Daily Reading and Prayer

June 2020

Jun 30

June 30, 2020

Mt 8:23-27   Jesus is asleep when the violent storm comes up. The disciples fear, panic and subsequent amazement at Jesus’ ability to calm the sea are indicative of the fact that their faith is limited and they have some growing to do. How often I cry out to you in fear and desperation. Then when you “calm the sea,” I am...
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Jun 29

June 29, 2020

Mt 16:13-19   Jesus’ shifts his question about his identity from what others say about him to the very personal question, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter, the spokesperson, responds. Though his answer is in some sense on behalf of the others, it is his personal profession of belief. Jesus commissions Peter, the Rock....
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Jun 28

June 28, 2020

Mt 10:37-42 Jesus tells the disciples that they must be bound to him and to him alone to the point of subordinating love for family and friends to love of God. The work ahead will bring about discord and division. No matter what the cost they must persevere. Jesus consoles the disciples by telling them that God will reward them for their work...
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Jun 27

June 27, 2020

Mt 8:5-17   The centurion’s humble statement has become so much more meaningful since it is the people’s response to the invitation to Communion. How beautiful is the soldier’s care for his servant expressed in his humble and faithful appeal to Jesus. Especially in the most difficult times we must remember the truth to the...
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Jun 26

June 26, 2020

Mt 8:1-4 Matthew has shown that Jesus is a master teacher in the Sermon on the Mount. Now he illustrates his power as healer and wonderworker. In the first of the nine miracle stories, the leper approaches Jesus. He addresses him as Lord, indicative of Jesus’ authority and of the leper’s faith. Merciful God, you heal and bring to...
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Jun 25

June 25, 2020

Mt 7:21-29 This is the conclusion of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. A disciple’s actions must be a true reflection of their words. It is hypocritical to speak God’s name and at the same time act in an ungodly manner. Jesus tells the parable of the two houses, one built on sand the other on rock to further stress the solid...
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Jun 24

June 24, 2020

Lk 1:57-66, 80   The moment Zechariah confirms the name John designated by the angel he is able to speak again. His hymn is like Mary’s hymn of praise in which he proclaims that John is a sign of God’s fidelity to the covenant.   You know me better then I know myself. I am in awe when I think about that, me, one in so many...
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Jun 23

June 23, 2020

Mt 7:6, 12-14 Those familiar words about how to live are not unique to Judaism or Christianity. They are, in a sense, timeless and universal, what is part and parcel of being created by God. In this case, Matthew is presenting the “golden rule” as a summary of the Old Testament teaching. I may know your words and understand them but...
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Jun 22

June 22, 2020

Mt 7:1-5 Jesus tells his followers to let God be the judge. Focusing on the faults of others will prevent them from seeing their own faults. As disciples they do have the responsibility to correct and challenge others gone astray but they must first recognize their own sinful ways. When I stand in judgment of other’s actions, I lose sight...
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Jun 21

June 21, 2020

Mt 10:26-33 Jesus encourages his disciples telling them more than once to not be afraid. God’s kingdom will come, and the unbelievers will be revealed. Those who oppose them may destroy their bodies but not their souls. They must be faithful to the mission. Your words of caution are never without words of love and assurance, then and now....
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Jun 20

June 20, 2020

Lk 2:41-51 It is a question any parent would ask given the circumstances. No excuse would lessen Mary and Joseph’s rightful and normal anxiety and worry. And yet Jesus’ response must have given them cause to begin to realize his destiny and their role in parenting him on the way. All children are important in God’s eyes and...
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Jun 19

June 19, 2020

Mt 11:25-30 Jesus praises his Father for revealing to simple, ordinary people, those most receptive to Jesus, that which is hidden from those considered experts but whose arrogance and self-righteousness blocks their understanding of God and God’s will. Jesus goes on to invite all searching for truth to come to him, the dwelling place of...
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Jun 18

