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Daily Reading and Prayer

June 2018

Jun 24

June 24, 2018

Luke 1:57-66, 80 Luke recounts the birth, circumcision, and naming of John. As soon as Zechariah confirms the name John, given by the angel, he regains his power of speech. The people recognize God’s hand in this and wonder what John’s destiny will be. John prepared the way for your coming. You have called us to prepare the way for...
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Jun 23

June 23, 2018

Matthew 6:24-34 Jesus is asking that the disciples set aside all anxiety and trust that God will provide. What good is worrying? It certainly does not add to our quality of life. He tells the disciples to look to God’s magnificent care for nature, which illustrates his loving care for all creation. We pray that you “deliver us from...
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Jun 22

June 22, 2018

Matthew 6:19-23 In the final section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus talks about holiness. To be holy one must choose spiritual goods over earthly treasures. Earthly possessions will not endure. One must choose God, the eternal treasure. I pray for the strength to recognize distractions for what they are and the strength to push them away. Keep...
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Jun 21

June 21, 2018

Matthew 6:7-15 Jesus contrasts the disciples’ prayer with that of pagans who tend to babble relentlessly, hoping to be heard by one deity or another. God already knows what we need, so it is far better to trust that the Father hears and answers when we pray. The centerpiece of Jesus’ teaching about prayer is the Our Father. Sometimes...
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Jun 20

June 20, 2018

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Jesus instructs the disciples about works of piety. The point of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is not to be seen and admired by others. These religious practices are a means of emptying oneself and offering praise to God and God alone. I pray for the grace to do good things not out of guilt or for my own benefit but for my...
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Jun 19

June 19, 2018

Matthew 5:43-48 This final antithesis might be considered the most challenging. This is the standard set by God. It is human nature to love those who love you. God does not limit his love. He loves those who do good and those who do bad in the same way, and so must the disciples. Your ways do not always make me comfortable. They challenge me....
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Jun 18

June 18, 2018

Matthew 5:38-42 The fifth antithesis deals with the Old Testament law of retaliation, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Jesus says to resist even proportionate retaliation in an effort to stop the cycle of revenge. To “turn the other cheek” rather than fighting back is a peaceful challenge that a disciple must...
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Jun 17

June 17, 2018

Mark 4:26-34 The kingdom of God is likened to the seed and its innate ability to grow. Even the smallest seed will flourish and become a bush with branches large enough to provide shade and shelter for the birds. Jesus spoke in parables to help the people understand his message. I realize that I must do all I can to provide circumstances in...
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Jun 16

June 16, 2018

Matthew 5:33-37 The taking of oaths is the subject of this antithesis from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus simply tells his disciples to be honest and straightforward. To tell the truth is an expression of love. It seems the world thrives on falsehood and dishonesty. It is sometimes difficult to speak the truth. When what we say and do is rooted...
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Jun 15

June 15, 2018

Matthew 5:27-32 Jesus’ teaching about adultery points to the root cause of the sin, lust. He uses extreme metaphors to emphasize that it is far better to lose part of oneself than to risk the loss of salvation. His teaching about divorce is direct, beginning with rejecting the permission to divorce given by Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1. I...
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Jun 14

June 14, 2018

Matthew 5:20-26 The Gospel today begins the focus on the contrast between the holiness ascribed to the scribes and Jesus’ teaching about God’s will for human relationships. In the first of the six antitheses Jesus tells his followers that it is not enough to avoid committing murder. They must set aside anger and any behavior that...
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Jun 13

June 13, 2018

Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus brings the Old Testament to fulfillment. His teachings reveal the true meaning of the words of the law and the prophets. The view of the Scribes and the Pharisees is narrow and often skewed. Jesus cautions his disciples to avoid self-righteous attitudes. They must seek for themselves and lead others to the truth. Saint...
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Jun 12

