Matthew 23: 2-12

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore, whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.  For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.  But all their works they do to be seen by men.  They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.  They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplace, and to be called by men Rabbi, Rabbi.  But you, do not be called Rabbi; for One is your teacher, the Christ and you are all brethren.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.  But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.  And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

When Jesus says “they do not practice what they preach”, who is Jesus talking about?  Not just the scribes and Pharisees.  Not just those who lived a long time ago; not even just religious professionals.  Could Jesus’ sharp words be about you and me?

The “scribes and Pharisees” are said to “tie up burdens and lay them on the shoulders of others”.  Could it be me that Jesus is talking about?  Do I ever act in that way?  Is it me who likes to have my status made clear to others?  Or do I really want to become a humble servant as Jesus suggests that I should?


Taken from Pray as You Go Application

Jesuit Media Initiative part of the Society of Jesus Trust of 1929 for Roman Catholic Purposes

1 John 4:7-10

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  In this, the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

In this passage from John’s first letter, we hear what is probably the greatest single statement about God in the Bible: GOD IS LOVE.  The greatest expression of God’s love was his sending of his Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  GOD IS LOVE tells us what God does.  Love is an activity, not a quality.  Saying that God is Love suggests an active, engaging God, someone who wants to be in a relationship with us; not a remote, “hands-off”, intellectual concept.  God creates lovingly, God saves lovingly, God judges lovingly.  Are there ways in my life that I can engage with God more openly?  more actively?  move lovingly?

Love can be expressed in many ways.  Love is made real in what we say, in what we do, and how we treat other people.  Think of the people we have met recently or those we may meet today.  Think of the lives they lead, their work, their worries, their passions, their loves.  God is present here: the God who is love.  Present, living, dwelling in every one of these people, and in you.  How might God’s love be revealed through them? Through me?


Taken from Pray as You Go Application

Jesuit Media Initiative part of the Society of Jesus Trust of 1929 for Roman Catholic Purposes


Why me? Or Why I?


“I assure you, you are not looking for Me because you have seen signs but because you have eaten your fill of the loaves.” -John 6:26

The crowd asked Jesus: “When did You come here?” (Jn 6:25) They meant: “How did you come here?” However, Jesus answered neither of their questions. Instead, Jesus posed His own question: “Why did the crowd come here?” Jesus answered His own question by telling the crowd that they came for the self-centered reason of getting “perishable food” rather than the “food that remains unto life eternal” (Jn 6:27).

We frequently ask the Lord the questions “When?” and “How?”. We even ask Him why He does what He does and why He permits evil. “Why?” is often a better question to ask than “When?” or “How?”. However, instead of asking God “Why?”, we should ask ourselves:

  • Why do we live, work, or pray?
  • Why don’t we do everything for the glory of God? (1 Cor 10:31)
  • Why are we living in confusion, working in slavery, and talking to ourselves about ourselves and calling it “prayer”?
  • Why do we go to Mass on Sunday?
  • If we go in order to worship and love the Lord, then why wouldn’t we go to Mass on other days?
  • Why are many of us keeping our faith to ourselves?

Ask the risen Jesus to search your heart (Ps 139:23) and tell you why you are what you are and do what you do.
Prayer: Father, “bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of hearts” (1 Cor 4:5).

Promise: Stephen “was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders and signs among the people.” -Acts 6:8

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today’s agenda. If it isn’t, release it into My care and go on about today’s duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
—John 16:33