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July 17, 2018 – Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Reproaches to Unrepentant Towns Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus warns the Galilean cities about their unwillingness to repent for their wicked and prideful behavior. The people did not respond to his mighty deeds in Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. He likens the consequences for their behavior to that of the doomed ancient cities. Prayer: I pray this day for those whose hearts are hardened. Show me the way to be instrumental in their repentance and return.

July 16, 2018 – Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus: A Cause of Division/The Conditions of Discipleship/Rewards Matthew 10:34-11:1 Jesus’ words are harsh. The demands of discipleship are extreme. Jesus tells his disciples that the challenges they face may well include family division. No relationship, even that of blood relatives, should come before their relationship with him. Prayer: I ask that you help my family understand when in ministry and in life I am sometimes called away from them to serve you by serving others.

July 15, 2018 – Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Mission of the Twelve Mark 6:7-13 Jesus summons, teaches, and then sends the disciples out. He gives them detailed instructions that include what to do in the event they are rejected. They are to remain completely dependent on God’s care. Prayer: Your mission lives on as you summon, teach, and send us forth. To be your hands and your feet in this small corner of the earth you created is truly a gift for which I am so grateful.

July 14, 2018 – Saturday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Coming Persecutions/Courage under Persecution Matthew 10: 24-33 Jesus gives three points as encouragement to his disciples, each beginning with the words “Do not be afraid.” The kingdom of God will come, and the unbelievers will be revealed. Those who oppose you may destroy your body but not your soul. You will be judged by your fidelity to the mission. Prayer: May we listen to your words of comfort and consolation and believe that you will strengthen us in the best of times and sustain us in the worst of times.

July 13, 2018 – Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Coming Persecutions Matthew 10:16-23 Jesus’ missionary discourse continues. He is telling the disciples to expect the same treatment that he received. They are like defenseless creatures sent out among predators. It is crucial that they are careful but at the same time forthright. Prayer: We pray for all who suffer persecution for your sake. Blessed are they. May they find hope in your promise of salvation.

July 12, 2018 – Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Commissioning of the Twelve, cont’d Matthew 10:7-15 The Twelve have been given the gift of discipleship. Now they are to go out and make disciples. Their mission is the extension of Jesus’ mission. If they are rejected they are not to react with anger or violence. They are to move on, trusting in God. Prayer: We pray for all who are called and sent out, that they will rely on the Holy Spirit for the courage to say and do what is right, no matter the cost.

July 11, 2018 – Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot

The Mission of the Twelve/The Commissioning of the Twelve Matthew 10:1-7 In yesterday’s Gospel Jesus instructed the disciples to pray to the Father for an increase in laborers. In today’s Gospel he passes on to the Twelve the power over demons and diseases. They are named and commissioned to go out to serve the Jewish people, the “lost sheep of Israel.” Prayer: Your own people rejected you, Lord, but you did not abandon them. I believe you love the Jewish people as much today as you did then and will them to turn to you.

July 10, 2018 – Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Healing of the Mute Person/The Compassion of Jesus Matthew 9:32-38 Jesus heals a man who is mute. There are varied reactions to this healing. Some are amazed at this incredible act while others, the Pharisees especially, attribute it to demons. Jesus and the disciples continue on their journey preaching and healing. There are laborers needed, for there is much work to be done. Prayer: I look around and see so many people troubled and abandoned. Show me the way to lead them to you.

July 9, 2018 – Monday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage Matthew 9:18-26 Matthew’s narrative is laid out more simply than in Mark’s Gospel (Mark 5:21-43), which seems to make the overarching theme of faith stand out. Both the official and the woman are motivated by faith to ask the impossible of Jesus. The official’s daughter is brought back to life, and the woman is cured, proof of God’s gracious love and Jesus’ authority over death and suffering. Prayer: Strengthen our faith so that no matter how difficult the trial, how intense the suffering, we find comfort and consolation in you, Jesus Christ, our hope.

July 8, 2018 – Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Rejection at Nazareth Mark 6:1-6 Jesus returns home to Nazareth, and on the Sabbath he teaches in the synagogue. Those listening recognize him but cannot imagine he is capable of performing miracles. In response to their lack of faith, Jesus and his disciples decide to move on. Prayer: Loving God, you chose to be with us, to be one of us. Your beginnings were so simple, your human life so ordinary, and yet your love and gift of salvation were extraordinary.