Daily Reading and Prayer

October 2021

Oct 31

October 31, 2021

Mk 12:28-34   In the first reading from Deuteronomy, we hear the Shema, the Jewish confession of faith. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus responds to the scribe’s question by combining the Shema with one of the rules of conduct from Leviticus to love neighbor.   You have taught us that neighbor is so much more than the person next...
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Oct 30

October 30, 2021

Lk 14:1, 7-11   Jesus speaks to both the guests and the host about false humility and dishonest motivation by calling attention to oneself and doing for others to get something in return. That is not hospitality. Rather they should embrace and invite all and empty themselves without counting the cost.   We are all God’s children...
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Oct 29

October 29, 2021

Lk 14:1-6   The Pharisees are keeping a careful eye on Jesus. No doubt some are watching and waiting for all the wrong reasons. Jesus knows what they are about and questions their motives before he acts. He heals the man and then challenges them with a question embedded in a familiar scenario. They are unable to respond.   You teach us...
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Oct 28

October 28, 2021

Lk 6:12-16 Discernment at its best. Jesus goes up the mountain and spends the night in communion with his Father. When he comes down the next day he chooses and names twelve from his disciples who will be sent out. Sts. Simon and Jude, the Church is built upon your faith and the faith of all the apostles. It is on your strong shoulders we stand...
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Oct 27

October 27, 2021

Lk 13:22-30   The thought of the gate being so narrow or the door to salvation locked must have caused anxiety for those listening to Jesus. And yet there is hope if it is understood that salvation cannot be merited or achieved. Salvation is pure gift from a God who loves his people and wills them to hope in him.   I know I am not...
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Oct 26

October 26, 2021

Lk 13:18-21 Jesus uses ordinary examples to give insight into the Kingdom of God. A huge shrub grows from the tiny mustard seed and a small amount of yeast causes the dough to expand to many times its size. So it is with the kingdom that has beginnings in the most unlikely people and ordinary things. We miss the point when we only look to...
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Oct 25

October 25, 2021

Lk 13:10-17 Imagine what it must be like to not be able to stand erect. In that moment, Jesus is far more concerned about this woman’s difficult situation and that compassion leads him to free her from her bondage.  How could anyone find fault in that? His action is an in-breaking of God’s kingdom. Jesus you know our every move....
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Oct 24

October 24, 2021

Mk 10:46-52 Does the blind man see who Jesus is more clearly than the crowd, more clearly than Jesus’ disciples? It seems that his disability is in fact an ability to see differently. He calls Jesus “Son of David” and addresses him as “Master.” It is his persistence that gets Jesus’ attention, and because of...
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Oct 23

October 23, 2021

Lk 13:1-9 Jesus cites two little known incidents, the murder of Galileans and a construction accident at Siloam. He tells the people not to associate disaster with punishment but to consider if those who died were prepared for their lives to end. He uses the parable of the fig tree to emphasize that the time to change is now. That life can end...
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Oct 22

October 22, 2021

Lk 12:54-59 People should know not to ignore or deny nature’s signs. Those who present themselves as wise leaders but do not recognize or acknowledge the coming of the kingdom in the signs of the times are hypocrites. Have we been paying attention to the signs this last year and a half? Some have, some clearly have not. May we all come to...
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Oct 21

October 21, 2021

Lk 12:49-53 There is nothing lukewarm or half-hearted about discipleship. A disciple must be on fire with the Spirit, willing to stand against and challenge the world gone astray. This is God’s work and it is good but has the propensity to cause division and suffering. Am I willing to stand with him no matter the cost? Conflict and...
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Oct 20

October 20, 2021

Lk 12:39-48 Jesus’s sayings and the parable of the servants continue to emphasize the importance of vigilance and readiness. Much has been entrusted to the disciples and even more entrusted to Peter and the other early Christian leaders. They are entrusted with God’s work. Rather than wasting their time with worldly things and...
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Oct 19

October 19, 2021

Lk 12:35-38 Jesus likens the return of the Son of Man to the return of the master of a household. The servants have no idea the day or time of his return and so they wisely prepare and remain vigilant day and night. We know that the early Christian’s expectation for Jesus’ imminent return was altered as time passed. And yet, they...
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Oct 18

October 18, 2021

Lk 10:1-9 The Twelve were sent on a previous mission and now Jesus is sending seventy-two ahead of him to prepare the way. They are to bring a spirit of humility and openness and to offer peace to those whose households they enter. There will be many challenges but as long as they remain completely dependent on him they will have all that they...
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Oct 17

October 17, 2021

Mk 10:35-45 It is unimaginable that these two disciples, after having heard Jesus speak of the suffering he will endure, could ask such a question. Jesus’ response is a challenge for them to examine very carefully the consequences to their following him. With every challenge I face in doing your work, I must constantly remind myself that I...
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Oct 16

October 16, 2021

Lk 12:8-12 Jesus tells his disciples that people can acknowledge him publicly or they can deny him. When before God, they will be dealt with accordingly. He reminds them that those who deny will be forgiven if they repent, otherwise they will be judged harshly. Spirit of the Living God, strengthen your gifts within me so that I may live...
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Oct 15

