Daily Reading and Prayer

January 2019

Jan 15

January 15, 2019

Mark 1:21-28 Mark notes that Jesus teaches with authority, an authority not possessed by the scribes — a fact which disturbs them. His teaching does have a powerful effect on his listeners. They are astonished and amazed at his casting out of the demon. The news of the events in this single day of Jesus’ ministry is carried...
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Jan 14

January 14, 2019

Mark 1:14-20 John has been arrested. Jesus’ work begins. His compelling yet challenging words, “repent and believe in the Gospel,” summarize his entire message. He calls four, and they respond immediately by following him. When you called me the first time, I am not sure my response was as immediate as Simon, Andrew, James, and...
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Jan 13

January 13, 2019

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 The hopeful expectation of the people causes John to remind them of the difference between his role and his baptism and that of Jesus. It is a striking contrast made even more clear by God’s voice naming Jesus his beloved Son. Rather than focusing on the “what ifs” of tomorrow, may I be filled with the hope...
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Jan 12

January 12, 2019

John 3:22-30 The ministries of John and of Jesus overlap briefly. Some followers are confused, but John reminds them that, from the beginning, he has been humbly preparing the way for one far greater than he. I pray fully to understand what it means to decrease in order to allow you to increase in me. All too often I let my ego take control....
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Jan 11

January 11, 2019

Luke 5:12-16 We can only imagine what it means to be “full of leprosy.” Was the disease so advanced? Was the leper’s appearance so repulsive? Jesus does not hesitate to go to the man and give his healing touch. He breaks through all physical and social prohibitions to help this man. May we be mindful this day of all who have...
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Jan 10

January 10, 2019

Luke 4:14-22 Jesus returns home and to the synagogue to worship. He reads from the Prophet Isaiah about the promise made to Israel. He breaks open the scripture passage by revealing that he is the one promised, the Messiah who will usher in a new age. Those present are amazed at his words, but that will soon turn. How often doubt and fear...
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Jan 9

January 9, 2019

Mark 6:45-52 The miraculous feeding of five thousand people followed by Jesus walking toward his disciples on the turbulent waters of the sea should be all that is necessary to bring clarity to the disciples’ understanding. They’re not there yet. Their hearts are hardened by fear and doubt. Fear creates its own blindness to the...
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Jan 8

January 8, 2019

Mark 6:34-44 The feeding of the five thousand immediately follows the return of the Twelve from mission. They are asking Jesus for quiet time with him to rest, reflect, discuss, and process all that has happened on their journey, but ministry to the people comes first. Jesus knows the crowds are hungry, physically and spiritually, and must be...
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Jan 7

January 7, 2019

Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25 Jesus begins his public ministry. Matthew has him preaching in a similar way to John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In the second half of today’s gospel, Jesus’ activities are summarized. It can be said that all of this is preparing the reader for the greatest teaching...
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Jan 6

January 6, 2019

Matthew 2:1-12 This story relates the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. The openness and desire to seek the truth on the part of the Magi stands in contrast to the closed-mindedness and fear of King Herod and the Jewish leaders. Their actions speak volumes about their faith. Herod lies and attempts to deceive. The Magi find the King, pay...
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Jan 5

January 5, 2019

John 1:43-51 Phillip invites Nathanael, who is skeptical about Jesus, to come see for himself. He does and is surprised to find Jesus knows him already and speaks highly of his character. Jesus’ words touch Nathanael. His skepticism is overpowered by belief. You know me better than I know myself. Your love for me has the power to break...
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Jan 4

January 4, 2019

John 1:35-42 Two of John the Baptist’s disciples hear John testify aloud that Jesus is the Lamb of God. They follow Jesus and engage in conversation. Jesus remains with them. One of the disciples, Andrew, tells his brother Simon that they have found the Messiah. He follows, too, and is given the name Peter. “Follow me.” With...
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Jan 3

January 3, 2019

John 1:29-34 Jesus is the one John has been talking about, the one for whom he has been preparing the people.  He calls him a sacrificial lamb. By offering himself, he will make reparation for sins. John goes on to testify that he saw the Spirit of God come down upon Jesus and remain in him. He is the Son of God, and this is the dawn of a...
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Jan 2

January 2, 2019

John 1:19-28 John knows his place and points the way to the truth for all to see. He tells the priests and Levites that he is not the true teacher but, like the prophets, a witness to the Messiah. I am reminded that, in anything I do for you, I must do so knowing that I am merely a messenger. You are the message.   This content comes to you...
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Jan 1

January 1, 2019

Luke 2:16-21   The shepherds are a lowly group of people considered ignorant in the society of the time. And yet it is they who understand that the news from the heavenly host is from God. Mary quietly and humbly reflects on all that is taking place. On the eighth day her son is given the name, Jesus, the name given her by the angel.  ...
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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