Regnum Christi | Legionaries of Christ

Weekly Digest of the Regnum Christi Daily Meditations: October 25 – November 1, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020 – Putting God First

Monday, October 26, 2020 – Jesus Pulls Me Out of My Comfort Zone – Again!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – The Kingdom of Heaven Infiltrates and Enriches Everything It Touches

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 – Faithful to Our Lord

Thursday, October 29, 2020 – God Desires to Draw Us to Himself

Friday, October 30, 2020 – You Are Being Watched

Saturday, October 31, 2020 – Friend, Go Up Higher

Sunday, November 1, 2020 – Winning the Only Contest that Matters

 


October 25, 2020 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Putting God First

 

Father Paul Campbell, LC

Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown me.

Petition: Lord, give me the strength to put you first in my life and others second.

  1. Putting God First: Jesus gives a twofold response to the question about which of the commandments is the greatest. He first turns to Deuteronomy 6:15: “You shall love the Lord your God …” This was familiar to the Jews, for they recited this passage in prayer (called the “Shema”) several times a day and wrote it on all their doorposts. For us, as well as for the Jews, it is a constant reminder that God must be first in our life. As our creator and redeemer, God has an absolute claim on us. We owe him everything. Everything we have is a gift from him. Too often we shelve God, ignoring him until a convenient moment arises or it suits our mood. Putting God first means setting aside the best part of our day for prayer to him and seeking to live his will at every moment out of love for him.
  2. Becoming “Other-Centered”: Jesus next turns to the commandment found in Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbor …” He combines the two commandments in such a way that one cannot be fulfilled without the other. There can be no love of God without loving other human persons, made in his image. Nor can love of neighbor exist without a pure and purifying love for God. Love for neighbor requires putting others ahead of ourselves. Self-love and self-absorption lead only to loneliness and isolation. Being “other-centered” is the key to our happiness and fulfillment. To love others means to seek their true good, to serve them out of love for the Lord. We need to come out of ourselves and look beyond the narrow interests of our egoism and self-love. The more we love authentically, the more fulfilled our life will become.
  3. Praying for Those Who Harm Us: It is not easy to break out of selfish habits. Because of sin, we have the tendency to inflate self-interest in a disordered way. This is not good. We need to ask for the power of grace to purify our hearts and give us the interior strength to put others ahead of ourselves. God is ready to give us this grace, but he wants us to ask for it. Difficult circumstances and relationships need to be faced by prayer and sacrifice. We need to pray even for those who harm us and to ask God to give us the grace and strength to love them as God loves them. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14).

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to put you first in my life. So many times I find myself putting other things ahead of you. I make time for the things I want to do, but I find little time to pray. I find time to talk to my friends, but little time to speak with you. I need strength from you to love you. Help me also to see and love others as you do.

Resolution: I will pray during the day for someone who bothers me and seek to put their good before my own.


October 26, 2020 – Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus Pulls Me Out of My Comfort Zone – Again!

 

Father James Swanson, LC

Luke 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.

Petition: Lord, protect me from spiritual old age.