June 18, 2020

Mt 6:7-15   Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray by giving them a series of petitions beginning with words of praise and honor to God. It is important to note the simplicity of each request and the emphasis on forgiveness, sought and offered. You know what I need before I ask. It is in offering my petitions to you again and again I lean...
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Jun 17

June 17, 2020

Mt 6:1-6, 16-18   Jesus instructs his disciples not only in the what but the how and why a disciple should carry out each of the three religious’ practices. To give alms, to fast and to pray are to be done to honor God and not bring attention and honor to oneself.   As central to the Lent are these practices, I need to remember...
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Jun 16

June 16, 2020

Mt 5:43-48 This final antithesis might be considered the most challenging. This is the standard set by God. It is human nature to love those who love you. God does not limit his love. He loves those who do good and those who do not in the same way. Jesus commands his disciples to do the same so that their love will draw others to relationship...
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Jun 15

June 15, 2020

Mt 5:38-42 The fifth antithesis deals with the Old Testament law of retaliation, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Jesus says resist even proportionate retaliation to stop the cycle of revenge. To “turn the other cheek” rather than fighting back is a response that a disciple must give with the hope of bringing...
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Jun 14

June 14, 2020

Jn 6:51-58   Jesus is inviting the people to eat a new kind of food, one that nourishes their spirits not their bodies and will bring them to eternal life with him. This is difficult for the Jewish people to understand given the prohibition against drinking blood and the graphic wording used for eating flesh.   As did the members of...
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Jun 13

June 13, 2020

Mt 5:33-37   Jesus could not make his point about oaths in this antithesis any clearer. “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No’” (v. 37). Jesus is telling his disciples rather than take an oath or swear to the truth about something, just be honest and straightforward....
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Jun 12

June 12, 2020

Mt 5:27-32 Jesus goes on to develop God’s law with his teaching about adultery. It is more than an act. It is all the thoughts and intentions that lead to the act. Jesus also speaks about divorce and the way it had been understood (Dt 24:1). You remind me constantly to think outside of myself, to always consider those affected by my words...
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Jun 11

June 11, 2020

Mt 5:20-26   Today’s Gospel begins with the basic premise to Jesus’ sermon. The disciple’s goodness must be sincere and not hypocritical like that of the Pharisees. He goes on to the first of six antitheses. Murder is wrong but so is anger felt and expressed, which can lead to far worse.   I pray to always be willing...
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Jun 10

June 10, 2020

Mt 5:17-19   Jesus’ is not going to do away with the Law. He is faithful to the beliefs and practices of Judaism. It is the Jewish leaders who do not understand the depth and breadth of God’s law. They have only scratched the surface and now Jesus takes them to the truth by fulfilling the Law.   It’s hard to let go...
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Jun 9

June 9, 2020

Mt 5:13-16   Jesus leaves no doubt in the minds of his disciples to what they are being called to do, to be. They are to bring out the best in others and to be beacons of light in a world gone dark. Their words and actions must give witness to their mission, the mission of Jesus Christ.   Salt for the earth and light for the world ......
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Jun 8

June 8, 2020

Mt 5:1-12 The Beatitudes are the heart of the Law. The First Beatitude, to be “poor in spirit,” that is, to depend completely on God is at the center of everything Jesus says and does.   You compassionately encourage me all the time to trust in you alone. You also encourage me to encourage others to do the same.   This...
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Jun 7

June 7, 2020

Jn 3:16-18   John gives a beautiful testimony to God’s love often referenced by Christians who simply state chapter and verse. God’s love for the world, for all humanity, is evidenced by God’s gift of himself, in the person of his only Son. God’s love through Jesus Christ saves us from sin.   How blessed are we...
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Jun 6

June 6, 2020

Mk 12:38-44   Jesus denounces the scribes as hypocrites. Everything they do and say is for show. They do not even care for the most vulnerable. It is to that point that Jesus points out the widow to his disciples. She gives less than the wealthy and yet it is all she has.   It is the poor widow who models humility and generosity....
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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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