Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read about temptation. Jesus does not want us to mame ourselves but he wants us to remove what is tempting us or making us sin. That could be a computer or smartphone. The parable of the lost sheep rejoices over the repentance of a sinner and then the righteousness of ninety-nine others. God seeks out the lost and broken and brings them back home.
Some of us may be deeply hurt. The wounds might be impossible to forgive at a human level. Jesus tells us that what may be impossible for man, is not impossible for God. When we are unable to forgive, we need to ask God for his grace.
We should always seek out God’s grace.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?’
2 So he called a little child to him whom he set among them.
3 Then he said, ‘In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.
4 And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.
5 ‘Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me.
6 But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone round his neck.
7 Alas for the world that there should be such causes of falling! Causes of falling indeed there must be, but alas for anyone who provides them!
8 ‘If your hand or your foot should be your downfall, cut it off and throw it away: it is better for you to enter into life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
9 And if your eye should be your downfall, tear it out and throw it away: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the hell of fire.
10 ‘See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.
11 * [18:11] Some manuscripts add, “For the Son of Man has come to save what was lost”; cf. Mt 9:13. This is practically identical with Lk 19:10 and is probably a copyist’s addition from that source. (USCCB)
12 ‘Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray?
13 In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all.
14 Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
15 ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge.
17 But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.
18 ‘In truth I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 ‘In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.’
21 Then Peter went up to him and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’
22 Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
23 ‘And so the kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants.
24 When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents;
25 he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt.
26 At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet, with the words, “Be patient with me and I will pay the whole sum.”
27 And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt.
28 Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow-servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him, saying, “Pay what you owe me.”
29 His fellow-servant fell at his feet and appealed to him, saying, “Be patient with me and I will pay you.”
30 But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 His fellow-servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him.
32 Then the master sent for the man and said to him, “You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me.
33 Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow-servant just as I had pity on you?”
34 And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt.
35 And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’
1 Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and he left Galilee and came into the territory of Judaea on the far side of the Jordan.
2 Large crowds followed him and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees approached him, and to put him to the test they said, ‘Is it against the Law for a man to divorce his wife on any pretext whatever?’
4 He answered, ‘Have you not read that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female
5 and that he said: This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and the two become one flesh?
6 They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’
7 They said to him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a writ of dismissal should be given in cases of divorce?’
8 He said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard-hearted, that Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but it was not like this from the beginning.
9 Now I say this to you: anyone who divorces his wife — I am not speaking of an illicit marriage — and marries another, is guilty of adultery.’
10 The disciples said to him, ‘If that is how things are between husband and wife, it is advisable not to marry.’
11 But he replied, ‘It is not everyone who can accept what I have said, but only those to whom it is granted.
12 There are eunuchs born so from their mother’s womb, there are eunuchs made so by human agency and there are eunuchs who have made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.’
13 Then people brought little children to him, for him to lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples scolded them,
14 but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children alone, and do not stop them from coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of Heaven belongs.’
15 Then he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
16 And now a man came to him and asked, ‘Master, what good deed must I do to possess eternal life?’
17 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is one alone who is good. But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’
18 He said, ‘Which ones?’ Jesus replied, ‘These: You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false witness.
19 Honour your father and your mother. You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’
20 The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these. What more do I need to do?’
21 Jesus said, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’
22 But when the young man heard these words he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In truth I tell you, it is hard for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
24 Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.’
25 When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said.
26 Jesus gazed at them. ‘By human resources’, he told them, ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’
27 Then Peter answered and said, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?’
28 Jesus said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, when everything is made new again and the Son of man is seated on his throne of glory, you yourselves will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
29 And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much, and also inherit eternal life.
30 ‘Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’
1 ‘Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard.
2 He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day and sent them to his vineyard.
3 Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place
4 and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.”
5 So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same.
6 Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing around, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?”
7 “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.”
8 In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.”
9 So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each.
10 When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each.
11 They took it, but grumbled at the landowner saying,
12 “The men who came last have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.”
13 He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius?
14 Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the lastcomer as much as I pay you.
15 Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why should you be envious because I am generous?”
16 Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’
17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, and on the road he took the Twelve aside by themselves and said to them,
18 ‘Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They willcondemn him to death
19 and will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised up again.’
