By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn


Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?


SECOND DAY            READ ISAIAH 45:1, 4-6        FIRST READING

(“I have called you by your name.”)

  1. What does the Lord say to Cyrus, and what does he grasp? Isaiah 45:1


  1. What does the Lord say he has done for Cyrus, and what has Cyrus done for the Lord?  Isaiah 45:1, Isaiah 44:28


Personal – What have you done for the Lord, and what has he done for you?



  1. Who are God’s chosen ones, and how have they been called? Isaiah 45:4


  1. What does God give Cyrus even though Cyrus did not know him? Isaiah 45:4


  1. What are we not to do and for what reason? Isaiah 43:1


  1. Where is our name written? Isaiah 49:16


  1. Who does the Lord say there is none other besides him? Isaiah 45:5


  1. Even though we do not know him, what does he do for us? Isaiah 45:5


  1. Why does the Lord arm those who do not know him? Isaiah 45:6,14


  1. What does the Lord use to bring his message to Balaam? Numbers 22:28-35


Personal – What and how have you been anointed? What is the message you are to bring to your family, friends, schoolmates, and work acquaintances?



(“For our Gospel did not come to you in word alone,”)

  1. With what and in whose names are Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy greeting the Church of Thessalonica? 1 Thessalonians 1:1


  1. How do we receive grace? John 1:16-17


  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples he would be leaving them? John 14:27


  1. How is Paul remembering the Church of the Thessalonians, and how often does he give thanks for      them?  1 Thessalonians 1:2


Personal – This past week, how often did you thank God and pray for the specific church in your area, your parish, and your diocese?



  1. What work of ______________, labor of _________________, and endurance in ______________ were they calling to mind, and before whom is it done? 1 Thessalonians 1:3


  1. How does God feel about the Church of Thessalonica, and what has he done for them?   1 Thessalonians 1:4


  1. What four ways did the Gospel come to them? 1 Thess. 1:5


  1. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who does what?   Romans 1:16


  1. What was further proof to the Church of Thessalonica of Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy’s message? 1 Thessalonians 1:6


  1. What did Christ Jesus display in Paul, and for what reason? 1 Timothy 1:16


Personal – In what way have you spread the Gospel message in word, power, the Holy Spirit, and with conviction to those around you? Be specific, and share with someone.



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 22:15-21              GOSPEL

(“Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,  and to God, what belongs to God.”)

  1. What did the Pharisees go off and plot? Matthew 22:15


  1. Who was a Pharisee, and how is he described? Acts 5:34


  1. Whom did the Pharisees send to Jesus with the Herodians? How did they address him, what did they    call him, and how did they say he taught? Matthew 22:16


  1. What does Jesus say about himself? John 14:6


  1. With what is Jesus not concerned, and what does he not regard?   Matthew 22:16


  1. What does God not have and accept? Deuteronomy 10:17


  1. What was Jesus’ answer to the question, “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?  Matthew 22:17-19


  1. What did Jesus call the Pharisee’s that were questioning him? Matthew 22:18


  1. When we walk in the truth, with whom do we not stay? With whom do we not consort?   Psalm 26:3-4


Personal – How do you know who the hypocrites are in your life? Read 1 Timothy 4:1-3 and see one of the traits of a hypocrite in Verse 2.


  1. What did Jesus say to them, and what did they reply? Matthew 22:20-21


  1. What did Jesus say to repay to Caesar, and what did he say to repay to God?   Matthew 22:21


Personal – How have you been able to discern what you are to give to Caesar (your government)? What are you to give to God?



FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 96:1, 3-5, 7-10

(“Tell his glory among the nations,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 96: 1, 3-5, 7-10.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?



ISAIAH 45: 1, 4-6

This is the only place in the bible where a pagan ruler is called “anointed.” God is the power over all powers, and he anoints whom he chooses for his special assignments. Cyrus’ kingdom was the largest of the then-known world. God chose Cyrus to be the instrument in his plan. Cyrus would allow God’s city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and he would set the exiles free without expecting anything in return. There were very few kings of Israel or Judah that had done as much for God’s people as Cyrus.

This is a tremendous show of God’s sovereignty over all people. He had chosen this pagan king to be instrumental in restoring God’s chosen people to their homeland. Cyrus was a disciple of the pagan god called Bel-Marduk. This religion was very active in prostitu­tion and child sacrifice. Its adherents worshiped in Babylon, and the god’s name stood for weather, war, and sun god.

The title “anointed one” was used for priests, prophets, and kings in the Old Testament. Every Christian is anointed priest, prophet, and king through the sacrament of Baptism. We need to ask ourselves what we have done with our gift of anoint­ing. Do other people see us as one who sacrifices our wants to help others? Do we attend church regularly and receive the Holy Eucharist on a regular basis? Are we proclaim­ing God’s Holy Word like a prophet in our families, at school or work? Do we rule in our home, school, or job, like a king who is compas­sionate, just and very merciful?

We come back to the question of why would God anoint someone like Cyrus? He was a pagan, and the Lord not only anointed him, he also armed him. The Lord subdued nations before him. He opened many doors for Cyrus and, as a result, Cyrus became very popular. Through Cyrus, the Lord has shown that nothing is outside of the scope of his power.

The power of the Lord is not to be denied to anyone. Your name is engraved in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:15), and he will work through you if you will let him. Cyrus did not even know who God was. Balaam’s donkey knew who he was, and finally, even Balaam understood the message that “there is no one else beside me,” said the Lord (Numbers 22:28-35).

Do people see the power of God working in you? Do you see the power of God working in your life? Stop now and ask him to allow you to experience his love and gentleness. God is our fortress, refuge, and rock (Psalm 91).



Thessalonica was the place of the first Christian church in Greece founded by Paul in about 50 A.D. However, Paul had to leave in a great hurry because his life and the lives of his companions were threatened (Acts 17:1-10). Paul made a brief visit there later, and the new believers were growing fast and firm in their new faith. Paul wrote this letter to answer some of their questions, and he commended them on their faithfulness to the Good News. Timothy and Silvanus were of great help to Paul in getting the new church on its feet.

Thessalonica was the capitol of Macedonia and was one of the wealthiest cities in the region. The city was allowed self-rule and with that came many pagan religions and cultural influences that seriously challenged the faith of the young Christians there. Persecution only made the believers stand even more committed to their faith.

The power of the Holy Spirit changes people when they believe in God’s Holy Word. When we tell others about Jesus, we must depend on the Holy Spirit to open their eyes and convince them that they need salvation. This is what happened in Thes­salonica. We must remember, his power changes people, not our cleverness or persua­sion. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, our words are meaning­less.

The Good News produced a powerful effect upon the Thessa­lonians. Whenever and wherever the Word of God is heard and obeyed, lives are changed. We must always remember that Chris­tianity is more than just a collection of interesting facts; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Paul told them our very lives were further proof (Vs. 5). They could see that what Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus were preaching was true, because they lived it. Does your life confirm or contradict what you say you believe?


MATTHEW 22:15-21

The Pharisees were a religious sect of Jews who aimed to keep the Mosaic law in all of its strict interpretations. They had many followers among the elite, and they kept strictly aloof from the ordinary people. They were opposed to Christ from the beginning of his public preaching because he came to “call sinners” and he associated freely with them.

Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites because, while they pretended outwardly to be strictly religious, they were lacking true religion in their hearts, love of God and neighbor, and humil­ity. Jesus clearly tells them and us with his answer to “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s,” that the government has a right to expect obedience and coopera­tion in all things that tend to the material welfare of the state, provided the spiritual welfare of the members is not impeded by the govern­ment. This is where the hypocrisy that Jesus speaks about is so common. Many people try to figure out ways to cheat the government out of the tax money that is due. People will justify their actions by making all kinds of excuses about why the government does not need the money.

Jesus tells us that we have to be truthful in all matters of our lives. We are called to be truthful in our relationships with our families, in our jobs and with our government. Cheating on income tax is a very common form of acceptable hypocrisy. Jesus also tells the Pharisees that putting the law above the common good of the people is also hypocritical. Jesus knew very well that they were trying to trap him, but he still did not shy away from his conviction of being truthful. A hypocrite is a person who is deceitful and who depends on lying. He appears to be a so-called “good person,” but is loaded with sinful intentions. Jesus really spoke out strongly against hypocrites.

You and I have to choose between God’s laws or man’s laws (Acts 5:29). We need to show that the way we live is the way we believe. Our example of loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves will be the strength of all nations.



This week’s first reading shows that God will use anyone to fulfill his plan for his people. The second reading shows that a strong faith is needed to endure persecution and death. The Gospel reveals that Jesus came for the sick, lonely, and op­pressed, and he deflated the hypocrites with their trickery.

This week get involved with a project, such as the pro-life cause, that affects your community. Invite someone from your school or work to go with you. Share your feelings with someone close to you about your discoveries working on that project.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn


Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY             READ ISAIAH 25:6-10         FIRST READING

(“The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.”)

  1. Who will the Lord of host provide for on this mountain? Isaiah 25:6


  1. What will the Lord provide? Isaiah 25:6


  1. What will he destroy on this mountain, and where is it woven?   Isaiah 25:7


  1. What will the Lord destroy forever? Isaiah 25:8


  1. Who has passed from death to life? John 5:24


  1. What will the Lord God wipe away from all faces? Isaiah 25:8


  1. Who will lead us to life-giving water? Rev 7:17


  1. What will the Lord remove from his people? Is 25:8


  1. On that day, what will be said, and about what shall we be glad and rejoice?   Isaiah 25:9


  1. For what reason did the Father send his Son into the world? 1 John 4:14


  1. On what will the Lord rest his hand? Isaiah 25:10


Personal – In what way have you passed from death to life here and now? In what way have you experienced some of heaven here on earth? How can you apply this Scripture passage in wiping away the tears in your life?




(“I have the strength for everything, through him who empowers me.”)

  1. In what circumstances does Paul know how to live? Philippians 4:12


  1. In what other way does he know how to live, and in every circumstance and in all things, what is the secret Paul learned?   Philippians 4:12


  1. What does Paul do when ridiculed and persecuted? 1 Corinthians 4:11-13


  1. For what does Paul have strength, and where does he get it? Philippians 4:13


  1. Why would Paul rather boast of his weaknesses? 2 Corinthians 12:9


  1. What did Paul say it was kind of the Philippians to do? Philippians 4:14


  1. How are we strengthened with power? Ephesians 3:16


  1. Why did the Lord stand by Paul and give him strength? 2 Timothy 4:17


  1. According to whom and with what will God fully supply us? Philippians 4:19


  1. What is God able to make abundant for us, and for what reason?   2 Corinthians 9:8


  1. To what does the kindness of God lead? Romans 2:4


  1. What is given to our God and Father? Philippians 4:20


Personal – Where do you seek the strength to get through your day? Upon whom do you rely when you have a problem? What is your response when you are ridiculed or persecuted?



