Daily Reading and Prayer

September 2020

Sep 30

September 30, 2020

Lk 9:57-62 The “would-be” followers of Jesus are represented by those who state clearly that they will follow him as soon as they take care of business. This exchange is quickly followed by Jesus saying that the journey is more than geographical. It is a way of life that often requires letting go of earthly ties. I pray for the grace...
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Sep 29

September 29, 2020

Jn 1:47-51 Today the Church celebrates the feast of the archangels, Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. They are heralds of God’s salvific work and defenders against evil. The first chapter of John’s Gospel concludes with Jesus’ exchange with Nathanial. He is a good man who will see heaven and earth become one because of his...
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Sep 28

September 28, 2020

Lk 9:46-50 In an attempt to bring light to his disciple’s concern about status, Jesus places a child beside him. Children do not have status in that society and yet are greatest in the eyes of God because of their complete dependence upon him. The disciples go on to make petty remarks about the works of those who are outside of their...
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Sep 27

September 27, 2020

Mt 21:28-32 In the previous passages in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ opponents question his authority in a series of controversies. In the parable today, Jesus is pointing to their culpability by likening them to the son who says he will do the father’s bidding but does not. It is those who repent and reform their lives, like the...
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Sep 26

September 26, 2020

Lk 9:43-45 Jesus tells his disciples to pay attention to what he is about to say. His second prediction of his Passion comes quickly on the heels of the first. The disciples are not and will not be able to comprehend the mystery until they have the experience of the fulfillment of all that he told them. We have the gift of the whole story, your...
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Sep 25

September 25, 2020

Lk 9:18-22 Jesus asks his disciples these same questions in all three of the Synoptic Gospels. First, he asks who people think he is. They respond with answers in line with Herod’s speculation. Then Jesus directs the question to them. Peter answers with a confession of faith about which Jesus tells them it is not the time for anyone to...
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Sep 24

September 24, 2020

Lk 9:7-9 Jesus’ mission grows and catches the attention of more and more people. One in particular is Herod Antipas. He is puzzled by the references to John the Baptist and the ancient Prophets. Knowing what he knows about John, he tries to see this man Jesus for himself. I pray for those who rouse curiosity about you, especially Pope...
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Sep 23

September 23, 2020

Lk 9:1-6 Jesus commissions and sends the Twelve out with very practical advice. They are to travel light mindful of the importance of their complete dependence on God for all their needs. They are to preach, teach, heal and never be discouraged by rejection. Shaking the dust is often easier said than done. Perhaps for me that is an issue of...
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Sep 22

September 22, 2020

Lk 8:19-21 Jesus’ words about family are not meant to be hostile. Mary is the first and finest disciple. Jesus’ greater concern is about the family not tied by blood but by the common bond of being part of God’s family. There are so many people who do not know, do not understand or completely reject being part of a spiritual...
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Sep 21

September 21, 2020

Mt 9:9-13 The Pharisees were scandalized by Jesus’ willingness to dine with sinners and tax collectors. The latter were considered no better than sinners by the pious Jew because of their alleged collaboration with Roman officials and yet Jesus called one of them, Matthew, to follow him. We know the rest of the story. I am grateful for...
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Sep 20

September 20, 2020

Mt 20:1-16 This parable is a lesson on justice, God’s justice. The workers are sent out at various times throughout the day. At the end of the day, they are called in and paid, the last first and the first last. This is certainly not what is expected, especially by those who worked the entire day. It is completely out of line with human...
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Sep 19

September 19, 2020

Lk 8: 4-15 Though the title of the parable highlights the sower, some say it should be called the Parable of the Sowing, of the seed understood to be God’s word. This particular parable is in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, which makes sense since it is about the word of God. It is one thing to simply hear the word, yet another to hear...
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Sep 18

September 18, 2020

Lk 8:1-3 Jesus, an itinerant preacher, travels from place to place, teaching and preaching the good news. He is accompanied by not only the Twelve, but by women who have been healed by him and are now helping support his mission. What a gift and privilege it is to journey with you today. Sustain me in work I do for you.
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Sep 17

September 17, 2020

Lk 7:36-50 It must have been embarrassing for a woman deemed sinful to gain access to Simon the Pharisee’s home and table. The woman shows a great deal of courage by her actions and Jesus accepts her faith filled gesture with compassion and forgives her sins. Jesus challenges Simon with a parable and chastises him for his lack of...
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Sep 16

September 16, 2020

Lk 7:31-35 Jesus tells the crowds that the people of “this generation” are like obstinate children. Nothing satisfies them. Their reasons for rejecting Jesus are inconsistent with their reasons for rejecting John. They are closed to God’s working in Jesus. Those who are open and embrace God’s plan will be vindicated. The...
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Sep 15

