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Daily Reading and Prayer

April 2019

Apr 30

April 30, 2019

John 3:7B-15 After further instruction, Jesus challenges Nicodemus by asking how it is possible that a Pharisee, a teacher of the Jewish people, does not understand what he is saying. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. You were raised up on the cross so that I might be born into new life for all eternity. This content comes to you from Our...
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Apr 29

April 29, 2019

John 3:1-8 Nicodemus is drawn to Jesus but has not yet come fully to faith. The signs seem to point to Jesus’ divine origin, but what Jesus says about being born again confuses him.  Nicodemus hears what Jesus is saying in a literal sense. To be born again means to live less in flesh and more in spirit; to turn from vice to virtue; to...
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Apr 28

April 28, 2019

John 20:19-31 The disciples are hiding in fear. Jesus appears to them and offers them consolation. He wants them to know he is not an apparition and shows them his wounds. By the Holy Spirit they are confirmed and commissioned. Thomas moves past doubt to a sincere profession of faith in the Lord. I am ashamed of the times that I have doubted you...
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Apr 27

April 27, 2019

Mark 16:9-15 What is known as the Longer Ending of Mark’s Gospel includes Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene and the two disciples (perhaps those whom he met on the road to Emmaus). They believe and go to tell the others. Jesus appears to the Eleven who do not believe what has been reported to them. Jesus admonishes them for their...
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Apr 26

April 26, 2019

John 21:1-14 Seven of the disciples are fishing. Jesus appears for the third time on the shore. Of the seven disciples present, it is John, the beloved disciple, who recognizes Jesus. Their fishing efforts are futile without him, but once he is present, their catch is plentiful. Jesus prepares a meal for them. Without saying a word, he teaches...
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Apr 25

April 25, 2019

Luke 24:35-48 Cleopas and his companion were telling the disciples what they had seen and heard. Suddenly Jesus was in their midst. Rather than chastising them, he offered them peace.  He recounted God’s salvific plan through Scripture just as he had done with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Now it is time for them to go out and...
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Apr 24

April 24, 2019

Luke 24:13-35 The confusion and despair of Cleopas and his companion turn to Easter joy through their encounter with the Risen Lord. He grounds them in the Word and in the breaking of the bread. They recognize him and cannot help but return to Jerusalem and share the good news. You are hope for the hopeless, Lord. To encounter you in the darkest...
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Apr 23

April 23, 2019

John 20:11-18 Mary encounters Jesus but does not recognize him until he says her name. Like a sheep hearing the voice of the shepherd, she knows the voice of her Master. In telling her not to hold on to him, he is saying to let go of his humanity and look to him in his glory. When I am truly attuned to you, I hear your voice, not with my ears...
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Apr 22

April 22, 2019

Matthew 28:8-15 Mary Magdalene and Mary go to tell the others what they have seen and heard. On the way they encounter Jesus and are affirmed in their growing understanding of these events. The Jewish leaders, still fearing Jesus’ power, bribe the guards to lie about what they witnessed. Jesus, you knew what to say to comfort the women....
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Apr 21

April 21, 2019

John 20:1-9 In John’s Gospel Mary Magdalene, John, and Peter are first to the tomb. They each react to what they find in their own way. John, the beloved disciple, sees and believes. All these centuries later, there is such a feeling of triumph and of peace on this Easter day. I am thankful for having a glimpse of the glory and look...
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Apr 20

April 20, 2019

Luke 24:1-12 Seven readings lead the congregation through salvation history on this night of nights when heaven and earth intersect. In Luke’s Gospel, the women—Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James—testify to what has happened. I cannot imagine how the disciples must have felt at the moment they realized what...
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Apr 19

April 19, 2019

John 18:1-19:42 This reading from John’s Gospel details the passion and death of Jesus Christ. It begins with Judas’ betrayal and concludes with his death and burial. It is proclaimed every year on Good Friday and followed by the veneration of the cross. The words of that beautiful hymn often sung during the veneration play in my...
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Apr 18

April 18, 2019

John 13:1-15 This evening the liturgical season of Lent ends and the Paschal Triduum begins as we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist. In John’s Gospel, Jesus models the central meaning of discipleship. He, the master, the teacher in humble service, washes their feet. He teaches them by his action and with the words, “as I...
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Apr 17

April 17, 2019

Matthew 26:14-25 The opening verses of this gospel make it abundantly clear that Judas has chosen the dark side. He asks about the price on Jesus’ head. Satisfied with the answer he begins to watch and wait for the moment. The price of betrayal, thirty pieces of silver, the price only found in Matthew, is taken from the allegory in...
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Apr 16

April 16, 2019

John 13:21-33, 36-38 Jesus reveals Judas’ deception and names Peter’s denial. The former goes about his evil business, and the latter has no idea what he will do when faced with a true test of fidelity and discipleship. And yet, in that dark hour, Jesus speaks about the light of glory on the other side of death. Judas and Peter gave...
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Apr 15