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 22:1-14               GOSPEL

(“Many are invited, but few are chosen.”)

  1. How did Jesus speak, and who was listening to him? Matthew 22:1, Matthew 21:45


  1. To what did Jesus compare the kingdom of heaven, and for whom did he have it?   Matthew 22:2


  1. What happened when the king invited the guests to the feast? Matthew 22:3


  1. When the king sent his servants out a second time and told them everything was ready, what did some of them do? Matthew 22:4-6


  1. What was the king’s reaction, and what did he do? Matthew 22:7


  1. When the feast was ready, who were those not worthy to come, and whom did he send his servants to invite?     Matthew 22:8-9


  1. Who filled the hall, and when the king came, what did he see? Matthew 22:10-11


  1. With what has the Lord clothed and wrapped us? Isaiah 61:10


  1. In whom have we clothed ourselves? Galatians 3:27


  1. How did the king address the man without a wedding garment, and how did the guest react?   Matthew 22:12


  1. What did the king tell his attendants to do with the man? Matthew 22:13


  1. How many are invited, and how many are chosen? Matthew 22:14


  1. What three things are those who follow the Lord? Revelation 17:14



Personal – When you meet with the Lord on a daily basis, how are you clothed? How have you feasted on his Word? How have you been faithful in carrying it out among your family, friends and co-workers or school friends?



FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 23:1-6

(“Beside restful waters he leads me.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 23:1-6.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




ISAIAH 25:6-10

The message in this reading came from a prophecy about 700 years before Christ came to earth. Isaiah described the result of that coming of the Messiah in the beautiful imagery of a bounti­ful banquet. In this banquet all those who took part would find everlasting happiness and contentment. Isaiah was referring, of course, to heaven, the second and final stage of the messianic kingdom. In heaven, desires will be pleasant and happiness will be fulfilled. The reality is that whatever Isaiah foretold, Jesus brought to pass.

Jesus destroyed the power of death by dying on the cross for us, and in his death we are given victory over death. There is no more veil of fear from death because of Jesus’ victory for all those who believe in him. Jesus, through his death, made us his brothers and sisters and co-heirs of heaven with him. Because of Jesus, you and I have been accepted as God’s adopted children. Heaven is ours for the taking. For us, God the Father invented it, God the Son has earned it, and God the Holy Spirit is always ready to help us obtain it. We, in our human minds, can not really describe what heaven is like or even perceive what it looks like.

Scripture tells us that, “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can man ever comprehend what God has in store for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Today’s message is a message of hope and eternal freedom from pain, sickness, imprisonment, persecution, and death. Once again, it brings the hope and joy of being in eternal union with all of our relatives, friends and saints of God.

We may do well to meditate on what heaven will be like and to see this life as it really is – a journey. Sometimes our journey is unpleasant or difficult and, for some, very short. This journey is our route back home to our permanent home with God. Many people are mistaken and think this world is the only one and, therefore, fail to travel on the path he has laid down for us on our journey. God is waiting for us to enjoy our eternal banquet with him. Let us not be foolish and journey the wrong way and miss the banquet.



PHILIPPIANS 4:12-14, 19-20

Today, many people have great difficulty being content with what they have, where they are, and who they are. Are you content in any situation you face? St. Paul tells us in today’s readings that he knew how to be content whether he had much or little. He tells us that the secret of contentment was having Christ’s power in his life. Paul was content because he saw life from God’s point of view. He focused on what he was supposed to do, not on what he felt like doing.

We can all learn to be content with life if we try to rely on God’s promises and Christ’s power. If you have great needs and always seem to be discontent, ask God to remove these desires and teach you to be content in every situation. There is a tremendous mes­sage in our society today that says, think only about number one. People are congratulated for being loners and doing things their way. We have lost much of the humility that Christ calls for us in our daily lives.

Paul had his priorities straight and was grateful for everything that God gave him. He knew God because he talked to him, he read Sacred Scripture, and he worshiped him. We need only to look around in our communities, and, many times, even in our own families, and see that the desire for more or better posses­sions is really a longing to fill an empty place in our own life. We need to reflect on what we dream about when we feel empty inside. Scripture tells us the answer lies in our perspective, our priorities and our source.

You can dismiss your anxiety by praying when these thoughts are invading your mind. Fill your mind with things that are good, solid, pure, and right with God. This will bring you a peace that nothing in this world can match or even understand (Phil. 4:6-8). Your source for this incredible power is Jesus Christ. He is the source that will supply all your needs, not all your wants. We always must remember that God will meet our needs, but he may not always meet them in this life. Christians suffer and die and God does not always intervene to save or spare them. In heaven, where sin and death have been permanently destroyed, our wants and needs will be abundantly supplied for eternity.


MATTHEW 22:1-14

A tremendous revelation is made to us in today’s Gospel, and that is, God wants you and me to join him in his eternal heavenly banquet. He has sent us invitations in many, many ways. Have you accepted his invitation? In the culture of the people in today’s story, there were two wedding invitations given. The first asked the guests to attend; the second announced that all was ready and to come right away. You are invited to let Jesus come into your heart and let him become the Lord of your life. Some day the Lord will call you to come home, and if you have accepted his invita­tion, you will enjoy his banquet forever. If you did not accept his invita­tion, “You will be left out in the outer dark­ness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13).

The custom was to put on a special garment sup­plied by the host at the wedding banquet, and to refuse the robe would be an insult to the host. Jesus, in telling this story, is speaking of the garment of right­eousness needed to enter God’s banquet in the kingdom. The robe is our acceptance of Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. It is a picture of total acceptance in God’s eyes, given to every believer by Christ.

Christ has provided this garment for every­one, but each person has to choose to wear it in order to enter the king’s banquet (eternal life). For us, Jesus won the right to wear this robe of righteousness by his dying on the cross and rising from the dead. We are allowed to wear this special garment, not because of our merit, but totally because of his incredible gift of grace to us. Many people have heard about Christ inviting us to his banquet, but for various reasons they are too busy to listen to, reflect upon and accept his invitation. It is true, many are called but only a few are chosen.

Take this time, right now, and thank him for choosing you and for offering you such a precious garment. If you have not accepted his invitation to his banquet (eternal life), fall on your knees right now and tell him that you want him to come and take up residence in your heart. He will bring out one of his special garments and place you next to him in a special place of honor. Your whole life will be changed when you realize that because of him, you have been called to be one of his chosen ones.




The first reading reveals to us a message of eternal freedom from pain and death. The second reading shows us that the secret of contentment is having Christ’s power in our lives. The Gospel invites us to let the Lord Jesus come into our hearts and become the Lord of our lives.

This week, share with a family member, work or school associate, where you obtain your strength. Share who is the source of your power. Be bold and introduce to the people around you the gift of being chosen. You do not need to preach, but you do need to witness. Share with your spouse how God supplies your needs in Christ Jesus. Then listen to the reply. Listen!




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn


Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY              READ ISAIAH 5:1-7          FIRST READING

(“What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?”)

  1. For whom and for what shall we sing in Isaiah 5:1?


  1. What does my friend have, and what kind of a hillside is it on? Isaiah 5:1


  1. What did he do with it, what did he build within it, and what did he hew out?   Isaiah 5:2


  1. Who are the true vine and the vine grower? John 15:1


  1. When he looked for the crop of grapes, what had it yielded? Isaiah 5:2


  1. Between what two things must the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the people of Judah judge?  Isaiah 5:3-4


  1. How did the vine turn out to the Lord? Jeremiah 2:21


  1. What did he mean to do with his vineyard? Isaiah 5:5-6


  1. Who is the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, and who are the cherished plants? Isaiah 5:7


  1. The Lord looked for judgment and justice, but what did he see and hear?   Isaiah 5:7


Personal – List some of the things the Lord has done for you in cultivating and preparing your soil. What kinds of fruit are you bearing?




(“Dismiss all anxiety from your minds.”)

  1. What are we not to have at all, and in everything, how are we to make our requests known to God?  Philippians      4:6


  1. What does anxiety do to a person’s heart? Proverbs 12:25


  1. What are we to do with all our worries? 1 Peter 5:7


  1. How often and for whom are we to pray? Ephesians      6:18, 1 Timothy 2:1


  1. What does the peace of God surpass, and what will it do to our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus?       Philippians 4:7


  1. When Jesus left to go to the Father, what did he tell his followers he would leave with them? John 15:26


  1. What keeps a nation in peace? Isaiah 26:3


  1. About what eight things are we to think? Philippians 4:8


  1. About what are we to seek and think? Colossians 3:1-2


  1. What does Paul tell the Philippians to keep on doing, and who will be with them? Philippians 4:9


Personal – Evaluate your thinking for the last 24 hours. What did you think about the eight ways to find peace taken from Philippians 4:8?


FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 21:33-43              GOSPEL

(“The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.”)

  1. What did the property owner do to the vineyard he planted, and to whom did he lease it?   Matthew 21:33


  1. What did the property owner do at vintage time, and how did the tenants respond?   Matthew 21:34-35


  1. What did the property owner do a second time, and how were the slaves treated?   Matthew 21:36


  1. Whom did he finally send, and how did he feel they would treat him? Matthew 21:37


  1. What did the tenants say when they saw the vineyard owner’s son?  Matthew 21:38


  1. Whom has God made heir of all things? Hebrews 1:1-2


  1. How have we become heirs in hope of eternal life? Titus 3:4-7


  1. What did the tenants do to the son? Matthew 21:39


  1. What was the question Jesus asked in Matthew 21:40, and what was their reply?   Matthew 21:41


  1. From what did Jesus ask if they read? Who is the stone which the builders rejected, and what has he become? Matthew 21:42, Acts 4:10-11


  1. Who made this stone the cornerstone, and how do we find it? Matthew 21:42


  1. For this reason, what will happen to the kingdom of God? Matthew 21:43


Personal – In what way has Jesus become the keystone in your life? He is either an obstacle or the keystone for you to succeed in this life and the next. Read 1 Peter 2:4-8 and repent of the times you have rejected the Lord.



FIFTH DAY         READ PSALM 80:9, 12-16, 19-20

(“A vine from Egypt you transplanted;”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 80:9, 12-16, 19-20.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




ISAIAH 5:1-7

Today’s passage tells us that God’s chosen nation was to “bear fruit,” to carry out his work, and to uphold justice. It did bear fruit, but the fruit was sour and wild. We see in Scripture that the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit it produced (Matt. 7:20). This was a powerful story about God’s people and how he prepared everything for their benefit, and how they were very careless in taking care of what God had given to them.