June 12, 2018

Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus uses salt and light to depict the role of the disciples. Salt not only enhances, it preserves. The disciples are to enhance and improve lives with the Good News. The disciples are also commissioned to preserve the church from heresy and destruction. They are called let the light of Christ shine through them. I know that...
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Jun 11

June 11, 2018

Matthew 5:1-12   Jesus goes up to the mountainside, a place known for revelations of or from God. Jesus’ teaching is intended for a much wider audience. The disciples are present, but a crowd of others have followed to listen. The message of the Beatitudes is both challenging and compelling. It is the very heart of the Commandments....
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Jun 10

June 10, 2018

Mark 3:20-35 Jesus responds forcefully to the accusation that he is possessed. He uses two parables about kingdoms and houses divided to show that it makes no sense that he who has the power to drive out evil would be an agent of that same evil. It is by God’s Spirit that he speaks and acts. Adam and Eve were created in Original Holiness...
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Jun 9

June 9, 2018

Luke 2:41-51 It is a question any parent would ask given the circumstances. No excuse would lessen Mary’s and Joseph’s normal anxiety and worry. And yet Jesus’ response must have given them cause to begin to realize his destiny and their role in parenting him on the way. All children are important in God’s eyes and have...
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Jun 8

June 8, 2018

John 19:31-37 It is Friday and the hour of the Sabbath is near, leaving little time to deal with the bodies. It is not necessary to hasten Jesus’ death by breaking his legs. He is already dead. Instead the soldier pierces his side, and blood and water pour out. Through this physical expression of his humanity, God’s abundant love for...
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Jun 7

June 7, 2018

Mark 12:28-34 The Scribe’s sincerity and honesty are revealed by his desire to understand Jesus’ “bottom line.” In response to the question posed, Jesus recounts the Shema from Deuteronomy and the command to love your neighbor from Leviticus, combining the two into a beautiful summary of the entire law. Love of God and...
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Jun 6

June 6, 2018

Mark 12:18-27 The Sadducees, Jesus’ opponents in today’s gospel, are the powerful priestly party who do not believe in the resurrection from the dead. Jesus tells them twice that they are misled and reminds them that life in eternity will far surpass earthly life for God is the “God of the living.” I cannot imagine being...
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Jun 5

June 5, 2018

Mark 12:13-17 The Jewish leaders attempt to set Jesus up to fail with their question about taxes owed to Caesar. He avoids their trap by saying that though they should be paying their taxes, they must not forget that what is owed to God has priority. Enlighten the eyes of my heart, so that I am able to see your will in all things clearly. This...
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Jun 4

June 4, 2018

Mark 12:1-12 This parable is the final parable in Mark’s gospel. It anticipates the ultimate rejection of Jesus. He is directly addressing the Jewish leaders, and they know it. By rejecting the Son, they have rejected that with which they have been entrusted by the Father. You have entrusted me with the care of your people. I pray to be...
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Jun 3

June 3, 2018

Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 Jesus has made his own preparations for the Last Supper and first Eucharistic meal. He sends the disciples out with instructions that will lead them to the proper place so that they can lay out the table for their meal. In their participation in the preparation Jesus is telling them that, going forward, they must actively...
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Jun 2

June 2, 2018

Mark 11:27-33 “By what authority…?” is more than a question posed by the Jewish leaders. It is a challenge. They have been publicly chastised in the temple. They are ready to disprove what he has said and done. Once again Jesus responds with a question that silences his opponents. There are so many who doubt you, your church,...
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Jun 1

June 1, 2018

Mark 11:11-26 The key to this difficult Gospel is understanding that the fig tree is an Old Testament image of Israel. The temple is to be a house of prayer for all people, not a certain select few. For Jesus, Jewish temple piety is insincere and does not bear fruit. That’s the source of his anger. I know that I am not always sincere in my...
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Daily Reading and Prayer

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A spiritual reflection on the daily readings that help cultivate a pattern of daily prayer and a deepening relationship with God


 
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