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Daily Reading and Prayer

July 2019

Jul 19

July 19, 2019

Matthew 12:1-8 The Pharisees find another opportunity to challenge Jesus. He takes them up on their interpretation of the law, work prohibited on the Sabbath, by citing Scripture. Jesus speaks authoritatively. The Pharisees interpretation of Jewish religious practices is not in line with God’s law. Make us mindful of the heart of...
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Jul 18

July 18, 2019

Matthew 11:28-30 The law is symbolized by a yoke. Rather than living life confused by scriptural interpretation like the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus offers his invitation to discipleship; a life lived loving God and neighbor. Why do I make that which is so very simple, complicated to the point that I become exhausted and ready to give up? Let...
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Jul 17

July 17, 2019

Matthew 11:25-27 Jesus praises the Father for his wisdom. God reveals himself to those who are open and receptive, generally those who are simple and uneducated. Discipleship is not measured by achievement or education. It is pure gift to those willing to receive. I am learning to balance knowing you with knowing about you, Lord. By your grace...
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Jul 16

July 16, 2019

Matthew 11:20-24 Jesus issues a stern warning to those Galileans unwilling to repent for their prideful and wicked behavior. The people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum were unresponsive to his mighty deeds. He likens the consequences for their behavior to that of the doomed ancient cities. I pray this day for those whose hearts are...
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Jul 15

July 15, 2019

Matthew 10:34-11:1 The demands of discipleship are radical. Jesus tells his disciples that the conflict they face may likely include conflict with family. No relationship, even that of blood relatives outweighs the disciple’s mission. May we be the heart, hands and feet that lead our family members to understand and into union and intimacy...
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Jul 14

July 14, 2019

Luke 10:25-37 The scholar asks first about his meriting eternal life. Jesus replies quoting Deuteronomy and Leviticus. In hearing about loving neighbor in the same way you love yourself, the scholar then asks Jesus to define neighbor. Jesus does so with a parable, one that challenges an accepted way of thinking. I often ponder a third part to...
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Jul 13

July 13, 2019

Matthew 10:24-33 Jesus tells his disciples that to be a disciple is to emulate the master. He encourages them with three sayings each beginning with the words, “Do not be afraid.” The Kingdom of God will come and the unbelievers will be revealed. Those who oppose them may destroy their bodies but not their souls. They will be judged...
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Jul 12

July 12, 2019

Matthew 10:16-23 Jesus warns the disciples about the great trials ahead. They will receive the same treatment he has received. But he promises them that they will not be alone and even when they have to stand before the courts, they will be given the words to say. In the end, if they endure, salvation will be theirs. Spirit of truth, strengthen...
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Jul 11

July 11, 2019

Matthew 10:7-15 Jesus commissions and sends the Twelve out to serve, not to be served. They have been disciples and now are Apostles, sent to invite others to discipleship. If on their mission they are rejected they are not to react with anger or violence. They are to move on, trusting in God’s care and guidance. We pray for all who are...
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Jul 10

July 10, 2019

Matthew 10:1-7 Jesus exhibits his power over disease and demons in chapters 8 and 9 of Matthew’s Gospel. In chapter 10 he passes his authority on to his twelve disciples. They are to carry out his mission, which is to be, by Jesus’ instruction limited to the people of Israel. Your own people rejected you but you did not abandon them....
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Jul 9

July 9, 2019

Matthew 9:32-38 Jesus amazes the crowds with the cure of the man possessed. But the Pharisees twist the miraculous event by ascribing Jesus’ power to Satan. Jesus travels on and is moved by the overwhelming needs of the people. Many more shepherds are needed to care for his flock. “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock and gathers the...
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Jul 8

July 8, 2019

Matthew 9:18-26 Both the official and the woman are motivated by faith to ask the impossible of Jesus. The official’s daughter is brought back to life and the woman cured, proof of God’s gracious love and Jesus’ authority over death and suffering. “In you O God, I place my trust.” I am not as good at giving things...
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Jul 7

July 7, 2019

Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 The disciples are sent ahead two by two to prepare the way for Jesus by witnessing about him and his ministry. He explicitly instructs them in what to do whether welcomed in the towns or not. They return amazed at the power they had. At that Jesus reminds them that they must not lose perspective.  Anything that I do in...
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Jul 6

July 6, 2019

Matthew 9:14-17 Religious practices like fasting are important to the disciples of John the Baptist. They cannot help but ask why Jesus’s followers do not fast. Jesus’ response reveals a radical newness incompatible with their old forms of piety. He calls them to a new creation. I have a terrible time letting go of old ways and...
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Jul 5

July 5, 2019

Matthew 9:9-13 By virtue of his occupation, Matthew is considered a sinner. Tax collectors were thought to collaborate with Roman officials extorting more money than owed. Nonetheless Jesus not only calls Matthew to follow him, he dines with him and his cohorts. This gives great insight into the inclusivity of God’s love and mercy. I pray...
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Jul 4

July 4, 2019

Matthew 9:1-8 The healing of the paralytic provides insight into Jesus’ ministry and mission. Though not as detailed as Mark’s account, the faith of the friends of the man is evidenced by the lengths to which they go to get him to Jesus. Also important in understanding Jesus is the twofold healing of the man. Jesus first forgives the...
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Jul 3

July 3, 2019

John 20:24-29 Thomas wants proof. Jesus does not fault him for his doubts but rather offers him what he needs. Jesus is willing to meet Thomas where he is. His acceptance of Thomas’s human weakness helps him grow in faith as evidenced by his profession. Was Thomas the only one who doubted or was he the only one willing to express aloud...
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Jul 2

July 2, 2019

Matthew 8:23-27 The disciples are not ready to “weather a storm” on their own. Jesus is with them. He calms the sea thus calming their fear. Is their faith being tested? Faith is essential to discipleship and this test is an opportunity to grow toward perfect faith. Lord, save me when I am in peril. I pray that one day I will be able...
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Jul 1

July 1, 2019

Matthew 8:18-22 This passage from Matthew’s Gospel is, in a sense, Discipleship 101. Jesus tells the scribe that following him offers no guarantee for safety and security. He adds that the call to follow him far outweighs any obligations and may even require cutting family ties. I am a “work in progress” and always will be. My...
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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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