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October 19, 2017 – Memorial of Saints John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs

Denunciation of the Pharisees and Scholars of the Law, Cont’d Luke 11:47-54 In today’s gospel Jesus continues his harsh judgement of his host and all gathered at the table. He condemns the practices of their ancestors who murdered the prophets. This insulting rebuke turns the tide, and the anger and animosity of the Jewish leaders propels them to action. Prayer: You did not back down in the face of danger. What courage it takes to stand solidly against injustice! I pray for those who do the same in the world today.

October 18, 2017 – Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist

The Mission of the Seventy-two Luke 10:1-9 The twelve were sent on a previous mission, and now Jesus is sending seventy-two ahead of him to prepare the way. They are to bring a spirit of humility and openness and to offer peace to those whose households they enter. There will be many challenges, but as long as they remain completely dependent on him they will have all that they need. Prayer: St. Luke, disciple and evangelist, you teach us what it means to go out and share the Good News. Pray for us as we serve as missionaries for Jesus Christ.

October 17, 2017 – Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

Denunciation of the Pharisees and Scholars of the Law Luke 11:37-41 Jesus responds to his host’s criticism by chastising the Pharisees. What they do externally is no indication of their intentions. They may have clean hands, but do they have clean hearts? He tells them to open their hearts to the needs of others, and they will be truly clean. Prayer: I pray that charity and justice be that which drives my every thought and action.

October 16, 2017 – Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

The Demand for a Sign Luke 11:29-32 Jesus responds to those asking for signs. There have been signs before, stories familiar to the listeners, that brought people to repentance. And now he who carries the message of salvation stands before them, but they do not listen. Prayer: Open my eyes, my ears, my heart to you. I long to know you and to bring others to you.

October 15, 2017 – Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Parable of the Wedding Feast Matthew 22:1-14 The Parable of the Wedding Feast offers an understanding of the reign of God. Just as with the wedding celebration, all kinds of people are invited to the kingdom by God the Father. Some refuse the invitation. Others accept but do not act in a way that warrants their being allowed to participate in the banquet. Where am I in this story? Prayer: Lord, I graciously accept your invitation but am often uncertain about your will. Guide me on the right path so that I might fully partake of the eternal and glorious feast with you.

October 14, 2017 – Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

True Blessedness Luke 11:27-28 The woman in the crowd correlates Jesus’ words and deeds with the mother who gave birth to him. His response moves the focus away from the significance of blood relationship to spiritual relationship. Those who listen to him and act on it are blessed. Prayer: You are our refuge and stronghold, O God, and for that we are blessed. Instill within us the openness to hear you and to live accordingly.

October 13, 2017 – Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus and Beelzebul/The Return of the Unclean Spirit Luke 11:15-26 Some who witness Jesus casting out the demon seriously misinterpret his action. Others ask that he do more in order to convince them of the origin of his power. Their divisions are their undoing. Jesus responds to their suspicions and hardness of heart by telling them that his power comes from the “finger of God.” Prayer: There are times when we tend to lose hope. Please help us remember that because of you good will always triumph over evil.

October 12, 2017 – Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Further Teachings on Prayer Luke 11:5-13 Jesus continues his teachings on prayer with the story of the midnight visitor followed by a series of sayings, a strong admonition to persevere. Their prayers will be answered by a loving and generous father who does not necessarily give what they ask for but who always gives what they need. Prayer: Loving God, I know what I want. You know what I need. Help me to know the difference.

October 11, 2017 – Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11: 1-4 Through Jesus’ example, the disciples know the importance of prayer in maintaining a right relationship with the Father. They ask him to teach them, and he does, beginning with glorifying God, then asking for their needs, including the need for forgiveness and concluding with God’s support at the end of time. Prayer: I sometimes lack discipline in my prayer life, and then when I do pray I allow distractions to creep in. Help me to be present to you and to rest in your love for me.

October 10, 2017 – Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Martha and Mary Luke 10:38-42 This is the story of two sisters, one intent on serving their guest and the other intent on listening to their guest. The work of each is good and valuable. The point not to be missed is that in order to serve the Lord, one must first listen to God’s Word. Prayer: For me business is often a way of avoiding just being still. Please help me to find a spiritually healthy balance between “being” and “doing.”