Daily Reading and Prayer

January 2021

Jan 27

January 27, 2021

Mk 4:1-20 Parables are similes or metaphors that draw themes from nature or the common life of the people. They invite the listeners to doubt and question their ways and ultimately call them to God’s way. The parable of the sower speaks to the faith and belief of an individual and a community. It is the heart of Jesus’ mission....
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Jan 26

January 26, 2021

Mk 3:31-35 This passage in Mark’s Gospel is clearly intended as a continuation of his response to the blasphemous scribes. It is not important that he has blood relatives present. Jesus tells the crowd that more than family ties, doing God’s will is that which is necessary for being part of Jesus’ family, the kingdom of God....
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Jan 25

January 25, 2021

Mk 16:15-18 On this feast day, celebrating the conversion of St. Paul, the Gospel is what is considered the “longer” ending of the great commission. Jesus is sending the Eleven out to the “whole” world to preach to “every” creature. Those two words indicate that his, now their mission is not exclusively for...
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Jan 24

January 24, 2021

Mk 1:14-20 John has prepared the way, and now Jesus’ ministry begins. He calls the people to repentance like John and to believe the Good News he shares. Then Jesus calls his first disciples, the simplest of men who surprisingly set everything aside and follow.   You see what I am capable of rather than the weakness that often keeps...
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Jan 23

January 23, 2021

Mk 3:20-21 Reaction to Jesus and his ministry varies. These two verses are off-putting especially Jesus being thought of as “out of his mind.” His family, perhaps disciples do not understand him. Their comment seems to have less to do with Jesus’ mental health than his heightened enthusiasm for the work he is doing in the name...
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Jan 22

January 22, 2021

Mk 3:13-19 Jesus chooses “The Twelve” from the disciples. He calls them to journey with him up the mountain. It is there that Jesus “names” them which means they belong to him, to the Father. They are to learn from him and will actively share in his ministry and mission by preaching, teaching, healing and driving out...
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Jan 21

January 21, 2021

Mk 3:7-12 Word has spread about Jesus. Everywhere he goes he is followed by large crowds. Some seek healing, some want to follow him, and others are simply curious about what they have heard. Then some are intent on destroying him.   I pray for all who are searching without knowing that it is you they seek. Touch their hearts Lord so that...
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Jan 20

January 20, 2021

Mk 3:1-6 Because of his disability, this man was shunned by the community. Jesus defies that practice and stands against the blatant misuse of Sabbath law. The leaders do not observe the Sabbath with the understanding of God’s purpose. They observe it as a means to serve themselves.   You are the Lord of the Sabbath and through that...
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Jan 19

January 19, 2021

Mk 2:23-28 Jesus and his followers once again raise the ire of the Pharisees. Breaking Sabbath law by picking the grain to eat from the stalks of wheat seems ridiculous in light of the commandment of love. Jesus takes the time to argue and teach by citing a similar exception to Sabbath law taken by the great King, David.   I pray that your...
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Jan 18

January 18, 2021

Mk 2:18-22 Fasting was considered preparation for God’s coming. Jesus is telling the Pharisees that God is present in him. No need to fast. The need for fasting will return when he is “taken away” but now it is as futile as sewing un-shrunken cloth into an old cloak or pouring new wine into old wineskins. Jesus, John was the...
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Jan 17

January 17, 2021

Jn 1:35-42 Today’s Gospel is part of a series of testimonies about Jesus. 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.  Here I...
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Jan 16

January 16, 2021

Mk 2:13-17 There is a place at the table for everyone. In this Gospel reading, Jesus makes it quite clear that he is especially concerned about those who are weak and in need of healing. He reaches out to them at the table of fellowship. This raises the ire of the Pharisees who seem to feel that only those they deem righteous belong.  I am...
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Jan 15

January 15, 2021

Mk 2:1-12 Because of the crowds surrounding the building, the four friends decide the only way to get their paralyzed friend close was to get him and his mat up on the roof of the dwelling and lower him into the room. This was a genuine act of faith, acknowledged by Jesus through his words and action.   This is a powerful example of what it...
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Jan 14