Today, we need to take a look at our own vineyard. Jesus’ blood prepared our soil. His death gave us the right of becoming an heir to the vineyard. How have we spaded our vineyard? How have we taken out the rocks and weeds in our life?

Lately, have you checked the fruit that is growing on your vine? Is it being deprived of spiritual nourishment by being in the shadow and coldness of sin? Do you give your vineyard plenty of sun­light through Sacred Scripture, the Sacraments and church fellowship? You may want to check the fruit in your vineyard and make the necessary corrections.

The vine is Jesus and we are the branches. We cannot do anything without the vine (John 15:1). We are in the full protection of the vineyard owner when we are giving praise and glory to his Son, Jesus. People will judge us on the kind of fruit that we bear. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and self-control.

Since we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and live by the Spirit, let us follow in the Spirit’s lead (Gal. 5:22, 23, 25). Let our grapes never become sour or wild. Let us not ever be boastful or challenging or jealous toward one another.



In today’s reading we are encouraged to worry about nothing. Imagine never having to worry about anything! It seems like an impossibility. We all have worries on the job, in our homes, or at school, but today, Paul’s advice is to turn our worries into prayer­s. Scripture tells us that anxiety depresses a person’s heart (Prov. 12:25). We only are required to look around in our society and see how much competition and anxiety there is in the area of work.

We are told in Scripture to cast all of our cares on to the Lord, because he cares about us (1 Peter 5:7). We keep our eyes on what is so temporary, instead of on what is eternal (Col 3:1-2). We are called to become pray-ers and the light of the world will drive away the anxiety and darkness (John 8:12).

We must never forget that God’s peace is different from the world’s peace (John 14:27). We do not find his peace in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or even in good feelings. Real peace can come only when we know that God is in control. When we seek his kingship first, all else will fall into place, and we will experience his peace (Matt. 6:33). His peace is our destiny, and because of his peace we know that victory over sin in our lives is indisputable.

You can receive his peace at this moment if you will renew in faith your commitment to him. Let him come into you right now and feed your hungry and unstable heart (Rev. 3:20). He promised that he would never leave us orphans and that he will never leave us. His peace surpasses all under­standing because it is a peace of love.

You might be asking, “How do I achieve that peace?” What we bring into our minds determines what comes out by our words and actions. Paul tells us to fill our minds with thoughts that are true, good and right. If you are having impure thoughts and daydreams, then examine what you are bringing into your mind because of television, movies, books and magazines. You need to read, study and put into action God’s Holy Word every day. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ to help you right now to free you of the “stinking thinking” and help focus your mind on what is proper and pure. Remember, try to fill your mind with thoughts of the Lord that are pure and true and see your anxiety disappear. You will have peace that surpasses all understanding.


MATTHEW 21:33-43

In this parable Jesus is showing the chief priests and the elders the incredible patience and mercy of God. To his chosen people God has given a fertile and productive vineyard for their homeland. He did all of this to prepare them for the future Messiah. All he asked of them was their cooperation. But, as we see in this story, they had other plans. They wanted their kingdom on earth and they wanted it now. Does this sound famili­ar?

God was extremely patient with his people. He sent them many prophets to bring them into a state of repentance, and they abused them, ignored their warnings, and even killed a few of them. God finally sent his only begotten Son to earth in human form. His Son lived among them and preached a message of love and peace. He offered them his Father’s mercy and pardon. Instead of accepting his offer, they committed an even greater sin. They killed the Son of God by crucifying him on the cross as a criminal.

The people’s plan backfired because Jesus’ death brought life to the world and opened up the gates of God’s eternal home for all nations and races. He was trying to get them to see that they were like the people in the story, when he asked them if they had ever read the Scriptures. Jesus told them this so that they could repent even as he was telling them. They did not see themselves as the greedy tenants or the murderers of the prophets. They blinded themselves to God’s justice. (God’s justice is that he hates sin, and whatever happened to the chief priests and elders will happen to unfaithful Christians.)

Jesus has set up a new vineyard and we have been called to work in it. Are we working honestly and devotedly? Is our life producing good fruit so that it will feed others? Jesus gives us that chance to repent and to let his grace come into our lives and become faithful tenants.

We can say thank you to our heavenly Father and ask him to help us, through his Holy Spirit, to keep us on the right path. Jesus wants us to repent. He wants us to change and to enjoy his vineyard. He wants us to make the vineyard enjoyable for others. We can still put ourselves right with God. Let’s do it now; tomorrow may be too late.



This week’s first reading reveals that a tree or a person is judged by the fruit it produced. The second reading shows that peace comes from filling our mind with thoughts that are pure, good and true. The Gospel shows how God is merciful and patient, and to ignore God is to lose our soul for eternity.

This week, show others that the fruit you are bearing is good fruit, by being especially kind and supportive to someone who is very unkind or non-supportive to you. Do not let this person know your inten­tions.

Also, this week, try to be a righteous example to someone in your family, school, or at work, by inviting them to read with you a passage from Scripture that is good, pure, and wholesome.

Finally, show someone your Bible Study and tell them what virtue it is bringing into your life. You may very well be an instru­ment of the Lord that will help them dismiss some anxiety and help them find the peace that surpasses all understanding.




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY            READ EZEKIEL 18:25-28        FIRST READING

(“Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?”)

  1. What do we say about the Lord’s way? Ezekiel 18:25


  1. What is the question asked in Ezekiel 18:25?


  1. How does the judge of all the world act? Genesis 18:25


  1. When a virtuous man turns away from virtue to commit iniquity and dies, what causes it that he must die? Ezekiel 18:26


  1. If a wicked man, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, what shall he preserve?   Ezekiel 18:27


  1. What is right and just? Psalm 119:137,144


  1. Fill in the following blanks: Since the wicked man has turned away from __________ the sins which he has      committed,      he shall surely __________, he shall    not die.   Ezekiel 18:28


  1. Read the following Scriptures and write out what causes you to turn around.

Numbers 32:15______________

Deut. 5:32-33_________________

Psalm 34:14-15________________

Acts 3:19_________________


Personal – Have you ever felt you were being treated unfairly? What caused the unfair treatment, and what was the result? What has caused you to turn to the Lord?




(“Jesus Christ is Lord.”)

  1. What does Paul say is owed to him in Christ? What can love bring, and what does fellowship in the Spirit bring? Philippians 2:1


  1. How can they make his joy complete and in what is the one love united? Philippians 2:2


  1. Who enables us to live in perfect harmony with others, and of what is he the source?   Romans 15:5


  1. How are we never to act, and how should we think of others?   Philippians 2:3


  1. For whom are we to show interest, and what must be our attitude?   Philippians 2:4-5


  1. How must we estimate ourselves? Romans 12:3


  1. In what form was Jesus, and with whom did he not deem equality?   Philippians 2:6


  1. What did Jesus do? What form did he take, and in whose likeness was he born?   Philippians 2:7


  1. In what way did he humble himself by accepting death on a cross?   Philippians 2:8


  1. What did God do to Jesus, what did he bestow on him, and what must every knee do at the name of Jesus?     Philippians 2:9-10


  1. In the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth every tongue must proclaim what to the glory of the Father? Philippians 2:11


Personal – In what ways do you show those in your family, your friends, your schoolmates, or your co-workers that you see them as more important than yourself?



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 21:28-32              GOSPEL

(“No, I will not; but afterwards he regretted it and went.”)

  1. Who is asking about the man with the two sons, and where is Jesus speaking?   Matthew 21:23


  1. With what did the man approach his elder son, and what did the son say and do?   Matthew 21:28-29


  1. When the man came to his second son and said the same thing, what was his reply? Matthew 21:30


  1. After the second son said he would go, what happened to him?   Matthew 21:30


  1. What produces repentance without regrets? 2 Cor 7:10


  1. Who did they say did what the father wanted? Matthew 21:31


  1. Who did Jesus say was entering the kingdom of God before them?   Matthew 21:31


  1. What did the entire populace receive from John, and what did the Pharisees and the lawyers fail to    receive? Luke 7:29-30


  1. When John came preaching a way of holiness, what did they not do? What did the prostitutes and tax   collectors do? Matthew 21:32


  1. Even when the chief priests and elders saw them putting their faith in him, what two things did they   fail to do? Matthew 21:32


Personal – How can you relate to the Scripture verse, “No, I will not, but afterwards he regretted it and went.” Matthew 21:30. Share a specific incident.


FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 25:4-9

(“Guide me in your truth and teach me.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 25:4-9.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




EZEKIEL 18:25-28

In the days of Ezekiel some of the people of Judah believed they were being punished for the sins of their ancestors, rather than for their own sins. Ezekiel is bringing home the reality that everyone is responsible for their own sin.

Today, we hear many people trying to shift the blame of their sinfulness on to others. It is true that we often suffer from the effects of sins committed by those who came before us. It is also true that we can not use their mistakes as an excuse for our sins.

Ezekiel shows us that God is not only a God of love, but he is also a God of perfect justice. His love which is perfect causes him to be merciful to those who recognize their sinfulness and turn back to him. God hates sin and will not tolerate it, and he will not wink at those who willfully sin.

We all like to hear that God is love, but we become a little uncomfortable when we hear he is also a God of justice. We are called to love one another as God has loved us (John 13:34). This means we are not to retaliate or brood over wrongdoing against us. For many, a common response to a difficult circumstance is to say, “That isn’t fair.” In reality, God is perfect justice because he is perfect love.

Many of us turn to the Lord because we finally realize that we can not make it through life without the protection and love of Jesus Christ. We must remember that it is not God who must live up to our ideas of fairness and justice, but it is our responsibility to live up to God’s standards. We are challenged not to look for loopholes in God’s law, instead we are to decide to work toward living up to his standards. We do that through prayer, scripture, sacraments and fellowship in the church.



Paul is exhorting the members of the community to be humble and Christ-like to each other. Today we would do well to take to heart this very message. To be humble is a gift that is like a precious stone which never loses its value. To be humble is to put others first and ourselves second.

Today, there is much talk about the need for a healthy self-esteem. Paul tells us in Scripture not to go too far in self-love. There are many people who think too little of them­selves and some who think too much of themselves. The key to an honest and accurate evalu­ation is knowing that the basis of our self worth is in our identity in Christ.

Apart from Christ we are not worth a great amount by eternal standards. In him our worth as creations of God is priceless. We must always evaluate ourselves in God’s eyes and not in the world’s eyes. Many people today, including Chris­tians, live only to make a good impression on others or to please them­selves. This self-centered type of living sows the seeds of discord.

Paul is calling for spiritual unity by asking the Philip­pians, as well as us, to love one another and to work together with one heart and purpose. When we work together and care for the problems of others, we are living out the example of Christ by putting others first. This is what brings unity in a mar­riage, a family, a congregation, a parish, a nation and, finally, the whole world.

