Daily Reading and Prayer

July 2020

Jul 31

July 31, 2020

Mt 13:54-58 Jesus returns home and teaches in the synagogue. He is among family and friends. One would think that those who know him, or at least know about him, would accept him unconditionally. Initially, they are astonished but their “we knew him when” conversation takes them to doubt and disbelief. Because of this Jesus...
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Jul 30

July 30, 2020

Mt 13:47-53 Both the wording and the message of the parable of the net are similar to that of the weeds and the wheat. There will be final judgment with the separation of the good and bad. Reward or punishment will be given accordingly. My Lord and my God, help me always to avoid evil and to do what is good. This content comes to you from Our...
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Jul 29

July 29, 2020

Lk 10:38-42 Today on this memorial, there are optional accounts, one from John and the other from Luke, each giving insight into these sisters. No doubt they are friends of Jesus but what is most significant is how their faith, especially Martha’s develops. This is telling in John’s Gospel when Martha responds to Jesus’...
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Jul 28

July 28, 2020

Mt 13:36-43 Jesus’ detailed explanation of the parable has two distinct focuses. Those who do good and those who do evil co-exist, but their destinies lie in God’s final judgment. God is patient and merciful hoping that those who do evil will turn to him. Your mercy exceeds all that we deserve. At the moment of death, you are there...
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Jul 27

July 27, 2020

Mt 13:31-35 Jesus speaks to the crowds about the reign of God in two parables. Using small, ordinary elements, a mustard seed and yeast, he explains that those small beginnings grow beyond expectations. So, it is with the God’s kingdom, “already but not yet.” It is often difficult to see, to feel the kingdom now. Perhaps the...
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Jul 26

July 26, 2020

Mt 13:44-52 Jesus’ parables are a means to teach about the kingdom of God. The treasure and the pearl show that the value of the kingdom is so great that it must be pursued with determination and zeal. Jesus goes on to remind the disciples in the parable of the fishnet that there will be a final judgment when the good and bad are...
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Jul 25

July 25, 2020

Mt 20: 20-28 The request of an overbearing mother and the resulting negativity of the ten toward James and John seem so inappropriate given the fact that Jesus had just predicted his passion and death for a third time and in greater detail than the previous predictions. Jesus responds by instructing them in the manner of leadership they are to...
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Jul 24

July 24, 2020

Mt 13:18-23 There are four different types of soil that correlate to four hearers of the word of God. Seeds sown on the path, on rocky ground, among the thorns, will die. However, if the soil is rich and fertile, the seeds will grow. Jesus is speaking to the crowd about the spiritual disposition to hearing and about that which gets in the way of...
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Jul 23

July 23, 2020

Mt 13:10-17 The disciples want to know why Jesus speaks to the gathered crowd in parables. Jesus tells them that they, the disciples, have been given the ability to understand the “mysteries of the kingdom.” The people can’t or won’t respond to that same God given gift of understanding. There have been times in my life...
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Jul 22

July 22, 2020

Jn 20:1-2, 11-18 Mary is the first to encounter the Lord. She does not recognize him. But in a very poignant exchange she recognizes her master’s voice. Jesus commissions her and Mary returns to announce to the others that she has seen the Lord. He is risen. I can only imagine the excitement and joy Mary must have felt in seeing you. It...
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Jul 21

July 21, 2020

Mt 12:46-50 Jesus challenges the people by defining family not by blood but by doing God’s will. This is a radical concept in a society that places high value on blood relationship. Jesus goes beyond the traditional understanding to the spiritual bond of his human family. I know God’s view of the world does not have barriers or...
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Jul 20

July 20, 2020

Mt 12:38-42 No matter what Jesus has done, the Pharisees and scribes want more. They ask for signs, proof of his identity. Jesus knows there is nothing he can do that will convince them because their hearts are not open. He tells there will be no sign given. I look for signs all the time. You surprise me by placing them in the ordinary. Thank...
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Jul 19

July 19, 2020

Mt 13:24-43   This parable follows closely to the parable of the sower. In this case, weeds are sown among the wheat. It makes sense to remove the weeds, but the landowner thinks otherwise and instructs the slaves to wait to sort it out at the harvest. In the same way God does not want the unbelievers rooted out. He will handle that at the...
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Jul 18

July 18, 2020

Mt 12:14-21 The Pharisee’s plotting against Jesus is ramping up. He continues his mission despite the risk. Matthew cites a passage from Isaiah that states Jesus is the one chosen by God, no matter who rejects him. He is God’s servant who brings justice and hope to all the people in stark contrast to the way of the world. The...
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Jul 17

July 17, 2020

Mt 12:1-8   The disciple’s actions have nothing to do with work. They are hungry. Jesus cites David and his followers breaking the same law for the same reason, hunger. He makes clear that the Pharisees are not properly interpreting the law. Jesus is the authoritative interpreter of God’s law.   You gave me life and...
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Jul 16

