CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Nov. 26th) – CYCLE A                        


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?




(“I myself will give them rest, says the Lord God.”)

  1. What does the Lord God say he will do when he finds himself among his scattered sheep?   Ezekiel 34:11-12


  1. What will he do to those who were scattered when it was cloudy and dark?   Ezekiel 34:12


  1. What did God do when we were in the power of darkness? Colossians 1:13


  1. Who does the Lord say will pasture his sheep and give them rest?   Ezekiel 34:15


  1. Who does Jesus say he is? John 10:11, 14


  1. Whom will the Lord seek out, whom will he bring back,whom will he bind up, and whom will he heal?  Ezekiel 34:16


  1. What did the Son of Man (Jesus) come to do? Luke 19:10


  1. Whom does the Lord heal? Isaiah 61:1


  1. What does the Lord do to the sleek and the strong, thus shepherding them rightly?   Ezekiel 34:16


  1. Who is singled out in this world to shame the strong? 1 Corinthians 1:27-28


  1. Between what does the Lord God judge? Ezekiel 34:17


Personal – How have you been healed by the Lord, and in what way has he brought you back when you went astray? What wounds has he bound up in you? Spend a few minutes in thanksgiving to the Lord.



(“Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will come to life again.”)

  1. From what has Christ been raised, and of whom is he the first fruits?   1 Corinthians 15:20


  1. To what will he who raised Christ bring your mortal bodies, and how will he do it?   Romans 8:11


  1. Whom will God bring forth with Jesus from the dead? 1 Thessalonians 4:14


  1. How did death come, how did the resurrection of the dead come, and what is the proper order?  1 Corinthians 15:21-23


  1. To whom did Adam listen, and what did God forbid him to do? Genesis 3:17


  1. To whom did this single offense bring condemnation, and what did a single righteous act do?   Romans 5:18


  1. Who will come down from heaven at the word of command, what will happen to those who have died in Christ, and what will happen to the living?   1 Thesselonians 4:16-17


  1. When the end comes what will be destroyed, and what will be handed over to God the Father?   1 Corinthians 15:24


  1. How long must Christ reign, and what is the last enemy? 1 Corinthians 15:25-26


  1. Where is Christ seated, and of what is he the head? Ephesians 1:20-23


  1. Through what has Christ robbed death of its power and brought life and immortality into clear light? 2 Timothy 1:10


  1. When all has been subjected to the Son, to whom will he then subject himself, and why?   1 Corinthians 15:28


Personal – In what way has fear of death been destroyed in you? Check off on the list below those to whom you have been listening when making decisions: mother, father, wife, husband, daughte­r, son, friend, pastor, God’s Word.



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 25:31-46              GOSPEL

(“I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”)

  1. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, who will escort him; where will he sit, and who will be assembled before him? Matthew 25:31-32


  1. How will those assembled be separated? Matthew 25:32-33


  1. How does one receive his recompense, good or bad? 2 Corinthians 5:10


  1. What will the king say to those on his right and for what reason?   Matthew 25:34-36


  1. What kind of fasting does the Lord desire? Isaiah 58:6-7


  1. Who is the virtuous and the one who shall live? Ezekiel 18:7-9


  1. What did the just man ask the Lord, and of what did the king assure him?   Matthew 25:37-40


  1. How does Jesus say we discover who we are, and when we welcome others, whom do we also welcome?   Matthew 10:39-40


  1. What will the king say to those on the left, for whom is the everlasting fire prepared, and what did they neglect to do?   Matthew 25:41-43


  1. What does God’s Word say about faith? James 2:14-17


  1. What will those on the left ask, and what will he answer?      Matthew 25:44-45


  1. What will happen to those who neglected one of the least ones, and what will happen to the just?   Matthew 25:46


Personal – In what ways have you given food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty? This week, have you welcomed a stranger, clothed the naked, comforted the sick, and visited those in prison? Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you those in your everyday life who fit into these categories. Ask him how you might respond to them.


            READ PSALM 23:1-3, 5-6

(“Beside restful waters he leads me;”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 23:1-3, 5-6.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




EZEKIEL 34:11-12, 15-17

Today’s reading is a powerful prophecy given by God to Ezekiel over 500 years before Christ came on earth. This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter in Christ. Jesus founded the new sheepfold, the new chosen people, and the kingdom on earth. We see in this passage that God himself would be their shepherd. He would replace the earthly shepherds that had failed in their duty. He described the relationship between his people and himself under the image of sheep and shepherd.

This reading is a tremendous comfort. We can be assured that God will sovereignly take over as pastor of the scat­tered flock. When our leaders fail us, we must not despair, but turn to God for help. We must never forget that he is still in control and can turn even this tragic situation over to produce g­ood for the kingdom. (Rom. 8:28)

Jesus tells us that he is the Good Shepherd and that he knows his sheep and they know him. He constantly seeks out the lost and brings back the strayed and disillusioned. We need only to listen to his call in the darkness of our soul. The sheep know the shepherd’s voice very well. We need to know our shepherd’s voice also. We can do this by spending quiet time alone with him each day and listening to him speak to us. We need to be still and realize that he is our God, our shepherd, our savior, our refuge, our rock, and our strength (Psalm 46:10 and Psalm 91).

