Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/073116.cfm
Brothers and sisters: If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all.
We are all children of God. What separates us is how we choose to live the life He gives us. If we choose the things of the earth, we must discard them to live as a child of God. It is our choice – God does not send us anywhere. We all start the same, but where we spend eternity is our choice. How do you choose?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I chose you for eternity. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, honor and glory, Amen!
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/073016.cfm
The priests and prophets said to the princes and to all the people, “This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.” Jeremiah gave this answer to the princes and all the people: “It was the LORD who sent me to prophesy against this house and city all that you have heard. Now, therefore, reform your ways and your deeds; listen to the voice of the LORD your God, so that the LORD will repent of the evil with which he threatens you. As for me, I am in your hands; do with me what you think good and right. But mark well: if you put me to death, it is innocent blood you bring on yourselves, on this city and its citizens. For in truth it was the LORD who sent me to you, to speak all these things for you to hear.”
Thereupon the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve death; it is in the name of the LORD, our God, that he speaks to us.”
So Ahikam, son of Shaphan, protected Jeremiah, so that he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Unlike today, there are people that protect those who come with the word of God. If they do not like the message they do not use real bullets, in most cases, but they use words. They try to make people feel guilty, to look like bigots and liars, just to make their message seem right. Do you stand up for God or are you one of the crowd?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, send us more people like Ahikam who recognize the word of the Lord and will stand up to the people in authority and speak for you. In Jesus’ holy name I ask, Amen.
Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Learn more about St. Martha: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=79
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072916.cfm
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
Martha recognized Jesus for who He was. She had listened to Him speak and her heart knew the truth. She knew He could heal her brother, but He was not there. When she expressed her belief in Him, Jesus raised her brother from the dead. Is your belief strong enough? Hers was.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe in the power that you gave to Jesus, and He passed it on to His Disciples. That power continues today in all who believe. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Lord, in your great love, answer me.
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072816.cfm
Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
We are all pulled toward to Heaven, we just have to choose how we spend eternity. The fiery furnace sounds every painful, but the absence of God would be even more painful. What have you chosen?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to spend eternity in your presence. Help me to always make the right choices in my life. In Jesus’ holy name I ask for your guidance and love, Amen.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Alleluia!
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072716.cfm
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
Have you found your pearl of great price? The only pearl worth owning is God. By taking Him into your heart, mind and soul you own Him and He owns you. There is nothing greater than God – the Pearl of Great Price.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to walk the path that leads me to you. I want you in my heart, mind and soul, I want the Pearl of Great Price. In Jesus’ name I offer you my heart, mind and soul, Amen.
God is my refuge on the day of distress.
Learn more about Sts. Joachim and Anne: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=22
Link to today’s reading: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072616.cfm
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Jesus is pretty clear here about what will happen to people who unite with the evil one. Sounds pretty nasty to me. Will the angels collect you or leave you for Christ? Who do you unite with?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may I always sow the seeds of your word and truth. I want to spend eternity with you, not in the fiery furnace. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Learn more about St.James: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=59
Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/072516.cfm
Brothers and sisters: We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we too believe and therefore speak, knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and place us with you in his presence. Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.
We accept Jesus freely, but we are afflicted by this world. The death that is always after us. The world would like to see us give up life in Christ and accept the death they have for us. By taking the Body of Christ we have the living Christ within us. Do you want life or death?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Christ so we may accept life in you. In His holy name, I give you thanks and praise, Amen.
Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.