Daily Reading and Prayer

January 2018

Jan 31

January 31, 2018

Mark 6:1-6 They thought they knew him, Mary’s son, the carpenter. Perhaps their memory of him was in the context of his humble beginnings. That memory is not consistent with their experience of him in the synagogue, and they could not get past that. Though they were astonished by his words and deeds, they lacked faith. Lord I need to...
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Jan 30

January 30, 2018

Mark 5:21-43 The two stories of encounter in today’s gospel are intertwined to show a common purpose. Each involves one seeking Jesus, known to be a healer. The seekers, Jairus and the woman, driven by faith, confidently approach Jesus. Because of their faith, the child is brought back to life and the woman healed. You are in front of me,...
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Jan 29

January 29, 2018

Mark 5:1-20 Jesus and his disciples travel by boat to Gentile territory. Mark’s story of Jesus casting out demons is very detailed and ends with an unexpected twist. This poor man has lived a lonely miserable existence; once restored to wholeness, he wants to accompany Jesus. Jesus tells him to be his disciple by going home and telling his...
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Jan 28

January 28, 2018

Mark 1:21-28 Jesus’ works are powerful, and his words are spoken with a confidence that shows his authority. It is beyond anything the Jewish leaders have said or done, and the people are astonished and amazed. Though not an eyewitness, the words of Scripture allow me to enter into the story as if I was there. You have the words of...
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Jan 27

January 27, 2018

Mark 4:35-41 After all the disciples had heard and seen, they cannot imagine that Jesus would sleep through this terrifying storm. It doesn’t seem to take much to test their faith. Do they really know him? The disciple’s understanding is limited; their faith is weak and for the most part will be until they have the lens of the...
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Jan 26

January 26, 2018

Mark 4:26-34 We have no control over the coming of the Kingdom in the same way the sleeping farmer has no control over the seeds he has scattered. It is God’s work. God’s kingdom can grow and develop from the least likely beginning, like the tiny mustard seed that grows into a great bush. You are God, and I am not. I am one of your...
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Jan 25

January 25, 2018

Mark 16:15-18 Today’s Gospel is part of what is known as the “Longer Ending” of Mark’s Gospel. It is immediately proceeded by concise narrations of Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene and to the two on the road. It concludes with Jesus’ appearance to the eleven, when he formally sends them out to continue his...
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Jan 24

January 24, 2017

Mark 4:1-20 Parables are similes or metaphors that draw themes from nature or the common life of the people. They invite the listeners to doubt and question their ways and ultimately call them to God’s way. The Parable of the Sower speaks to the faith and belief of an individual and of a community. It is the heart of Jesus’ mission....
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Jan 24

February 7, 2018

Mark 7:14-23 The Gospel reading today picks up from yesterday’s. The disciples still don’t understand. Jesus uses a short parable to go deeper into the understanding that dietary laws have nothing to do with what is in a person’s heart. It is not how or what a person eats that makes them clean or unclean. What is most important...
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Jan 23

January 23, 2017

Mark 3:31-35 This passage in Mark’s Gospel is clearly intended as continuation of his response to the blasphemous scribes. It is not important that he has blood relatives present. Jesus tells the crowd that, more than family ties, doing God’s will is what is necessary to be part of Jesus’ family, the kingdom of God. I realize...
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Jan 22

January 22, 2018

Mark 3:22-30 The Scribes are no match for Jesus. They launch what they likely think is the ultimate attack, claiming Jesus is possessed by the evil one. His strong response cleverly turns the spotlight back on them, a house divided. We pray for all who suffer injustice, especially the unborn. Protect them, Lord, and change the minds and hearts...
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Jan 21

January 21, 2018 –

Mark 1:14-20 The messenger, John, is gone, but the message endures. Jesus proclaims the will of his Father, that all open themselves to God through him and embrace the law of love. He then calls the first disciples to journey with him proclaiming the Good News. I pray to be a worthy messenger of the gospel call to love and serve. This content...
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Jan 20

January 20, 2018

Mark 3:20-21 Jesus returns home. Crowds gather making it impossible for him to rest and eat. Even his relatives, though concerned for him and his well-being, cannot help but think he is "out of his mind." I think about that saying, "You can't go home again." I suppose that is a natural consequence of being sent on the journey...
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Jan 19

January 19, 2018

Mark 3:13-19 By divine authority Jesus calls the twelve. They are to be his disciples, his closest companions, and are to follow him and learn from him. Once called, Jesus names them, and by doing so they become his and will share in his mission. I am reminded that you knew me first and in creating me placed your imprint upon me, the first call....
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Jan 18

January 18, 2018

Mark 3:7-12 Mark presents a summary of Jesus' overwhelming appeal to the people. Crowds gather from near and far. Jesus heals people and casts out demons. He reiterates his concern that his mission is not fully understood and tells them to say nothing of his identity. I pray that I can accept that I may not see the results of your holy work...
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Jan 17

January 17, 2018

Mark 3:1-6 What does it say about the Jewish leaders who on the Sabbath in the Temple watch and wait to catch Jesus acting against the Law? What does it say about Jesus whose care and compassion move him to act in a way pleasing to God? We pray for all who are in leadership positions in the Church that they are motivated by love and willing to...
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Jan 16