A good shepherd always takes care of his flock, and he feeds them before he eats. He notices each one and immediately binds up any wounds. He heals the sick by giving them his love, skills and attention. We need to take all this into our heart. Today, in many places, there are shepherds who have abandoned their flock, while others are abusing and even killing their flock. We can pray for our brothers and sisters who are going through this time of terror. We know that one day the Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus, will return and he will heal the wounded, raise the dead, and will destroy the arrogant, fat, sleek, false shepherds (Ezekiel 34:16).



1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-26, 28

Today’s passage from 1 Corinthians tells us that death came into the world as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Today many people say, “How can we be declared guilty of something Adam did so many centuries ago?” So many people today think it is not right for God to judge us because of Adam’s sin, yet each of us confirms our solidarity with Adam by our own sins. We seem to be made of the same stuff, prone to rebel, and we are judged for the sins we commit.

Because we are all sinners, what we need today is not fairness; no, what we need is mercy. Paul tells us that Christ, through his dying and rising, paid the ransom for what Adam did. We who believe have become Christ’s brothers and sisters and share in his resurrection. Because Christ did rise from the dead, you and all who believe in him can face tomorrow without fear. We all can face eternity because Christ will conquer the ultimate enemy and that is death. Christ’s role is to defeat all evil on earth. He defeated sin for us with his death on the cross. In the final days he will defeat Satan and all evil. World events may seem totally out of control, and justice may be very hard to find, but God is in control. God has allowed evil to remain for a time until he sends Jesus back to earth again. Jesus will present to the Father a new and perfect world. Death need have no claim on us.

Jesus tells us in 1 John 4:4 that the Spirit in us is greater than he that is in the world. We have the church, sacred Scripture, and the sacraments. The source of truth is Jesus Christ, and he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb­rews 13:8).


MATTHEW 25:31-46

Today’s Gospel strikes at the very core of what we say we believe. To say that we believe is proved by how we act. To talk with the Lord does not mean to walk with the Lord. When we walk with the Lord we walk in the dark, dangerous, lonely corners of oppressed and beaten people’s hearts.

One day God will separate his obedient followers from the pretenders and unbelievers. We are called to treat all persons whom we encounter as if they are Jesus, and this is no easy task. What we do for others demonstrates what we really think about Jesus’ words to us – feed the hungry, give the homeless shelter, visit the sick and imprisoned. You will be observed by others, and will your actions separate you from the pretenders and unbe­lievers? Jesus used sheep and goats to show the division between believers and unbelievers. Sheep and goats often grazed together but were separated when it came shearing time.

Today’s Gospel describes acts of mercy that we all can do every day. They are simple acts freely given and freely received. We have no excuse to neglect those in deep need, and we cannot hand over this responsibility to some agency. Jesus demands personal involvement in caring for the needs of others. Many people might say that they do not have the opportunity to visit a prison or hospital, work in a soup kitchen, or even a shelter for the homeless. Some even say that they do not have the special talents needed for this, but Jesus really lays it on the line when he says, “What you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me.”

We get the power to do this through the Holy Spirit who anoints us to feed the hungry, set the captives free, and give sight to the blind (Luke 4:18). This could be right in your own family and the hunger might be for Christ; the prison might be their humanistic minds. The blindness may be their inability to see the truth which comes from God’s Holy Word (John 8:32). We can and we must, through the Holy Spirit, set our children free.



This week’s first reading reveals the Good Shepherd is Christ. The second reading assures us that even in turmoil God is still in control. The Gospel shows us that all of us can do God’s holy works of mercy.

This week pick out a particular work of mercy and give of yourself to another person. Maybe write to a prisoner or a person in a hospital. Visit a shut-in or someone who lives alone. Bring a meal to an elderly person or a sick friend. Spend a few hours at a soup kitchen. Volunteer some time in a thrift shop that uses its donations and sales to help others in need. If you look real closely, you might just see Jesus smiling at you and saying, “Thank you, my faithful servant.”



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?




(“The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”)

  1. When one finds a worthy wife, what is her value far beyond? Proverbs 31:10


  1. What does a worthy wife’s husband entrust to her, and what kind of a prize does he have? Proverbs 31:11


  1. What is the married man busy doing, and what does this mean?   1 Corinthians 7:33


  1. How should the wives be toward their husbands, and who is the head of the wife?   Ephesians 5:23-24


  1. How should a husband love his wife? Ephesians 5:33


  1. What does a worthy wife bring her husband? Proverbs 31:12


  1. What does she obtain, make, and do with her hands? Proverbs 31:13 31:19


  1. To whom does she reach out her hands and extend her arms? Proverbs 31:20


  1. What is deceptive and fleeting, and who is to be praised? Proverbs 31:30


  1. Of what is the fear of the Lord the beginning, and who greatly delights in his commands?  Psalm 111:10, Psalm      112:1


  1. What is she given, and what praises her at the city gates?   Proverbs 31:31


Personal – If you are a wife, what gives you value in your relationship with your husband? If you are a husband, how do you show love to your wife? To all children, young and old, how can you help a husband and wife by sharing what you have learned in this lesson?




(“…let us not be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober.”)

