Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Christ the King (November 20th) – Cycle C








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 2 SAMUEL 5:1-3          FIRST READING


             (“You shall shepherd my people Israel…”)


  1. Who came to David and what did they say to him? 2 Samuel 5:1 


  1. Where was David? If you can locate this place on a bible map, give location.  2 Samuel 5:1


  1. Who led the Israelites out and brought them back?     2 Samuel 5:2


 4. Who did the tribes of Israel say spoke to David and what did he say to him?  2 Samuel 5:2, Ezekiel 34:23-24


Personal – Who, then, do you think appoints those to shepherd the people?  Are you following the One whom God has appointed King of kings for all times?


  1. To whom was David speaking? 2 Samuel 24:17


Personal – How does God speak to you and how do you speak to him   as David did?


  1. What will happen to the shepherd God has appointed that does    not listen and submit to the words of God? Zechariah 11:17 and Jeremiah 25:34-36


  1. Who is our Great Shepherd? Read and write out the following scriptures:

      Genesis 48:15

     Psalm 23:1

     John 10:6-7, 11

     John 10:16


  1. Who was made king of Israel? With whom did the king make an agreement before and who anointed him?  2 Samuel 5:3


Personal – What do you see as the difference between a good shepherd, a good king, and a bad king?  What are you?





(“Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness for our sins.”)             


  1. For what are we to give thanks to the Father? Colossians 1:12


  1. What does it mean “the saints in light” and who is the light?      John 8:12


  1. Who rescued us and from whom did he rescue us? Colossians 1:13


  1. Who is the power of darkness? Acts 26:18


  1. When he rescued us, where did he bring us?  Colossians 1:13


  1. What do we receive through Jesus? Colossians 1:14,     1 Peter 2:9


Personal – Have you been redeemed?  Have you asked the Lord to cleanse you and make you whole?  Reread verse 14.  This is a promise from God.  Write out this verse and meditate on it.


  1. Who is the image of our God we cannot see and who is the first-born of all creatures?  Colossians 1:15


  1. Read and write out:

     Psalm 89:28

     John 1:3

     John 1:18


Personal – How do you see God the Father?  How has Jesus revealed him to you personally?  Is he holding a rod ready to punish you or is he gentle, kind and forgiving?  As you see Jesus, you see the Father.


  1. What was created in him and where was it created?     Colossians 1:16, 1 Corinthians 8:6


  1. For what reason was all created? Colossians 1:16


  1. How does everything continue its being? Colossians 1:17


  1. Who began the church and who is the head of it?     Ephesians 1:22, Revelation 1:5, Colossians 1:18


  1. Onto whom did Christ pass this headship? Matthew 16:18


  1. How have we been reconciled with the Father?     Colossians 1:19-20


Personal – Have you allowed Jesus to wash you with his blood and   bring you to peace with the Father?  What changes can you see in your life since you have done this?




FOURTH DAY               READ LUKE 23:35-43               GOSPEL

                (“This is the King of the Jews”)

  1. Who stood there watching? Who was jeering at Jesus, and what were they saying?  Luke 23:35


  1. Was there anyone else making fun of Jesus? What did they offer him, and what were they telling him to do?     Luke 23:36-37 


Personal – Why do you think Jesus did not come down off the cross and save himself from this agonizing death?  Luke 22:42


  1. Was it the Father’s will that Jesus, his only begotten Son, die on the cross and why?


     Read and write out:

     1 Timothy 2:4

     John 12:47

     John 3:16

     John 10:10


  1. If Jesus was obedient to the Father and hung on the cross and      suffered from the weight of our sins in order to save us, what must we do?  John 1:12, Revelation 3:20


  1. How are we to follow Jesus’ example? Matthew 16:24-25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24


  1. Was it through any effort of our own that we have been saved?     Titus 3:4-5


  1. What was the inscription written over Jesus’ head?     Luke 23:38


Personal – How have you made Jesus your King of Kings and Lord of Lords?  1 Timothy 1:17, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16


  1. What did the one criminal say to Jesus in Luke 23:39?


  1. About whom was he concerned? Luke 23:39


  1. What did the other criminal do and say?  Luke 23:40-41


Personal – In what way are you like either one of the criminals?  Who was denying himself and how do you deny yourself?


  1. What did he say to Jesus in verse 42 of Luke 23 and what was Jesus’ reply?


  1. Read Matthew 25:33-34, 41. How can this be compared to Luke     23:39-40?


Personal – Are you the one on the left or the right?  In what ways have you denied yourself this week for your spouse, children, friends, neighbor, business associates, or school friends?




FIFTH DAY             READ PSALM 122:1-5              


             (“Give thanks to the name of the Lord.”)


Read and meditate on Psalm 122:1-5.

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


How can you apply this to your life?





                         2 SAMUEL 5:1-3

     David was finally anointed king over all Israel, and this was a fulfillment of God’s promise.  He first was anointed king in private by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13).  David was just a teenager then and spent many years in the service of King Saul.  David was thirty years old when he was crowned King of Judah, which was the southern half of the Promised Land (2 Samuel 2:4).  He was crowned king of the whole country at the age of thirty-seven and reigned for forty years. 


     When David was young and an outlaw, his future looked very bleak, but God’s promise to make him king was now fulfilled.  David had to wait very patiently for God’s promise to be fulfilled, even though he had been promised the kingship many years earlier.  We need to reflect on the patience and humility that David practiced in his long wait.  He went on to become a great king, warrior, poet, singer, musician, writer and spiritual leader of his people.  David was anointed by God and he knew that in time, God’s time, the plan would come into being. 


     David’s time of waiting prepared him for the very important task of being the good shepherd that his country needed. We too need to wait on the Lord and trust that he will direct us in our walk through the kingdom.  David was a leader because he was a follower of God.  Later David took his eyes off of God and he fell into great sin.  David repented and saw how puny his kingdom was next to God’s and he came back and received God’s gift of grace and forgiveness. We too can be like David; we can all come back to God’s holy light by repenting and realizing that God is our only good shepherd, and he will never fail to go out and save the lost sheep.  Let us follow David’s example and let our baptismal anointing be the beginning of our eternal life with the “Good Shepherd,” Jesus, who will set us all free forever (John 8:32).


                        COLOSSIANS 1:12-20

     Paul was bringing to light a heresy in the Colossian church that was the beginning of Gnosticism.  The word “Gnosticism” means knowledge and the word “heresy” means a teaching contrary to true doctrine.  The Gnostic heresy attacked Christianity in several ways. It held that important secret knowledge was to be kept from most believers, and it taught that the body is evil.  Paul responded to this heresy by stating that Jesus chose to dwell in a human body.  This heresy denied the humanity of Christ and Paul insisted that in Jesus we see one who is fully alive, human and good. 


     Gnosticism was beginning to get known and it could easily sway believers’ minds that did not know God’s will through the teachings of the church.  We see many signs of this heresy still lingering on in our church.  Today, as in the times of Paul, the best way a church can remain true to the teachings of the Lord is through personal study and church teachings.  Paul lists five benefits that Jesus gave us through his death on the cross.  He made us to be part of his kingdom.  He rescued us from Satan and made us his children.  He brought us into his eternal kingdom (Eph 2:5-6).


     The Colossian church was caught up in believing that all matter is basically evil.  They believed that God, being a spirit which is all good, would never come to earth as a true human being (being human is part of matter).  They believed that Christ did not make the world, because they believed God would not create anything that was evil.  They believed that special and secret knowledge was the only way people could find God.  Paul told them that only Christ has the power to save.  Paul told them that Jesus is not only equal to God (Phil 2:6), he is God (John 10:30). 


     We need to understand that Paul is combatting a heresy that tries to put knowledge above the saving aspects of God.  We, like the Colossians, must believe that Jesus Christ is God and not simply some great prophet.  Our faith will be hollow, misdirected, and meaningless if we see Jesus as anything less than God.  


                          LUKE 23:35-43

     In this passage, Jesus is placed on the cross; and even in his own incredible pain, he seeks to comfort and to forgive others.  The place where Jesus was led to be crucified was called “Golgotha” which means “the skull.”  This was a small hill just outside of the city walls, alongside a main road.  The Romans made the execution a public display as an example of what happens to those who defy Roman law.  It is ironic that Jesus was asked by James and John for the places of honor next to him in his Kingdom (Mark 10:35-39).  Now that Jesus was preparing to enter his Kingdom through his crucifixion, the places on his left and right were to be taken by dying, convicted criminals.  This is an incredible example for all of us that Jesus’ death was for all men, not just a selected few.  We must take Jesus’ words to his two power-hungry disciples, to our own hearts and remember that anyone who wants to be close to Jesus must be prepared to suffer and die as he did.  The only way to paradise is through the cross.  Even as he hung there dying in agony, Jesus was asking his Father to “forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  We need to reflect on those words, especially with what is going on in today’s world.


     Do we really understand how horrible sin is to God?  Do we really understand how horrible it is when we let others starve, go homeless, or we fail to clothe the naked?  Do we really understand when we turn our backs on the old, the lonely, the imprisoned, the mentally ill?  Do we really understand how horrible it is when we cause others to live in fear, and when we fail to love?  Jesus understands that we don’t really understand our own cruelty and he shows us the real reason why he died for all of us.  He freed us from the deathhold that Satan had on us and now, in faith, we can choose to love, choose to make all men free, and choose to forgive.  God tells us that if we accept his son, we will live forever (John 3:16). 


     Jesus died for us and forgave us our sins.  We must also forgive others as he has forgiven us (Matt 6:15).  Let us be like the good thief (Dismas) on Jesus’ right, and say, “Lord, will you remember me in your Kingdom?”  He will say to us as surely as he said to Dismas,  “Believe in me and you too shall be with me in Paradise.”  Jesus is the dawn that breaks into the darkness of sin and gives us the light eternal.



     In the first reading, we saw David being patient and humbly waiting to be crowned King in God’s time.  In the second reading, Paul is telling the Colossians that salvation is a person named Jesus, not some intellectual doctrine.  The Gospel shows us that even as he was dying, Jesus was forgiving those who hurt him.

     Let us look at the people and situations around us and specifically say, “Father, forgive so and so for what he or she is doing to me.”  Apply this to family, friends, boss, fellow workers, etc.        

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 13th) – Cycle C


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?