Being humble means having a true perspective of ourselves (Romans 12:3). It does not mean that we should put ourselves down. We realize that we are all sinners saved by God’s grace and we have a tremendous worth in God’s kingdom. We can place ourselves in Jesus’ hands and humbly let ourselves be used by him to spread his Word and share his love with others.


MATTHEW 21:28-32

The way we live our lives is truly what we profess to belie­ve. The way we treat others is truly the way we profess our faith in God. Scripture tells us that if we say we love God and hate our brother, then we are liars.

The parable of the two sons strikes at the very heart of what is wrong in today’s society. Many people pretend that they are following Christ. They say it and even sing it in some songs, but their lives do not prove it. The Pharisees gave the impres­sion that they were very obedient to God’s will by keeping all the external signs of their religion. We have that today in our society. We have those who make great financial contributions but live with their own set of values. We can fool others about our inner intentions, but it is dangerous to pretend to obey God when our hearts are distant from him. God knows the inten­tions of our hearts. Our actions must always match our words.

In today’s Gospel passage we see the first son say, “no,” then regrets his action and becomes obedient to his father. True repentance means being sorry for our sins and to change our behavior. Paul tells us that occasionally God uses sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from selfishness and to come back to God. Compare Peter’s remorse and repentance with Judas’ bitterness. Both of these men denied Christ. One repented and was restored to faith and service. The other ended with his life in disgrace.

Let us, as Jesus did, be obedient and humble in our relation­ships with others (Phil. 2:2-11). Jesus calls us to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34). He also tells us that he will abide in us if we keep his commandments (John 15:7). Jesus gave us his two greatest commandments, “Love your God with all your heart, mind and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself.” We can do this only when we are obedient to God’s word. Remember, we are all sinners and we are saved only by God’s grace and not by our own deeds.



This week’s first reading tells of being account­able for your own sins. The second reading reveals the power of humility which brings unity. The Gospel tells us that actions speak louder than words.

This week, let us show our accountability in what we say and do by not being selfish. The cure for selfishness is servant hood, which is being like Christ. Do something beautiful for God by doing something pleasing for members of your family, school and work area. Do not let them know your intentions. Show others that your actions in humility and caring are what you really believe and live. When you say “yes,” mean it; and when you say “no,” ask yourself, “What would Jesus say at this time?”




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY             READ ISAIAH 55:6-9         FIRST READING

(“Let him turn to the Lord for mercy.”)

  1. Whom do we seek while he may be found? Isaiah 55:6


  1. What must we do while he is near? Isaiah 55:6


  1. With what must we seek the Lord? Jeremiah 29:13-14, Deuteronomy 4:29


  1. What are we to let the scoundrel do, and the wicked man?   Isaiah 55:7


  1. To whom must the scoundrel and the wicked turn, and what will be given to them?   Isaiah 55:7


  1. In what is our God generous? Isaiah 55:7


  1. What has the Lord done with our sins, and what is he asking us to do?   Isaiah 44:22


  1. What are the Lord’s thoughts and ways not like? Isaiah 55:8


  1. As high as what are his ways above our ways and his thoughts above our thoughts?   Isaiah 55:9


  1. What does God do, and what does he not do? Numbers    23:19


Personal – In what way have you experienced the greatness and mercy of God? In what way has he revealed to you that his way is far superior to the way you thought something should be done? What did you do when he revealed this to you?




(“For, to me, `life’ means Christ, hence dying is so much gain.”)


  1. Who is writing this letter, and to whom is he writing? Philippians 1:1


  1. What does Paul firmly trust and anticipate?      Philippians 1:20


  1. In what does he have full confidence? Philippians    1:20


  1. Of what does Paul not dare to speak when trying to win the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed?   Romans 15:18


  1. What does “life” mean to Paul, and what is dying? Philippians 1:21


  1. What is the life Paul lives, of what is his human life, and in whom is his life?   Galatians 2:20


  1. If we are to go on living in the flesh, what does that mean?   Philippians 1:22


  1. To what is Paul attracted, and from what does he long to be free? Philippians 1:23


  1. What is the more urgent, and for whose sake? Philippians 1:24


  1. How are we to conduct ourselves, and if we do this, what will be clear?   Philippians 1:27


Personal – What do you prefer, to live or die? Why? What spiritual insight has the Lord revealed to you personally in this reading? How can you apply it to your life?


FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 20:1-16               GOSPEL

(“Thus the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”)

  1. The reign of God can be compared to the owner of an estate who went out at dawn to do what? What did he     reach with the workmen for the usual daily wage, and    then, what did he do? Matthew 20:1-2


  1. When the owner came out about midmorning, what did he see? What did he say to them? What did he say he would pay them?     Matthew 20:3-4


  1. What did the owner find at noon and mid-afternoon? What did he say to those he found in late afternoon?     Matthew   20:5-6


  1. What did they say to the owner, and what did he tell them to do? What did the owner of the vineyard say to    his foreman?   Matthew 20:7-8


  1. When those hired late in the afternoon came for their pay, what did they receive? What did the first group suppose? Matthew 20:9-10


  1. What did they receive, what was their complaint to the owner, and what was his response?   Matthew 20:11-13


  1. What did the owner tell them to do, and what did he intend to do?   Matthew 20:14


  1. In Matthew 20:15, what two questions did he ask the workers?


  1. What do envy and anger do? Sirach 30:24


  1. How does God give to all? James 1:5


  1. Who will be first, and who will be last? Matthew     20:16


Personal – How do you see yourself, as the one receiving much for little done or as receiving little for much work done? How do you feel about this, and how do you deal with your feelings? Go to the Lord and repent of any envy you may have been holding. Seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation this week.


FIFTH DAY        READ PSALM 145: 2-3, 8-9, 17-18

(“The Lord is gracious and merciful.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 145: 2-3, 8-9, 17-18.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




ISAIAH 55:6-9

This passage tells us that first we seek his kingship and then all else will be added (Matt. 6:33). The desire to seek his will is a gift of grace from God. We are called to yield to that gift and then respond to it in faith. The Jews had a prayer called the “Shema” (Deut. 6:4-8) that supported this revelation.

We are called to relate the Word of God in our daily lives. God has emphasized the importance of parents to teach Scripture to their children. The church and Christian schools can not always be used to escape this responsibili­ty. Today eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing home, just as in the time of Moses.

Jesus tells us that loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind is the greatest command and to love our neighbor as ourself is the greatest rule of all. These two commands of his encompass all of Scripture.

We need to know, study and live out his daily Word so that our ways will be his ways. He will reveal his holy will to us, but we have to hunger and thirst to seek for him, for he is a gentle and loving God who seeks us more than we seek him. He stands always ready at the door to our heart, waiting for us to let him come in (Rev. 3:20).

What is really incredible is that he wants to come in and dine with us. In the early Bible days, the act of eating with someone was a very special sign of friendship. You did not eat with just anyone. Jesus wants to become intimate with us. He wishes to reside in our temple (1 Cor. 6:20). He rushes in and he does everything. All we have to do is open our hearts and let him in. That is why his thoughts and ways are not like ours, because he wants only to heal and love us.


PHILIPPIANS 1:20-24, 27

This was not to be Paul’s final imprisonment in Rome. He knew that he could be either released or executed, and it was in this atmosphere that he was filled with joy. The secret of Paul’s joy while in prison was his personal relationship with Jesus. Today people desperately want to be happy, but are tossed and turned by their daily successes, failures, and inconveniences. In other words, they are looking to the wrong source for their joy. To those who do not believe in God, life on earth is all there will be for them. So as the television commercial states, they go for the “gusto,” or try to get as much as they can as quickly as they can.

Paul saw life as developing eternal values and telling others about Jesus Christ, and this is what a messenger of the king is called to tell his people. We are that messenger. We are that prophet and like Paul, we will have to tell others that money, popularity, power and prestige are only temporary values in this world. Similar to Paul, we are to speak out boldly for Christ and to become more like him in the way we live out our daily lives.

Paul sees dying as more superior than living, because he knew that in death he would be spared from the troubles of the world and would see Christ face to face (1 John 3:2,3). To be ready to die is to be ready to live for Christ. It is only when we die to ourselves and put on the “mind of Christ” that we are really able to live (Phil. 2:5-11). Once we know our purpose in life is to love others as Christ has loved us, then we are free to serve. Then, and only then, can we devote our life to what really counts without the fear of dying.


MATTHEW 20: 1-16

Today’s Gospel is not concerned with rewards but with salvation. It is a powerful teaching about the incredible gift called grace that God gives to us. The story is not quite how we earn our way to heaven, because that would be impossible. Jesus clarified the membership rules of the kingdom of heaven. Entrance to heaven is by God’s grace alone.

In today’s story, God is the estate owner and the believers are those who work for him. In early Christianity there were many who felt superior because of heritage or favored positions, just as today. There were those who felt superior because they had spent so much time with Christ and knew so much about him. The message in this story was a reassurance of God’s grace to the new believers.

We should not resent anyone who turns to God in the last moments of life, because, in reality, no one deserves eternal life. Many people we do not expect to see may be in the Kingdom. The thief who repented on the cross will be next to Jesus (Luke 23:40-43) as well as the people who have believed and served God all of their lives.

Think for a moment about your life. Do you resent God for allowing all those outcasts and sinners into heaven, and those who turn to him at the last moment of their lives? Are you ever jealous of what God has given to someone else? I challenge you to reflect on God’s gracious gift of grace in your life. Focus on the benefits given to you and give praise and thanksgiving for what you have received. He has given you eternal life (John 3:16). He has loved you so much he died for you. He has given you another chance to love every time you begin a brand-new day.

If you do not have any friends, then invite him into your heart to be your friend. (John 15:13-15). He will change your life immediately, and you will, in return, change others with your joy and testimony (Matt. 28:19). Jesus is our owner, our shepherd, and our Savior, and he wants us to be healed and made whole (John 10:10).

The bottom line is – the generous gift of God’s grace and our follow through on it are what allows us to be eligible to enter heaven. The result of accepting that grace in faith will be shown by the way we live our lives on earth.




The first reading tells us to first seek the kingship of God and then all else will be given unto you (Matt. 6:33). The second reading tells how personal relationships with Christ can bring joy and peace even in very difficult circumstances. The Gospel tells us how grace and our response to it bring us into heaven.

This week, show how you value yourself, your family, your school and your work associates by being very generous with your time, money, and talent. Some examples: Spend time with someone who is sick or lonely, financially help someone you know who is strug­gling, share with someone a talent or a gift that you have. Remember, grace is the presence of God in your relationship with others.