  1. What do we not need to write you, and how is the day of the Lord coming?   1 Thessalonians 5:1-2


  1. Who knows the day or hour of the Lord’s coming? Matthew 24:36


  1. Just when people are saying “Peace and security,” what will fall on them? What will it be like, and will there be any escape? 1 Thessalonians 5:3


  1. What will the coming of the Son of Man repeat? Matthew 24:37-42


  1. What are we not in, that the day should find us off guard and like a thief?   1 Thessalonians 5:4


  1. In whom is there no darkness? 1 John 1:5


  1. Who is the man who claims to be in the light but is still in the dark?   1 John 2:9


  1. Of what are all of us children? 1 Thessalonians 5:5


  1. What should we not be, but what two things should we be? 1 Thessalonians 5:6


  1. What is another reason for staying sober and alert? 1 Peter 5:8


Personal – If the Lord Jesus were to come right at this moment, what would you change in yourself if you had the time?



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 25:14-30              GOSPEL

(“Come, share your master’s joy.”)

  1. What did the man going on a journey hand over to his servants, and to what was it in accordance? Matthew 25:14-15


  1. What did the disciples do, and to what was it in accordance? Acts 11:29


  1. What did the man disburse to the three servants before going away?   Matthew 25:15


  1. What did the two men do who received the larger amounts, and what did the one who received the smaller    amount do? Matthew 25:16-18


  1. After a long absence, the master came home. What did he do, and what did the servants who have received the five thousand and the two thousand say and do?   Matt   25:20-23


  1. What was their master’s response, what three things did he say about his servants, and of what did he put   them in charge?   Matthew 25:21-23


  1. To what kind of people must we hand on what we have heard?   2 Timothy 2:2


  1. What is it like to depend on a faithless man? Proverbs 25:19


  1. In what do the first two servants share? Matthew      25:21, 23


  1. How may we have Jesus’ joy? John 15:9-11


  1. What did the man who received the thousand say about his master, and what did he do out of fear?  Matthew     25:24-25


  1. What did his master say to him, and what did he have done with him?   Matthew 25:26-30


  1. What casts out fear, and with what does fear have to do? 1 John 4:18


  1. In what should we not grow, and whom should we imitate? Hebrews 6:12


Personal – In the measure of faith that God has granted you, share how it has grown in the past six months. Have you been sharing it with those around you? Which of the servants do you see as similar to you?



FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 128:1-5

(“Happy are you who fear the Lord.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 128:1-5.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




PROVERBS 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

Today’s reading is a somewhat unusual reading in the sense that it is a testimony of praise to the ideal wife. This is rather rare in the Old Testament because in the culture of that time women played a minor role in public, civil or religious life. The real power in today’s message is in the power and praise of a wise and faithful wife.

We see in this reading a woman who is faithful first to God, then to her husband, and finally to her children. She is in perfect order as we are told in Scripture (1 Cor. 11:3). Today’s reading gives tremendous encouragement to the Christian mothers of all ages. The ideal woman of today’s Scripture is still the ideal wife and mother of today’s real-life world. Much of our society has rejected the sacred role of wife and mother, and as a result, we have tremendous destruction in the role and place of the family.

An ideal wife is a woman of strong faith, character, and great compas­sion. Many people think that the ideal woman in the Bible was shy, servile, and completely domestic. This is not so. The ideal woman is one who puts God first in her life and has been blessed with many gifts and talents. Her abilities, intelligence, strength, and integrity do not come from her amazing achievements, but as a result of her reverence of God.

In our society, where physical appearances count for so much, it may surprise us to realize that a woman’s appearance is never men­tioned. Her beauty comes entirely from her character. We are assaulted by television, movies, magazines, and books that a woman has to look like a beauty queen in order to be accepted. Today’s reading encourages a woman to be all that she can be. These qualities when coupled with fear of the Lord, lead to enjoyment, success, honor, and worth.



Efforts to determine the date of Christ’s return were foolish then and they are foolish today. We hear different people claiming to know when the Lord will be coming back, and some even describe the time, place, and the action that will accompany the return. Do not be mislead by anyone who claims to know.

We have been told in today’s reading that no one knows, and that even the believers will be surprised when it happens. Paul tells us that the Lord will return suddenly and unexpectedly. We are told by Paul to be ready. We should plan our lives as if we were going to live on earth forever and live our lives as if this were the last day.

Suppose Jesus were to return today. How would he find you living your life? Are you ready to meet him and say, “Lord, I have decided to follow you and I am ready to go with you?” The day of the Lord is a future time when God intervenes directly in world affairs. The day of the Lord will include both punishment and blessing. Christ will judge sin and set up his eternal kingdom. We who believe in God are children of the light and we do not have to be afraid of that moment of judgment. We have the light of the Gospel – the illumination of the true faith.

If we continue to live and practice our faith in that light, the coming of death will not be in the darkness. We shall spirit­ually be prepared for it. We are called to keep awake and be sober. This means being prepared by living our Christian faith every day. You still have time to choose Christ, or the world, to be the center of your life. If Jesus came today, what would you wish you had changed? Then change it now!


MATTHEW 25:14-30

In today’s Gospel we see that the master divided the money among his servants according to their abilities. No one received more or less than he could handle. If he failed, it could not be because he was overwhelmed. Failure could come only from laziness or hatred toward the master. God gives us time, abilities, and other resources, and he expects us to invest wisely until he returns. We are responsible for using well what God has given us, and we will be held accountable.