  1. Jesus Is Showing His Messiah Credentials Again: Jesus’ opponents were desperate. They didn’t want to believe that he was the Messiah, and they especially didn’t want anyone else to think he was the Messiah. But there was the pesky problem of his miracles. They knew that when God sent someone to speak for him, he usually performed signs through the person so that people would believe in him. The sign was proof that the person (Jesus in this case) was sent by God. Jesus was doing plenty of miracles, which most people were taking as the sign that he was sent by God. What could Jesus’ opponents do? They could only try to discredit the miracles in any way possible.
  2. You Can Do a Lot More than You Think on the Sabbath: This miracle was done on the Sabbath. The head of the synagogue had a problem with that. Didn’t God himself rest on the sixth day? Ought we not do the same? How does this Jesus heal on the Sabbath if he is truly from God? In fact, there were many exceptions to the rules about the Sabbath. In another place, Jesus himself says that the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Certainly, the observance of the Sabbath was always subject to the practice of charity, that it was always permissible to break the Sabbath rest in the case when needed to do some necessary act of charity for another. Jesus mentions situations when for practical reasons (necessary farm chores, like watering animals) work can be done without breaking the Sabbath rest.
  3. Lord, Please Let Me Keep My Mediocrity: And so, there is really nothing to the objection. The head of the synagogue does not want to believe because what Jesus says and does seems threatening to him. If Jesus is the Messiah, he foresees having to change his life, and he does not want to do that. He may not even realize that this is his real objection, but it is. We can be this way, too. We don’t want to accept something Jesus teaches us through his Church because it would mean that we have to change our lives, and we don’t want to. We are comfortable the way we are. If we had to do what Jesus asks, it would take us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it is mere fear of something different. Jesus is always offering us something different, but we don’t want it. We want to stay in our rut. We have surrounded ourselves with limited horizons and are afraid to stretch them.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, help me to accept you fully. If I am rejecting you or your teaching without realizing it, show me. Help me to overcome my attempt to construct my own little universe in which I am God. If I have grown old spiritually, renew my youth and help me break through my restricted, shrunken horizons that exclude you.

Resolution: Where in my life have I settled into spiritual routine and old age? Do I habitually skip some prayer I should be saying, telling myself it isn’t that important? I will make an extra effort to pray it today. Is there some other aspect of my spiritual or moral life that I have removed to make life “more comfortable” for me? Time to start doing it again!


October 27, 2020  – Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

The Kingdom of Heaven Infiltrates and Enriches Everything It Touches

 

Father James Swanson, LC

Luke 13:18-21

Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” Again, he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.

Petition: Lord, help me to value and seek the invisible strength of the Kingdom of Heaven.

  1. The Kingdom Grows from Small Beginnings: Jesus tells us two parables to help us understand the Kingdom of Heaven. What does he want us to know about it? When he speaks about the mustard seed, he is emphasizing that something that seems inconsequential can grow to become something of great importance. Although the mustard seed is so small as to be nearly invisible, it grows into a small tree, big enough for birds to make a nest in. Its usefulness goes beyond its own needs. It can give shelter and support to others.
  2. You Don’t Have to Understand Biology to Be a Baker: In the parable of the leaven, something similar happens. Leaven has a mysterious property. Although it seems to be nothing special itself, even a small amount of it, mixed with dough, causes the dough to rise. The Jews listening to Jesus didn’t know why. They didn’t know that the leaven contained yeast spores that under the right conditions of heat, moisture and nutrients, would begin to grow and produce carbon dioxide gas (which is what makes the dough rise). It was mysterious to them, what power the leaven contained, but they knew that just a little of it would transform a much larger quantity of dough, so that the resulting bread would not just be matzo, but a much larger quantity of light, airy bread that is much nicer to eat. In a similar way, grace transforms the ordinary acts of our day, making them much nicer in God’s eyes.
  3. The Church Transforms Societies: Both these parables apply to the Kingdom of Heaven. As he spoke, Jesus had before him just a few apostles who still didn’t grasp his message very well. The Kingdom of Heaven was so small as to be invisible, like the mustard seed. But it was destined to have incredible growth, such that it would begin to help all humanity and not just those who belonged to it. When he speaks of the leaven, he refers not just to the growth that the Kingdom of Heaven would undergo throughout the centuries, but to the transformation it would accomplish in the societies it entered. We see this in the world today. The Church has not only grown, but it has also come to affect many who are not in the Church and to transform society. The apostles, who did not see the Kingdom very clearly, had a hard time accepting this. We have seen much more, and yet we still doubt and hesitate.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I have seen so much of your Kingdom that I should believe without hesitation, yet I still worry about the final triumph of your Kingdom. Help me to have a greater faith, not only to believe what you said, but to help the spread of the Kingdom continue to come true in my society and culture.