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY           READ SIRACH 27:30-28:7       FIRST READING

(“Forgive your neighbor’s injustice.”)

  1. What are hateful things, and what does the sinner do with them?   Sirach 27:30


  1. What are we to keep in mind, and what does man’s anger not fulfill?   James 1:19-20


  1. What will the vengeful suffer, and for what reason? Sirach 28:1


  1. Who says, “Vengeance is mine: I will repay?” Romans 12:19


  1. If we forgive our neighbor’s injustice, what will happen when we pray?   Sirach 28:2


  1. What did Jesus say to the Father as he was dying on the cross?   Luke 23:34


  1. In whom has God forgiven us? Ephesians 4:32


  1. If a person nourishes anger against another person, what can he expect from the Lord?   Sirach 28:3


  1. What are the questions asked in verses four and five of Sirach 28?


  1. What are we to set aside, what are we to remember, and from what are we to cease?   Sirach 28:6


  1. Who are we not to hate, whose covenant are we to remember, and what are we to overlook?   Sirach 28:7


Personal – Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you any anger you may be harboring against anyone. What gives you the strength to forgive when you were innocent and unjustly treated?



THIRD DAY              READ ROMANS 14:7-9         SECOND READING

(“While we live we are responsible to the Lord.”)

  1. What does not one of us do? Romans 14:7


  1. What example did Jesus give us to follow on how to live, and what is no slave greater than?   John 13:12- 16


  1. While we live, to whom are we responsible? Romans    14:8


  1. When we die, as what do we die? Romans 14:8


  1. To whom do we belong in both life and death? Romans 14:8


  1. The slave called in the Lord is what, and how have we been bought? 1 Corinthians 7:22-23


  1. Why did Christ die and come to life again? Romans    14:9


  1. Who is set apart by God to judge both the living and the dead?   Acts 10:36-42


  1. What is the blessed and only ruler called? 1 Timothy 6:15


  1. What must every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father?  Philippians 2:11


Personal – In what way have you submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Is it partial or total submission? How has this submission been visible to your family, friends, schoolmates, or work acquaintances?



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 18:21-35              GOSPEL

(“My Lord, be patient with me and I will pay back in full.”)

  1. Who was speaking, and what did he ask the Lord? Matthew 18:21


  1. When Jesus told his disciples how to pray, what did he say to do regarding forgiveness?   Matthew 6:12


  1. What was Jesus’ reply to forgiving seven times? Matthew 18:22


  1. To what may the reign of God be compared? Matthew    18:23


  1. As the king began his auditing one was brought in who owed him a huge amount of money, what did his master order in payment of the debt?   Matthew 18:24-25


  1. What did the official do and say? Matthew 18:26


  1. With what was the master moved, and what did he do? Matthew 18:27


  1. What did that same official do when he met a fellow servant?       Matthew 18:28


  1. What did his fellow servant do and say, and what did he have done with him?   Matthew 18:29-30


  1. When his fellow servants saw what had happened, what was their reaction, where did they go, and what did    they do?   Matthew 18:31


  1. When his master sent for him, what did he say to him? Matthew 18:32-33


  1. What did he do in anger? Matthew 18:34


  1. What did Jesus say his Heavenly Father would do, and what are we to do?   Matthew 18:34-35


  1. What judges the thoughts and reflections of the heart? Hebrews 4:12


Personal – For what major flaw in you did Jesus die on the cross and forgive you? What major flaw do you need to forgive in a brother or sister? Be specific.


FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 103:1-4, 9-12

(“Not according to our sins does he deal with us.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




SIRACH 27:30-28:7

“Father, forgive these people, they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).” Jesus asked his Father to forgive the people who were putting him to death. God answered that prayer by opening up the way of salvation to everyone.

Today’s passage reveals to us that vengeance for us comes from the Lord only (Romans 12:19). We are told that mercy will come only to those who show mercy and that we will be pardoned for our sins in the same measure that we pardon those who have sinned against us.

You and I do not ever have to refuse mercy to anyone, because we have been forgiven by Jesus Christ whose death paid the price of our redemption. His blood has washed us clean.

Because he has forgiven us, we can forgive others. The pain of being hurt physically, emotionally, sexually, or even spiritually, can be so devastating that it seems vengeance is more justifiable. Sometimes it seems more logical just to run away from the pain inside.

As you are reading this, let Jesus come into your heart and let him go to the point of the pain in your entire being. Say, “Come, Holy Spirit, give me the power to forgive as my brother Jesus forgives.” He will heal you and renew your mind (Romans 12:2). He will take up residence in your heart and he will give you a heart of flesh in place of that heart of stone. He will be your rock, your fortress, your refuge (Psalm 91). He will anoint your head with healing oil, and you will dwell in his house forever (Psalm 23).

We will learn to give mercy because he resides in our temple (1 Corinthians 6:20). We will pardon those who have injured us because we have been pardoned for all of our sins (Matt. 6:12). Let us remember to be quick to hear, slow to anger, and slow to speak (James 1:19, 20) for the wrath of a man does not show righteousness to God.


ROMANS 14:7-9

The only person who was ever born to die for us was Jesus Christ. He lived and died for all mankind. He died for all of the sinners in the world. His death paid the price that freed humanity from the bondage of Satan. All mankind did not decide to accept his incredible gift, and consequently, we see a tremendous conflict between good and evil. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

Jesus was born to be the suffering servant of mankind and to be its Lord and Savior. Today we see many people who live in the belief that it is their own talents and drive that deter­mines their fate. We see many cultures who claim we have to be tough and independent to get ahead. Meekness is confused with weakness in many parts of our society. Love of God, family and country is considered by some to be sentimental foolishness.

Jesus called us to be foot washers in the world (John 13:3-17). He called us to be servants to our neighbors and to love one another as he has loved us (John 13:34). He tells us our freedom has been bought at a high price, and that price was his blood (1 Corinthians 7:22-23). He calls from us a submission to him and a sub-mission to one another. We are to think of others first.

We are to put on the mind of Christ (Phil 2:2-11). We are called to live for Christ because he has died for us so that we might live forever. He is our Lord and when we die we will spend eternity in his loving presence.

I encourage you to stop what you are doing right now, get down on your knees, and confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your life. He stands at the door of your heart. Open that door and invite him in, and let him heal you today (Rev. 3:20).


MATTHEW 18:21-35

We are told in today’s Gospel that if we do not forgive those who have offended us, neither will God forgive us of our offenses to him. In the days of Christ there was a Jewish custom that a person had to forgive someone only three times for having offended you. It was considered acceptable to demand punishment on the fourth offense.

Peter thought he was being very generous by suggesting to forgive someone seven times. He was startled to hear Jesus tell him that, in effect, we should always forgive those who repentant, no matter how many times they ask.

Today’s story tells us the serious consequences that awaited those who could not repay their debts. It was not uncommon to see a debtor remain in prison for the remainder of his life. Think about that for a moment. Not one of us is capable of paying off our own debt to God. Jesus Christ had to die on the cross for us, and he paid the ransom for our sins with his life. If we were at any time to be judged as to how well we paid off our own debts, heaven would be empty.

How many times have you asked the Lord to forgive you and you received his forgiveness in the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation? How many times did you then go on to fall to the seduction of temptation. God, in his incredible mercy, has put no limit on the number of times we are allowed to fall.

The road to eternal life would be empty and very long if God limited us to only a limited number of times to be forgiven. We have a God who loves us so much that he stands knocking at the door to our hearts, patiently waiting to come in to heal us as well as to forgive us (Rev 3:20).

Today, Jesus impresses us with the fact that forgiveness is a decision, and it is a decision to love. Jesus tells us in the last sentence of today’s parable that his Father will do to us what we do to others (Matt. 18:35). Jesus tells us in Scripture that whatever we do to the least of his brothers, we do unto him (Matt. 25:31-41).

Jesus has shown us that his actions back up his words. While dying on the cross he looked up at his Father and said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called today to do no less, and that is to forgive others who have offended us.



The first reading shows us that vengeance comes from God, not from us. The second reading tells us that humility belongs to the character of Christ. The Gospel reveals that forgiveness is not an option for the Christian, it is a requirement that we extend it to others as God has extended it to us.

This week, approach a family member, friend, or co-worker against whom you hold a grudge, and ask them to forgive you. Holding on to any resentment, bitterness or unforgiveness towards them is what you ask in forgiveness. Remember, through forgiveness comes healing.





By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY             READ EZEKIEL 33:7-9         FIRST READING

(“You, son of man, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel.”)

  1. To whom did the Word of the Lord come, and who has been appointed watchman for the house of Israel? Ezekiel 1:3 3:17, and 33:7


  1. What is Ezekiel to do for the Lord? Ezekiel 33:7


  1. If the Lord tells the wicked man that he shall surely die, that was Ezekiel to do, and what will happen to the wicked man? Ezekiel 33:8


  1. Who will be held responsible for the death of the wicked man?   Ezekiel 33:8


  1. What will happen if we do not speak out? Psalm 32:3


  1. What happens to the wicked man, and how is he repaid? Isaiah 3:11


  1. Who is the one who shall die? Ezekiel 18:20


  1. How are we to warn the wicked man? Ezekiel 33:9


  1. If he refuses to do this, what will happen to him, and what will happen to us?   Ezekiel 33:9


  1. What kind of a God do we have? Psalm 7:12


Personal – What do you say to those you see doing wrong within your household? What do you think will happen to you if you remain silent when you see those around you being sinful?



THIRD DAY              READ ROMANS 13:8-10        SECOND READING

(“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”)

  1. What are we not to owe anyone, and what exception is there to this?   Romans 13:8


  1. What has he who loves his neighbor done? Romans 13:8


  1. What is the virtue that binds all the rest together and makes them perfect? Colossians 3:14


  1. What is all summed up in “You shall love your neighbor as yourself?”  Romans 13:9


  1. What did Jesus give us, and how are we to love one another?   John 13:34


  1. How are we to treat others? Matthew 7:12


  1. What are we not to bear in our heart against our brother, and what are we not to take and cherish against our fellow countrymen?   Leviticus 19:17-18


  1. What does love never do, and what is the fulfillment of the law?   Romans 13:10


  1. What is love, and what does it not do? 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


  1. Who is our neighbor? Luke 10:25-37, concentrating on verses 36-37


Personal – Have you seen anyone in need this week, and how did you respond to that need? In what way have you loved your neighbor? Write down a time you loved your neighbor each day this week.