The real issue is not how much we have, but what we do with what we have. Jesus is going to return, and for us to serve God does not mean that we have to quit our jobs. It does mean that we have to diligently use our time, talents, and treasure to serve God completely in whatever we do. For some people, it may mean changing professions. An example would be someone who is in a career that participates in abortion. Another is someone who works in the media where pornography is a common product. For most, it means doing our daily work in a manner that gives reverence to God.

The last man in today’s story was thinking of himself only, by playing it safe and protecting himself from his hard task master. In the end he was judged for his self-centeredness. We need to really heed the message of this last part of today’s Gospel. We must not make excuses to avoid what God has called us to do. We are caretakers, not owners. When we ignore or abuse what we are given, then we are rebellious and sinful. We might do well to remember that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).



This week’s first reading reveals that real beauty is in the character. The second reading shows that we must live a life of preparedness. The Gospel tells us that God rewards faithfulness.

This week, point out and praise the character of your “ideal” wife or mother. Be specific and let her know how you feel about her internal beauty. Take time out to talk with your wife, take her out of the house. Bring her a special gift (flowers, candy, etc.). Let her experience your love for her by being there for her. Don’t make jokes about her (age, weight, etc.) and don’t criticize her in public. God will reward your loyalty, your courtesy, and your loving your very special “ideal” wife. Visit your mother as she grows older, whether she is in her own home or in a convalescent home. She will experience being loved more by your presence than by your presents.




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 WISDOM 6:12-16         FIRST READING

(“He who watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed.”)

  1. What is resplendent and unfading, readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her? Wisdom 6:12


  1. In what did Jesus advance? Luke 2:52


  1. With what two things are reputable men filled? Acts 6:3


  1. In anticipation of men’s desire, what does wisdom do? Wisdom 6:13


  1. Whose name has Jesus made known, and what will Jesus make known?   John 17:25-26


  1. What will happen to those who watch for wisdom at dawn? Wisdom 6:14


  1. What should we not reject, and what makes a man happy? Proverbs 8:32-34


  1. What is the perfection of prudence, and how can we be free from care? Wisdom 6:15


  1. Who is wisdom seeking? Wisdom 6:16


  1. Who is most worthy of honor? Hebrews 3:3


  1. In what way can we live a life worthy of the calling we have received?   Ephesians 4:1-3



Personal – Look back to when you made your First Holy Communion and write down on a piece of paper the ways you have grown in wisdom since then. When you awake in the morning, ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom. Make a conscious effort to seek after her this week.




(“Thenceforth, we shall be with the Lord unceasingly.”)

  1. Who would have you be clear about those who sleep in death? To whom are they speaking, and for what reason? 1 Thessalonians 1:1 4:13


  1. From where do we derive our hope? Romans 15:4


  1. What do we not have when we are without God in the world? Ephesians 2:12


  1. If we believe that Jesus died and rose, what will God do?   1 Thessalonians 4:14


  1. What helps us believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and what gives us life?   John 20:30-31


  1. What will those who live, who survive until his coming, be without? 1 Thessalonians 4:15


  1. What will the Lord do at the word of command and with what sound? What will happen to those who have died in Christ? 1 Thessalonians 4:16


  1. If we obey the commands of Jesus, what will he do? John 14:15-16


  1. After those who have died in Christ rise, what will happen to the living, the survivors? 1 Thessalonians 4:17


  1. With what are we to console one another?  1 Thessalonians 4:17



Personal – What do you know about the personality of God that makes you look forward to being with him unceasingly?



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 25:1-13               GOSPEL

(“Keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour.”)

  1. To what can the reign of God be compared? Matthew 25:1


  1. What were they like? Matthew 25:2


  1. How are we not to act, and what are we to try to discern? Ephesians 5:15-17


  1. What did the foolish bridesmaids, in taking their torches, not bring, and what did the sensible ones   bring? Matthew 25:3-4


  1. What happened to the bridesmaids when the groom delayed his coming, and what happened at midnight? Matthew 25:5-6


  1. What did the foolish bridesmaids say to the sensible ones, and what was their reply? Matthew 25:7-9


  1. What happened when the foolish bridesmaids went off to buy some oil, what happened to the sensible ones, and what was barred behind them?   Matthew 25:10


  1. What happened when the other bridesmaids came back, and what did the master say?   Matthew 25:11-12


  1. What is the moral to the story? Matthew 25:13


  1. What will every eye see, even those who pierced him? Revelation 1:7


Personal – In what way have you been preparing for the coming of the Lord? Do you have a reserve of oil so that the light you are carrying stays lit day and night?


FIFTH DAY               READ PSALM 63:2-8

(“O God, you are my God whom I seek,”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 63:2-8.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




WISDOM 6:12-16

The book of Wisdom was written about 150 B.C. It was written in Greek, and was, therefore, excluded from the Jewish canon. We have been told in this reading that wisdom is recog­nized by those who love the truth and seek true knowledge. The man who searches for true wisdom and really hungers and thirsts for it will not have far to seek. Today wisdom is ever present to the man or woman who seri­ously and prayerfully thinks on life and its value.