Resolution: I will try to be more optimistic about the Church in society, seeing how it has influenced so much of what is best in our society – love for the poor, love for enemies etc. Knowing that it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, I will accept that as it has happened so many times in the past, just when things look bleakest for the Church, God turns the tables, and it enters into another Golden Age. Didn’t John Paul II predict that we were just launching out into the New Age of Evangelization?


October 28, 2020  – Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles

Faithful to Our Lord

 

Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 6:12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are my Creator and Redeemer. I hope in your goodness and mercy. I love you from the depths of my heart. I place this time of meditation in your hands. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to grow in love for your holy will.

Petition: Help me, Lord, to persevere, like the Apostles.

  1. Impossible Cases: Saint Jude is known as the patron of impossible cases. He was a relative of Our Lord himself and wrote one of the letters in the New Testament. The fact that he is the patron of impossible cases means, of course, that nothing is impossible with God. What is that one “impossible” thing for me right now? What spiritual mountain do I think is too high to climb? Is it really so “impossible” or do I just need to trust more and work harder?
  2. Zeal for the Right Kingdom: Saint Simon was called a Zealot. Zealots were a group of people known for politically agitating the Roman occupiers. If Simon belonged to that group, then he certainly had a steep learning curve to absorb Jesus’ message about the true, spiritual Kingdom of God. The fact that he’s listed among the Apostles means that Christ recognized his ability to change. Perhaps Saint Simon could be a patron saint for attitude change – then his being teamed up with Saint Jude makes perfect sense. Getting over our own petty attachments and ways of seeing things can seem like a fairly “impossible case” in itself. But the Apostles are proof that Christ is more powerful than our defects, as long as we have the effective desire to follow him.
  3. Supporting Roles: When we think of the Apostles, Simon and Jude are never the first ones we name. However, not everyone needs to be a headliner to be a rock-solid contributor. That’s who Simon and Jude were: men loyal to Christ who persevered in the mission that he entrusted to them. We don’t need to be stars, just faithful!

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you didn’t pick superstars of this world to be your Apostles, but they became something infinitely greater: saints. Help me to believe in the power of your grace to transform me and make me holy!

Resolution: I will be humble and supportive today in the “supporting roles” that I have.


October 29, 2020  – Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

God Desires to Draw Us to Himself

 

Father Paul Campbell, LC

Luke 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Petition: Lord, I want to be convinced of your personal love for me.

  1. Persevering in the Mission: Jesus encounters opposition on his journey to Jerusalem. Pharisees come to warn him of Herod. Jesus is undeterred. He knows that the Father’s will is for him to go to Jerusalem and surrender his life on the cross. He doesn’t hide or seek to escape from his Father’s will. He knows that the cross lies ahead of him, but he also knows that death and the cross are not the end. Beyond death is the Resurrection: “On the third day I finish my work.” Christ’s example should give us confidence to move forward in the face of our own difficulties and struggles. We should turn to him because he knows how to persevere in the mission. And since he wants to be involved in our life, he will accompany us on our journey. He is always with us ready to give us the help of his grace and the strength of his hand.
  2. A Heart Open to Others: Jesus wept for Jerusalem. His heart was not closed to others. He was not absorbed in himself or his own problems. He freely offered his life for others. Others rejected him, but he never rejected them. He was not bitter towards those who would make him suffer. He loved, and he never ceases to love. As a hen gathers her brood under her wings, so does God long to draw all men and women to himself. We need to let God draw us to himself.
  3. Pray for Those Who Persecute You: Jesus sets an example for us to follow. Our hearts should not be closed. We need to be open to the needs of those around us, even those who may attack the Church and persecute us. Jesus loved his enemies. He prayed for those who persecuted him. He blessed those who cursed him. He sought only their good, and he sacrificed himself for them. He shows us the way to live an authentically Christian life. To be faithful to him, we need to reach out in love even to those people who don’t think and act like us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to follow your inspirations always. Often there is good that I want to do, but I hesitate and draw back. Help me to keep giving even when I’m tired and worn out. Teach me that you are always with me and that I am never alone.