April 15, 2019

John 12:1-11 En route to Jerusalem Jesus joins his friends for a meal. True to form, Martha is serving the meal, and Mary is anointing Jesus’ feet. Equally true to form is Judas’s less than sincere concern about the extravagance of Mary’s gesture. Though surrounded by friends, your enemies were not far away. You did not...
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Apr 14

April 14, 2019

Gospel at the Blessing of the Palms – Luke 19:28-40 Luke’s Passion Narrative – Luke 22:14-23:56 The assembly processes with blessed palms elevated, heralding Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The words that begin Luke’s Passion narrative draw the listeners into the dramatic unfolding of God’s plan....
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Apr 13

April 13, 2019

John 11:45-56 Many of the Jews who witnessed Lazarus being raised from the dead came to believe. Others went to the high priests to tell them about the event. The Sanhedrin found themselves in a dilemma. To do nothing might gain the unwanted attention of the Romans. It was Caiaphas who brought clarity to the discussion. It would be far better to...
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Apr 12

April 12, 2019

John 10:31-42 The Jews are poised with stones in hand. Jesus responds to their aggression by asking which of his good works has made them so angry. What more does he have to do? Clearly their minds are made up. He has blasphemed by “making himself God,” thus his persecution is for good reason. I have not suffered persecution in your...
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Apr 11

April 11, 2019

John 8:51-59 The conversation with the Jews continues. The Jews take Jesus’ great statement about keeping his word literally. How could he say this? Abraham and all the prophets died. They conclude that he must be possessed. His final words, “I Am,” infuriate them. It is blasphemous for Jesus to say that he “came to...
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Apr 10

April 10, 2019

John 8:31-42 Jesus’ adversaries twist everything he says. He tells them that because they do not accept that he is God’s truth, they are enslaved by sin and death. They respond that, as children of Abraham, they are slaves to no one. He speaks of his Father, and they foolishly contradict him by saying that Abraham is the father of...
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Apr 9

April 9, 2019

John 8:21-30 Jesus tells the Jews that he is “sent” by the Father in heaven, which implies that his origin is divine and that he is obedient to the will of the Father. In v. 28 he says that they will not see him in glory until they have lifted him up on the cross. Though some came to believe, most still did not understand what Jesus...
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Apr 8

April 8, 2019

John 8:12-20 The Pharisees are so entrenched in their self-righteousness that they do not understand that Jesus speaks the truth about himself while alluding to the fact that they are in the dark by choice. If they were open to him they would see his light. There are times when I find myself in darkness. It’s lonely and very scary, but...
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Apr 7

April 7, 2019

John 8:1-11 The scribes and Pharisees are not interested in the woman’s transgressions or the precepts of the law. They are using the situation as a means to trap Jesus. Jesus is not interested in a moral debate but takes hold of the exchange with a profound demonstration of God’s gracious mercy. Lord, have mercy on those who grieve...
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Apr 6

April 6, 2019

John 7:40-53 The question about Jesus’ lineage creates division. Discussion goes round and round, and ultimately the Jewish leaders send the officers to arrest Jesus. They return empty-handed and speak on his behalf. The Pharisees are not willing to listen to them, nor are they willing to listen to Nicodemus, who questions their less than...
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Apr 5

April 5, 2019

John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 The setting for John’s Gospel is the Feast of Tabernacles, the annual autumn celebration in Jerusalem. Because of the risk, Jesus travels secretly but comes out into the open, teaching in the temple. There are people who come to believe in him because of his discourse, others who want additional proof through signs,...
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Apr 4

April 4, 2019

John 5:31-47 If the people do not accept the writings of Moses or the testimony of John the Baptist, if they do not see the divine power in Jesus’ word and deed, what can possibly convince them that he is the Son of God? More importantly, if they do not accept the testimony of the Father about the Son, nothing will convince them. Lord God,...
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Apr 3

April 3, 2019

John 5:17-30 John moves from narrative to discourse. Two have been cured by Jesus’ word. The latter took place on the Sabbath. This breaking of the Sabbath law riles the Jews, but what he says next takes their frustration to a new level. He speaks of God’s divine prerogative over life and death even on the Sabbath as being his...
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Apr 2

April 2, 2019

John 5:1-16 Jesus is in Jerusalem on the Sabbath for a Jewish feast. He goes to the pool called Bethesda, where healings are known to take place, and encounters a man who had been ill for a very long time. The man wants to be healed but cannot get into the water. Jesus’ words, not water, not touch, restore the man to health. You spoke, and...
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Apr 1

April 1, 2019

John 4:43-54 Jesus returns to Cana, where he performed his first miracle at the wedding feast. He is sought out by an official from Capernaum whose son is near death. The man implores Jesus to go with him to save his child. Jesus tells the official to go home: His son is well. The child is not healed by Jesus’ touch but by his lifegiving...
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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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