January 16, 2018

Mark 2:23-28 When questioned about his disciples picking and eating the grain on their journey, he cites the example of David making a similar exception to the law for hungry people. It is obvious that the Pharisees are desperate to trap Jesus and his followers. It is difficult to admit that I sometimes see myself in the Pharisees waiting for...
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Jan 15

January 15, 2018

Mark 2:18-22 Love of God is not limited to or measured by external religious practices. To make his point, Jesus uses wedding imagery. There is no need to fast in preparation for God’s coming. In the person of Jesus God is present. The time to fast will come when he is taken from them. Jesus, John was the messenger, you were the message. I...
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Jan 14

January 14, 2017

John 1:35-42 It becomes immediately apparent in John’s Gospel that he is more interested in Christology than in what Jesus said and did. The statements made testify to the person of Christ. As witnessed to by John the Baptist and the first apostles, he is the Lamb of God, Rabbi, the Messiah. I was first called when I was baptized. Remind...
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Jan 13

January 13, 2018

Mark 2:13-17 There is a place at the table for everyone. In this gospel reading, Jesus makes it quite clear that he is especially concerned about those who are weak and in need of healing. He reaches out to them at the table of fellowship. This raises the ire of the Pharisees who seem to feel that only the righteous belong. I am grateful for...
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Jan 12

January 12, 2018

Mark 2:1-12 The crowds surrounding the house in Capernaum must have been enormous for the four friends to decide that the only way to get their paralyzed friend close to Christ was to get him and his mat up on the roof of the dwelling and lower him into the room. This was a genuine act of faith, acknowledged by Jesus through his words and...
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Jan 11

January 11, 2018

Mark 1:40-45 Having been barred from the community for so long, the man with leprosy approaches Jesus directly. He does not insist or beg that Jesus heal him; rather, he places his trust in him. Though instructed to tell no one, the man’s exhilaration gets the best of him, and he spreads the word about Jesus. We pray for those on the...
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Jan 10

January 10, 2018

Mark 1:29-39 Because word has spread about him, Jesus’ first days of ministry are very busy. He moves at a nonstop pace doing what needs to be done. He heals the sick, drives out demons, preaches, and teaches all in the name of God. He rests briefly, but before beginning the work again he turns to his Father in prayer. Lord, even when I...
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Jan 9

January 9, 2018

Mark 1:21-28 The witnesses to Jesus’ teaching and healing are astonished and amazed. They do not understand how he does what he does, but recognize he acts with authority. The cunning demon is no match for him and his goodness. I am thankful for all the ways you astonish and amaze me in my day-to-day life. I pray to continue to be...
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Jan 8

January 8, 2018

Mark 1:7-11 John humbly points to Jesus as one mightier. He marks the shift in the meaning of baptism and the beginning of a new and everlasting covenant. God confirms all that John has been saying and, in the first of two theophanies, sends his Spirit upon Jesus, blessing his Son and affirming his role in the coming of the Kingdom. Let us pray...
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Jan 7

January 7, 2018

Matthew 2:1-12 The openness and desire to seek the truth on the part of the Gentile wise men stands in contrast to the closedmindedness and fear of King Herod and the Jewish leaders. The Magi act on their faith. Herod lies and attempts to deceive. The Magi find the King, pay him homage, and return home. I pray for those whose hearts are hard and...
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Jan 6

January 6, 2018

Luke 3:23-38 (optional Gospel) There are striking differences between Luke’s genealogy of Jesus and Matthew’s. Where Matthew begins with the earliest generation and moves forward to the present, Luke begins with Jesus and moves through the previous generations back in time. Even more striking is that Matthew begins with Abraham,...
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Jan 5

January 5, 2018

John 1:43-51 True discipleship is, first, following and, second, inviting others to follow. This movement and growth continues, now in Galilee, with the addition of Phillip. It is Phillip who approaches another, a notable character, Nathaniel. You place people who are seeking in my path all the time. Help me to be mindful of your invitation and...
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Jan 4

January 4, 2018

John 1:35-42 Two of John’s disciples heard John’s witness about Jesus. Because of what they heard, they followed Jesus and stayed with him. Through their witness the good news spreads, and their numbers begin to grow. From generation to generation people have heard, followed, stayed, and spread the news of the dawn of a new creation....
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Jan 3

January 3, 2018

John 1:29-34 Following John’s testimony concerning himself, Jesus passes. John acknowledges him aloud as the one about whom he has been speaking. He further testifies that he witnessed the Spirit of God come down upon Jesus at his baptism, a sign that he is the Son of God. May I and all who serve you and your holy Church continue to...
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Jan 2

January 2, 2018

John 1:19-28 The priests and Levites have been sent by the Jews to question John. Whether curiosity or to trap him, John deflects their focus from him to the one for whom he is a witness. He is, like the prophets, a witness to the Messiah. John knows his place and points the way to the truth for all to see. I am reminded that in anything I do...
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Jan 1

January 1, 2018

Luke 2:16-21 Upon finding the child, the shepherds share the message given them by the angels. While “all are amazed” by this, it is Mary, humble and faithful, who knows the message is from God. She reflects on the words with her whole heart. Gentle woman, you did not know what was ahead for your son, God’s Son. You took all...
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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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