Other seeds fell on rich soil and produced an abundant crop … Listen, anyone who has ears to hear. - Mt. 13:8

Reflection. The seeds of the parable represent the Word of God.  When the Word of God falls on good soil it grows and produces a rich harvest.  You become the good soil when you listen.  Practice the art of spiritual listening.  Read slowly and absorb the wisdom.

Prayer. Holy Spirit, I do listen to Your Word.  Give me the deeper wisdom that comes from loving You.  Help me to produce abundant good fruit.

Love one another with mutual affection, anticipating one another with honor.  - Rom 12:10

Reflection. We ought to be as cheerful as we can, if only because to be happy ourselves is a most effectual contribution to the happiness of others.  - John Lubbok, 1890

Love and joy and cheer are inseparable companions.

Prayer. Jesus, my Lord and my God, let Your love live in me that I may beam with the happiness that only You can give.

Fill us with Your love that all our days we may sing for joy.  - Ps 90:14

Reflection. The greatest honor you can give to Almighty God, greater than all your sacrifices and mortifications, is to live gladly, joyfully because of the knowledge of His love. - Bl. Juliana of Norwich

To be filled with God is to be filled with God’s infinite joy.  His love is His joy.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, I am beginning to realize the fact that to come closer to You is to come closer to Joy itself.  You are the fullness of happiness.  You pine for nothing.  Thank You for drawing me closer to You, my strength and my joy.

You must treat the proselyte who resides with you like the native born among you. - Lev 19:34

Reflection. Sometimes we have to make a little effort to accept foreigners.  Jesus was accused of walking with sinners.  He taught us not to look down our noses at those less fortunate than we.  Love even when you do not feel like loving.

Prayer. Dear Lord, help me to love as You love, without discrimination.

May we rejoice in your victory and in the Name of our God raise banners; may the Lord fulfill all your petitions.  - Ps 20:6

Reflection. Avoid the “wagon-train” mentality where small groups close in on themselves to fight against the outside world.  They often become their own worst enemies.  Pray for atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists.  They are human beings whom God loves and wants to save.  God became man to save the lost sheep.

Prayer. Father, give me spiritual vision, open my eyes to see and love all those whom You love, even the ones who reject You outright.

Serve the Lord with gladness; come into His presence with joy.  - Ps 99:2

Reflection. Being an angel of peace, and a messenger of joy is the best kind of evangelization.  Do you know why?  Because the world loves a cheerful giver.  Let your light shine for all to see.

Prayer. Heavenly Father, make me an instrument of Your peace.  Where there is hatred let me bring love … Where there is doubt, faith and where there is sadness, joy.

Be not afraid.  - Mt 14:27

Reflection. There is a certain kind of fear that is called jealousy.  Jealousy is an unpleasant feeling of suspicion arising from the fear or mistrust of another.  Jealous people are always afraid of losing someone or something.  They become irrational, bringing misery to all concerned.  Fear often seems to signal the presence of some external danger.  But the real danger is from within — from our own jealousy.

Prayer. Lord, deliver me from jealousy so that my joy may be complete.

Anyone who wishes to follow Me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.  - Mk 8:34

Reflection. Those who do not deny themselves suffer the consequences — as seen in this prose-poem from Alcoholics Anonymous.

We drank for happiness and became unhappy. / We drank for joy and became miserable. / We drank for sociability and became argumentative. / We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious. / We drank for friendship and became enemies. / We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.

Prayer. Dear Lord, teach me the truth that self-love is better than self-destruction.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and forgives our sins; He cleanses us from all unrighteousness.  - 1 Jn 1:9

Reflection. There are two stages of Christian forgiveness.  The first is forgiveness itself, the second is thanksgiving.  Nothing erases the hurts of the past faster than a grateful heart.  We have so much for which to be grateful.  When we concentrate on the good things of life, our hurts become insignificant.

Prayer. How grateful I am, O Lord, for the gift of forgiveness.  Even though I have sinned, I trust in Your mercy.

Bear with one another, and forgive one another if anyone has reason to be offended … You must forgive just as the Lord has forgiven you.  - Col 3:13

Reflection. Ann Landers advised a woman who had a husband with a “wandering eye”:  “Don’t be stubborn or proud.  Take him back.  I promise you won’t regret it.”  The woman felt unable to forgive, but she took the advice because it seemed meant for her.  “The eight years that followed were the happiest,” she wrote, noting that her husband had recently died.  “The warmth of the memories of our last years together will stay with me forever.”

Prayer. Give me the power to forgive, O Lord, as You have forgiven me.

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