When Jesus saw with what great understanding he had spoken, He said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”  - Mk 12:34

Reflection.  Christian faith and obedience lead us to the fullness of life in the Kingdom.  St. Catherine of Siena understood this when she said, “All the way to heaven is heaven.”

Prayer.  Lord, make me worthy of the joys of heaven, and let them begin here and now.

Then Jesus appeared to more than five hundred of the brethren … last of all, He appeared to me.  - 1 Cor 15:6, 8

Reflection.  St. Paul did not see Jesus’ face until he was privileged to see His holy face after Jesus ascended into heaven.  Whether it was an apparition or a dream we don’t know.  Faith can enable us to see the face of Christ in our neighbor.

Prayer.  Dear Jesus, grant that I may one day see You face to face. 

Those who trust in Him will understand truth, and the faithful will dwell with Him in love.  - Wis 3:9

Reflection.  In today’s world there is so much pressure on everyone that people often turn to alcohol and drugs for relief.  But too much relief leads to trouble.  Be happy in the Lord, and enjoy the precious gift of life.  Try to do it without a hangover.

Prayer.  I rejoice in You, O Lord.  You give me the will to stay clean and sober. 

Whoever loves God must also love his brother.  - 1 Jn 4:21

Reflection.  Pope John Paul II wrote:  “To do harm, to promote violence and conflict in the name of religion is a terrible contraction and an offense against God.”  Do no harm.   Be kind to your brethren.  Pray for the conversion of evildoers.

Prayer.  Fill me, Lord, with Your Holy Spirit of Love. 

A true friend is one at all times, and a brother is born to render help in time of need.  - Prov 17:17

Reflection.  If you were in need for some reason, wouldn’t you want someone to come to your assistance?  Then go, and do likewise.  Maybe one of your own family members is in need right now.  Help the one who needs the most help; do it today.

Prayer.  Lord, You love a cheerful giver; free me from selfish isolation. 

He led forth His people with rejoicing, His chosen ones with exultation.  - Ps 105:43

Reflection.  This day is a great day for partying; be careful about excessive drinking.  Pray for those who abuse their bodies with alcohol.  There are many ways of enjoying life, ways that are good and noble.  Make this day a happy one; live it in the Lord.

Prayer.  Lord, remind me that in Your presence I will find the fullness of joy, not “in a bottle.”

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are weary, and overburdened, and I will give you rest.”  - Mt 11:28

Reflection.  Try not to live inside your own head.  Fear and self-pity are signs of a weak faith.  Jesus says, “Do not be afraid.”  If you can’t manage to do that, come to the Lord quickly, and entrust yourself to His holy care.  He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

Prayer.  I need You, Lord, now more than ever. 

I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; … a stranger and you welcomed me.  - Mt 25:35

Reflection.  This is an unsafe world, and we have to be careful.  Nevertheless, the welcome mat should never disappear from your doorstep.  Once you know that the stranger is not a threat, be gracious.  If you do not feel safe, however, be cautious.  Better safe than sorry.

Prayer.  Jesus, I need You to guide me in discerning Your Will. 

Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  - Rom 8:39

Reflection.  Sometimes you may feel alone and abandoned.  It doesn’t matter because feelings are not facts.  The Lord is closer than you know.  Learn to live by faith, and not by feelings.  In that way you will rise above the misery of this life.

Prayer.  Dear God, be my strength and my joy, especially when I’m feeling blue. 

Do not let your hearts be troubled; be not afraid.  - Jn 14:27

Reflection.  Here is a quote found carved into the wall of a Nazi concentration camp:  “I believe in the sun even when it is not shining … I also believe in God even when He is silent.”

Prayer.  Lord, I believe; help me in my unbelief. 

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