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




(“…There will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays…”)

1. What will the day be like that is coming? Malachi 3:19


2. What will happen to all the proud and evildoers? Malachi 3:19


3. How will that day leave them? Malachi 3:19


4. Who says this will happen? Malachi 3:19


5. What do the proud and evildoers do? Malachi 3:5, 13-14


6. For those who fear the name of the Lord, what will arise and with what kind of rays? Malachi 3:20


7. What will you do? Malachi 3:20


8. What do those who fear the Lord do? Malachi 3:16


9. What is the difference between the proud, the evildoer, and the one who fears the Lord? Malachi 3:18


10. To fear the Lord brings what and what does it avoid? Proverbs 14:27


Personal – Examine your conscience over this past week. What ways have you served the Lord and what ways have you not served him? Do you have one foot in the kingdom and one outside? Read Revelation 3:15-16.




(“…That we might present ourselves as an example for you to imitate.”)

1. Who is speaking? To whom are they speaking? What are they asking them to do in 2 Thessalonians 3:7? 2 Thessalonians 1:1


2. Why were they asking the Thessalonians to imitate them? 2 Thessalonians 3:6-8


3. What is the workman worth? Matthew 10:10


4. How  did they want to present themselves and for what reason? 2 Thessalonians 3:9


5. What was the rule that they laid down while they were with them? 2 Thessalonians 3:10


6. With what did they tell them to work, and for what reason? 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


7. What did Paul and the others hear that some of them were not  doing and how were they acting? 2 Thessalonians 3:11


8. What happens when you don’t keep busy but waste time? 1 Timothy 5:13


9. What did Paul and the others urge them strongly in the Lord  Jesus Christ to do and how were they to do it? 2 Thessalonians 3:12


10. What should we remember when working? Colossians 3:23


Personal – If you are a student, if you are a homemaker or working on a job, or if you are retired, what has your attitude been towards the work you are doing? What kind of example are you to outsiders? Reflect on this.




(“All will hate you because of me,…”)

1. About what were some people speaking? Luke 21:5


2. What did Jesus say to them about the things they were contemplating? Luke 21:6


3. What two things did they ask Jesus? Luke 21:7


4. Who did Jesus say not to follow and what would they be saying? Luke 21:8


5. What is bound to happen first about which we are not to become perturbed? Does the end immediately follow this? Luke 21:9


6. What did Jesus continue to say to them? Luke 21:10-11


7. What did he say would happen to them before all this took place? Luke 21:12


8. What action concerning his name would result in persecution and trial? Acts 5:28


9. What will we be brought to do?  What are we not to do and for what reason? Luke 21:13-15


10. With what did Stephen speak when engaged in debate? Acts 6:9-10


11. Who will deliver us up and what will happen to some of us? Luke 21:16


12. What will all do to us because of Jesus and, yet, what will happen to the hair on our heads? Luke 21:17-18


13. How will we save our lives? Luke 21:19


14. Read the following scriptures and write out what they say about patient endurance:

Hebrews 3:14

Hebrews 6:11-12

Hebrews 10:36


Personal – In what way do you see yourself being persecuted because of the name of Jesus? In what way are you persecuting others for their obedience to God? Where do you stand?




(“He will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 98:5-9.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




MALACHI 3:19-20

We read in this passage that the day of judgment is coming like a blazing furnace for those who have turned their backs on God.  Malachi exhorted and warned the people about being obedient to the Lord or facing terrible consequences. A blazing furnace is white hot and its function is to burn impurities out of precious metal. It requires a hot, dangerous and all-consuming fire. Malachi compared judgment day to this.

Many people were disobedient to God’s will and dishonored his name (Mal.1:6). They offered false worship (Mal.1:7-14), and they led others into sin (Mal.2:7-9). Many became arrogant and proud, and they called “evil” good (Mal.2:17). These were the people who Malachi promised would be reduced to stubble on Judgment Day. We need to reflect on our own lifestyle in these troubled times and see if this warning applies to us also. The name of God is mocked and profaned on television and in the movies with great regularity. Idolatry is as common today in this country as it ever was in the time of Abraham. Today many pay homage to the god of sports, television, pornography, abortion, money, and power. That blazing furnace is as real today as it was in the time of Malachi.

Malachi was not a prophet of doom, and he left them with a strong message of hope and forgiveness. He gave us the image of a loving God who will be like the healing warmth of the sun to those that repent and come back to love and obey him. God wills that no man perish. John the Baptist told about the coming of Jesus and said he was like the dawn about to break with light for those in sin and darkness (Luke 1:76-79). Jesus is the light of the world, and we are called to bring that light everywhere.



Paul takes a strong stand against laziness in the church leaders and in the people themselves. He strongly exhorts them to be responsible and hard-working Christians. Paul certainly did not think that working or insisting that people who should work was an attack on their integrity or dignity.  Paul thought that a person should make the most of his time and talents. Paul exhorted them to provide for themselves and for others as well. Paul stresses very strongly how important example is to a community.

We need to stress that today more than ever to our young people and especially our children. What kind of example are you setting? Do people see you as a hard-working, kind, and patient Christian?  Do you spend too much time watching television? Do you spend time alone every day with the Lord in quiet prayer? Do you read and study Scripture every day? These are the type of examples we need to set for others.

Paul really admonishes the people about wasting time gossiping, a sin against the fifth commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.”  You kill a person socially, emotionally, and even spiritually inch by inch when you are gossiping about him. Gossips breed distrust, division, discouragement, and, finally, despair in the body of Christ. Gossip, in some cases, is exciting to hear; and it means those who are hearing it feel like insiders. Instead of building up, gossiping tears down. Jesus calls us to love others as he has loved us (John 15:12). We cannot be tearing someone down through gossip and think we are loving, obedient Christians. We need to pray to the Lord so that he will heal us of this miserable, bad habit. Our prayers are powerful because our Lord listens and heals (James 5:16).


LUKE 21:5-19

The temple the disciples were admiring was not Solomon’s temple. Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in the sixth century B.C. The temple in Jesus’ day was the one built by Herod the Great, beginning in 20 B.C. It was much larger than the earlier temples. This temple, after many restorations, was destroyed completely in 70 A.D. by the Roman army. The disciples were commenting on the beauty and durability of the temple. Jesus tells them the temple will be knocked down and it will become a pile of rubble. They wanted to know when this terrible event would happen. Jesus warned them about false Messiahs and natural disasters. He told them that he would never leave them and that he would be with them even unto the end of time (Matthew 28:16-20). He warned them about persecution and being dragged into court because of being associated with him. We see that happening today to those involved in a movement to stop abortion by blocking the entrance into the abortion clinics. Many of the protestors have been arrested and hauled into court. A tremendous witness is taking place in our country, so many people have come forward and are being imprisoned for the sake of Christ. Jesus’ warning and his promises still apply to us as we look forward to his return. In response to their question of “knowing when the end of the age will come,” Jesus stated that they should be less concerned about the date and more concerned about being prepared.

We are called to live God’s way constantly so that no matter when he comes, we will be prepared.  The early church thrived despite incredible persecution. In the early second century, the blood of the Christians was considered the seeds of future believers. We need to remember that Jesus’ words are as true today as they were yesterday. Today we have many families who have turned against each other and suffer great persecution at the hands of their own loved ones. We can be assured that no matter how rough the times may get, he is with us, and his Spirit even teaches us what to say in times of trial.

Jesus tells us, “Not a hair of your head will be harmed.” He means that none of his followers will suffer spiritual or eternal loss. You may lose all of your possessions here on earth, and you may be beaten, robbed, and even put to death, but you will be saved forever and ever.



In the first reading, we are choosing to be either hot or cold. In the second reading, we are called to be role models. In the Gospel, we heard that we need to take a stand with God or against him.

Let us choose Christ in every situation we encounter in our homes, church, and jobs. Before we take action in any situation this week let us ask ourselves, “Am I compromising what I believe in by doing this?”

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time (November 6th) – Cycle C


By Deacon Ken and Marie Finn



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?


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




(“We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”)

1. How many brothers were arrested and who was with them? 2 Maccabees 7:1


2. What did the king do to them? Why did he do this and of what was this in violation? 2 Maccabees 7:1


3. What did one of the brothers say in speaking for the other brothers? 2 Maccabees 7:2


4. What would they rather do than transgress the laws of whom? 2 Maccabees 7:2


5. After killing the first brother what did they do to the second brother and what did he say? 2 Maccabees 7:7-9


6. Who is the King of the world and for what will he raise us up? 1 Timothy 6:14-15, 2 Maccabees 7:9


7. What happened to the third brother and what did he say? 2 Maccabees 7:10-11


8. At what did the king and his attendants marvel, and for what reason? 2 Maccabees 7:12


9. What happened to the fourth brother and what did he choose to do at the hands of men? 2 Maccabees 7:13-14


10. What was the fourth brother’s God-given hope and what did he say there would not be for the torturers? 2 Maccabees 7:14


11. When we die who gives back both breath and life and for what reason? 2 Maccabees 7:23


12. What does the Son, Jesus, do? John 5:19-30.


Personal – In what way have you been willing to suffer for your belief in Jesus? What have you said lately to those around you that took courage to say to them? Pray and ask God to give you the courage to stand up for what you believe in.




(“…console your hearts and strengthen them for every good work and word.”)

1. What did God our Father in his mercy give us? 2 Thessalonians 2:16


2. What does God do for your heart and for what reason does he do this? 2 Thessalonians 2:17


3. For what reason did Paul and the others ask the brothers to pray for them? 2 Thessalonians 3:1


4. What is another reason that Paul asks others to pray for them? Colossians 4:3-4


5. Paul asks them to pray that they be delivered from whom? 2 Thessalonians 3:2


6. What is it that not every man has and that the Lord always keeps? 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3


7. What two things does the Lord do for you against the evil one? 2 Thessalonians 3:3


8. How does God strengthen us? Psalm 119:28, Ephesians 3:16


9. How do we receive this strength? Acts 3:16


10. About what are Paul and the others con dent in the Lord? 2 Thessalonians 3:4


11. In what are they asking the Lord to rule their hearts? 2 Thessalonians 3:5


12. How do we speak and of what is God the tester? 1 Thessalonians 2:4


Personal – In what way has God strengthened you for every good work and word through his Word and the teaching of the Holy Spirit this past week? Be specific.




(“God is not the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive for him.”)

1. Who came forward to pose a problem to Jesus and what did they claim? Luke 20:27-28


2. What was the problem they proposed to Jesus? Luke 20:28-33


3. What did Jesus say children of this age do? Luke 20:34


4. What do those judged worthy of a place in the age to come and of resurrection from the dead do in regard to marriage? Luke 20:35


5. What do those judged worthy become like and what will not happen to them? Luke 20:36


6. Who are the ones that will rise? Luke 20:36


7. What did Moses in the passage about the bush show? Luke 20:37


8. Who does not have God and who does have God? Luke 20:38


9. For what are we alive? Luke 20:38


10. What does Corinthians say about being raised up from the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:12-19


11. What does it take to believe in Christ’s resurrection? Acts 20:21.


Personal – In what way have you already been resurrected and to what do you look forward? In what way do others see the resurrected Christ living in you?



FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15

(“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




2 MACCABEES 7:1-2, 9-14

This passage has a powerful message of justice and resurrection. Can you imagine how horrible it must have been for that mother to watch each one of her seven sons being tortured and then executed? Can you just imagine the pain in her heart as she leans closely to her last remaining son and encourages him to save his life by giving it up for God (Matthew 16:25)? What tremendous courage this mother, who is herself later tortured and murdered, and her sons had. We need to reflect on this story.

The fear of pain and death was not in their responses because the hunger and thirst to be at one with God was greater. We must not dismiss this passage as an exaggerated story told to make a point. These young men loved life as much as you or I do. They dreamed about their futures just like you and I do. They knew that to refuse this command meant torture and death. Could we do the same? Today, here in our society, we are being threatened with such a barrage of filth in our movies, television, magazines, and now even in our home videotape recordings. The level of filth and profit is so high that like Habakkuk (1:2), we cry out, how long will I call for help, and you do not hear?

The degree of brutality has never been equaled as it has here in the United States when we look at the 25 million unborn babies we have murdered. Our nation is being savagely attacked, and our throats are being slashed by the incredibly overwhelming use of drugs. The primary motive for this plague of evil is greed and profit. Where are men like these brothers who will stand up and protest against these outrages? Where are these men who will die if they have to? The questions upon us today are: Do we really believe in the Resurrection? Do we really believe that Jesus died to make all men free and live forever with him? I pray that our nation will come forth and give us men and women like the spiritual giants in today’s passage. I pray with confidence because he tells us that he will never turn away anyone who calls out to him (John 6:37).



Paul knew that the pressures of persecution, apathy among the people, worldliness of the people, and false teachers would cause a wavering of faith and a looseness with the truth. He exhorted them to stand firm in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ passed on to us through scripture and the teachings of the church. We, too, are being confronted with these temptations that try to turn us away from God. We need to more than ever hold onto the truth. This is found in the teachings of Jesus, simply because our lives depend on it.

We must never forget the reality of his life and love. Paul is not only exhorting the people, but he is also warning them about the dangers of evil men in their midst. He is telling them that beneath the surface calm of daily living is the struggle that goes on among invisible spiritual powers. The question we need to ask ourselves is, do we really believe that? Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above (Ephesians 6:12). These evil rulers, satanic beings and evil princes of darkness are not people, but fallen angels over whom Satan has control. They are not fantasies; they are very real. We need only to look around and see how the drugs are tearing Americans’ throats open.

The pornography industry is colossal and it is in every city in the United States. Abortion or murder is accepted and legally protected in all parts of this great nation. Is there any doubt that these demons of Satan are active in these abominations that are crippling our nation? When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior and follow the teachings of our Catholic Church, Satan becomes our arch-enemy. He is out to kill us, and we must remember that the Spirit within us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Jesus is the only answer to our problems and he has won the victory over Satan for us. He is the one who will strengthen us and guard us against the evil one (2 Thess. 3:3). Let us in the Lord follow the teachings of the church with the same obedience and confidence that Paul had in the Thessalonians.


LUKE 20:27-38

The Sadducees were a group of conservative religious leaders who honored only the Pentateuch (Genesis to Deuteronomy). They did not believe in the resurrection of the dead because they could not find any mention of it in their first five books of the Old Testament. They tried to trick Jesus with a question that always bothered the Pharisees. Jesus answered their real question about resurrection after he addressed their other question on marriage. Jesus based his response on the writings of Moses. The Sadducees respected Moses so much that they honored only the books that dealt with him and his ancestors.

Jesus knew that they respected Moses and his answers upheld belief in the resurrection. Jesus’ answer on marriage didn’t mean that people will not recognize their spouses when they get to heaven; he meant that heaven is not an extension of life as we know it here on earth. Jesus talks about those who are counted worthy of being raised from the dead to heavenly life. We might ask ourselves: What does it mean to be worthy of being raised to heavenly life? We are told that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we shall not perish, rather we shall have eternal life (John 3:16).

Jesus told them they couldn’t compare what we have on earth with what we will have in heaven. He answered their question about “the resurrection” by showing that the writings of Moses proved that there is a resurrection. Moses’ God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This means that the Lord is some person’s God, which means that person is alive, not dead. God sees all men who believe in him as living children of him.

We need to ask ourselves this question: Do we believe in the resurrection? Will we rise from the dead like Jesus did? Will we someday be reunited in heaven with all of our loved ones who died before us? We are told in Scripture to confess with our lips and believe in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and then we are his children and we will be with him forever. The real question for the Sadducees was: “Is the Resurrection real?” God said “YES” when he said that all who believe in his Son will not die but live forever in heaven (John 3:16).



The first reading shows that hunger and thirst for God were much stronger than the fear of pain and death. The second reading calls us to stand rm in the teaching of scripture and the teachings of our beloved church. The gospel tells us that heaven is not an extension of life as we know it here on earth.

This week, let all who come in contact with you see that the message of justice and resurrection is alive in you. Let your prayers be heard in your home. Do not be afraid to give thanks and praise to God for something that happens to you in public. Look around and see where opportunities to witness are present. Your family will see and experience this courage and follow your example.

Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 30th) – Cycle C



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?


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




(“For you love all things that are.”)

1. What two things is the whole universe like? Wisdom 11:22


2. What does God have on all and what can he do? Wisdom 11:23


3. What does God overlook and for what reason? Wisdom 11:23


4. Of what is God not unaware and for what does he give man space? Wisdom 12:10


5. What does God call men everywhere to do? Acts 17:30


6. What does God do to all things that are, what does he loathe, and for what reason? Wisdom 11:24


7. What is the Lord to all people and toward all his works? Psalm 145:9


8. Unless God does what, how can anything remain or be preserved? Wisdom 11:25


9. What does God do to all things, for what reason, and of what is he a lover? Wisdom 11:26


10. What is in all things? Wisdom 12:1


11. What does the Spirit of the Lord ll and what does he know? Wisdom 1:7


Personal – How have I accepted God’s love for me? In what way have I overlooked the sins of a family member, friend, or co-worker and given them an opportunity to repent and thus show my love for them?




(“We pray for you always.”)

1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2? 2 Thessalonians 1:1


2. What do they do always for the church and for what reason? 2 Thessalonians 1:11


3. How does God fulfill every honest intention and work of faith? 2 Thessalonians 1:11


4. Who begets (brings forth) in you any measure of desire or achievement? Philippians 2:13


5. Who may be glorified in you and you in him and how is this done? 2 Thessalonians 1:12


6. On the question of whose coming, and of who is being gathered with him, how is Paul addressing the brothers? 2 Thessalonians 2:1


7. What two things is he begging them not to let happen so easily? 2 Thessalonians 2:2


8. What three ways is he saying not to be swayed into believing that the day of the Lord is here? 2 Thessalonians 2:2


9. How is the Lord going to come again and what will happen to those who have died in Christ? 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16


10. Personal – In what way have you been preparing for the Lord’s second coming?


11. What will happen to those who are living, the survivors, and what are we to do with this message? 1 Thessalonians 4:17




(“The Son of Man has come to search out and save what is lost”)

1. As Jesus entered Jericho who was there, what was his name, what position did he hold, and what economic status did he hold? Luke 19:1-2


2. Who came to be baptized by John the Baptist and what did he tell them? Luke 3:12-14


3. Which one of Jesus’ disciples was a tax collector? Matthew 9:9


4. What was Zacchaeus doing, why did he want to do this and what prevented him from doing this? Luke 19:3


5. What did he rst do and when that did not work, what did he then do? Luke 19:4


6. What did Jesus do when he came to the spot where Zacchaeus was and what did he say to him? Luke 19:5


7. How did Zacchaeus descend and how did he welcome Jesus? Luke 19:6


8. When this was observed what did everyone begin to murmur? Luke 19:7


9. What did Zacchaeus do and what did he say to the Lord? Luke 19:8


10. What did Jesus say to him? Luke 19:9


11. Why did the Son of Man come? Luke 19:10


Personal – In what way have you repaid anyone you may have defrauded? In what way has Jesus come to search you out and save you personally?



FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14

(“The Lord is good to all.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11, 13-14.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




WISDOM 11:22-12:1

This passage forces us to reflect on how much we are loved and protected by God. We are being told that this awesome universe is like being compared to a small particle used for weighing on sensitive scales. In God there is so much more and yet our universe is as precious to him as early morning dew. We hear about a God who is so majestic that even though he can do all things, he loves being merciful. Wisdom is so precious because it helps us to understand God’s incredible love for us.

God doesn’t miss anything, he sees our failures, and yet he constantly encourages us to go forward. He gives us so much room to repent and to enjoy his kingdom (Mark 1:15). It is so hard for man to understand God’s love, because God loves everything that he has created. God does not make junk, we are not junk, and God will never make junk. That is why he loves us always. God loves us so much he gave us his only Son, so that all who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Do you really believe that he loved you so much he died knowing that you would be sinning (Romans 5:8)? He did.

Wisdom is fear of the Lord, not a fear of punishment but fear of offending his love and goodness because true love drives out fear (1 John 4:18). God’s love for us is complete in Jesus. He gives us his command, love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12). Wisdom is knowing that the Spirit of the Lord is given for all men and that the Spirit will instruct us in everything (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is all-embracing and this means that the arms of Christ were stretched out wide on the cross of Calvary so that you and I can have the incredible privilege of choosing life or death. The wise person will choose life; the fool will choose death.



Paul is now encouraging the people because they had been going through a time of turmoil and confusion about the “last days.”The thought of the world coming to an end and Jesus coming back led many to give up the responsibilities of daily life. Some of the people did not want to go back to work, some did not want to continue to meet their financial obligations. Paul is telling them in this passage that their life and the way that they live is a reflection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Paul also tells them that God calls us to live in honor and have faith in his promise. His promise is that all who believe in him will not perish but instead have eternal life with him.

Paul goes on to tell them that the day which the Lord is to come back is not yet known, but his Spirit will be within us until then (John 14:26). We hear today many new ways to “talk the talk” and “walk the walk.” We hear and see quite a bit of the “new age” theology which calls us to become gods unto ourselves. We really need to reflect on the seduction of the age that Paul spoke about in verse three. When the Church marries the age or times, the church quickly becomes a widow.

Paul is telling them, as he is telling us, that there is only one way to eternal life, and that is through Jesus; and that only God knows when the end days are near. Our faith depends only on the living presence of the power of God in our lives. We are to live our lives as if this is the day that Jesus comes to take us home to the Father.


