or does He see us carrying out our own will?

Today, let us reflect on the words of St Paul to the Colossians, "Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ." (Col 3:23-24)

Father above we thank you for the gift of this day. God, you are our Lord and master, increase our faith so that we may always do what is please to you. Please place in us a servants heart, so that we may always be faithful and obedient to you in all matters. Lord, we seek to know and love you more while in this earth. We pray for all our brothers and sisters who are blinded to your love and mercy, may their eyes be opened and may they find comfort in your love. We pray for all of our priest and for their ministries. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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