Resolution: I will be open to what a family member or colleague at work might need, and I will seek to offer my help.


October 30, 2020 – Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

You Are Being Watched

 

Father Patrick Langan, LC

Luke 14:1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.

Petition: Lord, may I be a witness to you in the face of a world that often does not care.

  1. And They Watched Him: The Lord knows the thoughts of these men. With his question, he makes public their foolishness: God blesses on the seventh day, while they prevent good works on that day. It would seem that a day that does not allow the doing of good works is accursed. Let us be sure always to seek the will of God in our lives, so that we might use every minute of every day for the glory of God.
  2. They Kept Silent: The man with dropsy does not ask to be healed, perhaps out of fear of the watching Pharisees, yet Christ knows what he desires in his heart. Jesus is not concerned that this good work might scandalize the Pharisees; he is concerned about doing good. The Pharisees keep silent because they know that Jesus will give this man something they don’t have – their hearts have become closed to the man. We need to desire good for everyone. A sign that our hearts are becoming hardened to Our Lord, perhaps like the Pharisees, is when we begrudge the good that befalls others or even wish others harm. When we are mindful that we are beggars before God, it’s much easier to be merciful with others.
  3. Keep Your Eyes on Christ: In this Gospel passage, both the Pharisees and the man suffering from dropsy are looking at Christ. The Pharisees look at Christ with skepticism that will not be overcome by any miracle; the suffering man looks at Christ with the eyes of his heart. This man desires something that only Christ can give him, and Christ will not be outdone in generosity. We don’t know what becomes of this man. We can only imagine the great testimony he gives to all about Christ and how he cured him, even under the scrutiny of the Pharisees. As Pope Saint John Paul II told us so many times, “Do not be afraid!”

Conversation with Christ: Lord, help me to see with the eyes of faith all that you do in my life, especially when I don’t understand why you are doing it. Help me to witness to others all that you have done for me and my family. May I never take for granted the graces that you give me.

Resolution: I will say a prayer today for someone I know who has not opened his heart to Christ because of lack of faith or skepticism. Through my prayers and example, may I once again try to bring Christ into that person’s heart.


 

October 31, 2020 – Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

Friend, Go Up Higher

 

Father James Swanson, LC

Luke 14:1, 7-11

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.

Petition: Lord, please help me to replace my selfishness with love.

  1. I Want to Hear All About Myself: Sooner or later we all experience the displeasure of having to be around someone who is always promoting himself. Perhaps we do it ourselves, without realizing how it disgusts the people around us. I remember working with one such fellow myself. He was the nicest guy in the world otherwise, but he consistently and continually talked about himself. He was his own favorite subject. It was his only noticeable flaw, but a fatal one. I’m sure he didn’t realize it. Probably if you asked him if he talked about himself more than other people talk about themselves, he would have answered that he talked about himself about the same amount as others do. He had plenty of other virtues, and I’m sure if he had rid himself of his major flaw he would have been one of the most well-liked people where I worked. But he was always putting himself in first place, and in our hearts we were always putting him in one of the last places.
  2. Number One in Your Heart: On the other hand, you sometimes run into people who don’t wave their own flag. They seem to exist to support and help others. Maybe you don’t always notice when they are around, but you notice the effects. Everyone is happier. There is less stress. People seem less worried. These people grease the wheels. If you need a hand, they’ll give it to you and you don’t even need to ask. Their support and friendship are givens. You know you can count on them. They are assets wherever they work because they know how to make the people around them more effective. Everybody likes them. They may not have the greatest personality or a lot of social skills, but nobody cares because the goodness seems to just ooze out of them. While they seem unassuming and unimportant, everyone who is around them prizes them highly. Without even realizing it, they are at the highest places in everyone’s hearts.
  3. Will I Develop My Ambition or My Love? Which kind of person am I? Am I a shameless self-promoter, always focused on getting as much for Number One as possible? This strategy might work well in a company where people are faceless widgets instead of personalities, where the bottom line is the bottom line, but it is never very successful in real-life relationships. Perhaps I do what I can to help others whenever I can, to make others feel good. That is the way to real fulfillment. After all, Jesus said that those who wanted to be first must be the last of all and the servant of all. Have I been foolish enough to think that Jesus was saying that the way to achieve my ambitions is to serve? No way. Jesus isn’t concerned with us achieving ambitions; he is telling us how to be first in hearts. If you want to be first in hearts, be a servant of all. If you have the humility to serve others, you will attain to a high place in others’ hearts. When you take a low place, they will always raise you higher.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I am always trying to serve myself and my ambitions, and you want me to be concerned with serving others. Help me to be more focused on what really matters – loving – than on what the world prizes – empty, self-serving actions.

