Do not judge, so that you in turn may not be judged.  - Mt 7:1

Reflection.  You’ll feel better if you are ready to give others the benefit of the doubt.  Unless you have full access to all the facts, try to withhold your judgment.  Even when the person is truly guilty, remember the words of Jesus, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).

Prayer.  Dear Lord, make my heart like Yours, that I may be ready to forgive.  

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.  - Dan 3:89

Reflection.  Some people believe the first Thanksgiving Feast took place in Massachusetts with the pilgrims and Native Americans.  However, it was on October 3, 1863, that Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November as a day for all Americans to thank God for His bountiful blessings.  Lincoln called us “to be humble … and import the Almighty to heal the wounds of the [civil] war.”

Prayer.  Dear Lord, give me a grateful heart.  

All the believers … would sell their property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to all according to what each one needed.  - Acts 2:44-45

Reflection.  Jesus is present among us, even though we don’t always see Him.  Mother Teresa said, “He comes in distressing disguises.”  Maybe this is why Jesus said, “When I was hungry, did you give Me to eat?” (Mt 25:35)  Pope Benedict XVI said, “Respect for minorities is a clear sign of true civilization.”

Prayer.  Dear Jesus, give me the eyes to see Your face in everyone.

The Kingdom of heaven is close at hand.  … “Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.”  - Mt 3:2-3

Reflection.  Today you can pull into the driveway, and use a remote control to open a garage door, and a cell phone to announce that you are home.  However, these gadgets cannot help you predict the day or the hour you will be called home to God.

Prayer.  Lord, help me to be prepared when You call me home.  

For everything there is a season, … a time to weep, and a time to laugh.  - Eccl 3:1, 4

Reflection.  After giving a homily on joy, I often given the congregation this advice: “If you have the slightest bit of joy in your heart, please notify your face.”  St. Teresa of Avila put it another way, “God, deliver me from sullen Saints.”

Prayer.  Dear Lord, help me to realize that the time to smile is right now.  

A kindly glance gives joy to the heart, and good news refreshes the bones.  - Prov 15:30

Reflection.  Winter waits for spring, and spring waits for summer.  Everything happens in its proper time.  There is no need to force God’s timetable.  There is ” a time to tear down, and a time to build up.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Eccl 3:3-4).

Prayer.  Dear God, help me to put up with my worrisome mind.  Teach me to trust You more.  

I prayed, and understanding was given to me; I pleaded and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.  - Wis 7:7

Reflection.  The most important thing that wisdom can bring us is the knowledge that God is our friend.  This friendship is the basis of all our future happiness both here and in heaven.  Start with the firm conviction that God is love.  His love for you is personal and eternal.

Prayer.  Heavenly Father, I thank You for the gift of wisdom.  

Abide in Me, as I abide in you … You cannot bear fruit unless you abide in Me.  - Jn 15:4

Reflection.  It is only in the present moment that we find true joy.  Enjoy your food; enjoy the fresh air you breathe; enjoy your work; and enjoy your leisure time.  The books of wisdom teach us to live in the present moment.

Prayer.  Dear Lord, give me the grace to live in Your love, while I enjoy my precious life here and now.  

See what love the Father has bestowed on us, enabling us to be called the children of God.  - 1 Jn 3:1

Reflection.  God loves you no matter how badly you may feel about yourself.  He forgives you no matter how guilty you may feel.  Laugh at your feelings.  They are not true.

Prayer.  Lord, help me to live by faith not by feelings.  When I am in darkness, I know You are at my side protecting me.  

If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be filled with light.  - Mt 6:22

Reflection.  Mark Twain said, “I can live for two days on a good compliment.”  People need affirmation.  Why not be more alert to the needs of others.  When you touch them with kindness, they will invite you into their hearts.

Prayer.  Lord, give me a more loving heart.  

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