January 14, 2021

Mk 1:40-45 Having been barred from the community for so long, the man with leprosy approaches Jesus directly. He does not insist or beg that Jesus heal him, rather he places his trust in him. Though instructed to tell no one, the man’s exhilaration gets the best of him, and he spreads the word about Jesus.   We pray for those on the...
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Jan 13

January 13, 2021

Mk 1:29-39 Jesus’ visit with Simon’s mother-in-law is the second sign of the in breaking of God’s kingdom. In the previous passage, he cast out the demon by his word. He touches Simon’s mother-in-law, and she is cured, immediately and completely. By evening, the whole town gathers. In the morning, he rises early and goes...
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Jan 12

January 12, 2021

Mk 1:21-28 Jesus’ teaching is different from that of the scribes and it has a powerful effect on those listening. Jesus teaches with authority. It is the beginning of a new era heralded by one whose power angers some and amazes others. While in the synagogue at Capernaum, he encounters a man who is possessed by an unclean spirit. The...
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Jan 11

January 11, 2021

Mk 1:14-20 Jesus’ ministry begins as John’s comes to a close. He proclaims that God’s kingdom is present for those open to listening to his news. The first order of business is to build the team. He begins by calling the four fishermen who surprisingly drop everything, family, livelihood, and follow.  The first four...
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Jan 10

January 10, 2021

Mk 1:7-11 John humbly points to Jesus as one mightier. He marks the shift in the meaning of baptism and the beginning of a new and everlasting covenant. God’s spirit descends upon his Son, and God blesses Jesus and affirms his role in the coming of the kingdom.   Let us pray for all parents who are preparing for their children’s...
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Jan 9

January 9, 2021

Jn 3:22-30 The ministry of John and Jesus overlap briefly. Some followers are confused, but John reminds them that in the same way that his baptism of repentance leads to Jesus’ baptism of the Spirit, John has from the beginning been humbly preparing the way for one far greater than he. I pray to really understand what it means to decrease...
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Jan 8

January 8, 2021

Lk 5:12-16 The physical effects of the disease compounded by the fact that ritual purity is impossible and the person afflicted are separated from the community make living unbearable. And with all that, this man humbly approaches Jesus in hope that he will heal him.  You didn’t stand at a distance for fear of being infected. This man...
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Jan 7

January 7, 2021

Lk 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 change. How often doubt and fear...
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Jan 6

January 6, 2021

Mk 6:45-52 You would think that after having witnessed the feeding of the five thousand, with leftovers, the disciples would make connections about Jesus’ power once the sea and they were calm. They are not yet open to God’s reaching out to them through the Son.  Amid wind-tossed times, we hear your words echoing through the...
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Jan 5

January 5, 2021

Mk 6:34-44 As God has cared for his people in the desert, so is Jesus filled with compassion for the crowd. He sees that their need is far greater than his disciples need to have time alone with him. Jesus nurtures both their spirits and their bodies.  St. John Neumann, your devotion to Catholic education endures. Pray for all who form...
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Jan 4

January 4, 2021

Mt 4: 12-17, 23-25 Jesus begins his public ministry. His preaching and teaching focus on God’s reign. The people have been in darkness and Jesus is leading them to the light of the kingdom. He brings comfort and healing to people suffering from many, varied illnesses and his fame spread.  For generations, people have committed...
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Jan 3

January 3, 2021

Mt 2:1-12 This story tells about 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 2

January 2, 2021

Jn 1:19-28 John is questioned by a delegation sent by the Jewish leaders. He tells them that he is second to Jesus and that he is not Elijah, the prophet expected to return. He is the one preparing the way for the one they do not recognize, Christ who is among them.  We are thankful for all the prophets, especially for John who humbly made...
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Jan 1

January 1, 2021

Lk 2: 16-21 How fitting it is that the shepherds, considered lowly and ignorant people, are the first to hear from the angels the proclamation of the humble King’s birth. They do not hesitate to seek him out and then go and share the Good News. Mary and Joseph, observant Jews, fulfill what is required by law, taking their newborn child to...
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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