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 18:15-20              GOSPEL

(“If your brother should commit a crime against you, go and point out his fault,”)

  1. If our brother should commit some wrong against us, what are we to do?   Matthew 18:15


  1. Who did Jesus say were brother, sister, and mother to him? Mark 3:35


  1. After going to our brother who has wronged us, what have we done if he listens. If he does not listen, what should we do, and for what reason?  Matthew 18:15-16


  1. What is laid down in the law? John 8:17


  1. If our brother ignores the others we have summoned, to whom do we refer him?   Matthew 18:17


  1. If the brother who committed the wrong ignores the church, how should we treat him?   Matthew 18:17


  1. Whom do we have no business judging, what should happen to those who bear the title “brother” and who is immoral? l Corinthians 5:9-13


  1. Whatever we declare bound on earth shall be declared what, and whatever we declare loosed on earth shall be      held what in heaven?   Matthew 18:18


Personal – How have you dealt with someone who has wronged you, in comparison to the above scripture?


  1. What does Jesus say will happen if two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatsoever? Matthew 18:19


  1. What must we do in order to receive anything from the Lord? Matthew 7:7, John 15:7


  1. Who is present when two or three are gathered in his name? Matthew 18:20


Personal – With whom have you joined your voice in prayer this week, and what has been the result?



FIFTH DAY            READ PSALM 95:1-2, 6-9

(“Let us acclaim the rock of our salvation.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 95: 1-2, 6-9.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?



EZEKIEL 33:7-9

This passage tells us that God will hold us responsible for not speaking out in defense of his name to those who violate his teachings. We cannot say that it is not our responsibility to speak out because we are not qualified. Ezekiel tells us that God has called us to warn the wicked man of his wrong doings or to face up to the responsibility of his death.

Today there is a strong emphasis to turn the other way concerning wrong doing. A major philosophy of today seems to be, that if it does not affect me, why should I complain. For example: the rate of crime is staggering in many countries; the breakdown of the family is accepted as a price of progress. A tremendous financial profit is being made today in the areas of pornography, child pornography, prostitution, drugs, alcohol, smoking, and abortion.

Scripture tells us the wages of sin are death (Rom. 6:23), yet we remain incredibly silent with our Christian response to this barrage of filth. The essence of all sin is self, and it is the gratification of self that is tearing countries apart. The result of sin is death, and if we do not believe this, take a look around our communities and see the effects of sin. Many times the deaths and horror from AIDS are the results of drugs and immorality that can be passed on even to innocent victims in blood transfusions. Children are born infected with the dreaded disease through no fault of their own.

The rate of abortions has climbed to about 70 million a year worldwide. There has to be an end to the millions of people becoming zombies through the use of drugs and alcohol. Cigarettes kill more people than drugs and alcohol combined, and yet there is a silence in the Christian world. Silence indicates to many a degree of acceptance of the conditions.

I pray that you speak out in the name of Jesus and protest the wrongdoing that is going on in your own heart, your family, your community and your country.


ROMANS 13:8-10

St. Paul calls us to a complete sense of freedom in that we owe no man anything except our love. Jesus gives us his command­ment, “Love one another as I have loved you.”(John 13:34). Jesus went further when he tells us all to love God with our whole heart, mind, and spirit and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

To many people today that does not offer much, especially when self-esteem, self-image or self-love have never been established. There are millions of people walking around who do not feel that self-worth or feel they are worthy of being loved. Jesus knows that and consequently he said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” You are so precious, and so valuable, that God sent his only begotten son to die on the cross at Calvary just for you.

Jesus loves us completely and unconditionally, and he loves us wherever we are. The incredible part of this statement is that he loves us to the extent that he will not leave us as we are. He will transform you if you will let him. Right now he is knocking at the door of your heart while you are reading this study (Rev. 3:20). Try to look for a picture showing Jesus knocking on the door and you will see something very powerful. There is no door handle on the door; it opens only from within. He will love you with an everlasting love. People perish simply because of the lack of knowledge of who he is and of his great love for them (Hosea 4:6).

We are told that God is love and that we love him because we learn that he has loved us first. God is love. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love bears all things. Love believes all things. Love is hope. Love endures all things, and love is the fulfillment of the law. Jesus tells us that if we live in him and keep his command­ments, then he will live in us (John 15:7). To love your neighbors as yourself really means that God loved you so much that he died for you. We have to die to ourselves and be willing to do whatever it takes to help anyone who is in need of God’s love and mercy.


MATTHEW 18:15-20

The Gospel message tells us today that we are to go to our brother and tell him of his fault of sinning. Many ask today, “Who is my brother?” Jesus tells us in scripture that all who do the will of his Father are his brother, sister and mother (Mark 3:35). You can lovingly confront our brother or sister in Christ, if they are suffering or in pain but it should be done privately. (A wound will fester if it is not tended or healed right away.) If they listened to you and the problem is not resolved, then you know that the problem does not lie with you, it allows you to forgive that person so that he may become healed.

Today, bitterness and divisiveness rage among Chris­tians because of misunderstandings. We are told in Scripture that we will be insulted because of our Christian beliefs and conduct and whoever is called on to suffer should not be ashamed but to give thanks and glory to God (1 Peter 4:16). We are not called to judge the pagans or unbelievers, rather we are called to confront the “brother in the Lord” who is living in sin. This can be done only in love and in accordance with Scripture.

Jesus tells us that even our love of family is not to come between him and ourselves. Also Jesus tells us that he is always present in our midst. Whenever we come together to pray in his name, our requests will be honored by his Father in heaven. We need to remember that to pray in his name means to be completely immersed in prayer with him. His name is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-healing. Scripture tells us that every knee shall bend and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:11). To pray in his name means to have released all unforgiveness toward others. It means to confess all unrepented sins. To pray in his name means to remove all the blocks towards healing within ourselves.

When we pray in his name, whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven (Matt. 19:18). Then in Jesus’ name we can bind the evil in one of our sinful brothers, and in Jesus’ name loose upon that person the power of the Holy Spirit. Joy, peace, love – the Holy Spirit brings all that heavenly power and faith. In Jesus’ name the honor and glory of the Father are accomplished. We can be an expectant pray-er every time we pray in Jesus’ name because we have his Word on it (Matthew 18:19-20).



The first reading tells us that we are responsible for speaking out in faith, and we are called to address the sinful actions of others. The second reading tells us that love is not love until it is freely given away to others, without any condi­tions. The Gospel tells us to confront one another lovingly in the name of Jesus when their conduct is out of order.

This week, speak lovingly but frankly and privately, to one of your loved ones who is not walking with the Lord. Remember, your silence may indicate that you agree with that person’s actions.




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



(“But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart.”


  1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking? Jer 20:1, 7


  1. How did the Word of the Lord come to Jeremiah, and what was his response?   Jer 1:4-7


  1. What did he say the Lord did to him, what happened, and why? Jeremiah 20:7


  1. What happens all the day long? Jeremiah 20:7


  1. Whenever he speaks, what is his message? Jeremiah 20:8


  1. What has the Word of the Lord brought to him? Jer 20:8


  1. What does Jeremiah say to himself? Jeremiah 20:9


  1. What happens to his heart and his bones when he does not speak out?   Jeremiah 20:9


  1. Of what does Jeremiah grow weary, and what can he not endure?  Jeremiah 20:9


  1. What did Paul say about preaching the Gospel? 1 Corinthians 9:16-17


Personal – In what way have you had a burning desire to teach or preach the Word of God since you have been studying his Word? Stop growing weary by holding it in, and share with those closest to you what the Lord has taught you.


THIRD DAY              READ ROMANS 12:1-2        SECOND READING

(“…be transformed by the renewal of your mind,”)

  1. To whom is Paul speaking? Romans 1:7, Romans 12:1


  1. What does he beg them to do to their bodies through the mercy of God, and how are they to do it?   Romans 12:1


  1. For what was Christ’s death, once for all; and to what must we consider ourselves dead?  Romans 6:10-11


  1. For whom are we alive, and what must we not let our body do?   Romans 6:11-12


  1. To whom do we offer our body, and for what reason? Romans 6:13


  1. To what must we not conform? Romans 12:2


  1. By what must we be transformed, and for what reason? Romans 12:2


  1. From where does renewal come? Titus 3:5


  1. On what do we live that transforms the mind? Matthew 4:4


  1. How can we judge God’s will? John 12:44-48, concentrating  on verse 48


Personal – Through your study of scripture, what way has God transformed your mind this week? How has that affected those around you? In what way have you worshipped God in your body? Is your body holy and acceptable for worship?


FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 16:21-27              GOSPEL

(If a man wishes to come after me,  he must deny his very self,…”)

  1. Where did Jesus say that he must go, what would happen there, and by whose hand?   Matthew 16:21


  1. What did Peter do and say to Jesus? Matthew 16:22


  1. How did Jesus respond to Peter, whom did he say was an obstacle to him, and how did Jesus say Peter was      thinking? Matthew 16:23


  1. What kind of Jews are nothing other than members of Satan’s assembly?   Revelation 2:9


  1. Whom did Jesus say a man must deny, what must he take up, and what must he begin to do? Matthew 16:24


  1. What happens to him who seeks only himself, and how do we discover who we are?   Matthew 10:39


  1. What is not self-seeking? 1 Corinthians 13:4-5


  1. Whoever would save his life will do what, but whoever loses his life for Jesus sake will what? Matthew 16:25


  1. What two questions does Jesus ask his disciples in Matthew 16:26?


  1. When the Son of Man comes with his Father’s glory accompanied by his angels, how will he repay each man? Matthew 16:27


  1. How do we follow in Jesus’ footsteps? Matthew 25:31- 40


Personal – Write down on a piece of paper things you have done this week that indicate a dying to self. Also, write down specific ways in which you are following Jesus. Read and meditate on Philippians 2:3-5. Give one specific way you deliberately thought of another’s interest before your own interest.


FIFTH DAY            READ PSALM 63:2-6, 8-9

(“…with lips of joy my mouth shall praise you.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9.


What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




Jeremiah was a prophet who served God for over 40 years. His message was coming to a nation that had rejected God and was sliding head long into ruin. Jeremiah was regarded as a meddler and a traitor. People, nobles and kings alternately tried to put him to death. Jeremiah had reached the point where, if he proclaimed God’s word, people became angry. They did not want to hear the truth from him, because the truth would convict them of their sinfulness.

Jeremiah is considered “out of date,” “not in the mainstream of today’s theology,” and “old fashioned.” He becomes a laughing-stock of the country­side. When he would not proclaim God’s Word because of the constant rejection, his whole body would constrict and his heart would become like a burning fire. He became weary of trying to hold it in and preach what the people wanted to hear. He could not do it because the call to truth was the call of God and he would not turn away from that call.

Do you speak God’s holy truth when you are among your friends, or do you fall into line and speak what you think people want to hear? Jeremiah never felt he was qualified to be a prophet, and he never had a following of adoring fans. He chose to go on because his heart was burning like a fire for the Lord.