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came with her sons to make a request of him, and bowed low;
21 and he said to her, ‘What is it you want?’ She said to him, ‘Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom.’
22 Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?’ They replied, ‘We can.’
23 He said to them, ‘Very well; you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted by my Father.’
24 When the other ten heard this they were indignant with the two brothers.
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that among the gentiles the rulers lord it over them, and great men make their authority felt.
26 Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27 and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave,
28 just as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
29 As they left Jericho a large crowd followed him.
30 And now there were two blind men sitting at the side of the road. When they heard that it was Jesus who was passing by, they shouted, ‘Lord! Have pity on us, son of David.’
31 And the crowd scolded them and told them to keep quiet, but they only shouted the louder, ‘Lord! Have pity on us, son of David.’
32 Jesus stopped, called them over and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’
33 They said to him, ‘Lord, let us have our sight back.’
34 Jesus felt pity for them and touched their eyes, and at once their sight returned and they followed him.
1 When they were near Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
2 saying to them, ‘Go to the village facing you, and you will at once find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me.
3 If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, “The Master needs them and will send them back at once.” ‘
4 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet:
5 Say to the daughter of Zion: Look, your king is approaching, humble and riding on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.
6 So the disciples went and did as Jesus had told them.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt, then they laid their cloaks on their backs and he took his seat on them.
8 Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path.
9 The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting: Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heavens!
10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil as people asked, ‘Who is this?’
11 and the crowds answered, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’
12 Jesus then went into the Temple and drove out all those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money-changers and the seats of the dove-sellers.
13 He said to them, ‘According to scripture, my house will be called a house of prayer; but you are turning it into a bandits’ den.’
14 There were also blind and lame people who came to him in the Temple, and he cured them.
15 At the sight of the wonderful things he did and of the children shouting, ‘Hosanna to the son of David’ in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes were indignant and said to him,
16 ‘Do you hear what they are saying?’ Jesus answered, ‘Yes. Have you never read this: By the mouths of children, babes in arms, you have made sure of praise?’
17 With that he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
18 As he was returning to the city in the early morning, he felt hungry.
19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it and found nothing on it but leaves. And he said to it, ‘May you never bear fruit again,’ and instantly the fig tree withered.
20 The disciples were amazed when they saw it and said, ‘How is it that the fig tree withered instantly?’
21 Jesus answered, ‘In truth I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt at all, not only will you do what I have done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, “Be pulled up and thrown into the sea,” it will be done.
22 And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive.’
23 He had gone into the Temple and was teaching, when the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him and said, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? And who gave you this authority?’
24 In reply Jesus said to them, ‘And I will ask you a question, just one; if you tell me the answer to it, then I will tell you my authority for acting like this.
25 John’s baptism: what was its origin, heavenly or human?’ And they argued this way among themselves, ‘If we say heavenly, he willretort to us, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?”;
26 but if we say human, we have the people to fear, for they all hold that John was a prophet.’
27 So their reply to Jesus was, ‘We do not know.’ And he retorted to them, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this.’
28 ‘What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He went and said to the first, “My boy, go and work in the vineyard today.”
29 He answered, “I will not go,” but afterwards thought better of it and went.
30 The man then went and said the same thing to the second who answered, “Certainly, sir,” but did not go.
31 Which of the two did the father’s will?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you.
32 For John came to you, showing the way of uprightness, but you did not believe him, and yet the tax collectors and prostitutes did. Even after seeing that, you refused to think better of it and believe in him.
33 ‘Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.
34 When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce.
35 But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third.
36 Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way.
37 Finally he sent his son to them thinking, “They will respect my son.”
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.”
39 So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’
41 They answered, ‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time.’
42 Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord’s doing and we marvel at it?
43 ‘I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.’
44 * [21:44] The majority of textual witnesses omit this verse. It is probably an early addition to Matthew from Lk 20:18 with which it is practically identical. (USCCB)
45 When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realised he was speaking about them,
46 but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.
13 A foolish child is a disaster for the father, the bickerings of a wife are like an ever-dripping gutter.
14 From fathers comes inheritance of house and wealth, from Yahweh a wife who is discreet.
15 Idleness lulls to sleep, the feckless soul will go hungry.
16 Keeping the commandment is self-preservation, but whoever despises these ways will die.