Daily Reading and Prayer

February 2019

Feb 17

February 17, 2019

Luke 6: 17, 20-26 Jesus stands before his disciples and a crowd of both Jewish and non-Jewish people. He delivers the Beatitudes, blessings on those who trust in God alone, and the “woes,” warnings to those who turn away from God by caring only for themselves. It is easy to be lured by human values even though time and again they...
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Feb 16

February 16, 2019

Mark 8:1-10 Jesus is moved with pity for the people. They have come a great distance, which likely means there are Gentiles among them. They are hungry, but rather than send them off to fend for themselves, Jesus feeds them. All are welcome. Help me to be as compassionate and welcoming as you. One kind word or gesture on my part could make all...
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Feb 15

February 15, 2019

Mark 7:31-37 Jesus travels to another non-Jewish part of Palestine. A man who cannot hear and has a speech impediment is brought to him. Jesus uses his spittle, touch, and a command, “Ephphatha,” to heal the man. That same command is given to the elect at the preparation rites on Holy Saturday morning. Let my ears be opened to your...
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Feb 14

February 14, 2019

Mark 7:24-30 The Syrophoenician woman has a lot working against her, yet she persists. Jesus acknowledges her persistence and cures her possessed daughter. There is an important message not to be missed in this passage. This woman is a Gentile, an outsider. Thus far Jesus’ ministry has been focused on the Jewish people. Through this...
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Feb 13

February 13, 2019

Mark 7: 14-23 Jesus, addressing the gathered crowd, continues to chastise the Jewish leaders for their hypocritical attitude. He says that what makes a person unclean has more to do with the internal than with the external. It is what a person does or how a person acts, not what a person eats, that shows he lives according to God’s...
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Feb 12

February 12, 2019

Mark 7:1-13 Jesus is challenging the false piety of the Pharisees and scribes. They are critical of the disciples’ lack of attention to the purification rituals. He calls them hypocrites, more attached to their own traditions than to God’s law. It’s almost as if you were talking to me, Lord. I do everything I am supposed to do....
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Feb 11

February 11, 2019

Mark 6:53-56 People are drawn to Jesus. By word of mouth they have heard about his preaching and miracles. They travel from near and far. They believe his power is such that an encounter with him will transform their lives. I long to see you with my eyes but believe your invisible presence before me, beside me, within me is enough for now....
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Feb 10

February 10, 2019

Luke 5:1-11 Simon, a fisherman by trade, balks at Jesus’ telling him to go back out to deep water and fish. Daylight was not the best time to fish. Nonetheless Simon did what Jesus said, and the result was a miraculous catch of fish and the beginning of the journey of discipleship. It’s hard to be obedient when doing what you ask...
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Feb 9

February 9, 2019

Mark 6:30-34 Jesus invites the newly returned Twelve to go to a deserted place for a well-deserved rest. They took a water route, but the people hurriedly traveled to meet them at their destination. It became abundantly clear that there would be no rest on the journey with him. You model selflessness by putting the needs of the people before...
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Feb 8

February 8, 2019

Mark 6:14-29 Mark’s Gospel begins with Herod confusing the identity of Jesus with that of John. He had John killed. Has he risen? It continues with a lengthy account of John’s death. It becomes evident that John’s death was a foretelling of Jesus’s death. John had the courage to speak the truth, knowing the price he would...
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Feb 7

February 7, 2019

Mark 6:7-13 The Twelve have watched, listened, and learned. Now they are ready to be apostles, a Greek word meaning “ones sent out.” Jesus gives them very specific and detailed instructions, not the least of which is that they must be absolutely dependent on him. You called me. I continue to listen and learn. You have sent me out,...
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Feb 6

February 6, 2019

Mark 6:1-6 They thought they knew Mary’s son, the carpenter. Perhaps their memory of him was in the context of his humble beginnings. That memory is not consistent with their experience of him in the synagogue, and they could not get past that. Though they were astonished by his words and deeds, they lacked faith. I need to examine the...
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Feb 5

February 5, 2019

Mark 5:21-43 There are nine encounters with women in Mark’s Gospel. These healing stories are two of the nine. Mark “sandwiches” one story between the beginning and the end of the other. He is emphasizing that which is central to Jesus’ message: If a person has faith, that person need not be afraid. How readily and easily...
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Feb 4

February 4, 2019

Mark 5:1-20 Mark’s account of the man possessed is vividly detailed. It begins with a sad description of his situation. The man approaches Jesus and asks that the demons be expelled from him and sent into the herd of swine. Jesus does what he asks, returning the man to wholeness. He wants to follow Jesus but remains in his community,...
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Feb 3

February 3, 2019

Luke 4:21-30 Jesus tells those in the synagogue that he is the fulfillment of the Prophet Isaiah. They are intrigued by this news until some realize he grew up with them. He then compares himself to other prophets. This infuriates them so much that they drive him out of town. Like the prophets, Jesus is rejected by his own people. I pray this...
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Feb 2

February 2, 2019

Luke 2:22-40 Luke intertwines two rituals in the gospel, Mary’s purification and Jesus’ presentation in the temple. Simon, “righteous and devout,” takes the child in his arms, praising God for allowing him to see all that he had hoped for, and amazing Mary and Joseph with inspired knowledge about Jesus’ destiny....
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Feb 1

February 1, 2019

Mark 4:26-34 Jesus uses two nature parables to help his listeners understand the wonder of the Kingdom of God. In the first he says that God alone will bring the kingdom to fullness. In the second he tells them that, like the tiniest seed that grows into a great bush, God’s kingdom can grow and develop from the least likely beginning. You...
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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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