Today’s passage is a tremendous message of hope to all of God’s children, and that message is that God loves you. He formed you in your mother’s womb, and he knows you by name (Jer. 1:4-7).

Do not let the voice of the world be your guide. Let the quiet whisper of God who spoke to Elijah in the cave be the source of your words.

People will laugh and mock us today for proclaiming God’s word, but that is all right because the Lord is our shepherd and we shall not want (Psalm 23:1). A shepherd always protects his flock, and we have a shepherd who loves us so much he even died for us.


ROMANS 12:1-2

The call of God is so vibrant in the message of the New Testament. He is calling us to believe in his only begotten Son, Jesus, and if we do, we will have eternal life (John 3:16). This promise is made by God to the whole world. Yet much of the world has rejected this message which lets us live life in all of its fullness.

Why is so much of the world not living a life of fullness (John 10:10) when so many know about Jesus Christ? The answer is sin. To live abundantly we must serve the Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus showed us how to be an example of service by dying for us on the cross. As stated in this reading from Romans, we are to “present our bodies” in voluntary surrender to the will of God. God must control the use of the whole person, and we are to present our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice.

We have been called to be temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:20), and we must set our sights on what is above (Col. 3:1-2). Our temple of the Holy Spirit does not include drugs, alcohol or fornication. The world laughs at the description of our being a temple of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus commands us to be filled with his Holy Spirit.

You, my Christian friends, have been transformed by the power of God and no longer conform to the agenda of the world. Because of the Holy Spirit who lives in you, you now have the power to conform to the good, acceptable and perfect will of God; and you will enjoy a life that is physically, emotionally and spiritually full. Let your mind be renewed by God’s Holy Word, by spending time in quiet prayer and in fellowship with other Christians. And, finally, as the Psalmist so powerfully describes, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:11)


MATTHEW 16:21-27

Discipleship is very costly, and yet, it is a cost that we can not afford to reject. A disciple is a learner who follows the teachings of the master. Jesus tells us that if we really wish to follow him, we are to take up our cross and carry it in his name. Jesus took up his cross and carried it to Calvary and allowed himself to be crucified for us. He dies on his cross so that you and I could have eternal life.

We are called to carry our cross daily and do the same things that Christ did. We are called to die to self and to put others before us (Phil. 2:2-4). We look around and see so much turmoil in our world, and the main reason is that many people do not want to pick up and carry their daily cross. The essence of sin is self and the only way that we break the bondage of sin is to die to self. It is in the losing of our life for Christ or in the dying to self that the saving of one’s life happens. “Why are some people’s crosses heavier than others?” is asked by many people. The more one dies to self on a daily basis, the lighter that cross becomes. We see people going through some horrendous events in their lives and there is a sense of inner peace and joy. This is a person who has yielded to the call of Christ and has cast all his cares upon the Lord (1 Peter 5:7).

When we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, he will empower us to become disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ. We can go out and make disciples of others (Matt. 28:19) only when we have learned to die to ourselves and live for Jesus Christ. To die for Christ is very noble; to live for Christ is much harder. It calls for a daily commitment. We need to remember that anything we achieve or own in this life will end when we die. When we die to ourselves and pick up our daily cross and live for others in Christ, we will live forever in victory with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.



The first reading shows us that perseverance is a virtue of a prophet. The second reading tells us to live the abundant life, and calls for a commitment of our mind, body and soul. This week’s Gospel tells us that in order to live forever, we must die like Christ if we are to rise like Christ.

This week let us practice dying to ourselves in our family by trying to do some of the following:

Parents – set aside some time every day to share with each child and your spouse.

Children – find a time each day to serve a member of your family, such as helping a brother or sister do their chores. Help your parents around the home, or financially as they get older.

Everyone – Die to yourself in school or work by listening to others and really hearing what they have to say.

Remember, to lose our life for Christ is the best way to rise with Christ.



By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY          READ ISAIAH 22: 15, 19-23      FIRST READING

(“…and give over to him your authority.”)

  1. Who is speaking, and where does he say to go? Isaiah 22:15


  1. Who is Shebna, and what does Isaiah 36:3 say about him? Isaiah 22:15


  1. What happened to Shebna? Isaiah 22:16-19


  1. Who does the Lord summon, and who is his father? Isaiah 22:20


  1. With what does the Lord clothe and gird Eliakim, and what does he give over to him?   Isaiah 22:21


  1. Who has full authority over heaven and earth? Matthew 28:18


  1. Who established the existing authority? Romans 13:1


  1. To whom is Eliakim the father? Isaiah 22:21


  1. What will the Lord place on Eliakim’s shoulder, and what will happen when he opens and shuts the house of David? Isaiah 22:22


  1. What did Jesus entrust to Peter, and what authority does that give him?   Matthew 16:19


  1. How does the Lord fix Eliakim, and where does he place him with his family?   Isaiah 22:23


Personal – Where do you see yourself as far as “when you open, no one can shut; when you shut, no one can open?” How has God given you the key to forgive or hold others bound by your unforgiveness? Think about this, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truth to you.



THIRD DAY             READ ROMANS 11:33-36       SECOND READING

(“For from him and through him and to God are all things.”)

  1. Fill in the following blanks: Oh, the depth of the ___________and___________and__________ of God?   Romans 11:33


  1. How is God’s wisdom made known? Ephesians 3:10


  1. In whom is every treasure of wisdom and knowledge hidden? Colossians 2:2-3


  1. What is inscrutable and unsearchable? Romans 11:33


  1. What questions are being asked in Romans 11:34 and in Wisdom 9:13?


  1. How has God revealed this wisdom to us? 1 Corinthians 2:10


  1. What is given to God, and for what reason is it given? Romans 11:35


  1. How are all things? Romans 11:36


  1. What is to him forever? Romans 11:36


  1. From whom do all things come, and for whom do we live? Through whom was everything made, and through whom do we live?  1 Corinthians 8:6


  1. How was everything on the earth created? Colossians   1:16



Personal – In what way do you show the Lord your love for him as the Great Creator? Take a few moments right now and praise him for the All Powerful Mighty God that he is.



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 16:13-20              GOSPEL

(“Who do you say that I am?”)

  1. To what neighborhood has Jesus come, and what did he ask his disciples?   Matthew 16:13


  1. Who do the people say Jesus is? Matthew 16:14


  1. Who did Herod the Tetrarch say Jesus was? Matthew    14:1-2


  1. What direct question did Jesus ask his disciples? Matthew 16:15


  1. Who answered Jesus, what did he call him, and who did he say was his Father? Matthew 16:16


  1. What is the meaning of Messiah? John 4:25


  1. What was Jesus’ reply to Peter’s answer, and who revealed this to Peter? Matthew 16:17


  1. What did Jesus declare to Peter, what will he build on him, and what will not prevail against it?   Matthew 16:18


  1. What does he entrust to Peter? Matthew 16:19


  1. What happens when he declares something bound on earth and loosed on earth?   Matthew 16:19


  1. What did Jesus tell his disciples not to do? Matthew 16:20



Personal – Who do you say Jesus is? Write out on a piece of paper who Jesus is to you?


FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 138: 1-3, 6, 8

(“You build up strength within me.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 138: 1-3, 6, 8.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




ISAIAH 22:15, 19-23

This passage is the result of Isaiah’s prophecy of the destruc­tion of Jerusalem. Isaiah warns his people against making alliances with foreigners and telling them they should trust in God alone for their future. Jerusalem was savagely attacked and its people were slaughtered. The real tragedy, in today’s reading, is the people had plenty of warning and chose to trust in their own ingenuity, weapons and even their pagan neighbors. Isaiah told them that unless they repented of their evil ways, they would face God’s punishment. They did not want to hear this kind of talk. They said, “Let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”

We need to reflect on how much we depend on God to help us in our decision making. Too often we turn to things which, though good in them­selves, really will not give us the help we need. We must do all the necessary work today in our homes, community, and country, but God must guide our efforts. Today, national danger should be a call to national repentance. The essence of all sin is self. We are called to root out the rebellion in our spirit before we start to clean out anyone else. We can only do that by repen­tance, a complete change of mind (Rom. 12:2). We need to confess with our lips and believe with our hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord (Rom. 10:10). We can only repent or change when we obey God’s law and not man’s law (Acts 5:29).

Today we see people giving up hope and following drugs, alcoholism and immoral sex. The world’s response to hopelessness is despair and self-indulgence. The proper response is to turn to God and trust in his promise of eternal life (John 3:16).

Shebna was a high official who got above the Law of God and became a law unto himself. We see that type of individual in many nations today. Shebna was the peg that was pulled out of the wall and all his power and riches were gone. You are a good leader when you are building up others, and the source of your good leadership is Jesus Christ.


ROMANS 11:33-36

Paul tells us the greatness of our God is almost beyond descrip­tion. The depth of his riches, knowledge and wisdom is far beyond the comprehension of our mind. Scripture tells us that “eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor can man ever comprehend what God has in store for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). The wisdom of God has been revealed to us by means of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will do what he has promised. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is our assurance of eternal life with all of its blessings.

The world fears power, yet we belong to the God of the universe, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead. We do not need to fear any power whether it be dictator, nation, death or Satan himself. God’s incomparable power is for us who choose to believe in him. The Holy Spirit searches out and shows us all of God’s deepest secrets. These secrets are contained in Jesus Christ. The secrets are his resurrection and the plan of salvation which has been revealed to those who believe that what God says is true.

Those who believe and put their faith in Jesus will know all that they need to know to be saved. To really put on the “mind of Christ” we need to realize that it means to get a true perspective of humility for ourselves. We do not need to put ourselves down, that is not true humility. We do need to see that we are sinners, saved only by God’s grace. To put on the “mind of Christ” is to avoid selfishness, and the cure for selfishness is servanthood. This brings unity among believers and is a witness to unbelievers that God’s power is present in this world. We must always remember that selfish ambitions destroy church unity by putting one Christian against another.

The full glory of God is manifested to us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. God glorified Jesus because of his obedience. God glorified him by raising him to his original position at the right hand of the Father, where he will reign forever as our Lord and judge (Phil. 2:2-4). Jesus Christ was humble and willing to give up his rights in order to obey God and serve people. Like Jesus, we must serve out of love for a God who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise, and the riches of his will all be ours through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


MATTHEW 16:13-20

Today’s Gospel passage took place in territory ruled by Caesarea Philippi. The influence of Greek and Roman culture was everywhere and pagan temples and idols were extremely popular. The city was rebuilt and named after Caesar and called Caesarea.

Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They told him that many people thought he was a great prophet returned. Peter told him that he was “the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus was pleased that Peter was not fooled by the culture or the latest fad. He knew that his Father had revealed his identity to Peter.

