Statement of Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley
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Daily Reading and Prayer

September 2018

Sep 19

September 19, 2018

Luke 7:31-35 Jesus tells the crowds that the people of “this generation” are like obstinate children. Nothing satisfies them. Their reasons for rejecting Jesus are inconsistent with their reasons for rejecting John. They are closed to God’s working in Jesus. Those who are open and embrace God’s plan will be vindicated....
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Sep 18

September 18, 2018

Luke 7:11-17 For a widow, the death of her only son means far more than the pain of the obvious loss. Her fate is sealed; she has no one to provide for even her basic needs. Jesus feels great compassion for this woman and, by God’s authority, returns the son to his mother. Lord God, you visit your people and pour out your love and...
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Sep 17

September 17, 2018

Luke 7:1-10 It becomes clear very quickly that this soldier, because of his nature, recognizes that same care and compassion in Jesus. He appeals to Jesus’ authority in a way that demonstrates humility and a deep faith. Jesus acknowledges this before all and heals the slave. I am thankful to be reminded by this unlikely character of the...
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Sep 16

September 16, 2018

Mark 8:27-35 Today’s Gospel begins with Jesus posing a question to the disciples about what others are saying about him. He then directs the question to his disciples. Peter responds with a confession of faith that Jesus is the Christ. I imagine you asking me, “Who do you say that I am?” Though I am not sure I fully understand...
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Sep 15

September 15, 2018

John 19:25-27 There is an important connection between yesterday’s feast, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and today’s memorial. Mary watched while her son Jesus’ battered and bloody body was lifted high on the cross. He commits her to the care of John, the beloved disciple. They share in his suffering and will share in his...
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Sep 14

September 14, 2018

John 3:13-17 Jesus continues his instruction of Nicodemus with reference to Moses and the elevated serpent. Elevation—exaltation—is central to John’s theology. With it comes the understanding that God’s motivation to give his only son is love, love for all creation, especially humanity. Salvation is dependent upon that...
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Sep 13

September 13, 2018

Luke 6:27-38 Jesus’ teaching about discipleship carries the greatest challenge of all. It is not enough to love those with whom we are in a loving relationship. He calls us to love those who are the least loveable. We must “love, do good, and give” not just to friends but to enemies as well. Help me to put on “heartfelt...
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Sep 12

September 12, 2018

Luke 6:20-26 Like Moses, Jesus comes down from the mountain and addresses his disciples. He speaks to them in the present tense, telling them who they are now. Their reward will be great. He then shifts to the woes directed to those who do not share their wealth. There will be consequences. The Beatitudes are the heart of your law, O God. They...
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Sep 11

September 11, 2018

Luke 6:12-19 Jesus returns to the mountain to pray. This time with his Father is a preparation for his calling of the Twelve. The number is significant; the Apostles will lead the renewed Israel. God of the Apostles, animate your holy Church, those who lead and those who follow, to give witness to your love and mercy. This content comes to you...
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Sep 10

September 10, 2018

Luke 6:6-11 The Pharisees have moved from reacting to Jesus’ missteps to watching and waiting for him to break the law. Jesus has declared himself the Lord of the Sabbath and continues to care for his people. He heals the man with the withered hand, restoring him to wholeness within the community. Why is it that some people are unable to...
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Sep 9

September 9, 2018

Mark 7:31-37 The man who is afflicted with deafness and a speech impediment is brought to Jesus. Like the Syro-Phoenician woman, this man is not Jewish. Jesus takes him away from the crowd. He touches him with dirt moistened with his spittle and cures him. No matter how many times you told the people to tell no one else of your healings, the...
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Sep 8

September 8, 2018 –

Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23 Mary’s birthday is one of only three celebrated in the liturgical year, placing Mary in the company of John the Baptist and her son, Jesus. The long form of Matthew’s Gospel today begins with the genealogy of Jesus. There are unusual and very human characters in the line of David paving the way for Jesus’...
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Sep 7

September 7, 2018

Luke 5:33-39 The Pharisees call attention to the difference between their piety and practices and those of John the Baptist, Jesus, and his disciples. Jesus responds very logically and practically. New ways cannot be bound by the old. Clinging to the past for its own sake leads to stagnancy and decay. Jesus brings the way of life that must be...
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Sep 6

September 6, 2018

Luke 5:1-11 Jesus tells Simon to do something that makes no sense to a seasoned fisherman, yet he listens and obeys. The result is a miraculous catch of fish. Simon Peter and his companions leave everything behind to follow Jesus and become fishers of men. You see goodness and gifts in everyone, saint and sinner alike. You call me by name. I am...
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Sep 5

September 5, 2018

Luke 4:38-44 The people of Capernaum receive Jesus differently than the people of his hometown, Nazareth. He teaches with authority, heals the sick, and silences demons. They want him to stay with them. He tells them that he has not been sent to any one particular group but to all people. You are the author of everything and everyone. Just as...
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Sep 4

September 4, 2018

Luke 4:31-37 Jesus travels to Capernaum, where he teaches in the synagogue on the Sabbath. He speaks as God’s authoritative representative and demonstrates power over evil. Though the people are astonished and amazed by what they hear and see, this is by no means evidence of their faith. I pray that the impact you have on me by your word...
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Sep 3

September 3, 2018

Luke 4: 16-30 Praise and acclaim turns to suspicion and ultimately rejection. Jesus tells those in the synagogue that Isaiah’s prophesy is fulfilled “today” in him. He likens himself and their attitude toward him to the experience of two great prophets, Elisha and Elijah, who were also rejected by their own. Inspire and protect...
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Sep 2

September 2, 2018

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 Jesus uses a passage from Isaiah in response to the Pharisees’s challenge about purification rites. He is accusing them of paying “lip service” to their practices, which are supposed to be their response to God. Cleanliness on the outside is not indicative of a clean heart that has good intentions. I...
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Sep 1

September 1, 2018

Matthew 25:14-30 As in the parable about the bridesmaids in the preceding passage, the focus is on the judgment scene. There are two groups, the wise who invest their talents and the foolish who bury them. While watching and waiting for the return of the Son of Man, those who are wise do not sit idly but engage in fruitful action. When...
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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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