Today’s reading really brings us to that age-old question, “What is truth?” Jesus tells us that he is the way, the truth, and the life. Today some people are like a hitchhiker hoping someone will give him a ride. When asked where he was go­ing, he said, “I don’t know.” When questioned where had he been? He again answered, “I don’t know.” People like this are on a journey that goes only from the cradle to the grave. Their main purpose in life is to fit into these short years all the pleasur­es that this world has to offer. The rise of secularism in our countries has brought about a tremendous decline in the moral and spiritual life of millions of people. Today many people want to fit as much fun and leisure as possible into their life.

There still is a high degree of apathy, apostasy, and anarchy in our struggling group of nations. Much of this human­ism, self-gratification, and my-way theology has had an enormous impact on the concept and lifestyle of the Christian family.

We have had 21 centuries of Christianity from which to learn the clear meaning of life which Christ’s life, death, and resurrection brought into the world. This true knowl­edge, this true wisdom is within the reach of all peoples. We need to use our gifts, which have come from God, and reach out to those around us. Let us respond to his call with prayer, study, and action (liturgy, penance and Holy Eucharist). They will know we are Christians by the way we share our life and time and give spiritu­al support.



In this reading, Paul wants the Thessalonians to know that death is not the end of the story for Christians. They were very much concerned about what would happen to their fellow believers who had died before Christ returned. Paul states to them that when Christ returns all believers, both dead and alive, will be reunited, never to suffer or die again. Paul also reveals to us a teaching that was given to him by Christ or passed along by word of mouth by the apostles to other Christians.

These words of Paul were a tremendous help to the Thes­salonian people, and they challenge us today to comfort and encourage one another when one of our loved ones has died. The same love that unites believers in this life will unite others when Christ returns and reigns forever. We must always remember what we are told in Scripture, “For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Because Jesus came back to life, so will all those who believed in him. Every faithful Christian, both living and dead, will enjoy the reward of being in the full presence of the living God for all of eternity. Think about what will happen on that tremendous day of judgment. All believers in Christ who are dead will rise from their graves. All believers who are alive will be lifted into the clouds and meet Christ. We do not need to despair when a loved one dies or even when world events take a dark turn for the worse. God will turn our sorrows into triumphs, our poverty to riches, our sickness into health, our pain to glory, and our defeat into victory.

All of God’s children will stand once again united in the in­credible presence of God. We will be safe and secure for all eternity. Paul gave great hope and comfort to the people with the promises of the resurrec­tion. Today you and I are called to comfort and reassure one another with this great hope. Let us always remember the “Good News” is a message of hope and the message of “Jesus.”


MATTHEW 25:1-13

Jesus tells us in today’s reading that it is very important to be prepared for his return and to live in his commandments until he comes. We are taught through the story of the ten bridesmaids that accountability will be expected of all believers with no excep­tions. We are taught that every person is respon­sible for his or her own spiritual condition. Jesus is telling what will happen on that day of his return to some of those whom he has chosen and to whom he had given every opportunity to reach their one and only goal.

The bridesmaids in the story were chosen for a great honor, and they were expected to be ready when the celebration began. The bridesmaids were generally intimate friends of the bride who went through a lot of trouble to prepare for the occasion, and yet, through carelessness, were found unworthy to share in the festivi­ties.

Jesus describes this incident to bring home to his listeners the need to be constantly prepared for his return. The invitation that Christians receive is the Sacrament of Baptism. The Chris­tian starts on the road to heaven and he gets his invitation to the heavenly nuptials, but this is only the beginning. He is expected from the time of reason to prepare himself by living in accordance with God’s law. “Abide in me and keep my commandments and I will abide in you.” (John 15:7)

To abide means to take up residence or to live with or in another. We are to live in Christ by keeping his commandments and that means to love him with all our heart and soul, mind, and strength. We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

The call will come for each one of us, and we will be held accountable for our lives and our preparedness. Do not be like the foolish bridesmaids who did not plan and then through care­lessness missed the great event. Today, fall on your knees and pray for the Holy Spirit to let his fire fall upon you. Let the Lord have your offering of a contrite spirit, a heart that is humble and contrite (Psalm 51:13). It is up to you, filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, to decide where you will be found on the last day. Will you be with the wise bridesmaids or with the foolish ones?



The first reading revealed that truth is the core of wisdom and knowledge. The second reading showed the strength of being able to hope. The Gospel shows us that we are to prepare and act on our preparations.

This week, at the end of every day, evaluate your actions and their results. Be accountable and honest with yourself. See how you are walking with the Lord. Write down what the Lord is saying to you regarding your accountability to him. He will help you to take action to be prepared for anything.




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 MALACHI 1:14-2:2, 8-10     FIRST READING

(“For a great king am I, says the Lord of hosts.”)

  1. Who is cursed? Malachi 1:14


  1. Who have gone out into the world and have not acknowledged Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh? 2 John 7


  1. What will be feared among the nations? Malachi 1:14


  1. What does it mean to fear the Lord? Proverbs 8:13, 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, Revelation 14:7


  1. For whom is this commandment? Malachi 2:1


  1. What two things will cause the Lord to send a curse upon us? Malachi 2:1-2


  1. What three things will give us life? Deut 30:19-20


  1. From what have we turned aside, what have our instructions caused, and what have we made void?     Malachi 2:8


  1. What has the Lord made us and for what reason? What do we show in our decisions?   Malachi 2:9


  1. What are we now to do, and who shows no partiality? 2 Chronicles 19:7


  1. What are the three questions asked in Malachi 2:10?


Personal – How do you show your fear of the Lord to those around you? Do you show partiality to just those who are nice to you? Reflect on this and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can restore any broken relationships. This week attend the Sacrament of Recon­ciliation for the grace needed to do this.