Jesus tells Peter that he is a stable leader, a rock, and that he will build his church on that rock. Jesus personally tells Peter that his church would stand up victorious against even the gates of hell. This is a tremendous statement made by Jesus. We have a church that was commissioned by Jesus Christ who tells the whole world that his church will never fall. He gives Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, which means the authority to rule in his name. He tells Peter, “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Jesus gave this authority to Peter and his successors who passed this on down until today.

A Catholic is forgiven his sins by a priest in the name of Jesus Christ. You can hold someone in bondage by not forgiving them and cutting off their supply of love. This will result in your damaging not only the other person but yourself too. You can loose the person of their bondage by your forgiveness and the result is freedom to both of you. Jesus wants all of us to be free, and he calls all of us into repentance. God has chosen each one of us to help someone find the way. Remember, to all who believe in Christ and obey his words, the kingdom doors are swung wide open.



This week’s first reading tells us to trust in God, not people. The second reading tells us that no one can fully understand the mind of Christ, but we can put on his mind by following his example. The Gospel shows how God built his church and gave Peter the keys of heaven to preach, teach, and rule. The church is guaranteed by Christ to never fail.

If you are holding a grudge against anyone and you are having trouble forgiving them, try the following three steps:

  1. Forgive that person for what has been done to you.
  2. Ask the Lord to forgive that person for what has been done to you.
  3. Ask the Lord to cleanse your heart of the bitterness, resentment, anger, and the unforgiveness that you have towards that person who hurt you. This will bind the spirit of anger,   resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. It will loose the spirit of forgiveness and love and set you and that person free.




By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



Pray and ask God to speak to you through His Holy Spirit.



FIRST DAY Reread last week’s readings.

  1. What was a helpful or new thought from the readings or from the homily you heard on Sunday?


  1. From what you learned, what personal application did you choose to apply to your life this week?



SECOND DAY            READ ISAIAH 56:1, 6-7        FIRST READING

(“Observe what is right, do what is just;”)

  1. Who is speaking, what does he say to observe, and what does he say to do? Isaiah 56:1


  1. Of what must you never grow weary? 2 Thessalonians 3:13


  1. Whom are we to follow because all his works are right and his ways are just? Daniel 4:34


  1. What does the Lord say is about to come and be revealed? Isaiah 56:1


  1. What leads to justification and salvation? Romans 10:10


  1. What are the foreigners doing who join themselves to the Lord? Isaiah 56:6


  1. What are the foreigners doing to the name of the Lord, and what are they becoming? Isaiah 56:6


  1. Whom will the Lord bring to his holy mountain, and what will he make them?   Isaiah 56:6-7


  1. What shall he call his house, for whom is his house, and what will be acceptable on his altar? Isaiah 56:7


  1. What are we to offer continually to God, and with what kind of sacrifices is God pleased? Hebrews 13:15-16


Personal – In what way are you keeping Sunday as the Lord’s Day? Are you made to feel joyful at church? Is it a house of prayer and worship for you? If you do not feel the Joy of the Lord at church, examine your conscience and see whether you have any of the following things blocking you:


– not doing what is right and just

– not ministering to the Lord (the poor)

– not loving his name

– not being his servant

– not keeping the Sabbath (Sunday) free from profanity

– not holding to his covenant.



THIRD DAY          READ ROMANS 11:13-15, 29-32    SECOND READING

(“God has imprisoned all in disobedience that he might have mercy on all.”)

  1. Who is speaking, and to whom is he speaking? Who does he claim to be? Romans 1:1, Romans 11:13


  1. In what does Paul glory, and what is he trying to do? Romans 11:13-14


  1. What does the Lord say about Paul in Acts 9:15?


  1. If the Jew’s rejection has meant reconciliation for the world, what will their acceptance mean? Romans 11:15


  1. How were we reconciled to God, and how have we been saved?   Romans 5:10


  1. What are God’s gifts and his call? Romans 11:29


  1. What does Numbers 23:19 say about God?


  1. What have you received through the Jew’s disobedience, and what did they also receive through this?  Romans 11:30-31


  1. Into what has God imprisoned all, and for what reason? Romans 11:32


  1. What happens to those who conceal their sins, and what happens to those who confess and forsake them? Proverbs 28:13


  1. What did God do for us in his great mercy, and from where does it draw its life? 1 Peter 1:3


Personal – How do you see yourself, as one disobedient and in need of a savior, or as someone who feels and has experienced the mercy of God through Jesus?


FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 15:21-28              GOSPEL

(“Woman, you have great faith?   Your wish will come to pass.”)

  1. To what district did Jesus withdraw? See whether you can find this on a Bible map Matthew 15:21


  1. Who was living in that locality, what did she cry out to Jesus, and what did Jesus say to her?  Matthew 15:22-23


  1. When Jesus’ disciples came up to him, what did they say to him? Matthew 15:23


  1. What was Jesus’ reply and to whom was he referring? Matthew 15:24, Romans 15:8


  1. What did the woman come forward and do, what was her plea, and what was Jesus’ answer to her? Matt 15:25-26


  1. What did the woman call Jesus, and what did she say about the dogs? Matthew 15:27


  1. What did Jesus say the woman had that was great, and what happened to her daughter? Matthew 15:28


  1. What did Jesus say about the centurion, and what happened to his servant? Matthew 8:10, 13


  1. What did Jesus see in the people who brought him a paralytic, and what happened to him?  Matthew 9:2, 6-7


  1. What will happen to the person who puts his faith in Jesus?   John 14:12


Personal – Examine yourself and see how much faith you have. How do you respond when a loved one gets sick? What do you ask from the Lord? Spend more time alone with the Lord this week and ask him to increase your faith. Listen to what he says and memorize Romans 10:17, “Faith, then, comes through hearing, and what is heard is the Word of Christ.”



FIFTH DAY          READ PSALM 67: 2-3, 5-6, 8

(“May the peoples praise you, O God,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 67: 2-3, 5-6, 8.

What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




ISAIAH 56: 1, 6-7

The Sabbath was the day set aside for prayer, rest, and worship. We are commanded by God to observe his Sabbath because we need to spend unhurried time in worship each week. Scripture tells us very clearly to remember the “Sabbath” as a holy day. Six days a week are for our daily duties and regular work. But the seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest before the Lord our God. On that day we are to do no work of any kind, nor shall our children or even our guests. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens, earth and sea and everything in them, and rested on the seventh day: so bless the Sabbath day and set it aside for rest.” (Ex. 20:8-11)

Today there are many people who ignore this special day and treat it with little or no respect at all. Sunday in many parts of the world, is a day of sports, not a “Day of the Lord.” Sunday was never intended to be a day in which you did all the odd jobs around the house that you did not have time to do during the week. We all need to ask ourselves, “Do I really give honor and glory to the Lord on Sunday, or do I just look at it as a day off from work?”

God has called us to make his house of prayer a place of holiness. He tells us that all who make his temple a house of prayer will receive his blessings. God is pleased with our sacrifice of praise, our joyfulness and our confessing with our lips that he is the Lord of our life. God shows us in this passage that if we respond to him, he will send his blessings upon us, no matter what our color, social position, work or financial situation. Remember, God’s blessings are as much for us as anyone else. Remember, Sunday is a day of adoration and fellowship with the Lord.


ROMANS 11: 13-15, 29-32

We need to remember that in the days following Pentecost, the new Christian church was filled mostly with Jewish people. Because of the missionary efforts of Peter, Paul, Philip and others, Gentiles became believers. It was not very long before the Gentiles, or non-Jewish believers, became the majority in the church. This turning from the Jews toward the Gentiles did not mean that God had abandoned them; it meant that when a Jew came to Christ, there was great rejoicing, as if a dead person had come back to life.

Paul’s vision was for a church in which all Jews and Chris­tians were united in their love for God. Today our world is so much smaller and that vision is so much wider. There are many types of people in the Christian church today. We must remember that Christ redeemed the whole world by his death on the cross, and salvation is for those who accept and believe in him.

God’s mercy and his love are not limited to one special elite group. Scripture shows us that the Jews would freely share the blessings with the Gentiles. God calls upon us to bless each other and “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12) God’s mercy is intended to fall on all of his people. In Paul’s day there was tremendous brutality toward the poor, oppressed and the despised.

Today we see much mercy and compassion extended toward the homeless, the poor, those in the soup kitchen lines, and the prisons. We have a tremendous opportunity to extend the mercy and compassion of God to those who are suffering from AIDS. Brutality still exists in all segments of our society, because only by obeying the Word of God will we bring about a real permanent healing to our people.

When God’s Word is on every person’s tongue, and when every knee bends and everyone calls Jesus Lord, then and only then, will there really be a lasting peace in the world. All of us have experienced the mercy of God because he died for us, knowing full well that we would be sinners (Rom. 5:8). I have found in my personal life that my need for my Savior is a daily one, and it is only through daily quiet time and Scripture study I begin to feel his incredible presence.


MATTHEW 15:21-28

This Gospel passage shows us that faith is available to all people. Consider faith to be a response to the living power and presence of God in your life. The woman in today’s reading had a tremendous amount of faith in Jesus. Consider that in those days even approaching the teacher was very restricted. Yet, not only is the teacher approached and even being bothered by her begging, but all this is being done by a woman. There were no equal rights for women in those days.

This woman was taking a tremendous risk for her daughter’s sake. She responded to the living power and presence of Jesus in her life by insisting that he talk to her. The apostles were outraged that this woman was interrupting their schedule. The apostles did not hear the fright in her voice, and there was no compassion in their voices. We must always remember that even when we are about to do something good or even spiritual, we must always be ready to hear and respond to God’s call.

Jesus was incredibly impressed with this woman’s faith and he made no pretense about it. She was not a Jew and she knew that her boldness was out of order, yet she also knew that the power of life and death was standing right before her very eyes. Jesus knew that the disciples had become occupied with spiritual matters and missed the spiritual needs of this woman. He wanted them, and he wants us, to be aware of the opportunities that surround them and us today.

The woman didn’t mind the use of the word dog, and her faith in Jesus led her to ask only for the crumbs beneath the table, as even that was not denied to a dog. Jesus healed the daughter because of her mother’s faith. He will heal your children, too, if you really believe in him and obey his teachings.




This week’s first reading called for respect for the Lord’s day. The second reading showed how God’s mercy is open to all people, and the Gospel revealed faith as the response to the living power and presence of God in your life.

This week, do nothing on Sunday other than celebrate in church and spend time with your families. Do no work unless it is absolutely necessary. Parents, plan an activity with your children that will increase their faith. Children, this Sunday, study God’s readings and share them with your parents before going to church. Single people, join a church fellowship and get into a Bible study. Learn how his Word will make every day the “Lord’s Day.”