Daily Reading and Prayer

August 2018

Aug 20

August 20, 2018

Matthew 19:16-22 The young man in the parable seems sincere in his understanding of the importance of observing the heart of the Ten Commandments, loving God and neighbor. When Jesus calls him to a new and more radical level, he is not able to accept the challenge. Please help me let go of those things that hold me down and keep me from...
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Aug 19

August 19, 2018

John 6:51-58 In the previous passages Jesus reveals himself as the new Moses. He nourishes believers through wisdom. In the conclusion of the discourse Jesus repeats the words flesh, blood, eat, and drink. It is essential to eat his flesh and drink his blood to be truly in and of him. I believe in your presence, flesh and blood, in the bread and...
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Aug 18

August 18, 2018

Matthew 19:13-15 Jesus draws attention to the children who exemplify the proper attitude for gaining entrance into God’s Kingdom. In the culture, children have no claims or rights. They can do nothing but trust in the goodness of others. In the same way, the disciples are to depend completely on the Father. Like a child I place my hand in...
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Aug 17

August 17, 2018

Matthew 19:3-12 The Pharisees are testing Jesus by questioning him about marriage and divorce. His response makes it clear that Jesus considers marriage indissoluble. Moses allowed divorce as a concession to the weakened nature of humanity. Jesus also speaks about celibacy as a state of life that some, but not all, are called to. I pray this day...
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Aug 16

August 16, 2018

Matthew 18:21-19:1 Peter wants to know how many times we are required to forgive. He suggests what he thinks is a reasonable number, seven. Jesus says in response that human forgiveness must be a reflection of God’s and cannot be measured or limited. He expounds upon God’s will through the parable. This parable calls me to examine my...
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Aug 15

August 15, 2018

Luke 1:39-56 Elizabeth greets Mary with words of joy and thanksgiving for Mary’s presence but more importantly for her “yes” to God. Mary gives glory to God for all the blessings she has received. Both women exude humility and grace. Holy Mother, in the face of the unknown, you gave yourself fully to God. This content comes to...
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Aug 14

August 14, 2018

Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 In a society focused on status and position, the disciples ask their question about the greatest in God’s kingdom. In response Jesus points to a lowly child, one without status. He also talks about a sinner, one who has gone astray. Just as the shepherd seeks his lost sheep, the Father seeks and welcomes the...
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Aug 13

August 13, 2018

Matthew 17:22-27 This second prediction is clearly understood by the disciples as evidenced by their being “overwhelmed with grief.” A question is put to Peter concerning Jesus’ payment of the temple tax. Jesus did pay the tax to be respectful and not to cause additional conflict with the authorities. They clearly would not...
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Aug 12

August 12, 2018

John 6:41-51 The Jews knowledge of Jesus’ background gets in the way of being open to him. His reference to their ancestors and the manna in the desert does not even appeal to their senses, to their hearts. They are blind to him and deaf to his message. There is so much to be learned from the reality that, no matter how many times you were...
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Aug 11

August 11, 2018

Matthew 17:14-20 The disciples are confounded by the fact that they could not heal the boy who is possessed. When they ask Jesus why, he blames it on their lack of faith. Using the metaphor of a mustard seed, he tells them that even a little faith can have tremendous results. Will I ever learn that when I rely on myself rather then you, I...
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Aug 10

August 10, 2018

Matthew 16:13-23 Jesus responds to Peter’s profession of faith by affirming him as leader of the Church. He is the foundation of the Church community and is given special authority. But it becomes evident that Peter’s human understanding of what it means to be the chosen leader is limited. Jesus chastises him, telling him he must...
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Aug 9

August 9, 2018

Matthew 16:13-23 Jesus responds to Peter’s profession of faith by affirming him as leader of the Church. He is the foundation of the Church community and is given special authority. But it becomes evident that Peter’s human understanding of what it means to be the chosen leader is limited. Jesus chastises him, telling him he must...
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Aug 8

August 8, 2018

Matthew 15:21-28 The woman who is not Jewish recognizes Jesus and acknowledges him for who he truly is. Her daughter is possessed, and she asks that he heal her. Jesus rebuffs her. His mission is to the Jewish people. She persists in prayer: “Lord, help me.” Jesus responds to her because of her great faith and heals her daughter. It...
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Aug 7

August 7, 2018

Matthew 14:22-36 Jesus is alone in prayer while his disciples are at sea. Because of the rough waters, they are not faring well. Jesus comes to their rescue, walking across the water. He calls to Peter, who gets out of the boat but does not last on the surface very long. His ardent love is no match for his insufficient faith. Why do you tell me...
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Aug 6

August 6, 2018

Mark 9:2-10 Peter, James, and John are given insight into the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In a sense it balances the earlier prediction of his passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus instructs them not to share what they have seen and heard because they don’t fully understand and won’t until he has risen. I know I would...
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Aug 5

August 5, 2018

John 6:24-35 The discourse from John’s Gospel brings full meaning to the story about the manna in the desert from Exodus. Jesus doesn’t give life. He is life. In him, there is nourishment and sustenance. He is the bread of life eternal. You sustain me in so many ways, Lord. If I take and eat, I will never be hungry. This content...
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Aug 4

August 4, 2018

Matthew 14:1-12 Herod wonders if Jesus is John the Baptist resurrected. Matthew inserts the story of John’s death as a means of pointing out the parallels between John and the fate that awaits Jesus. Both were thought of as prophets and yet arrested and executed at the whim of a very weak and corrupt leader. John had such passion for his...
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Aug 3

August 3, 2018

Matthew 13:54-58 At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, admiration of Jesus is overshadowed by disbelief. Because of his lineage and lack of credentials the skeptics are not willing to accept the authenticity and authority of Jesus. Because of their lack of faith he can do nothing more. Jesus, Master Teacher, I pray to be docile, open to...
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Aug 2

August 2, 2018

Matthew 13:47-53 In the first part of the Gospel Jesus reminds the disciples that God alone will rule over the final judgment with the angels separating good from evil.  The parable of the fish net is followed by a short discourse on the relation between the Jewish tradition and Jesus Christ. Jesus is the radical fulfillment of the Old...
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Aug 1

August 1, 2018

Matthew 13:44-46 One must pursue the kingdom with fervor as illustrated in the parable of the treasure and the pearl. The value of the kingdom is immeasurable, the joy indescribable. How blessed we are to have those holy men and women who teach us and show us how to navigate the gray in the world today. St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us. This...
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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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