Daily Reading and Prayer

June 2017

Jun 25

June 25, 2017

Matthew 10:26-33 Three times Jesus tells his disciples not to fear what might cause them to abandon the mission. The disciples must boldly proclaim the kingdom of God, confident in his love for them. Though their opponents may kill the disciples’ bodies, they cannot harm their souls.   Prayer: I pray this day for those throughout the...
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Jun 24

June 24, 2017

Luke 1:57-66, 80 On the day of John’s circumcision, Zechariah regains his ability to speak once he confirms the name, designated by the angel, of his son. At this, Zechariah opens his mouth and prays aloud a hymn of praise. Those who witness these events are amazed and wonder who this child will one day be.   Prayer: You loved and...
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Jun 23

June 23, 2017

Matthew 11:25-30 Jesus praises the Father for his wisdom, a pure gift to those willing to receive. God reveals himself to those who are open and receptive, “the little ones.” One knows the will of the Father through the Son. Rather than living as though burdened, Jesus offers his invitation to discipleship, the easy yoke —...
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Jun 22

June 22, 2017

Matthew 6:7-15 Jesus tells the disciples the Father already knows what they need to make their prayer to him simple and straightforward. They are to begin by giving honor to God and then go on to petition him for their needs, mindful of the importance of the willingness to forgive as God forgives them. Prayer: Our Father, old hurts and...
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Jun 21

June 21, 2017

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18 Jesus talks to the disciples not so much about what they do, though that is important, but about why they do what they do. If the motivation behind prayer, fasting, and almsgiving is to impress others, then it is not of God, nor is it pleasing to God. Prayer: When I am tempted to “toot my own horn,” remind me...
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Jun 20

June 20, 2017

Matthew 5:43-48 Jesus tells his disciples that love must be inclusive. To love as God loves is to love everyone, even and especially those who are enemies or simply difficult to love. Prayer: By following your example, Jesus, may my love be an example that inspires another, and another, and another to walk in your way.   This content comes...
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Jun 19

June 19, 2017

Matthew 5:38-42 Jesus tells his disciples there is nothing gained by responding to violence with violence. Retaliation becomes a dangerous cycle. The only way to stop the cycle is to respond with mercy and love.  Prayer: “Turning the other cheek” is often easier said than done, and it doesn’t always bring the results hoped...
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Jun 18

June 18, 2017

John 6:51-58 Those listening to Jesus’ discourse haven’t the first clue what he is talking about. Perhaps John’s community doesn’t either. Jesus is inviting them to eat a new kind of food, one that nourishes their spirits, not their bodies, and will bring them to eternal life with him.   Prayer: Thank you for the...
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Jun 17

June 17, 2017

Matthew 5:33-37 The taking of oaths is the subject of this antithesis. Jesus tells his disciples to be simply honest and straight forward. Dishonesty is evil. To tell the truth is an expression of love. It seems the world thrives on falsehood and dishonesty. It is sometimes difficult to speak the truth. When what we say and do is rooted in love,...
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Jun 16

June 16, 2017

Matthew 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, citing Deuteronomy Chapter 24. Prayer: Lord, you prompt me to think outside of myself, to always...
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Jun 15

June 15, 2017

Matthew 5:20-26 The first of the “antitheses” contrasts the scribe’s literal interpretation of the law with Jesus’ deeper and more demanding understanding of what it means to be holy. Jesus’ intent is not to abolish but to fulfill God’s law.   Prayer: Loving and merciful God, free me from anger and move...
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Jun 14

June 14, 2017

Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus tells the disciples and the crowd that he will not abolish the Law of Moses. Nor will he let it be held over people.  At the heart of the law is the commandment to love, and he will make sure that every word of the law is understood as map and compass to right relationship with God and neighbor. Prayer: Your law, Lord...
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Jun 13

June 13, 2017

Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and light are the images Jesus uses to convey the work of the disciples. Salt not only enhances, it preserves. The disciples are to transform the world by preaching the Good News to preserve the integrity of Jesus’ vision and mission. Through them the light of Christ is to shine. Prayer: Christ Jesus, let your light...
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Jun 12