October 15, 2021

Lk 12:1-7   Jesus begins by cautioning first his disciples about the duplicity of the pharisees. In contrast, he speaks of God’s love and care for each one of them. God knows their every thought, their hopes, their fears. In that, God is with them therefore they must not be afraid.   There are times when turning to you when I am...
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Oct 14

October 14, 2021

Lk 11:47-54 In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues his harsh judgment of his host and all gathered at the table. He condemns the practices of their ancestors who murdered the prophets. This insulting rebuke turns the tide and the anger and animosity of the Jewish leaders propels them to action. You did not back down in the face if danger. What...
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Oct 13

October 13, 2021

Lk 11:42-46 Jesus continues to chastise and challenge the Pharisees. They are pretentious and self-absorbed. Though they tithe, the Pharisees are not at all attentive to matters of justice and charity. They look out for themselves while overlooking the needs of others. Jesus also admonishes the scribes for placing heavy burdens on people without...
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Oct 12

October 12, 2021

Lk 11:37-41 Jesus responds to his host’s criticism by chastising the Pharisees. What they do externally is not indicative of their intentions. They may have clean hands but do they have clean hearts? He tells them to open their hearts to the needs of others and they will be truly clean.   I pray that charity and justice drive the...
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Oct 11

October 11, 2021

Lk 11:29-32 Jesus speaks to the demand for more signs by saying that he should be sign enough. He reminds them of Jonah whose preaching moved the Ninevites to repent and Solomon’s wisdom that drew the attention of a great queen. And now the Son of God stands before them. I pray for all those who do not see who you are and accept you. Oh...
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Oct 10

October 10, 2021

Mk 10:17-30 Riches were believed to be a sign of God’s favor. The man realizes that discipleship is more than following the precepts of the law. He is bound by earthly things and cannot let go. Jesus turns to his disciples and reminds them that great sacrifice comes with following him. I am afraid to ask what it means to “give up...
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Oct 9

October 9, 2021

Lk 11:27-28   We know how much Jesus loved his mother, Mary but even she would have supported her son in his response. Jesus’ mission goes beyond kinship. True blessedness, deep down happiness, comes from hearing God’s word and living it out.   I am grateful for the times when I have felt that deep down happiness because I...
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Oct 8

October 8, 2021

Lk 11:15-26 Some who witnessed Jesus casting out the demon seriously misinterpret his action. Others ask that he do more to convince them of the origin of his power. Their divisions are their undoing. Jesus responds to their suspicions and hardness of heart by telling them that his power comes from the “finger of God.” There are...
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Oct 7

October 7, 2021

Lk 11:5-13 Jesus continues his teachings on prayer with the story of the midnight visitor followed by a series of sayings, a strong admonition to persevere. Their prayers will be answered by a loving and generous father who does not necessarily give what they ask for but who always gives what they need.   Loving God, I know what I want. You...
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Oct 6

October 6, 2021

Lk 11:1-4   The disciples realize that Jesus’ relationship with his Father is nurtured and strengthened through prayer. They ask Jesus to teach them to pray. Luke’s form of the Lord’s Prayer is not as long as Matthew’s, but the structure and content are basically the same, which echoes Jesus’ original...
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Oct 5

October 5, 2021

Lk 10:38-42 This is the story of two sisters, one intent upon serving their guest and the other intent upon listening to their guest. The work of each is good and valuable. The point not to be missed is that in order to serve the Lord, one must first listen to God’s Word. For me, being busy is often a way of avoiding just being still....
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Oct 4

October 4, 2021

Lk 10:25-37 Jesus expounds upon love of God and neighbor as prescribed in the Torah. A disciple is to love beyond blood relationship and kinsmen. The Samaritans were despised by the Jews and yet it is a Samaritan who performs the loving service avoided by the Jewish leaders. Through this parable Jesus is telling the lawyer that God’s love...
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Oct 3

October 3, 2021

Mk 10:2-16 The Pharisees think they are putting Jesus to the test. In fact, Jesus points out that Moses was speaking from an awareness of the people’s closed minds. Jesus then goes on to tell them about God’s will for marriage. I really do want to be more accepting of your kingdom in my mind and in my heart to be dependent on you and...
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Oct 2

October 2, 2021

Mt 18:1-5, 10 Imagine the disciple’s surprise at Jesus calling a child to his side in response to their question. Children have no social standing and are completely dependent upon their parents. In a similar way the disciples must depend upon and completely trust God. Dearest Guardian Angel, you were an integral part of my faith life as a...
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Oct 1

October 1, 2021

Lk 10:13-16   The Twelve have gone on mission and now the seventy-two are sent out. Bringing the Good News is at the heart of being a part of God’s kingdom. It is good but does not come without challenge. The call to repentance is a vital part of the proclamation and if not heard or worse, rejected there will be consequences.  ...
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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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