Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/083112.cfm
Brothers and sisters: Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the Gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith. For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
The power of God, that is what we all need to hear and believe in. Who are the wise ones today Lord? The world is becoming more foolish as it refuses to listen to your word. We still demand signs, why can’t we believe without seeing? You word is still a stumbling block, how can I help people to climb over it? Help them see that your word is not foolishness?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to speak the words that the world needs to hear. To help those who stumble over what you teach and only see a wall, not the path to freedom. Help me to stand firm and follow the path you have chosen for me. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/083012.cfm
Jesus said to his disciples: “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.”
Stay awake – be watchful – we must always be prepared to meet you. Either at our death or your coming? If we are not, things that are not of you can creep into our daily life. We can replace you with the things of this world. Where is the place with the hypocrites? Is that hell? If we don’t be careful will we wind up there? Have I been awake enough to be prepared when I see you?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to be prepared, that I will always be ready to see you. Do not allow me to become complacent and think I have plenty of time. Help me to remember that I do not know the time or place. In Jesus name I pray, Amen
I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082912.cfm
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist 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’ 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.
Times don’t change much when speaking your truth, do they Lord? John preached your truth, he spoke against the unlawful practices being performed. For this he was condemned to death – just as you were. For lust John died, even though Herod knew he was special! Times don’t change, does that make you sad Lord? I know I too broke those rules, I repented and changed. I was forgiven and set free by your love.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we need to change our world, we need to help people see that living for themselves counts for nothing. Help me to speak your truth so others will listen, so others will hear and others will repent and change. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen
Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082812.cfm
Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”
Do I pay lip service to you Lord as the scribes and Pharisees did? Am I allowing blind guides to get in the way of your wisdom and mercy? Am I clean on the outside but dirty and diminished on the inside? Am I doing what you warned us against? Following the Pharisee’s and doing what they do? Only you can help me Lord.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to open my eyes and see your reality. Take the blinders off that show me the world through a fog. Help me to be aware of your needs and desires in this world and to follow your word always. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
The Lord comes to judge the earth
Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082712.cfm
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. 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.”
What happens on the altar is what matters. When the bread becomes your body and the wine your blood, that is what is important. That is what I swear by – your promise of eternal life. Those who do not partake of the fruit of your altar, are they the hypocrites? Are they the blind guides who lead people astray? How often have I followed a blind guide?
Prayer: Heavenly Father: Help me to only follow you and not the hypocrites. The path to eternal life is only through you Lord, and your altar. May I never be led astray. In Jesus’ name I ask all this, Amen
Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082612.cfm
Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said,” This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”
As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
You never retracted your words “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” You had many disciples leave because of these words. You fill us with Spirit and Life at every Eucharist, every time we receive you we receive eternal life. I believe in the your true Presence Lord. You promised you would be with us always and you have kept that promise. How can others not believe your words? With Peter I say “Master, to whom shall we go?”
Prayer: Holy Father thank you for the gift of your Son who gives us Eternal Life. May I always walk in the light of your truth, may I always believe in your words and Lord may I lead others to your altar. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/082512.cfm
Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
This still applies today, doesn’t it Lord? Those who profess to be teachers of your word but live lives that do not reflect it. They draw attention to themselves during the Mass, rather than allowing you to be the center of what is occurring. When we call men father we are not giving them precedence over you, we are honoring them as our spiritual fathers who lead us to the one, true Father, you. There are those that abuse that title and position, but so many do not. How should we treat those that abuse the system like the Pharisees? Should we put up with them? Should we allow them to preach your word? How many false teachers have I followed?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you are the One, True Father of all. Help me to know the difference in false teachings and help me to follow only your word. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land