LUKE 19:1-10

Once again we see Jesus being the classic minister. Jesus knew full well what the local townspeople thought about tax collectors and knew that his actions would provoke a tremendous amount of controversy. He wanted them to love the sinner and hate the sin, but not hate the sinner as well as the sin. He chose to show them that by having dinner with Zacchaeus he was open to healing a person’s heart no matter what his station in life.

Zacchaeus knew that the people thought that he was a crook as most tax collectors were in those days (Luke 5:27- 32). Zacchaeus was wealthy but not happy. He probably was very lonely because he had chosen a way that made him an outcast. He no doubt had heard of Jesus and his love for outcasts like tax collectors and sinners like himself and wondered if he had any “good news” for him. Despised and hated by the local townspeople, Zacchaeus was reaching out for the love and acceptance of God. One has to remember that Zacchaeus was small in stature and he took a great risk to be seen alone in public. He could not see over the crowd so he finally found a tree that he could climb and see Jesus as he walked by.

Can you imagine the thrill that went through Zacchaeus when he heard Jesus’ invitation? He literally jumped out of the tree in joy and shock and proclaimed to the community that he was a changed man. He knew that Jesus was risking the rejection of the crowd by saying that he wanted to stay at the home of a known sinner. Jesus does that today with you and me. He tells us that he wants to stay in our house, which means in our hearts. Zacchaeus then made a decision; he decided to love because he had experienced the incredible gift of God’s love. Because of this love, he then decided to give half of his goods to the poor. In his restitution, he went far beyond what the law required. Only if robbery was a pre-meditated violent act of destruction was a fourfold giving back necessary (Exodus 22:1).

Zacchaeus showed that he was a changed man by his actions not just his words. Zacchaeus was a man who had repented because of love, not force. A man or woman who repents changes completely. Repentance is not only saying “I am sorry.” Zacchaeus’ testimony would have been completely worthless if it was not backed up by deeds. We should reflect on today’s story and see where, in our lives, repentance is needed.

Like Zacchaeus, we need to have Jesus reside in our hearts in order to love and be loved (John 15:12). This passage ends with Jesus telling us that he came to search out and save the lost. Zacchaeus was a Jew, a child of Abraham, and the Lord came to him and brought him back into the kingdom. We have that same loving God who is always ready to come to our “house” and bring us home, too.



The first reading tells us how much we are loved and protected by God in spite of our selfishness. The second reading shows that the way we live is a reflection of what we believe. The Gospel demonstrates through the story about Zacchaeus that actions speak louder than words. Repentance means change.

Pick one specific bad habit and in prayer and faith work on it for this week. Testimony of words without action is worthless, so share your progress with someone special. The way that you talk to your children tells that they are either special or a burden. Let your family know that you are submitting yourself to the Lord and are giving him permission to change you. It works. He changed Zacchaeus and he wants to change you.

Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 23rd) – Cycle C



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?


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




(“He who serves God willingly is heard.”)

1. Of what is our God a God, and of what does he not know? Sirach 35:12


2. What does he not accept? Deuteronomy 10:17, 2 Chronicles 19:7


3. Why does God have no favorites? Job 34:19


Personal – How do you treat those in your family, at church, or at work without showing favoritism? Why do you think you should do this?


4. Whose cry does God hear? Sirach 35:13


5. Toward what two people is God not deaf? Sirach 35:14


6. Whose cry does the Lord hear and who should we not wrong? Exodus 22:21-22


7. Who does the Lord hear and what reaches the heavens? Sirach 35:16


8. What does the prayer of the lowly pierce and what does it not do till it reaches its goal? Sirach 35:17


9. What does the prayer of the lowly not do till the Most High responds? Sirach 35:18


10. What does the Most High judge do and who does he affirm? Sirach 35:18


Personal – In what way has God answered your prayer with justice, and in what way were you affirmed by it?




(“The Lord stood by my side and gave me strength.”)

1. Who is speaking, and to whom is he speaking in 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18? 2 Timothy 1:1-2?


2. What did he say was happening to him and was near him? 2 Timothy 4:6


3. What has he fought, what has he finished, and what has he kept? 2 Timothy 4:7


4. To what is Paul to bear witness? Acts 20:24


5. From now on what awaits Paul, how does he refer to the Lord, and what will happen to him and all who have looked for the Lord’s appearing with eager longing? 2 Timothy 4:8


6. What happened to Paul at his first hearing of his case in court and what did he not do? 2 Timothy 4:16


7. Who stood by his side and what did he give him? 2 Timothy 4:17


8. What are we not to do and for what reason? Matthew 10:19-20


9. How was Paul saved from the lion’s jaws? 2 Timothy 4:17


10. What will the Lord continue to do and where will he bring him? 2 Timothy 4:18


11. Who is to get all the glory? 2 Timothy 4:18, Romans 16:27


Personal – What is your reaction when friends or family abandon you when you stand up for your faith? Where do you look for your strength in a crisis? Hebrews 13:6




(“O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”)

1. To whom did the Lord address this parable? Luke 18:9


2. What do the self-righteous do and what does God know? Luke 16:15


3. What two men went up to the temple to pray and how was the Pharisee’s head when he prayed? Luke 18:10-11


4. For what did the Pharisee say he was thankful, who did he say he was not like, and what did he say he did? Luke 18:11-12


5. What three things are important in the eyes of the Lord without neglecting the other? Matthew 23:23


6. What did the tax collector do, and what did he say to the Lord? Luke 18:13


7. What did Jesus say about the self-righteous and the sinner? Matthew 9:13


8. How did the tax collector go home and how did the Pharisee go home? Luke 18:14


9. How do we become justified? Romans 5:8-11


10. What will happen to everyone who exalts himself and what will happen to everyone who humbles himself? Luke 18:14


11. Who is the greatest among you? Matthew 23:11-12


Personal – In what way do you approach the Lord? Examine your prayer life. What do you say to the Lord? In what way do you compare yourself with others? How do you really see yourself? Remember, God reads the heart. (Luke 16:15)



FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 34:2-3, 17-19, 23

(“When the just cry out, the Lord hears them.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19, 23.
What is the Lord saying to you personally through the Psalm?


How can you apply this to your life?




SIRACH 35:12-14, 16-18

This passage stresses that our God does not have favorites. His love for the rich is the same as it is for the poor. It is the same for the young and old, the healthy ones or the sickly ones. His love falls equally on the righteous and the unrighteous. Our God will not, under any circumstances, take a bribe (Deuteronomy 10:17). A just God is one who loves us because of who we are, not because of what we do. He loves the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. He always responds to our call for support.

Our calls of help do not fall on deaf ears (John 6:37). We are to be persistent, like the widow, in our prayers to our loving God. The petitions of all who call out to God are heard. He knows each one of us by name and knew us when we were formed in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). We are to respond to his answer with a contrite heart and humble spirit (Psalm 51). Many times we are tempted to give up and forget our petitions and become angry. We must remember that we have a God whose ways are not our ways.

Our God is a just God who will answer us in his time and we must not become anxious (Philippians 4:6,7), rather we must become joyful and give him thanks and praise. A just God loves to bring freedom, and his justice brings love and peace. We need to reject on this Scripture and remember that the God of Justice is the God of Love and the God of Love is Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior.


2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8, 16-18

Paul is exhorting Timothy to keep his faith active and to be ready to take over as a leader rather than as an assistant. Paul tells Timothy that his time is running out and it won’t be long before he, Paul, is in heaven. Paul was going to face death just like he was facing living in this world and that was with courage in the Lord. We need to ask ourselves some of these questions that Paul probably did. Is your life preparing you for death? Do you have a deep expectation of meeting Christ when you die?

We can all breathe a little easier because the “good news” is that salvation is not just for spiritual giants like Paul, Moses, or even Timothy. Rather it is for those who confess with their lips and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:10). Paul gave us these words to encourage us to go on, to keep up the good fight. He wanted us to train and become even better. No matter what the difficulty, we must always remember that the Spirit within us is greater than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4), and we must keep fighting and continue in the race.

We will realize completely when we are finally at home in heaven with our wonderful Lord Jesus, that the fight and the race were well worth it. Timothy probably did not feel all that strong, with his leader in prison and his church still reeling from exhaustion and expansion. We need to trust in Jesus, as Paul did, and our Lord will use our repentant hearts in a powerful way. We need to remember that God always gives us the strength to do whatever he has commanded, and he has commanded us to go forth and preach his Word. He has called us and commissioned us to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19).


LUKE 18:9-14

This passage deals with the quality of our prayer life and not the quantity of it. When we come to pray before God, the question is not, “Am I as good as my fellow men?” The question is, “Am I as good as God?” True prayer can only come from setting our lives beside the life of God. We may do well to remember that we are one of a great legion of sinning, suffering, sorrowing humanity, that occasionally comes to kneel before the throne of God’s mercy. Before we can say, “I am glad I am not like that pompous Pharisee,” let us all remember that no man who is proud can pray. It is told that the gate of heaven is so low that no one can enter it unless one is on one’s knees.

In today’s Gospel, we see the men in the temple praying. The devout religious people were always in the temple at about 9:00 a.m., noon, and 3:00 p.m. These were the times when most of the community went up to the temple. The story deals with only two of them, one a highly respected church-goer called a Pharisee; the other man was called a tax collector, someone of poor social standing. The tax collector was a symbol of dishonesty, lying, and cheating. The Pharisee began telling God how much he was doing for him. The Pharisee did not really go to pray; he went to inform God how good he was. The tax collector, on the other hand, stood in the back of the temple and wouldn’t even lift his eyes up to God because he knew that he was a sinner. His prayer was very simple and very direct: “O God be merciful to me, the sinner.”

Let us not pray like the Pharisee, because self-righteousness is dangerous. Pride leads to sin, and the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). The tax collector’s prayer should be our prayer because Jesus hears our cry of unworthiness and repentance (Psalm 51:10). Let us call out to him to cleanse our heart and to give us a repentant spirit, and he will do that. Prayer is two persons – God and man – telling each other how much they love each other. God loves you and wants you to be a prayerful person.



The first reading tells us that God does not have any favorites. The second reading reveals that we should update our spiritual inventory on a regular basis. The Gospel shows that the quality of a prayer life is far more important than its quantity.

Let us spend some quiet time alone with the Lord every day this week and listen very carefully to his plan for our life (John 10:10). God wants each one of us to have an abundant grace-filled life. He wants us to call out to him in deep sincerity, and he will heal us. Let your family see you as one in prayerful communion with God.

Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 16th) – Cycle C


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?