(“…, we proclaimed to you the Gospel of God.”)

  1. Who is speaking, to whom are they speaking, and what were they able to impose on them? 1 Thess 1:1, 1 Thess 2:7


  1. How were they among the Thessalonians? 1 Thess 2:7


  1. Paul asks the Corinthians, what kind of spirit do they prefer?   1 Corinthians 4:21


  1. What did Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy have for the Thessalonians, and what were they willing to share with them? 1 Thessalonians 2:8


Personal – How do you share the Gospel of God with your family and friends? Do you share yourself and how the Gospel has af­fected your life?


  1. What do Paul, Silvanus and Timothy recall to the brothers, and what did they proclaim? 1 Thessalonians 2:9


  1. For what are we to work, and what is the work of God? John 6:26-29


  1. What do we give God unceasingly? 1 Thessalonians 2:13


  1. What is the will of God in all circumstances? 1 Thessalonians 5:18


  1. What did the Thessalonians receive from hearing Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy? From whom did they not receive it? 1 Thessalonians 2:13


  1. The Word of God is at work in those who do what? 1 Thessalonians 2:13


  1. Who are those who believe? 1 John 5:1-5


Personal – How is God working in you, and how are you working in the world?


            READ MATTHEW 23:1-12               GOSPEL

(“…and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”)

  1. To whom did Jesus speak? Matthew 23:1


  1. Who have taken their seat on the chair of Moses?      Matthew 23:2


  1. Where must we all appear? 2 Corinthians 5:10


  1. What are we to do and observe, what are we not to follow, and for what reason?   Matthew 23:3-4


  1. What did the Lord order those who preach the Gospel to do? 1 Corinthians 9:14


  1. What do the Scribes and Pharisees do to people, and what do they not do? Matthew 23:4


  1. For what are their works performed, and what do they love? Matthew 23:5-7


  1. What do they like to be called, what are we not to be called, and for what reason?   Matthew 23:7-8


  1. Who is our teacher? John 14:26


  1. Who do we have only one, what are we not to be called, and what must the greatest among us be?   Matthew      23:9-11


  1. What will happen to him who exalts himself, and what will happen to him who humbles himself?  Matthew 23:12


  1. Jesus tells us to come to him. What does he say to do, and what does he say he is?   Matthew 11:28-30


Personal – In what ways, in your family and with friends, are you practicing what you preach? What has the Holy Spirit taught you this week, and how have you shared this by word and deed?



FIFTH DAY              READ PSALM 131:1-3

(“…, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 131:1-3.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




MALACHI 1:14-2:2, 8-10

Malachi gives a clear, strong rebuke to the people and the priests for neglecting their part in the covenant with God. He is really strong about the person being cursed who lives a life of deceit. Malachi was the last Old Testament prophet and he preach­ed about 430 B.C. Isaiah and Jeremiah had left exciting propheci­es for Israel and they had not come true as of yet, so apathy had set in and the nation did not feel good about itself.

Malachi saw many of the sins still being committed that caused the downfall of Israel. Malachi never wavered from his position of truth, and God’s first message to Malachi was, “I have loved you very deeply.” It is a message of hope to all people in stressful times of their lives.

Because the government was corrupt and the economy was poor, many people probably assumed that God just did not like them. God loves all people because he made them. God warned his priests about not leading the people into sin because of the example of their own lives. The worship of God had lost its vitality and had become more of a business for the religious than a heart-felt vocation.

Some people find it very hard to just confess what is wrong in their life and try to justify why they are doing the things that they do. This deceit spreads throughout their fam­ilies and into the communities. We must remember that we can not lead others if we ourselves are stumbling blocks in the way of people searching for God. Jesus certainly was strong against community leaders who were not living the Gospel as well as they preached it. We need only to look at some of the spiritual and political leaders and see how much damage has already been done by not practicing what they preach.

Today that danger is even more present because of the humanistic attacks on lives of those who believe in Jesus. We who are called into spiritual leadership must remember that we are not fighting our neighbors, families, or congregations. No, we are fighting against the dark forces of Satan himself. The weapons against Satan are the sword of the Spirit (Word of God, teachings of the church, sacraments, and prayer). It is very important that you always have your own personal armor. We all need to be people of prayer and as we enter into battle, let our battle cry be “Pray, Pray, Pray, Pray.”



We are told that love is kind and gentle (1 Cor. 4:7) and in today’s reading we see that being expressed in the way Paul practiced his ministry to the Thessalonians. Life was very hard in those days and gentleness was not often a respected quality.

In many places in today’s world, we see power and assertive­ness getting more respect than gentleness and kindness, even though none of us like to be bullied. Gentleness is love in action; it is being considerate, and meeting the needs of others. It is being humble, listening to others talk, and being able to learn from them. Gentleness, in many prisons or in some mili­tary camps, is taken as a sign of weakness.

