Daily Reading and Prayer

March 2019

Mar 26

March 26, 2019

Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus speaks to his disciples about their willingness to forgive one another. When asked how often one should forgive, Peter responds “seven times.” Jesus multiplies that number by ten, meaning that there should be no limit to forgiveness. Our willingness to forgive must be like his Father’s. You invite me to...
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Mar 25

March 25, 2019

Luke 1:26-38 The announcement of Jesus’ birth is parallel in many ways to the announcement of John’s birth in the previous section of Luke’s Gospel. These are two dramatic events of salvation. The prophet prepares the way for the eternal King. Mary, Holy Mother, your humble and trusting “yes” to God has shown me the...
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Mar 24

March 24, 2019

Luke 13:1-9 Jesus cites the murder of the Galileans at the hands of Pilate and an accident that took place in Siloam as evidence that repentance must not be put off until tomorrow, for tomorrow may not come. Everyone will be judged, so we must prepare now. I pray for an attitude of joy in living each day doing your will and hope that I am able...
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Mar 23

March 23, 2019

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 This parable carries such a beautiful message about God’s gracious and bountiful mercy. The central figure is more the father than the son. His concern about his lost son has him keeping vigil in the hope that he will return. He runs to meet his son, presents him with gifts, and celebrates his return. He is God the...
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Mar 22

March 22, 2019

Matthew 21: 33-43, 45-46 This parable is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death at the hands of the chief priests and elders. Jesus is “calling out” the Jewish leaders, and they know it. Yet they know, too, that the crowds revere him, and so they need to bide their time. Though you were rejected by some, you became and remain the...
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Mar 21

March 21, 2019

Luke 16:19-31 The rich man has an opportunity to offer compassion and to care for Lazarus, but his selfishness results in a reversal of fortune at his death and beyond. While Lazarus flourishes, the rich man suffers greatly. Selflessness and generosity are rewarded in heaven. I have missed many opportunities to step outside myself and to care...
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Mar 20

March 20, 2019

Matthew 20:17-28 Jesus’ prediction of his passion is given here in greater detail than in other passages. However the conversation with the mother of James and John and the reaction of the other disciples make clear that the disciples still do not understand what is about to happen to Jesus, nor what following him means for them. My...
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Mar 19

March 19, 2019

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A The story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel develops out of the genealogy. Jesus’ place through the lineage of Joseph is very important to Matthew. There is, however, a break with tradition in Mary, Joseph’s betrothed, conceiving outside of marriage through the power of the Holy Spirit. Under...
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Mar 18

March 18, 2019

Luke 6:36-38 In three short verses, Jesus emphasizes the importance of human relationships at their best. The best is attained by emulating his Father. Do not judge or condemn. Be merciful, give, and forgive. Do all this without counting the cost. It’s all about my relationship with you and with my neighbor, whether friend or foe. I know...
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Mar 17

March 17, 2019

Luke 9:28B-36 Jesus’ glorious image suddenly accompanied by two notable Jewish figures startles the disciples out of sleep. They do not understand what is happening. Peter wants to hold on to the moment, and the others are confused. Jesus’ transfiguration is in stark contrast to the horror and humiliation of his imminent suffering...
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Mar 16

March 16, 2019

Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus tells his followers that being a disciple demands that they are to love not only those who love them, but their enemies as well. God created all people, and they must love as God loves — an inclusive, unconditional, and generous love. I may not like what others do or how they behave, but you tell me to love them....
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Mar 15

March 15, 2019

Matthew 5:20-26 Jesus is taking the Commandments beyond face value, unpacking their meaning. His teaching about the Law and the Prophets is far more radical than the scribes understand. He tells them, for example, that anger can be a step that leads to murder. The root of the sin is therefore sin in and of itself. There are times when I am not...
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Mar 14

March 14, 2019

Matthew 7:7-12 Jesus continues to teach about prayer. He tells them to “Ask, seek, knock” — to pray boldly and with confidence. He compares and contrasts God’s graciousness and the efficacy of his gifts by saying that if any parent, even a wicked one, responds to his child’s needs, imagine how much more God gives....
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Mar 13