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




(“As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight.”)

1. What did Amalek do at Rephidim? Exodus 17:8


2. Who was Joshua and what tribe was he from? Numbers 13:8,16


3. What did Moses tell Joshua to do the following day? Exodus 17:9


4. What did  Moses say he would be doing and what would he have in his hand? Exodus 17:9


5. What did  Joshua do and who climbed to the top of the hill with Moses? Exodus 17:10


6. What happened when  Moses had his hands raised up and what happened when he let his hands rest? Exodus 17:11


7. When Moses’ hands got tired, what two things did Hur and Aaron do for him? Exodus 17:12


8. How long did they do this? Exodus 17:12


9. What happened on another occasion when Moses extended his hands to the Lord? Exodus 9:29


10. What did Joshua do with Amalek? Exodus 17:13


Personal – In what way have you been fighting a spiritual battle and had a family member or a friend support you, or in what way have you supported or held their hands up to the Lord in their battle? Where have your hands been lifted during physical, spiritual, or emotional battles?




(“I charge you to preach the Word.”)

1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking in 2 Timothy 3:14? Timothy 1:1-2


2. What two things have we done that for our part we must remain faithful? 2 Timothy 3:14


3. Who is our teacher? Matthew 23:10


4. How does he teach us today? John 14:26


5. What  did Timothy know since infancy and how was it passed on  to him? 2 Timothy 3:15, 2 Timothy 1:5


6. Of what is the sacred Scripture the source, and what does it  lead to through faith in Jesus Christ? 2 Timothy 3:15


7. What is all Scripture, and for what is it useful? 2 Timothy 3:16


8. What makes the man of God fully competent and equipped for every good work? 2 Timothy 3:16-17


9. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is coming to do what? What does he charge us to do? 2 Timothy 4:1-2


10. With what are we to stay whether convenient or inconvenient, what three things are we to do, and what are we to never lose? 2 Timothy 4:2


11. What are we to teach? Matthew 28:20


Personal – What have you been teaching your children, grandchildren, friends, co-workers, etc? Have you personally been called to teach? What do you see as the difference between worldly teaching and spiritual teaching? John 14:18-26




(“Will not God then do justice to his chosen who call out to him day and night?”)

1. Of what did Jesus tell his disciples the necessity, how did he tell them, and what did he tell them not to lose? Luke 18:1


2. To what did his disciples, the women in their company, and Mary (the mother of Jesus) devote themselves? Acts 1:13-14


3. What did Jesus say about a judge? Luke 18:2


4. Who came to the judge, and what did she say? Luke 18:3


5. What was she doing to him, and why did he settle in her favor? Luke 18:5, Luke 11:8


6. What did the Lord say in Luke 18:6-7?


8. What did he say about justice and about delaying over them? Luke 18:7


9. What did Jesus say God would do? Luke 18:8


10. About what did Jesus ask his disciple when the Son of Man comes? Luke 18:8


11. When the Son of Man comes with what will he come, who will accompany him, and how will he repay each man? Matthew 16:27


Personal – How do you combat the evil that is around you? How is God speaking to you personally in this passage regarding your own prayer life?




(“He is beside you at your right hand.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 121:1-8

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


How can you apply this to your life?




EXODUS 17:8-13

This passage clearly shows how tenacity and steadfastness win the day for Israel. The Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau. They were a fierce nomadic nation or tribe who lived and controlled the caravan routes between Egypt and Arabia in the southeast desert region of the Dead Sea. They conducted frequent raids on other settlements and many times they killed simply for pleasure. No insult to an Israelite could be greater than calling him “a friend of Amalek.”

The Amalekites saw Moses and his rag-tag band of followers and thought this would be a chance for some fun and profit. They did not know that these people were being led by God, and the wrath of God was about to be spent upon them. Moses commissions Joshua to make the battle preparations and tells him that he, Aaron, and Hur will be positioned on top of a nearby hill. Joshua was the great leader who brought God’s people into the promised land after Moses died. He gained tremendous experience for future battles, especially against the Canaanites.

The incredible stamina and persistence displayed by Moses in keeping his hands raised, with the support of Aaron and Hur, resulted in turning the tide of the battle. It is the courage and example of this one man that inspired a tired band of followers in the hot barren desert to turn a certain defeat into a stunning upset of a victory. We need to look at our spiritual leaders in our churches and help them by supporting them too. We can be like Aaron and Hur and hold them up as they lead us in battle. We can really be warriors of the Lord by taking on some of the responsibilities of the parish community.

We can become strong, committed prayer warriors; and finally, we can offer some life-giving words of encouragement when the battle seems to rage in full fury. Our spiritual leaders need us to be like Aaron and Hur and in faith, we need to call forth the spiritual giants like Moses from among our midst. The God of Moses is also our God, too. Let us persevere in battle and, like Moses, we too shall be lifted up in victory.


2 TIMOTHY 3:14-4:2

Timothy was faced with “watering” down his doctrine of faith. False teachers were trying to put pressure on him and the pressures of a growing ministry were heavy upon his spirit. Timothy’s hometown of Lystra was where Paul was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19). Timothy was undergoing pressure, not only for being young and inexperienced but also because Paul was his principal teacher.

Paul exhorts him to hold on, look to his past and hold to the basic teaching about Jesus that are eternally true. Today we are caught up with many false teachers who are trying to “waterdown” the Gospel and many of us are so busy, we don’t even protest. We need to spend time every day thinking about the foundations of our faith and the great truths on which we build our lives.

Timothy was a second-generation Christian and it was not because an evangelist preached a great sermon; it was because he was taught the holy scriptures when he was a child. The parents’ work to teach the child should never be replaced by an evangelist or religious teacher. The teaching of the child by the parent is a sacred duty and we, as parents, should look to the church to help us fulfill this tremendous privilege.

We need to realize the Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God. It is not just a human book. God revealed his plan to godly men through the power of the Holy Spirit–men who then wrote down his message for his people (2 Peter 1:20,21). We believe that even though they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God inspired them to write.

Scripture is God’s inspired Word, and we should read it and apply it to our lives. We can clearly see God speaking to us through his church which speaks in accordance with his holy Scripture. Jesus told us when he was tempted in the desert that he began his defense with “Scripture.” God’s Word will set us free today as it did yesterday and will forever and ever.


LUKE 18:1-8

Jesus began this passage by telling his disciples a story to bring home the power of persevering in their prayer life. He really wanted them to realize that all prayer is answered and they must not get discouraged and quit. The judge in this story was not a Jewish judge. Most ordinary Jewish problems were taken before the elders, not into public courts unless a special situation arose. A Jewish court had three judges, one for the defendant, one for the court, and one that was neutral. The judge in this story was probably appointed by Herod or the Romans, and they were well known as the “Robber Judges.” He kept this woman coming back so many times because he expected her to pay a bribe. A widow symbolized the poor and defenseless, and the only weapon she had was persistence. In the end, fearing his loss of reputation, the judge was worn down; and the persistent widow won her case.

To be persistent in prayer does not mean endless repetition of long prayer sessions. Constant prayer means keeping our requests before him as we live for him day by day, always believing he will answer us. God may delay, but he always has a reason for his delay; we must not confuse delay with neglect. As we, like the widow, persist in our prayer we grow in faith and hope. Our character and our faith are direct indications of the intensity of our prayer life.

We need to reflect on today’s story and realize that if an evil judge can be worn down by the persistence of a defenseless widow, how much more will a person who persists in prayer be heard and rewarded by such a loving God as ours? We are told in scripture to call out to Jesus and he will never turn us away (John 6:37). The prayers of a righteous man have great power (James 5:16). Praying is talking to God, and meditating is listening to God, so be persistent in your praying and be persistent in your listening and you will grow tremendously in faith, hope, and love.



In the first reading, we see the courage of Moses to change defeat into victory over the Amalekites. Then we hear Timothy being challenged to draw on his childhood family training and Scripture when a crisis threatens. In the Gospel, we see the widow persevere and finally wear the judge down and win.

This week, let us read God’s Word to someone who cannot read. This could be a small child, a handicapped person, or an elderly person in a rest home. Share with that person how God has protected you when you thought the battle was lost; and because of God, you also won.

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 9th) – Cycle C


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?


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




(“So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God.”)

1. Who went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, what made him do it and who was the man of God? 2 Kings 5:14, 2 Kings 5:8


2. Who was Naaman and what was wrong with him? 2 Kings 5:1


3. What happened to his flesh when he plunged into the Jordan seven times? 2 Kings 5:14


4. What does Jesus say will happen to us through his word? John 15:3


5. After being cleansed where did he go, and with whom did he go? 2 Kings 5:15


6. As he stood before Elisha, what did he say about God and what did he offer the prophet? 2 Kings 5:15


7. Where did he say that there is no God in all the world but there? 2 Kings 5:15


8. What did Elisha say about the gift? 2 Kings 5:16


9. For what did Naaman ask, and for what reason? 2 Kings 5:17


Personal – In what way have you been cleansed or healed through your obedience to the Word of God? Be specific.




(“There is no chaining the Word of God.”)

1. Of who is Jesus Christ a descendant and what was the gospel being preached? 2 Timothy 2:8


2. Who was preaching this gospel and in so doing, how does he suffer? 2 Timothy 1:1 and 2 Timothy 2:8-9


3. As he suffers, even to the point of being thrown into chains, of what does he say there is no chaining? 2 Timothy 2:9


4. Why does he bear all of this and for what reason? 2 Tim 2:10


5. On what can you depend? 2 Timothy 2:11


6. What does it mean to die with him? Romans 6:1-11


7. What will happen if we persevere to the end? 2 Timothy 2:12


8. What will happen if we deny him? 2 Timothy 2:12


9. If we are unfaithful, what will he do and for what reason? 2 Timothy 2:13


10. What does 1 Corinthians 1:9 say that God is?


Personal – In what way have you died with Jesus?  How have you faced a hardship among your family, work, or circle of friends because of your witness to the power of Christ in your life?




(“Stand up and go your way; your faith has been your salvation.”)

1. On Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem what borders did he pass along? See if you can find this on your bible map. Luke 17:11


2. As he was entering a village who met him and what did they keep? Luke 17:12


3. As they raised their voices, what did they say to him and how did they address him? Luke 17:13


4. When Jesus saw them, what was his response to them? Luke 17:14


5. What happened to them when they went on their way as he told them? Luke 17:14


6. What did one of them do realizing he had been cured? Luke 17:15


7. What did he do at the feet of Jesus and of what did he speak? Luke 17:16


8. What was the man and what did Jesus take the occasion to say? Luke 17:16-17


9. What did they not return to do and what did he call the one man who did? Luke 17:18


10. What did he tell the one man to do? Luke 17:19


11. What did Jesus say it was that saved the man? Luke 17:19


12. What did Jesus say to the woman who was bleeding? Matthew 9:22


Personal– In what way have you thanked God this week and for what have you thanked him? Have you received healing in any way? What do you believe healed you, or what may be blocking you from being healed?