Paul is telling them that only through gentleness can we really imitate Christ. He also shows that gentleness is an essential trait for both men and women. We all need to have a gentle attitude in our relationship with others. Paul shows the value of honest hard work by his trade as a tent maker (Acts 18:3). He certainly deserved to be financially supported by the people, and, yet, he taught and did not want to be a burden to the new believers. He shows us how loving parents would treat their children, and that is how he felt toward them.

We are to help and encourage new believers in the journey of faith. They need to see in us that gentleness that was in Paul. By his words and example, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians to live in ways that would bring joy to God. We need to look at our own life style and see if there is anything going on that would embarrass God. What do people think of God, when they see the way you live your life?


MATTHEW 23:1-12

Matthew proclaims very strongly Jesus’ description of hypocrites. Jesus tells about religious leaders who told the people how to obey rules that they themselves did not obey. Jesus did not condemn what they taught but what they were, and they were hypocrites. They did all the right things at the right time and at the right place. They carried around a little prayer box so that people would see it and be impressed with their holiness. Jesus was exposing the hypocritical attitude of the religious leaders because they knew Scripture but they did not live it. Many of the Pharisees were more concerned about looking holy than being holy.

We have that today with many people giving external signs of a belief that is very shallow. We are all called to be holy and a holy man is not recognized because of a title. A holy man is one who possesses the fruits of the Spirit. If our desires are leading us to possess the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentle­ness, and self-control, then we know the Holy Spirit is leading us. Today, many people, like the Pharisees, know God’s Holy Word and attend church services regularly, but they do not let it change their lives. We hear people in many lands say that they follow Jesus, but do not live by his standard of love. We are called, today more than ever, to make sure our actions match our beliefs.

The Pharisees desired very strong places of leader­ship in the church as well as leadership in the community. The danger is when the desire for the position grows stronger than the submis­sion to God’s will. Jesus was not against leadership, but against leader­ship that serves itself, rather than others. Jesus chal­lenged society’s norms then, and he continues to challenge them today. To our Lord Jesus Christ, real greatness comes from serving others in the giving of self. We need to remember that service keeps us aware of other’s needs, and Jesus came as a servant.



The first reading shows us that truth is the only way to become free. The second reading reveals the importance of gentle­ness. The Gospel shows us the power of being a ser­vant.

This week, let the fruits of the Spirit be evident in you. Each morning pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you in each one. At night, check how well you are using your fruits. Be generous giving them all away and God will replenish you. Ask someone to evaluate you.




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 EXODUS 22:20-26        FIRST READING

(“If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.”)

  1. Who shall we not molest or oppress, for what reason, and who is saying this?  Exodus 22:20, Exodus 20:22


  1. Whom shall we not wrong? Exodus 22:21


  1. Who executes justice for the orphan and the widow? Deuteronomy 10:17-18


  1. What will the Lord do if ever we wrong the widow or orphan?   Exodus 22:22-23


  1. Who was oppressed, how were they oppressed, and what happened to them even though they were oppressed? Exodus 1:11-14


Personal – In what way have you experienced oppression in your life, and in what way have you oppressed others?


  1. If we lend money to one of our poor neighbors, how shall we not act towards them?  Exodus 22:24, Leviticus 25:35-37


  1. If we take our neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, when shall we return it to him, and for what reason?   Exodus 22:25-26


  1. If he cries out to God, what will God do, and for what reason?   Exodus 22:26


  1. How does the Lord act if we return to him? 2 Chronicles 30:9


  1. How are we to act toward one another, and for what reason? Ephesians 4:32


Personal – Look up in the dictionary the meaning of compassion. In what way can you show mercy and compassion to someone close to you? Follow through and do it; then share with someone.




(“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord.”)

  1. The Gospel did not come to us in word alone, but also in what with much conviction?   1 Thessalonians 1:5


  1. In what may we abound by the power of the Holy Spirit? Romans 15:13


  1. Whom did the Church of Thessalonica imitate, and how did they receive the word?   1 Thessalonians 1:6


  1. “So be imitators of God, as beloved children.” How are we to live, and whose example do we follow?   Ephesians 5:1, 2


  1. As the Thessalonians imitate God, Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, what do they become? Why did they do this? 1 Thessalonians 1:7


  1. What has sounded forth from the church of Thessalonica, not only in Macedonia and in Archaia, and where else, so that Paul has no need to say anything?  1 Thessalonians 1:8


  1. From what did they turn in order to serve the living and true God?   1 Thessalonians 1:9


  1. Whom are they awaiting from heaven, and from what does he deliver us?   1 Thessalonians 1:10


  1. For what did God not destine us, but for what did he destine us to gain?   1 Thessalonians 5:9


  1. How can we store up wrath for our self, and how does God repay everyone?   Romans 2:5-8


Personal – Are people imitating you in your walk with the Lord? How are you bringing the power of the Holy Spirit to others? List the people you have tried to imitate.



FOURTH DAY            READ MATTHEW 22:34-40              GOSPEL

(“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind.”)

