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

St. Maximilian Kolbe

Learn more about St. Maximilian Kolbe: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=370

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081417.cfm

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said. When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”

Jesus is honoring the tax, even though He already pays it and may even be exempt from it. What is He telling us here? When we are part of a community we need to step up and live as Christ showed us. Not putting ourselves above others.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, show me the way to live and the way to show the world I follow you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

 Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081317.cfm

At the mountain of God, Horeb, Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter. Then the LORD said to him, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD— but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake— but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire— but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.

How often do we look for God “in all the wrong places”? We think if we go to Church or out in the woods we will find Him. We forget that God is always in us and with us. He is there always, we just need to be quiet to hear Him. Do you allow yourself quiet time to hear God? Your life will change when  do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I remember to be quiet and listen you are there. You are there telling me you love me, that I am precious to you and that you are always there with me. Help me, Lord, to always remember to just listen for your voice. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, Amen.

Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081217.cfm

A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

If they had the faith of Jesus, they would have been able to cure this young man. But like all of us, they doubted. How often are we confronted with something large to do and doubt that you can do it? But if the Lord has given it to us, we can do it and MUST believe, for with God NOTHING is impossible!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you have proved to me time and again that if I trust in you I can do anything. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise and glory, Amen.

I love you, Lord, my strength.

St. Clare of Assisi

Learn more about St. Clare: http://www.catholic.org/saints/

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081117.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”

Words that should make you think about your life “he will repay each according to his conduct”. How have you lived your life? What kind of repayment will be required? I know what I have done, and there is a lot that I needed to repent and I have. I pray the Lord will look upon me with mercy. What about you. Do you think you have been “good enough” or do you know the areas in your life you need to repent? Sincerely ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and you will find out – even if you do not want to know. Then it is up to you to decide what repentance will be required of you. Do not wait, you never know when the time will come.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the Sacrament of Reconciliation that gives me the opportunity to repent my mistakes and receive your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I remember the deeds of the Lord.

St. Lawrence

Learn more about St. Lawrence: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=366

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081017.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Jesus tells us over and over again that we must die to ourselves before He can come into our hearts and minds. When our ego gets in the way, it keeps Him from doing all He can do in us and with us. Have you died to yourself and allowed God in? It is beautiful when you do.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, every day I die to myself so you can take over my heart, mind and soul. I belong to you, use me as you will, Amen.

Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/080917.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 he did not say a word in answer to her. His 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 him 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 her daughter was healed from that hour.

Great is the faith of a women who knew Jesus had not come for her, but was willing to accept whatever He gave her. She was not Jewish, Jesus had come for them, but she believed that He would listen and He did. And when He listened, He would heal her daughter and He did. How strong is your faith? Think you do not deserve what you ask for? Remember this woman and have faith and believe.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your mercy knows no boundaries. There are times when my faith is weak and I falter, but you never do. In Jesus’ holy name I give you praise for your grace and mercy, Amen.

Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

St. Dominic

Learn more about St. Dominic: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=178

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/080817.cfm

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side of the sea, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.

Have you ever had Peter’s experience? You ask the Lord to help you do something then panic when He does? Peter lost faith. If he had kept his eyes on Jesus, he would would not have fallen in. There is a lesson there for us – keep your eyes on Jesus, follow Him and you can do the unexpected. He will not let you drown.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I falter in life it is because I lose sight of you. Help me to keep my focus on you and I will perform beyond my expectations. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

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