September 15, 2020

Jn 19:25-27 Or Lk 2:33-35 The Presentation in the Temple Mary and the other women remain with him and in the final moments of his life, Jesus entrusts his Mother’s care to John, the Beloved Disciple. In the optional Gospel from Luke, Simeon recognizes Jesus, names his destiny and tells Mary that she will share in his suffering and his...
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Sep 14

September 14, 2020

Jn 3:13-17 Jesus continues his instruction of Nicodemus with reference to Moses and the elevated serpent. Elevation-exaltation is central to John’s theology as it is to all Christianity. With that is the understanding that God’s motivation to give his only Son is love, love for all creation especially humanity. Salvation is dependent...
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Sep 13

September 13, 2020

Mt 18:21-35 Peter asks then answers his own question regarding the number of times one must forgive another. Jesus responds with a near infinite number and follows with a parable. Though the master forgives the servant’s debt, the servant is not willing to do the same for his fellow servant. As we are forgiven, we must be willing to...
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Sep 12

September 12, 2020

Lk 6:43-49 Jesus uses two fruit trees to illustrate the significance of the source of our actions, why we do what we do. Like the healthy tree, goodness within yields goodness without. Jesus’ discourse ends with the parable of the two fundations. Following Jesus, trusting and believing in him, is the only true and sound foundation upon...
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Sep 11

September 11, 2020

Lk 6:39-42 The familiar saying about the blind leading the blind combined with the saying about the splinter and beam make clear what Jesus is telling his disciples. In order to teach others how to live and lead them rightly, they must first recognize their own faults and change their ways. Honestly, I spend too much time judging others and not...
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Sep 10

September 10, 2020

Lk 6:27-38 Jesus’ teaching about discipleship carries the greatest challenge of all. It is not enough to love those who are amiable, enjoyable and engaging. He calls them to love greatly those who are the least loveable. They must “love, do good and give” not just to friends but to enemies as well. Help me to put on...
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Sep 9

September 9, 2020

Lk 6:20-26 Though different, the Beatitudes in both Matthew and Luke’s Gospels point the disciple to complete dependence on God and loving service to others. The “woes” stand in stark contrast to the four blessings in Luke’s Gospel. They are those attitudes and behaviors that need to change in order to find joy on the...
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Sep 8

September 8, 2020

Mt 1:1-16, 18-23 Today’s Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus, setting him in history. The Gospel continues with verses 18-23 of Matthew’s Gospel, which tell of Mary, betrothed to Joseph, a man who faces a true moral dilemma. The angel’s intervention leads Joseph to make the choice God wills. Mary, Holy Mother and St....
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Sep 7

September 7, 2020

Lk 6:6-11 The Pharisees have moved from reacting to Jesus’ missteps to actively watching and waiting for him to break the law. Jesus has declared himself the Lord of the Sabbath and continues to care for his people. He heals the man with the withered hand, restoring him to wholeness in his body and within the community. Bring comfort to...
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Sep 6

September 6, 2020

Mt 18:15-20 This passage presents a process by which the community can bring a stray member back to the fold. It begins with confrontation in the hope that will be enough for repentance and reconciliation. If it is not, then other community members are brought in and together confront. It goes on from there. Every effort must be made to...
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Sep 5

September 5, 2020

Lk 6:1-5 Jesus points out the Pharisees skewed understanding of the God’s law. He also makes it quite clear that they are not the gatekeepers of Sabbath regulations. The disciples are not harvesting fields. They are traveling and hungry. How it must have infuriated the Pharisees when Jesus let them know that he, the Son of Man, God...
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Sep 4

September 4, 2020

Lk 5:33-39 The scribes and Pharisees are critical of the neglect of religious practices by the disciples. Jesus responds to their concern about fasting specifically and then gives them the bigger lesson about the limitations of old ways as they see them. Jesus is calling them to a renewal, but the leaders don’t understand. I tend to cling...
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Sep 3

September 3, 2020

Lk 5:1-11 For the miraculous fishing trip to be incorporated in the story of Simon’s call is meaningful in light of what is to come. Not only does it provide a powerful context for the beginning of Peter’s leadership role, but it offers a glimpse at the countless numbers of disciples to come. Lord, I am not worthy. I am weak and live...
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Sep 2

September 2, 2020

Lk 4:38-44 The people of Capernaum receive Jesus differently than the people of his hometown, Nazareth. He teaches with authority, heals the sick and silences demons. The people want to keep him with them. He tells them that he has not been sent to any one group but to all people. You are the author of everything and everyone. Just as your love...
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Sep 1

September 1, 2020

Lk 4:31-37 Capernaum, a city on the north shore of Lake Galilee is to be Jesus’ base during the period of the Galilean ministry. It is the Sabbath, and Jesus is in the local synagogue. He is teaching in an authoritative manner, which amazes the people. Even more astonishing, Jesus reprimands a demon. He casts him out of the man...
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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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