Resolution: Today, I will perform some act of service for another person, preferably for someone close to me, preferably without their notice. These are the acts that most deeply express love. Remember, if you expect something in return, even just thanks, it isn’t love; it’s business.


November 1, 2020  – Solemnity of All Saints

Winning the Only Contest that Matters

 

Father James Swanson, LC

Matthew 5:1-12a

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. I love you, and I want to love you and those around me with a love similar to the love you have shown to me.

Petition: Lord, help me accept sacrifices and overcome difficulties in order to gain heaven.

  1. The Beatitudes Don’t Make Sense: As we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day, the Church calls us to contemplate the promises Jesus makes to all those who follow him. At first, they don’t seem very attractive. Jesus lists a whole series of things that most people would probably avoid. They would see them as interfering with their wants and desires. Yet, Jesus says that we will be blessed if we have them in our lives. The word in the original Greek is makarios, which means “happy”. This doesn’t make sense. I am supposed to be happy when I am poor, mourning, meek, lacking righteousness, merciful, clean-hearted, a peacemaker, persecuted and insulted? That’s not what I see on TV, in the movies, on the Internet. It’s not what many of the people I know would recommend. So, what is Jesus’ big idea telling me this? Is he out to make me miserable?
  2. Sacrificing for Worldly Glory: We can see that the whole picture isn’t gloomy. Jesus says that if we accept these difficult things, there will be rewards. And the rewards sound pretty good. In fact, they sound great: the Kingdom of Heaven, comfort, inheriting the land, satisfaction in seeing righteousness done, receiving mercy, seeing God, being a child of God, a great reward in heaven. Who wouldn’t want these things? Don’t people work a lot harder for a lot less? Don’t athletes train for years, giving up all kinds of pleasures, submitting themselves to intense suffering at times only for a brief moment of glory in some competition? Don’t businessmen work long hours, giving up pleasures and making immense sacrifices just to make a few more dollars? Isn’t what Jesus offers us much better than any of that? Better than a gold medal or even a million dollars?
  3. But I Am Not Interested in Heavenly Things: Anything worth having is worth making sacrifices for, and the more it is worth, the greater sacrifices we should be willing to make for it. Perhaps a gold medal is worth the sacrifices the athlete makes to win it. Perhaps a million dollars are worth the sacrifices that a businessman makes to gain them. If heaven is really all it is supposed to be, isn’t it worth all the sacrifices Jesus mentions here – and more? If people are willing to make such great sacrifices to gain things they cannot keep, shouldn’t I be willing to make even greater sacrifices to gain the eternal happiness of heaven? Of course, many people with the talent to do great things in this world never do them because they just aren’t that interested or motivated. Is that why I don’t do more to gain heaven? Am I just not that interested? What will it take to motivate me to really desire what Jesus offers?

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I don’t do much to make the Beatitudes come to life in me. Help me to give heaven its full value. Help me to desire it more each day. Help me to meditate on what heaven will be like so I will love it more and more and be willing to do anything—whatever it takes—to get there and help many others arrive as well.

Resolution: I will spend at least five minutes today imagining what heaven will be like so as to increase my desire for heaven and enable me to make the sacrifices necessary to get there. Jesus is setting up a mansion there for me. He is going to put everything that he can in it to please me and make me happy.

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