March 13, 2019

Luke 11:29-32 When asked by the crowd for signs Jesus tells them that he should be sign enough. He compares himself to two notable Old Testament figures, Jonah and Solomon, adding that someone greater is standing before them. What will it take for this generation to see you, to recognize you, to embrace you, to walk with you? Show me the way to...
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Mar 12

March 12, 2019

Matthew 6: 7-15 In verse 5 of chapter 6, Jesus cautions his disciples about praying hypocritically like the Pharisees. In the passages of this gospel he is cautioning them about babbling like pagans. He tells them that God knows what they need before they even ask, and he gives them the form for perfect prayer, the Our Father. Thank you for...
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Mar 11

March 11, 2019

Matthew 25:31-46 This eschatological discourse is unique to Matthew. At the end of time “all the nations” will be gathered before the Son of Man, and he will separate them into two groups, those who have cared for people in need and those who have neglected others while caring only for themselves. It is easy to get caught up in...
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Mar 10

March 10, 2019

Luke 4:1-13 On this first Sunday of Lent, we hear about Jesus being led by the Spirit to the desert to fast and pray in preparation for his ministry. In the desert he is tempted three times. Jesus, fully human, allows the tempter to do his work. Jesus, fully divine, holds strong against the snare of the devil. You are with me at all times. You...
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Mar 9

March 9, 2019

Luke 5:27-32 The Pharisees criticize Jesus for his association with tax collectors, a disreputable bunch known for their dishonest practices. To complicate matters, Jesus and his disciples join Levi and his associates for dinner. The tax collectors associate with gentiles and are therefore ritually unclean. Jesus is undaunted and makes it clear...
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Mar 8

March 8, 2019

Matthew 9:14-15 The practice of fasting is important to the disciples of John the Baptist. They ask Jesus why his disciples do not fast. Since fasting was typically a sign of mourning, Jesus responds to them by telling them that this is a time for joy. He, the bridegroom, is with them. The time for fasting will come when he is no longer with...
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Mar 7

March 7, 2019

Luke 9:22-25 Jesus follows the first of three predictions of his passion by telling his followers what it means to be a disciple. It is not an easy journey. Jesus will suffer, be rejected, and be killed. His disciples will follow in his footsteps. You ask me to deny myself, give up control, let go of my agenda, and trust completely in you, just...
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Mar 6

March 6, 2019

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Today’s gospel is from the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is calling his listeners then and now to an interior piety unlike that of those he calls hypocrites. He instructs his disciples to pray, fast, and give alms, not for show or to impress others, but in a way that only the Father sees. The Lenten practices are to...
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Mar 5

March 5, 2019

Mark 10:28-31 Peter is disturbed by Jesus’ challenge. Again, he speaks for the disciples, saying that they have given up everything, their life’s work, families, homes, possessions. Jesus acknowledges their sacrifice and offers them reassurance by telling them that they will be rewarded for the choices they have made. I don’t...
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Mar 4

March 4, 2019

Mark 10:17-27 This man is a devout Jew, and his intentions are honest. Jesus loves him but must make clear the slippery slope he is standing on. The danger is not having possessions but being overly attached to them. Possessions stand in the way of dependence on God. All things are possible in you alone, Lord God. Help me to let go of my...
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Mar 3

March 3, 2019

Luke 6:39-45 Jesus teaches his disciples using sayings and short parables: the blind leading the blind, the splinter and the beam, and the tree that bears fruit, good and rotten. Though some of what he says is intended for the Pharisees, he is reminding the disciples that he is their teacher. They must listen to him and to no one else. I pray...
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Mar 2

March 2, 2019

Mark 10:13-16 Jesus reacts to the disciples’ treatment of the children by telling them that there is much to be learned from the little ones. They model complete and total trust. The kingdom of God belongs to those who rely on God. Dependence is easily misunderstood in our society. It can be as much a gift as a weakness, especially when it...
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Mar 1

March 1, 2019

Mark 10:1-12 Crowds gather to hear Jesus teach. There are Pharisees present who once again try to trap Jesus with their questions. While Jesus holds firm to the marriage laws as designed by God, he does not miss the opportunity to point out the Pharisee’s hard hearts and closed minds to the heart of his message. Let us pray for 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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