(“The Lord has made his salvation known”.)

Read and meditate on Psalm 98:1-4.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




2 KINGS 5:14-17

This is a great passage that deals with the sin of pride and the core of faith. Naaman was the commander-in-chief of the Syrian army and also a national hero. He was stricken with the dreaded disease of leprosy and would consider anything or anyone who could heal him. Leprosy, much like AIDS today, was one of the most feared diseases of that time. There was no cure and if it was determined to be bad enough, a person would be removed from the community and sent into exile.

Naaman’s disease was probably still in its early stages. Naaman’s wife was told by her servant that a prophet of God in Israel could cure him. He went to the prophet’s home and Elisha told him to go and bathe himself in the Jordan river and he would be cured. Naaman was insulted at being told to do such a trivial thing in such a common, dirty river like the Jordan. He was advised by his counselor to follow the prophet’s command and he was then healed of his leprosy.

Naaman was a great hero and was used to getting respect. He was outraged when Elisha treated him like an average person. We need to learn the same lesson that Naaman learned, that obedience to God begins with humility. We too must believe that his way is much better than our own. We must always remember that God’s ways are best and God can use anything to accomplish his purposes. Naaman then was so impressed with the Lord of Israel that he wanted to take two quantities of earth and make an earth altar and give worship to the God of Elisha, who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like Naaman, obedience to God will also bring us healing and blessings.


2 TIMOTHY 2:8-13

Paul is really exhorting us to be courageous in our Christian walk and not to be afraid of suffering. He tells Timothy that he must teach others so that they may pass on the Good News. We are called to do that today, and we also need to know that suffering, persecution, and, possibly, even death will be the hardship that goes with being an ambassador for Christ. False teachers were a problem in those days as they are in ours. The incarnation of Jesus Christ was the act of God voluntarily assuming a human body and soul, a human nature. He became a man without ceasing to be God, a human being, and his name was Jesus. He did not give up his divinity to become human. He became subject to place, time, and many other human limitations. He was, however, not subject to sin and he was able to show us everything about God’s character in human terms. Paul very clearly states that Jesus is fully God and fully man. Any other view than this is not biblical. The truth about Jesus then was no more popular than it is today in our time.

Today, Jesus is Lord only to a receptive heart, as it was in Paul’s time. Paul’s declaration to the Jews that Jesus was God was an insult, and they condemned him for blasphemy. The Romans were outraged because they worshipped the emperor as God (Philippians 4:22). The Greeks were disgusted because humanity soiled divine status (Acts 11:20-21). Many of these different cultures converted to Christianity only when, in faith, they believed in his being God and fully human.

Today we are free to choose to have a receptive heart. We see in scripture that God has chosen us first. It is in being obedient to his choice that we can really ever be totally free. This is a mystery that our humanity cannot fully understand, but we can be very grateful that he has chosen us. God is totally faithful to us; even in the middle of our present hardships he is with us, and he gives us the strength to persevere (1 Cor. 10:13). He tells us that someday we will live eternally with him and share in the administration of the kingdom (Matthew 16:24-27). We may be faithless in our times of trial and hardship but Jesus remains faithful to his promise to be with us, even to the end of the world (Matthew 28:20).


LUKE 17:11-19

We have learned that leprosy was a disease that was contagious and many times fatal, and the person was banned from his community. His life was one of suffering, horror, rejection, and finally death alone and unwanted. A leper had to announce his presence if he came into contact with a non-leper. If a leper thought he was cured, he had to present himself to the priest and be declared clean (Leviticus 14). Jesus sends the ten lepers to the priest before they were healed. Their obedience in faith resulted in their being healed.

We need to reflect on our own level of faith. Do we act upon our being told by Jesus that we, too, have been healed (Matthew 8:17)? We see only one healed leper return to give thanks and to realize that because he believed, his cure became possible. God does not demand that we thank him for healing us, but in our spirit of thankfulness our faith grows more and more to his delight. It is significant that Jesus mentioned that the only thankful leper was a Samaritan, who because of his race was despised by the Jews as idolatrous riff-raff. We see that the grace of God is for everyone and yet not everyone is grateful.

Jesus shows us in these verses that his healing power is just waiting to be released, that all we have to do is have faith, and step out and act upon that faith. Jesus changed a situation for those lepers that probably had been going on for several years. He was immediately responsive to the plea of these untouchables. They were not able to live a normal life and be with their families but Jesus changed that and restored them to good health. Jesus never gives up on us no matter how incurable, or untouchable, we may be. Sometimes we are tempted to give up on people or situations which have not changed for many years.

God can change the unchangeable and we need to let the change begin with ourselves. We need to believe that he can cure us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We then need to come and kneel before Jesus and say, “Thank you for dying for me even while I was still sinning” (Romans 5:8). Our faith will grow; and the “unclean” in our families, in our churches, in our country, and on our planet earth will see in us that healing light of Christ, the Morning Star (2 Peter 1:19). They too will become healed and run through the countryside joyfully singing out the praises of a loving God who will someday cleanse the earth from sin, and there will be no more sickness and death (Matthew 8:17).



In the first reading, we saw pride prevent a cure; then we saw obedience bring the cure. In the second reading, we were encouraged to endure suffering for the sake of preaching the Good News. In the Gospel, we saw the joy of the Lord over the thankful, unclean one being cured.

This week, let us show our thanks to the Lord for healing us by doing something specific for the “unclean,” like a day of fasting or a week of daily prayer for a specific person at a specific time. Maybe spend some time at a soup kitchen or help with the homeless, etc. Let the unwanted see that they are wanted by Christ through you this week.

Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time (October 2nd) – Cycle C


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?


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




(The just man, because of his faith, shall live.)

1. Who is crying out for help? Habakkuk 1:1


2. What is his complaint to God? Habakkuk 1:2


3. What comes through hearing? Romans 10:17


4. What did Habakkuk cry out to God and what does he say he does not do? Habakkuk 1:2


5. What is he saying is before him? Habakkuk 1:3


6. What was the Lord’s answer? Habakkuk 2:2


7. What does the vision (Habakkuk 1:2-3) still have and to what does it press? Habakkuk 2:3


8. What will the vision not do and what are we to do if it delays? Habakkuk 2:3


9. What does the rash man not have and what does the just man have and live by? Habakkuk 2:4


10. What is wealth and the proud? Habakkuk 2:4


Personal – What do you do when you do not hear the Lord and are called to wait for the answer?  What comes forth from your mouth?




(“The spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit.”)

1. What is the gift of God Paul reminds Timothy to stir into flame and when did he receive this gift? 2 Timothy 1:5-6


2. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1


3. The Spirit God has given us is not what, but it is one that makes us what three things? 2 Timothy 1:7


4. Because of this we are never to be ashamed of what to our Lord? 2 Timothy 1:8


5. Where does your strength come from and what are we to bear? 2 Timothy 1:8


6. What have you heard Paul say in faith and love in Christ Jesus? 2 Timothy 1:13


7. With whose help are you to guard this rich deposit of faith? 2 Timothy 1:14


8. How can you guard what has been committed to you? 1 Timothy 6:20


9. Where does the Holy Spirit dwell? 2 Timothy 1:14


10. How do we honor or glorify God? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


11. Why should we take care of our body? Reread 2 Timothy 1:14 and 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Personal – In what way have you testified to your faith in Jesus Christ to your family, friends, fellow workers, or those you come in contact with every day? In what way can they see his Holy Spirit present in your body?




(“Increase our faith.”)

1. What did the apostles say to the Lord? Luke 17:5


2. What did Jesus say would happen if you had faith the size of a mustard seed? Luke 17:6


3. What else will we do if we trust and do not falter, and what will we receive? Matthew 21:21-22


4. What did Peter and John do to the beggar and how did they do it? Acts 3:6-8, 16


Personal – How can you measure the amount of faith you have? How can you increase the faith you have?


5. Who plows or herds sheep? Luke 17:7


6. What would you say to him when he comes in from the fields? Luke 17:8


7. When are we not to expect gratitude for what we do? Luke 17:9


8. When we have done all that we have been commanded, what are we to say? Luke 17:10


9. In order to become great, what are we to do? Matthew 20:26-27


10. What did the Son of Man come to do? Matthew 20:28


11. What did Mary call herself when the angel came to her? Luke 1:38


Personal – In what way have you taken on the serving attitude of Jesus and Mary? In what way are you willing to serve those in your family, your friends, and strangers?



FIFTH DAY READ PSALM 95:1-2, 6-9  

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

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

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


How can you apply this to your life?




HABAKKUK 1:2-3, 2:2-4

Habakkuk was extremely troubled with not only what was happening to his country, but why God seemed to show such indifference to the wickedness that was so common around him. He was a prophet during the reign of Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:36-24:5). He was very active between the fall of Nineveh in 612 B.C. and the invasion of Judah in 589 B.C.

Babylon was becoming a world power and Judah was certain to be her next victim. This passage shows us a dialogue between a prophet and his God. The other prophetic books bring God’s word to men; but this book brings man’s questions to God. Habakkuk was crushed by all the corruption he saw around him and he poured out his heart telling God what he thought.

We can really empathize with Habakkuk when we look at the corruption going on around us.  We have abortion, pornography, prostitution, drugs, homosexuality, alcoholism, child abuse that matches anything Habakkuk saw. In short, today’s injustice is still overwhelming. We, like Habakkuk, say today, “Why does God seem to ignore the evil that is going around?” We may be asking, “Why are so many people doing evil things and not being punished for them?”

In the second part of the passage, we see God telling Habakkuk to write his response down and bring it to the people. God answers Habakkuk’s questions just like he will ours when like Habakkuk we pour out our hearts to him. God told Habakkuk that Judah would be punished by being destroyed by Babylon. God also tells Habakkuk, as well as us, that judgment, though slow to come, will certainly come.

Today, we hear that in regard to our civil courts of law. We are told justice may be slow, but it will be served. Many Christians, like Habakkuk, feel very angry as they see evil enjoying what seems to be the upper hand in the world. Habakkuk had a personal relationship with God and complained vigorously, and God responded to him personally. God’s message to us is the same as the one he gave to Habakkuk: Be patient, trust in God, keep God in your thoughts and actions, and stay close to his Holy Word. It isn’t easy to be patient, but it helps to remember that God hates sin even more than we do. God told Habakkuk, “Do not despair.”