  1. When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, what did they do?   Matthew 22:34


  1. How may we silence the ignorance of foolish people? 1 Peter 2:15


  1. What did one of them, a scholar of the law, do to test Jesus?   Matthew 22:36


  1. What did Jesus say was the greatest and first commandment? Matthew 22:37-38


  1. What is the second commandment? Matthew 22:39


  1. What was the first commandment given to Moses by the Lord? Deuteronomy 6:4-5


  1. What will we do if we love Jesus (God)? John 14:15


  1. How does God demonstrate or prove his love for us? Romans 5:8


  1. What is a new commandment that Jesus has given, and how do we demonstrate our love for God?   John 13:34


  1. What depends on these two commandments? Matthew 22:40


Personal – How can you demonstrate your love for God with someone in your family, friends, school or business who appears to be steeped in sin?


FIFTH DAY           READ PSALM 18:2-4, 47, 51

(“Extolled be God my Savior.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 18: 2-4, 47, 51.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




EXODUS 22:20-26

God’s warning to the Israelites not to treat strangers unfairly comes through loud and clear. They well remember that they themselves were once strangers in Egypt. It is not easy coming to a new environment where you feel alone and out of place. Today’s reading shows how the Hebrew law protected the poor and less fortunate. God tells us that the poor, the power­less, and the aliens are very special to him, and they are not to be mistreated. In today’s reading we see a cloak being used as collateral for a loan. In Hebrew law cloaks were one of an Israelite’s most valued possessions. Most people owned only one and it was used as a blanket, a sack to carry things, a place to sit, and a pledge for a debt, as well as for clothing.

We need to take a long look at the way we treat refugees and immigrants who come into our country. Our sensitivity to their struggles and our expression of God’s love to them are clearly stated by our actions. We see that God is very clear on what happens to those who mistreat the poor, the widows, and the orphans. The challenge upon us today is to turn our concern and resources to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

Much of the tragedy in our society today is the exploitation of the poor. We need only look around and we can see widows, orphans and elderly trying desperately to survive. Instead of being helped, many are forced into home­less­ness or into homes they cannot afford. They receive little or no health care, and many have little food available to them and their families. God warns us very clearly what he will do to those who abuse and oppress them.

A call to repentance needs to come into the hearts of the people, and a renewal of our covenant with God has to take place. We need to look at the poor and oppressed with the eyes of Jesus Christ. If we turn to the Lord and seek his will, he will bless us and our families. He will bless and honor us for loving his poor. Remember, what we do to the least of our people, we do unto him (Matthew 25:31-46).



St. Paul continues to praise the Thessalonians, not only for their faith and courage, but for their Christian lifestyle. Suffering for his faith was not new to St. Paul, and the Thes­salonians gladly accepted their sufferings in imita­tion of Paul and Christ, who had died for them. The spirit with which they accepted and lived the faith was an example to other young Christian communities in Greece.

Today’s reading was about people who turned from believing in idols to belief in the living God. Today much of religion is rhetoric and young people see right through it. Idolatry is out of control in many nations, and the gods of money, power, and pleasure have many people struggling in bondage.

There are some Christians who still live by and stand up for their Christian principles, thank God; but they are too few and far between. We need millions of sincere, active, spirit-filled Christians to stem the flood of materialism and worldliness which is upon us. The failure of Christians to live out their beliefs is what gives the anti-God movement its fuel.

We need to look at ourselves and ask what kind of Christian role model we are in our community. Am I imitating Christ and bringing others to him? Do I spend time alone with him in prayer and reading his Word? In order to be an imitator of him, I must do these things daily. There are those around us who are looking for the light and the truth. We have that light and truth. We are called to give that light to the world of darkness. Do we dare refuse to help our brothers and sisters who are in darkness and risk losing our own eternal salvation?


MATTHEW 22:34-40

This Gospel reading seems to reveal the intentions of the Pharisees trying to catch Jesus in some legalistic or political error. The Pharisees and Sadducees had many disputes among them­selves about this question. There were over 600 laws and they often tried to ascertain which were the more important ones.

Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment in the law of Moses. Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. By keeping these two commandments a person keeps all of the Law. They summarized the ten commandments. Yet, we see Jesus telling them and us that if we really love God and our neighbor, we will keep the commandments without any great problem. Jesus tells us what we can do, rather than to worry about what we cannot do. We show how much we love God by keeping his commandments. We love God with our mind and heart, soul and body.

Today the world is trying to keep up with being its own conscience and its own code of conduct. We are told in Scrip­ture that filling our minds with thoughts that are of the Lord is how we love the Lord with our minds (Phil. 4:8). We know that the Spirit of the Lord within us is greater than the spirit that is in the world (1 John 4:4). This is loving God and our neighbor with all of our strength, and that strength is the Holy Spirit.

We are called to love God with all of our heart, and it is with the heart of Jesus that we love others as he has loved us (John 13:34). We cannot say we love God and hate our neighbor; if we do then we are liars (1 John 3:20). Jesus sums it all up on how to love others the way he loves us when he says, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do unto me” (Matthew 25:31-46).



The first reading shows God’s intense love for orphans, widows, and the oppressed. The second reading reveals that the core of Christianity is in the witness of its believers. The Gospel brings home the power of loving God and neighbor com­pletely.

This week, before you speak, ask yourself what would Jesus say in this situation. Before you do anything, ask yourself what would Jesus do in this situation. God is love and we should try imitating him in what we say and do. Then we will be not only loving and obedient to his command­ments but also capable of loving others as he has loved us.



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.