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Daily Reading and Prayer

August 2017

Aug 23

August 23, 2017

Matthew 20:1-16 In this parable Jesus presents the kingdom of God in a powerful, counter-cultural way. A person who works part of the day is given a full day’s wage. It is completely out of line with a human perception of what is fair, yet absolutely in line with God’s justice and mercy. Prayer: Lord, you are fair and just. Your...
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Aug 22

August 22, 2017

Matthew 19:23-30 The encounter with the rich young man sets the scene for teachings on wealth and material possessions.  Possessions in and of themselves are not the problem. Rather, it is a person’s dependence upon things to the point of being unwilling to share, give away, or let go. Prayer: I know that I am weighted down by what I...
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Aug 21

August 21, 2017

Matthew 19:16-22 No doubt the young man is living according to God’s law by following the Commandments. He tells Jesus he wants to do more, so Jesus presents him with a challenge: give away his earthly possessions and depend completely on God for all that he needs. The young man is unwilling to accept that challenge. Prayer: Sadly, I see...
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Aug 20

August 20, 2017

Matthew 15:21-28 This Gentile woman 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, saying, “Lord, help me.” Jesus responds to the woman because of her great faith and heals her...
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Aug 19

August 19, 2017

Matthew 19:13-15 Jesus is drawn to those without status in society who are, by their state in life, completely dependent. Children are not an annoyance to Jesus. They exemplify the proper attitude for gaining entrance into God’s kingdom. Prayer: Jesus, bless the parents of children and all who care for the little ones among us. Rekindle in...
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Aug 18

August 18, 2017

Matthew 19:3-12 Jesus cites the book of Genesis in response to the challenge about marriage posed by the Pharisees. God’s intention for marriage is that it be indissoluble. Jesus assumes his role as authoritative interpreter of the law, which raises the ire of the Jewish leaders. Prayer: I give thanks to you, Lord God, for your love and...
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Aug 17

August 17, 2017

Matthew 18:21-19:1 Peter speaks for the disciples in wanting to know what exactly is expected of them in terms of the number of times they are to forgive the offences of others. Perhaps he feels the number he offers is generous, but, in fact, Jesus’ correction points to the fact that God’s mercy cannot be limited or restricted. He...
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Aug 16

August 16, 2017

Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus tells his disciples that reconciling a sinner among them is the responsibility of the community. To bring an erring member back, there are steps that need to be taken beginning with a one-on-one discussion. If that does not work then witnesses are brought in. If necessary, then the conversation is held before the entire...
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Aug 15

August 15, 2017

Luke 1:39-56 (Mass During the Day) Elizabeth greets Mary with words of joy and thanksgiving for Mary’s presence and, 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. Prayer: Dearest Mother, in the face of the unknown, you gave yourself...
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Aug 14

August 14, 2017

Matthew 17:22-27 By virtue of their overwhelming grief, the disciples seem to understand what lies ahead for Jesus. The tax collectors’ questioning Peter about Jesus paying the temple tax follows the second prediction of Jesus’ passion. In the end, Jesus pays the tax so as not to offend or cause scandal, but he does so in an unusual...
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Aug 13

August 13, 2017

Matthew 14:22-33 Jesus demonstrates his command over the powerful waters. He offers the same power to Peter who attempts to walk on the water but fails. Peter’s love of the Lord is not enough to overcome his weak faith, but he is a work in progress. Prayer: Holy Spirit, strengthen within me the virtues of faith, hope, and love so that I am...
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Aug 12

August 12, 2017

Matthew 17:14-20 The father of the boy possessed by a demon goes first to Jesus’ disciples seeking healing for his son. They have so little faith they fail to heal the boy. Jesus rebukes his disciples by telling them that even faith the size of the smallest of seeds can move mountains. Prayer: Thank you for the gift of faith. I pray for...
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Aug 11

August 11, 2017

Matthew 16:24-28 This Gospel passage follows Jesus’ first prediction of his passion. Discipleship comes with both cost and reward. A disciple must be willing to deny everything, including him or herself, and set sight only on fulfilling the will of God. Prayer: “Let go and let God,” they say. That’s easier said than done,...
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Aug 10

August 10, 2017

John 12:24-26 Jesus uses the analogy of what comes from planting a grain of wheat to explain what will come in his life. He hands himself over to death by which he attains the glory of eternal life for all. In a similar way we are called to give our lives away. In so doing, we will flourish. Prayer: Persecution takes on many forms. Let us pray...
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Aug 9

August 9, 2017

Matthew 15:21-28 Jesus rebuffs the Gentile woman in this passage. His mission thus far has been to the Israelites. The woman’s persistence and remarkable faith causes him to listen to her and grant her appeal to him to heal her daughter — indicative of the widening of Jesus’ mission to include all people. Prayer: Saint Teresa...
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Aug 8

August 8, 2017

Matthew 14:22-36 Jesus leaves the disciples to pray. They are out in the boat without him and are not faring well on rough seas. Jesus walks across the water to rescue them, and Peter impulsively gets out of the boat to go to him. Then Peter’s fear causes him to falter, but Jesus grabs hold of him. After this, they all travel to and come...
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Aug 7

August 7, 2017

Matthew 14:13-21 Jesus’ attempt to get away is thwarted. There would be no time to grieve, no rest for the weary. The persistence of the people touches Jesus and he responds to their need. He heals the sick and then rather than send them home, he keeps them together and feeds them in body and spirit. Prayer: Everything you said and did in...
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Aug 6

August 6, 2017

Matthew 17:1-9 Peter, James, and John are given insight into the glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In a sense, this glimpse balances the earlier prediction of his passion, death, and resurrection. Jesus instructs the trio not to share what they have seen and heard because they don’t fully understand and won’t until he has risen....
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Aug 5

August 5, 2017

Matthew 14:1-12 Herod wonders if Jesus is John the Baptist resurrected. Matthew inserts the story of John’s death in the Gospel 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 on the whim of a very weak and corrupt leader. Prayer: I pray...
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Aug 4

August 4, 2017

Matthew 13:54-58 At first it seems that the people are amazed at Jesus’ words and deeds. It is quickly evident that they choose to reject him rather than believe in him. This saddens Jesus. Because of the people’s lack of faith he refuses to perform miracles. Prayer: Saint John Vianney, we ask your intercession for those who serve as...
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Aug 3

August 3, 2017

Matthew 13:47-53 In Matthew’s final parable about the Kingdom, a net is thrown over all humanity under which the good and bad coexist in the hope that bad will turn to good. The separation will take place at the final judgment. The Gospel passage concludes with a reminder of how Jewish tradition is being given new life in Jesus. Prayer:...
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Aug 2

August 2, 2017

Matthew 13:44-46 Again, we hear the parables about the buried treasure and the pearl of great price. Jesus is telling his disciples that the value of God’s kingdom is so great they must devote their lives to zealously pursuing it no matter the cost. Prayer: Why would I want anything but to live in your love for all eternity? Be with me...
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Aug 1

August 1, 2017

Matthew 13:36-43 In the first reading from the Book of Exodus, Moses meets with God. He proclaims God’s kindness and mercy but acknowledges that God does not “declar[e] the guilty guiltless.” In the Gospel reading, Jesus explains to the disciples that the parable of the weeds and the wheat is about the final judgment....
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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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