Just as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains attached to the vine, so you cannot bear fruit unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.                - Jn 15:4-5

Reflection.  These words of Jesus contain the essence of His message and the secret of our joy.  His life is joy itself.  Jesus teaches us that God loved us first, and He created us for a particular purpose in life.  Each one of us has a job to do that nobody else in the world can do.

Prayer.  Dear Lord, teach me how to use my life, humble as it is, for Your glory.  Help me to become a conduit of Your love.

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of justice, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  - Mt 5:10

Reflection.  Believing in the Beatitudes is not fashionable, because it leads to trouble.  Ridicule can be stinging; being called a bleeding heart, a do-gooder, is not enjoyable.  Everyone working for human rights has been maligned at one time or another.  They are called fools.  But is imitating the Lord foolishness?  Was Jesus a fool for obeying the Father?

Prayer.  Jesus, Son of the Father, You suffered humiliation and death in following Your Father’s Will.  Help me to be fearless in the cause of justice. 

The entire Law can be summed up in a single commandment:  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  - Gal 5:14

Reflection.  Teaching the Christian view of reality is best done by living it.  We instruct others best by our loving actions, and then our words have the ring of truth.  Teaching is not so much communicating a list of definitions.  Teaching has the more pragmatic goal of helping others to live life as God created us to live it, joyfully.

Prayer.  Maker of heaven and earth, I am Your humble child.  I want to obey Your supreme commandment — to love and be loved.  Help me to overcome my selfishness.

What does that matter to you?  You are to follow Me.  - Jn 21:22

Reflection.  Christianity is essentially an invitation.  It is an invitation to a special kind of happiness and goodness, one that is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.  He invites us to follow Him.  We either say yes or no.

Prayer.  Dear Lord, I hear Your call, and I will follow You.  Your words are a source of wisdom and light.  Give me the courage I need to follow You all the days of my life. 

 

Everything that you do should be done in love.  - 1 Cor 16:14

Reflection.  There are many battles to be fought.  Governments are not too powerful to be reformed.  Institutions are not too big to be changed.  Positive, constructive action can overcome evil.  We firmly believe that, with the help of God, all things are possible.  But always remember action without charity is not Christianity.

Prayer.  Thank You, Jesus, for giving me the courage to remain charitable, pursing good works.  May You always be my strength and my joy.

Whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me.  I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in Me will remain in darkness.  - Jn 12:45-46

Reflection.  Jesus said, “To see Me is to see the Father.”  To anchor one’s life in God, therefore, is to turn to Jesus.  He will unlock the mystery of joy for all of us.  Knowing your purpose in life is the key.

Prayer.  I have my mission … / I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. / He has not created me for naught, / I shall do good, I shall do His work.        - Cardinal Newman

 

Store up treasure for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves cannot break in and steal.  - Mt 6:20

Reflection. Jesus taught us to find joy, not by looking for it, but by listening to His words in a spirit of humble surrender.  Enjoyment sought for its own sake is a self-centered pursuit.  The Spirit does not teach us to seek joy as an end in itself.  Joy is more a by-product of our intimacy with God.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, purify my mind that I may seek first Your Kingdom.  I am not sure what that actually means, but I will put my trust in Your intimate presence; and You will guide me.

Jesus went about … curing every kind of disease and infirmity.  And seeing the crowds, He had compassion on them.  - Mt 9:35-36

Reflection. The Lord was not only sympathetic to the needs of others but also empathetic.  When He saw people in pain, he felt compassion.  Compassion is taken from the Latin meaning, “to suffer with.”

Prayer. Lord, transform me into a healing force in this world.  Let me understand the pain of others better so that I may have true compassion for them as You do.

A great sign appeared in the heavens: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.  - Rev 12:1

Reflection. The Assumption of Mary is a wonderful feast day for the Church.  We celebrate her glory in heaven.  Jesus brought Mary home to honor her for her role in the Redemption of the human family.

Prayer. Dear Mary, teach me to say yes to my calling as you did to yours.  Pray for me now and at the hour of my death.

Better off poor, healthy, and fit than wealthy and afflicted in body.  More precious than gold is health and well-being.  - Sir 30:14-15

Reflection. They say that if you have your health you have everything.  That may be true in a sense, but there are a lot of healthy people who feel lonely, lost, and abandoned.  Maybe it is better to be wise, and spiritually fulfilled.

Prayer. Dear Jesus, I will care for my body, and I will stay as healthy as I can, but more than good health, I want Your love and Your presence in my life.  With You I have all that I need.

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