June 12, 2017

Matthew 5:1-12 It is those who, by the world’s standards, seem cursed that are blessed in the eyes of God. The beatitudes are the heart of the law. The first beatitude, to be “poor in spirit” — that is, to depend completely on God — is the soul of Jesus’ teaching.   Prayer: You compassionately encourage...
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Jun 11

June 11, 2017

John 3:16-18 God loves us so much that he gave himself in the person of his Son to be with us. When the Son returned to the Father, the Spirit of their love remained to draw us into that relationship between Father and Son — the path to salvation.   Prayer: What more could I want than to be loved by you, my Creator? Though I am drawn...
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Jun 10

June 10, 2017

Mark 12:38-44 The act of the widow stands in sharp contrast with those of the scribes. Their religiosity is superficial, intended to call attention to themselves. The widow willingly gives all that she has, a clear sign of her absolute dependence on God. Her action is what it means to be “poor in spirit.”   Prayer: As many...
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Jun 9

June 9, 2017

Mark 12:35-37 The scribes have been the ones asking the difficult questions up to this point in the Gospel. Now Jesus poses a question to them, not to trick them but to bring them to the truth about his relationship with God. Jesus is of the line of David, no doubt, but he is also the Son of God.   Prayer: I praise you, Lord God, for all...
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Jun 8

June 8, 2017

Mark 12:28-34 Following the questioning of the unscrupulous Jewish leaders, a scribe poses an honest and heartfelt question. Jesus calls on the Scriptures for the answer. The first and greatest commandment is a combination of two. The scribe appreciates Jesus’ answer, and Jesus acknowledges the scribe’s understanding. He will be...
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Jun 7

June 7, 2017

Mark 12:18-27   The intent of the Jewish leaders posing to Jesus the question about the Resurrection is to trap him, much like the intent of the question posed about taxes. Without hesitation, Jesus puts it right back on them. His wisdom shines a light on their ignorance of God’s law and eternal life. They are “greatly...
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Jun 6

June 6, 2017

Mark 12:13-17   Jesus’ enemies set a trap for him. In questioning him about paying taxes, they want him to pit the Law of Moses against Roman law. He surprises them by fairly stating that it is important to live up to the responsibilities of being both a good citizen and a good Jew.   Prayer: Holy Spirit, I pray that you continue...
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Jun 5

June 5, 2017

Mark 12:1-12   Jesus uses the parable of the tenants to berate the Jewish leaders who have rejected God’s messengers throughout history. Though the ultimate rejection of God’s Son led to his crucifixion, God vindicates Jesus’ death by his resurrection.   Prayer: Jesus, by calling me to be your disciple, you have...
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Jun 4

June 4, 2017

John 20:19-23   The disciples are hiding behind locked doors. Jesus appears in their midst and twice offers them words of peace. It is now time for them to come out of hiding and go out to continue the mission he began. Jesus breathes on them in the same way the Father breathed life into the first human. His spirit fills the disciples....
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Jun 3

June 3, 2017

John 21: 20-25   Though not thought to be the original conclusion to John’s Gospel, these passages provide some insight into the significance of the Beloved Disciple to the Christian community. There are no details about his life and death, but, more importantly, his eyewitness testimony lives on as the basis for John’s Gospel....
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Jun 2

June 2, 2017

John 21:15-19   This beautiful encounter between Peter and the risen Lord is Peter’s opportunity for public repentance. Three times he denied knowing Jesus. Three times Peter professes his love for him. Jesus’ role as shepherd is now passed on to Peter and he too will lay down his life.   Prayer: I know that like Peter, I...
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Jun 1

June 1, 2017

John 17:20-26   Jesus continues his prayer, directing his words to the Father on behalf of his future disciples.  He prays that they may be united. It is in that unity, modeled on the union between Jesus and the Father, that the mission will be most effective. Disciples will be recognized by their love for one another and followed...
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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