May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082014.cfm

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.” 

How often do you think life has been unfair to you? Do you blame God? Do you think if you do all the right things all should go your way? Do you wonder why it seems that God blesses others but not you? He never cheats us, His generosity is unlimited, but we must respond to His call. Are you ready? Will you take He call to do His will? You must be last if you want to be first. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you have given to me. Your blessings are unlimited and your graces fill my life with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081914.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” 

No matter what we do we cannot save ourselves. We must rely on the grace and mercy of Our Lord. We cannot give up more than God will give us, if we are faithful to Him. His promise is worth more than anything the world will promise you. He is true and the world is not. Who do you want to trust? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the promises you have given to us. Your faithfulness is true and trustworthy. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

It is I who deal death and give life.

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081814.cfm

A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 

Do you think that following the rules are all you need to do to be a follower of Christ? Are you willing to give up all you possess for Christ? He asks that we give Him what we treasure most so He can give us treasure beyond anything we can possess on earth. Eternal life with Him is worth it all. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I never let my possessions become more important than you. Lead me and guide me Lord to eternal life, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

You have forgotten God who gave you birth.

 

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081714.cfm

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour. 

Jesus rewarded her faith. How often are you tempted to give up asking for something from God because you feel it is hopeless? Here He shows us that we must be persistent and faithful. If we believe, it will happen – in His time. Keep the faith is easy to say and hard to do, but it is worth it in the end. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always remember to keep asking in faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

O God, let all the nations praise you!

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081614.cfm

Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on them, he went away. 

How do we encourage our kids to come to Christ? Do we take them to Church on Sunday? Do we read to them at home from the Bible? Teach them the faith of Christ? Unless you do these things, you are turning them away, just as the disciples did. And like the disciples, Jesus will rebuke you. What choice will you make? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to lead our children to you and not turn them away. Help me to show them your love and mercy, in Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Create a clean heart in me, O God

Assumption

Link to today’s reading:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081514-day-mass.cfm

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God. 

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”

 I find it interesting that many people think they know and understand the book of Revelations yet they do not acknowledge the truth of this vision. If we believe that John saw what he wrote in this book, then we have to believe that this is Our Lady, Mary, Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth. I believe the truth of what is written and I believe that Mary is my mother too. Sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us.

 Prayer: Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen. 

The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

 

St. Max Kolbe

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081414.cfm

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had  happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” 

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan. 

In the prayer that Jesus taught us He says “forgive us our trespass as we forgive those who trespass against us.” He says the same thing here in a different way. If we expect God to forgive us, we must forgive those who hurt and sin against us. Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It means turning your pain over to God and letting Him heal that place of pain in your heart. It means loving the person because God created them, just as He created you. If you do not do that, you will live a life of pain, anger and sorrow. You will be in a prison of your own building. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the healing you have allowed me to experience in my life. I am free of the pain and hurt. You have truly set me free! In praise of your holy name, amen! 

Do not forget the works of the Lord!

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