Trusting God means trusting him even when we do not understand why things happen as they do. We need to remember, the just man shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)


2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

Paul is encouraging his young protege to be faithful in his role as a leader in the Christian community. Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message and to himself as the leader of his community. Timothy’s youth was his biggest disadvantage and Paul was encouraging him to persevere. Timothy had received special gifts of the Holy Spirit at his ordination, and Paul was telling him to call upon the Spirit for these gifts and use them regularly.

Timothy didn’t need new gifts, he needed the courage and discipline to hang on to the truth and use the gifts he had already received (1:13-14). Paul is encouraging him to step out boldly in faith and proclaim God’s Holy Word, and the Holy Spirit would be with him and give him power. We suffer the same as Timothy when we let people intimidate us, and it neutralizes our effectiveness for God. The same Holy Spirit that empowered Paul, Timothy, and other heroes of the bible will empower us.

We can overcome our fear of what some might say or do to us and get on with doing God’s work. Timothy may have been afraid to preach as he began experiencing rejection in the community. Today, we need to accept the fact that we will be persecuted too when we proclaim and live God’s Holy Word. Like Timothy, we too will enjoy the power of the Holy Spirit and his gifts of boldness and courage, when we yield ourselves in faith to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Timothy was a leader in transition. He had moved from being Paul’s helper to Paul’s replacement. He called upon the Holy Spirit to give him the courage to make the transition. We too can follow Paul’s advice to Timothy when we are in our transitions. Like Paul who knew even while in prison, that God was still in control, we need to reflect and then act on this powerful fact. No matter where we are in life, no matter what is happening to us, God is still in control.


Luke 17:5-10

How many times do we say the same thing to our Lord? “I need more faith, tell me how to get it.” Jesus casts doubt on the possession of any faith of the apostles. Maybe because they were one of the selected few, they put too much emphasis on who they were. They may have been too self-assured because he was with them. (Jesus describes the power that comes through faith using the similarity between their faith and a tiny mustard seed.) The disciples’ question was a valid one because they wanted the faith necessary to do what Jesus had been telling them to do.

Jesus implied that  faith is not something you “get.” What is Faith? Faith is described best with two words: confidence and certainty (Hebrews 11:1). You have to reach out and take hold of faith. Picture someone tossing a book at you. If you respond properly, you will catch it. If you do nothing, the book will fall at your feet. Knowing how to catch it will be of no value if you do not reach out and respond.

Jesus wasn’t condemning the apostles for having substandard faith, he was trying to show them how important it would be in their ministry. We can only rise to the occasion if we know that within us is the solution (1 John 4:4). Our faith grows just like a mustard seed as we respond more and more to the power of the presence of God in our life. When we face a problem as big as a mountain, we need to take our eyes off that mountain and put them only on Christ. We need only remember Peter when in faith he stepped out of the boat to go to the Lord in the raging sea; but when he took his eyes off the Lord and placed it on the enormous waves, he began to sink (Matthew 14:28-30).

Today, we need to continuously keep in prayer and let our faith grow in Christian fellowship. We also need to partake in the sacraments of our church. We must remember that there is great power in even a little faith when God is with us. When we feel weak or powerless we need to re-examine our faith and make sure that we are responding to the presence of God’s power and not ours. In faith, we can all be like a mustard seed that begins very small and soon casts a shadow of comfort and healing over the entire world. In faith, we can see with the vision of God himself.



In the first reading, we are told to persevere, be patient, and trust in God. In the second reading, we hear the call to courage and discipline. The Gospel calls us to step out boldly and live our lives in faith.

This week let us, in faith, step out in boldness, discipline, and practice being a Christian leader wherever we are. This will mean being a servant for the Lord by serving someone else in our family, job, community, etc.

Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 25th) – Cycle C


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?


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




(“They are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph.”)

1. Woe to whom in Zion, and to whom on the mount in Samaria? Amos 6:1.


2. With whom do the people of Israel have recourse? Amos 6:1


3. What do you eat and on what do you lie? Amos 6:4


4. What does the Lord say about those who take care of themselves and feed off of choice lambs and fatted calves? Ezekiel 34:3, 10


5. On the day the Lord punishes Israel for her sins, what will he tear down? Amos 3:14-15


6. Like David, what do they do? Amos 6:5


7. What do they drink and what do they do with the best oils? Amos 6:6


8. By what are they not made ill? Amos 6:6


9. What did those in Sodom do? Ezekiel 16:49


10. What will they be the first to go into, and what will be done away with? Amos 6:7


Personal – In what way have you become complacent with what you eat and where you sleep? In what way do you have more than you need? In what way can you benefit others by your excess?




(“He is the blessed and only ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords.”)

1. Man of God that you are, from what are you to flee? 1 Timothy 6:10


2. What six things are you to seek? 1 Timothy 6:11


3. Of what are you to fight the good fight and take hold of? 1 Timothy 6:12


4. You were called to this when you did what, and in whose presence? 1 Timothy 6:12


5. What did Paul say awaited him for fighting the good fight of faith? 2 Timothy 4:7-8


6. What does God do for all and what did Jesus do? 1 Timothy 6:13


7. With what are we charged, how are we to do this, and until when? 1 Timothy 6:14


8. When will God bring this appearance to pass? 1 Timothy 6:15


9. Who is Jesus Christ? 1 Timothy 6:15


10. What does he alone have, and where does he dwell? 1 Timothy 6:16


11. What can no human being do and what two things must we show Jesus? 1 Timothy 6:16


Personal – This past week, what have you been seeking, and what has occupied your mind the most?  Who or what has been your ruler? If you can see the opposites of the six things you are to seek according to 1 Timothy 6:11, and if any of these have crept into your life, confess them; then come back to seeking what God’s Word tells you.




(“They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.”)

1. As Jesus spoke to his disciples, what did he say there once was? How was he dressed, and how did he eat? Luke 16:19


2. Who was at his gate, what was he, and with what was he covered? Luke 16:20


3. What did Lazarus long to eat and what did the dogs do? Luke 16:21


4. What eventually happened to the beggar, and what happened to him after that? Luke 16:22


5. What happened to the rich man and what happened to him after that? Luke 16:22


6. Where was the rich man, what was happening to him, and what did he see? Luke 16:23


7. What did he call out and what was Abraham’s response? Luke 16:24-25


8. What was fixed between them and what happens to those who try to cross from either side? Luke 16:26


9. What did the rich man ask Father Abraham to do, for what reason, and what was his reply? Luke 16:27-29


10. What did the rich man say and what did he say they would do? Luke 16:30


11. Abraham said if they did not listen to whom, they would not be convinced even if one should what? Luke 16:31


Personal – In what way have you noticed a poor person and responded to his need this week? A poor person is one lacking in knowing God’s love through Jesus, a lonely person, a widow, an orphan, or someone lacking their daily bread and shelter.




(“The Lord sets captives free.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 146:7-10.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




AMOS 6:1, 4-7

In Amos we find God calling a man when he was occupied in his daily work (1:1). God called him with his shepherd’s crook in his hand, and sent him forth to gather straying people instead of straying sheep. Amos was not the only prophet of his day. No doubt, as a boy, he had known Jonah, and possibly Elisha. Hosea was a co-worker of his. When Amos’ work was ending, the great Isaiah and Micah appeared.

These men, when they were boys, might have heard Amos proclaim the word of God on one of his tours. The two kingdoms of Israel (Northern Kingdom) and Judah (Southern Kingdom) were entering tremendous prosperity. The idea of surrounding nations giving them any trouble was not even imagined. The nation was at peace and all that the people thought of was pleasure and having a good time. God tried to arouse his people to a sense of their danger by sending them Amos.

Amos told them about the great cities to the north, east, and west (including Gath, the hometown of Goliath) that once were greater than Israel and Judah but had been destroyed because of the pride of their people. He warned that this was going to happen to Israel also because of the arrogance and pride of her people. Amos leveled his attack at the people living a lifestyle that consisted of wealth and being very comfortable. He said this was a false security and that God was displeased with people who did not use their wealth to help the unfortunate.

Ivory symbolizes great wealth and extravagance. This gross waste of resources should have been used to help the poor. Amos told them that God wanted them to be concerned for others, especially those who could not help themselves. The kingdom of God has no place for selfishness or indifference.

We, in the United States, need to really reflect on this passage, because we too indulge in incredible extravagances with our desires and wishes. We spend billions of dollars on cosmetics, while millions of people are starving. We spend more on dog food in this country than many nations spend on their entire budget. We kill more unborn babies in one year than all of the military personnel who have died in battle since the country began. In less than fifty years, Israel was destroyed because she did not listen to God through his prophets. We need to pray that the United States will heed God’s powerful warning and repent and return to his Holy Word.


1 TIMOTHY 6:11-16

Paul is telling Timothy that when you are involved in a spiritual battle, it is as important to know when to run as it is to know when to fight. Timothy is warned to run from anything or anyone who produced evil thoughts. A wise person will realize that removing one’s self from the scene of temptation is many times safer than trying to fight off the temptation. It is in these battles of temptation that our faith is severely tested.

We are to treasure our faith in Christ and respond, not to the temptation, but to the power of the presence of God in our lives. God will speak to us through our conscience in times of temptation. When we are walking with God, he will let us know the difference between right and wrong. We need to follow our conscience and do what is right in faith. Pilate knew the truth about Jesus. He knew he was innocent but he chose to reject the truth. Pilate violated his own conscience.

It is a tragedy when we fail to recognize the truth; but like Pilate, it is a greater tragedy when we recognize the truth but refuse to act on it. We are being told to fight the good fight today, just as Timothy was told by Paul. The day will come when all the believers who have fought the good fight will be with Christ in his Kingdom.

Paul describes to Timothy the type of God who will be with us at the end of the good fight. We are told that he is ageless and that all who have gone before us and all who come after us, believing in him, will be alive with him forever. He is a God who will never die. He is a God infinitely powerful, having dominion over everything; yet he wants to share all with us. Paul’s message to Timothy is a message to you and me, and that is: Let us not put our trust in anything or anyone else but JESUS, because only he alone is permanent.


LUKE 16:19-31

Wealth was considered by the Pharisees to be a proof of righteousness. Today many people yield to the wealthy because they appear to be right on so many issues. Jesus tells us about a rich man who was punished and also about a poor man who was rewarded. We need to be very careful in the realization that the rich man was not punished because of his wealth; rather he was punished because of his selfishness.

