Daily Reading and Prayer

December 2017

Dec 31

December 31, 2017

Luke 2:22-40 Mary and Joseph followed the Jewish law by bringing Jesus, their firstborn, to the temple and having him circumcised. We are told that after doing so, they returned home and raised their son to be and to become what God willed him to be. At the threshold of a new year, we pray that God will watch over us, protect us from all evil,...
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Dec 30

December 30, 2017

Luke 2:36-40 Anna, the prophetess, never leaves the temple, and she fasts, day and night. In the quiet of Anna’s holy life, God has revealed to her the identity of the child Jesus. Lord, though I remain caught up in the busyness of this time of year, I am reminded by the story of Anna that the only way to keep your light shining within me...
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Dec 29

December 29, 2017

Luke 2:22-35 Jesus is brought to the temple by his parents for his presentation and circumcision, fulfilling the prescriptions of Jewish law. They encounter Simeon, a good and faithful Jewish man who spent his days in the temple waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Filled with God’s Spirit, Simeon recognizes Jesus. Human words cannot...
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Dec 28

December 28, 2017

Matthew 2:13-18 The Holy Family become refugees in a country where their ancestors were held captive. They are safe, but in their homeland Herod has the male infants slaughtered. It is a despicable act of a leader desperate to defend his throne, not unlike Pharaoh’s slaughter of the Israelite children. I pray for all those displaced by...
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Dec 27

December 27, 2017

John 20:1A and 2-8 Mary Magdalene is the first to arrive at the tomb, and her immediate response to her discovery is that someone has stolen Jesus’ body. John arrives, observes, but defers to Peter in entering the tomb. Peter is perplexed by what he sees. John, however, sees and believes. The Lord has risen as he said he would. Which of...
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Dec 26

December 26, 2017

Matthew 10:17-22 Jesus tells the disciples that speaking in his name will have dire consequences. They will be betrayed perhaps by their own family members. He encourages them to rely on the Spirit throughout. In the end, they will be saved. Lord, on this day I pray for all those men and women throughout the world who suffer because they follow...
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Dec 25

December 25, 2017

Matthew 1:1-25 or Matthew 1:18-25 If the longer version of the gospel is proclaimed, both the genealogy and birth of Jesus are included. These two passages show Jesus’ proper place in the genealogy of the Messiah through Joseph. Once his fears are allayed by his dream, Joseph decides to take Mary as his wife and to assume paternity of...
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Dec 24

December 24, 2017

Luke 1:26-38   It is fitting that this gospel be proclaimed on the threshold of the celebration of the Incarnation. The announcement of Jesus’ birth in time is timeless, since it is for all humankind. Mary’s humble acceptance of her role is for all disciples a reminder of the call to bring Christ to life for all in anticipation...
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Dec 23

December 23, 2017

Luke 1:57-66 Earlier in Luke’s Gospel, when the angel announced the birth of John, Zechariah seemed to ask for proof. At that he became mute. In today’s gospel, Zechariah holds fast to the name of his child given by the angel. At that he regains his speech. The people are in awe of God’s wondrous deed and sense that this...
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Dec 22

December 22, 2017

Luke 1:46-56 Mary’s hymn of praise is influenced by Hannah’s in the first reading today. Both women sing of God’s marvelous works. All human expectation is turned upside down. He fills the hungry and exalts the lowly. He is God’s mercy. I pray that our leaders find their source and foundation in you, O God. May they lead...
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Dec 21

December 21, 2017

Luke 1:39-45 The Visitation is a family gathering at a time of great joy on the part of both women. Yet it is so much more than that. For Elizabeth and for her child, it is an encounter with the Lord. She is humbled to be visited by this holy woman. Gentle Mary, I am humbled by your faith. Pray for me that I learn to set aside my fears and...
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Dec 20

December 20, 2017

Luke 1:26-38 In Luke’s infancy narrative, he parallels the origins of John and Jesus. The angel Gabriel appears to both Zechariah and Mary to announce the surprising news about the births of John and Jesus. The angel assigns their names, and both are circumcised on the eighth day. Zechariah and Mary each express how they feel through the...
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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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