July 16, 2020

Mt 11:28-30 These three verses in Mt’s Gospel offer all who hear great consolation. It is an invitation to discipleship that will not be burdened by the interpretation of the law the Jewish leaders lay upon them. Jesus is the authoritative interpreter of God’s law, the law of love.   You do not leave me to walk alone. You are...
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Jul 15

July 15, 2020

Mt 11:25-27 Jesus praises his Father for revealing himself to those most willing to listen. People, who are “childlike,” are far more receptive than religious scholars. Jesus goes on to speak about his relationship with his Father. It is a perfect union into which Jesus invites all who believe.   You reveal yourself to me at the...
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Jul 14

July 14, 2020

Mt 11:20-24 Jesus warns the Galilean cities about their unwillingness to repent for their wickedness and pride. He had performed mighty deeds in Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum but the people did not respond. He compares their judgment to that of those doomed ancient cities. I pray this day for those whose hearts are hardened. If I am to be...
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Jul 13

July 13, 2020

Mt 10:34—11:1 Jesus’ words are harsh. The demands of discipleship are extreme. Jesus tells his disciples that the challenges they face may well include family division. No relationship, even that of blood relatives should come before their relationship with him. I ask that you help my family understand, when in ministry and in life,...
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Jul 12

July 12, 2020

Mt 13:1-23 Jesus speaks using veiled language and imagery, yet his message is relevant. Everything in his discourse revolves around seed and soil. As he explains, it is the contrast between those who are open to his word and act on it and those who are not.   I have witnessed the fruit of your word. I pray for those who hear but do not...
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Jul 11

July 11, 2020

Mt 10:24-33 Three times Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid. They must remember that, even in the darkest moments, God is with them and will protect them. His love for them is greater than his love for any other creature. Anxiety is one of my greatest challenges, I admit. Help me to be in the present with you, rather than worrying about...
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Jul 10

July 10, 2020

Mt 10:16-23 Jesus continues his missionary discourse. He tells the apostles that they will be received as he was received, rejected the way he was rejected and ultimately suffer the same fate of persecution and death. Yet through it all, the Spirit will be with them.   In this world where lies and falsehoods are the norm, I pray to always...
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Jul 9

July 9, 2020

Mt 10:7-15 Jesus sends the apostles out with explicit instructions about taking with them only the basics. Rely on God who will provide for them. They will be received well by some. If not well received, they are to shake it off and move on. I pray for all, including myself, who today continue to live out your mission. Fill us with your Spirit....
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Jul 8

July 8, 2020

Mt 10:1-7 Jesus calls the Twelve, those closest to him. He commissions them, sending them out as his Father sent him to the “lost sheep of Israel.” He passes on to them his authority over evil and illness. Jesus’ mission is now the mission of his apostles.   As the first were empowered to bring the people into relationship...
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Jul 7

July 7, 2020

Mt 9:32-38 The vicious accusation launched by the Pharisees is a sign of the growing animosity they hold for Jesus. Sadly, they do not nor are they willing to acknowledge his power and his goodness. Jesus sees the needs of the people both physical and spiritual. He suffers with them. Matthew then moves from the image of the shepherd leader to...
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Jul 6

July 6, 2020

Mt 9:18-26 Two stories of healing are woven together. In both, the death of the daughter of the official and the woman who has suffered for years from a debilitating and isolating illness, the faith of the petitioners is key. The official believes Jesus has the power to bring his daughter back to life and the woman whose hope after so long is...
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Jul 5

July 5, 2020

Mt 11:25-30 Jesus praises the Father for his wisdom. God reveals himself to those who are open and receptive like children. The scribes and Pharisees have interpreted God’s law in such a way that is burdensome for the people. Jesus authoritatively interprets the law, inviting all who listen to come to him to be refreshed. He offers an...
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Jul 4

July 4, 2020

Mt 9:14-17 Because Jesus is physically with his disciples, he tells John’s followers and the Pharisees that there is no reason for them to fast as is done when in mourning. The time will come for that expression of loss when he is taken from them. He uses the parables of the cloth and wine skins, not to reject the old ways, but to point to...
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Jul 3

July 3, 2020

Jn 20:24-29 Does Thomas want so much to believe what he has been told? Perhaps he is thinking, “What if it isn’t true?” Then he is face-to-face with his Lord and he knows the truth. He is risen. In that moment Thomas professes his faith that Jesus is Lord and God.   St. Thomas, I ask that you pray for me that I may escape...
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Jul 2

July 2, 2020

Mt 9:1-8 In previous passages Jesus has shown his power over nature and demons. In this passage from Matthew’s Gospel, he exercises that which belongs to God alone, the power to forgive sin. The truth about Jesus is revealed but his adversaries consider it blasphemous. How blest are we who have faithful and faith-filled friends who would...
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Jul 1

July 1, 2020

Mt 8:28-34 Jesus crosses the lake and encounters two people possessed by demons. This confrontation with evil takes Jesus’ power and authority to a whole new level. By his command, the demons are cast out of the men and into the swine. The swineherds share the news with the townspeople whose surprising reaction is more confusion and fear...
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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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