He allowed Lazarus to eat the scraps at his table and take home whatever he wanted that was to be thrown away. The rich man was in hell, not for what he did, but rather for what he did not do. The rich man feasted in luxury every day in a country where the people were fortunate if they ate meat once a week. Lazarus was waiting for the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. We need to remember that in those days, there were no knives, forks or napkins. Food was eaten with the hands. The hands were cleansed by wiping them on chunks of bread, which were then thrown away. This is what Lazarus waited to eat.

We need also to remember that Lazarus was a beggar with terrible running sores all over his body and even the dogs feasted on him. Can you picture the incredible contrast between the two men? Judgment day brought justice to both men and the rich man suffers forever in eternity while Lazarus rests in the arms of Abraham (Hebrew concept of heaven).

The rich man never ordered Lazarus removed from his gate. He did not kick him in passing. He was not deliberately cruel to him. The great sin of the rich man was that HE NEVER EVEN NOTICED HIM. He thought it perfectly natural that the beggar be accepted as part of the landscape. He also thought it acceptable that Lazarus should lie in pain and hunger while he wallowed in luxury.

We need to reflect on our own status in today’s world. The hungry, the homeless, the aborted, the abandoned, the mentally sick, and the poor are all around us. Do we think ourselves generous if the unfortunate people eat what we throw away? We need to make sure that our sin today is not the horrible sin of omission. What we fail to do to the least among us, we fail to do to Christ (Matthew 25:31-46).



The first reading told us not to become insulated from the people’s needs. The second reading told us to listen to our conscience. The Gospel tells us not to ignore the suffering of others.

This week, as our conscience leads us, visit and comfort someone who is suffering, an old person, a relative, a friend, someone in a rest home, prison. Jesus tells us in scripture, “As often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time (September 18th) – Cycle C


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?


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




(“Hear this, you who trample upon the needy.”)

1. Who is speaking and to whom is he speaking in Amos 8:4-7? Amos 8:1-2


2. On whom do you trample, and whom do you destroy? Amos 8:4


3. What do you ask about the new moon and what is the new moon? Amos 8:5 and Numbers 28:9-15


4. For what reason did they want to know if the new moon was over? Amos 8:5


5. What does the Lord tell his people in Leviticus 19:35- 36?


6. How can you have a long life on this earth? Deuteronomy 25:13-16


7. What will they buy for silver and for a pair of sandals? Amos 8:6


8. What will they sell? Amos 8:6


9. By what has the Lord sworn, and what will he never forget? Amos 8:7


10. What does the Lord say about the pride of Jacob? Amos 6:8


11. When does the Lord forget what we have done in the past? Ezekiel 18:21-22


Personal – In what way have you cheated a poor person by remaining silent or by giving from your surplus rather than from your needs, at home, or at the offering at church on Sunday?




(“God is one. One also is the mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ.”)

1. Who is writing this letter and to whom is he writing? 1 Timothy 1:1-2


2. What four things is he urging be offered for all men? 1 Timothy 2:1


3. For whom is he especially urging this and for what reason? 1 Timothy 2:2


4. What does he say about prayer of this kind and how does God feel about it? 1 Timothy 2:3


5. What does God want and for whom does he want this? 1 Timothy 2:4


6. What does he want all men to come to know? 1 Timothy 2:4


7. What is the truth and who is the truth? 1 Tim. 2:5, John 14:6


8. As what did Jesus give himself and for whom? 1 Timothy 2:6


9. When was this truth attested to? 1 Timothy 2:6


10. What has Paul been made and what is his wish? 1 Timothy 2:7-8


11. What is his wish that every man be free from? 1 Timothy 2:8


Personal – In what way have you been set free from anger and dissension?  In what way are you following the example of Paul and teaching those around you what verse 5-6 of 1 Timothy 2 says?




(“You cannot give yourself to God and money.”)

1. As Jesus was speaking to his disciples what did he say the steward of a rich man was reported doing? Luke 16:1


2. What did the rich man say to his steward? Luke 16:2


3. What did the steward say to himself? Luke 16:3


4. As he thought of an idea, what would be the result of the people toward him? Luke 16:4


5. When the steward called in each of his master’s debtors what did he ask them, what was their answer, and what were the steward’s instructions? Luke 16:5-7


6. For what did the master give his devious employee credit, and for what reason? Luke 16:8


7. What are you to gain from this world’s goods? Luke 16:9


8. How are you to use this world’s goods? Matthew 25:35-36


9. When the goods of this world fail you, what will be yours? Luke 16:9, Matthew 25:34


10. Fill in the following blanks:  The person who is ____________ in very small matters is also ______________ in great ones; and the person who is ___________ in very small matters is also ___________ in great ones. Luke 16:10


11. In verses 10-12  of Luke 16, what is the key quality being brought out in regard to money?


12. What must you do first before providing for yourself and your family? Matthew 6:33


13. What can a servant not do? Luke 16:13


Personal – In what way have you shown responsibility in your use of your worldly goods? Examine the last twenty-four hours. How much of your time was spent earning and spending money for this world’s goods and how much time was spent loving and giving to your brother or sister in need? “You cannot give yourself to God and money.”




(“High above all nations is the Lord.”)

Read and meditate on Psalm 113:1-2, 4-8.

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


How can you apply this to your life?




AMOS 8:4-7

This passage is spoken to us by a person who was a shepherd.  He was not a prophet or the son of a prophet.  He did not go to some prestigious school, but he was called by God to bring a message of obedience to the people without any special preparation, education, or upbringing.  Amos obeyed God’s call to go and prophesy to the people of Israel.

Obedience, then, as it is today, was the test of a faithful servant.  He spoke out to the people in a time of peace and affluence, and his message was not well received.  He told them, you do all the external things that are required of you very well, but in your hearts you are corrupt.  The merchants kept the religious holidays, but not in spirit.  Their primary goal was in making money, even if that meant not being really honest.  We see that today in our society on special days like Christmas and Easter.  The message on the surface is peace and goodwill but the bottom line to many is to make money.

The humanists call Christmas “Winter Vacation” and Easter “Spring Vacation,” and many Christians go right along with it, and their conduct is no different than the pagans in this passage or the ones that are right here in our present-day society.

They used phony weights and measures and cheated the poor. We do that today by electing corrupt politicians who make it legal to cheat the poor and make millions of dollars doing it.  We need to reflect on this passage during the time that we call our “day off” (Sunday).  Do we give that day to the Lord?  Is that a day that our family knows will consist of praising the Lord and visiting family?  Or is it a day when what we should get done during the week is being done because we are too busy making money on the other days?  We need to reflect in prayer that God will give us the strength to open our hearts and give to him the first fruits of our efforts.  We are these people in this passage, and we must respond in obedience to God’s call to feed his hungry, clothe his poor, and visit his sick because what we do to the least of our brother and sisters we do unto him (Matthew 25:31-46).


1 TIMOTHY 2:1-8

The church has a great calling.  We are not only called upon to plead with men to turn to God but to plead with God the cause of men. Our God is so fantastic, he has let us have the incredible privilege of helping him change the world through our prayers. Our understanding of this can never be fully grasped because it is a true mystery of faith. But it is a reality because Paul urges us to pray for one another and he even tells us to pray for our rulers.

We might well remember that Nero was the emperor at this time (A.D. 54-68). It was under this wicked emperor that Paul was imprisoned, and he knew that soon he was to be beheaded. This proves to us that we must pray for bad rulers as well as good rulers.

Paul wrote this during a great persecution of the believers. Paul tells us that God longs to save us just as Peter did in Scripture (2 Peter 3:9). This means that while God wanted all to be saved, all did not accept his invitation. Paul tells us that the power of prayer affects all men and that power is available to us through intercessory prayer.

When we pray for someone else we stand in God’s presence, pleading for that person. Our Lord Jesus binds and casts out the demon spirit and leaves the person the freedom to choose to return to God’s loving way. Some people refuse this incredible gift and fail to become healed. Paul makes it clear that when we pray for someone we can go straight to our Lord and stand in his Presence, pleading for that person.

There is an old story about a Roman warrior who returned home in victory to find his brother about to be put to death in the Roman court. He stood in the back of the courtroom and without a word he held up the bleeding stub of the arm which had been cut off in battle. As the judge looked upon the wound, he said “For the sake of this brave warrior, his brother is counted innocent and free.” We should be condemned for our sins, but we look and see Jesus holding up his nail-printed hands, presenting his pierced feet and wounded side, pleading for you and me.

That is what the power of prayer can do. It brings the healing power of Jesus to anyone who is truly sorry. We need to be people of prayer and people of pure conduct. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16) and the prayers of the righteous man are very powerful (James 5:16).


LUKE 16:1-13

Jesus tells the parable of the shrewd accountant in this passage. The story is about an accountant being confronted by his boss on charges of cheating the company. We will have to give an account of our actions to God someday just like the accountant had to do in this story (Romans 14:12). This man wasted the resources that he had through the use of his conniving and cheating with others in the business world. His love for money determined his course of conduct and he exercised corrupt authority and power with it. We need to reflect on these few verses about our involvement with money, trust, and integrity.

We are called by God to use our material goods in a way that will help us as we stand face to face with God on judgment day (Luke 12:33, 34). We notice the admiration coming from the boss toward the accountant for his shrewdness. We can easily be influenced by what the world calls admirable behavior, because worldly people are very clever, more so than Godly people. We are children of the light (John 12:36), and we are not called to be clever, we are called to be honest. We are not called to buy friendship through cheating or granting special favors.

Our entry into heaven is not based on how clever we are, or how many good deals we make in business, or how close we come to the line of integrity and still be legal. We are called to be righteous in all matters, small or large, profitable or otherwise. We can only be trustworthy in large matters by being trustworthy in small ones. We can only be trustworthy to others when we are always trustworthy to ourselves. Heaven’s riches are far more valuable than earthly wealth and power.

Many people have let money take the place of God in their life, and it has become their master. Make a few observations and see if you have become a slave to money. Do you worry about money frequently? Do you give up doing what you should in order to make more money? Do you spend a great deal of time caring for your possessions? Do you find it difficult to give away your money?

We can see that money is a hard and deceptive master. Money always promises power and control, but it often can not deliver on its promises. Money cannot buy health, joy, or eternal life. We are so much wiser, happier, and at peace when we let God be our master. Money is meant to be a servant of man and man is called to be a servant of God. God’s servants have peace of mind and security both now and forever.



In the first reading, we saw the dangers of greed, and in the second reading, we saw the power of prayer. We are told in the gospel that we cannot serve two masters.

This week, look around in your family or parish and pick out someone with whom you can share your worldly goods. Do something for that person without their knowing that it was you–like paying a bill, having the lawn mowed, doing an errand, etc. In short, do something beautiful for God this week; and remember, before you do anything for that person, pray that the Lord fill his or her life as he has filled yours.