Daily Reading and Prayer

February 2020

Feb 20

Feb. 20, 2020

Mk 8:27-33 Jesus’ teachings and the healings have led to this moment when he asks his disciples who they think he is. It is Peter who responds on behalf of all with a profession of faith. This exchange is followed by Jesus’ first prediction of what is ahead. I am incapable of thinking or acting in any way other than human but for...
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Feb 19

Feb. 19, 2020

Mk 8:22-26 The healing of the blind man is as remarkable as any other however there is a difference in that Jesus heals the man in stages. Could it be that this special detail in Mark’s Gospel carries an underlying message about becoming a disciple? Spiritual transformation does not necessarily happen all at once. It is gradual with steps...
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Feb 19

Feb. 19, 2020

Mk 8:22-26 The healing of the blind man is as remarkable as any other however there is a difference in that Jesus heals the man in stages. Could it be that this special detail in Mark’s Gospel carries an underlying message about becoming a disciple? Spiritual transformation does not necessarily happen all at once. It is gradual with steps...
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Feb 18

Feb. 18, 2020

Mk 8:14-21 The disciples completely misunderstand Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees. Their concern about not having enough to eat on their journey adds to Jesus’ frustration with them. It’s ironic because they have just witnessed Jesus miraculously feed a crowd of four thousand. How often have you said to me, “Do you...
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Feb 17

Feb. 17, 2020

Mk 8:11-13   Jesus’ relationship with the Pharisees is so strained at this point that there is absolutely nothing he can do or say that will open their hearts to him. Their arguing causes him to react in a very human way, by sighing “from the depths of his spirit.” Is this generation today any different? Even the most...
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Feb 16

Feb. 16, 2020

Mt 5:17-37 Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament. He brings light to the law through his authoritative interpretation. Through the six antitheses, Jesus contrasts the scribes’ literal and superficial understanding of holiness with the deeper and true meaning of God’s law. Teach me and help me to rightly discern the truth,...
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Feb 15

Feb. 15, 2020

Mk 8:1-10 Jesus feeds the crowd a second time in Mark’s Gospel. There is no doubt that this is extremely important to Mark and his community. Jesus’ compassion for the physical needs of the people is clear but more important are their spiritual needs thus the Eucharistic overtones. It is by your Word and Sacrament that I live with...
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Feb 14

Feb. 14, 2020

Mk 7:31-37 Like the Syrophoenician woman, this man is not Jewish. Jesus willingly crosses that boundary and heals him. The man’s new ability to hear and to speak makes him not only a hearer but also a bearer of the Good News. I am blessed with the ability to see, to hear and to speak but what good is it if my heart is closed. Open my...
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Feb 13

Feb. 13, 2020

Mk 7:24-30 It is no wonder that this non-Jewish woman would crouch at Jesus’ feet given the social and religious mores of the time. Jesus is touched by the humility and great faith in her persistent pleading and with a word cures her possessed daughter. You are the Creator, Sanctifier and Redeemer of all people from the beginning of time...
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Feb 12

Feb. 12, 2020

Mk 7:14-23 The beginning of today’s Gospel is a powerful summation of Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees in the previous passages. The disciples have no idea what Jesus is talking about and so he goes on to help them understand that it is not what you put into your body that is evil but rather what comes from your heart. I pray this...
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Feb 11

Feb. 11, 2020

Mk 7:1-13 The Pharisees have turned the Commandments into a static document. They hold up their extensive list of “do’s and don’ts,” mostly having to do with the requirements for purification, over God’s law, the law that concerns his love for his people. I ask your forgiveness, for those times that I have paid lip...
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Feb 10

Feb. 10, 2020

Mk 6:53-56 Wherever Jesus goes, he is recognized, and the people gather bringing the sick to him. Their faith in his ability to heal is such that a touch of his cloak results in the hoped-for miracle. The attitude of the disciples and more so the Pharisees stands in contrast to enthusiasm of the crowds. How beautiful it is to see those who are...
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Feb 9

Feb. 9, 2020

Mt 5:13-16 Salt is used to improve flavor and preserve the life of food. The light of a lamp provides visibility. In the same way the disciples are called to invite others to a rich and enduring spiritual life by shining the light on Jesus through the darkness in the world. The world is so dark. It is sometimes difficult to see you. Let your...
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Feb 8

Feb. 8, 2020

Mk 6:30-34 They thought they were going to get away after their fruitful yet exhausting mission. No rest for the weary on the journey with their Lord. The crowds find their way to Jesus and the Apostles and Jesus respond to the needs of the people. I am reminded that the “interruptions are the work.” I pray to be open and patient...
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Feb 7

Feb. 7, 2020

Mk 6: 14-29 The lengthy account of John’s death seems somewhat out of place in Mark’s narrative about Jesus’ ministry. What is surmised is that John’s death is a foretelling of the death of Jesus detailed at this point in the Gospel to prepare the readers then and now. Just as John prepared the way for you Lord, Jesus...
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Feb 6

Feb. 6, 2020

Mk 6:7-13 It does not end with Jesus’ rejection by his own people. He goes on to towns and villages, preaching and teaching all the while preparing the Twelve. He tells them that there is little they will need. It is on his Spirit they must rely. Jesus sends them out to continue his mission. I hear that voice in my head telling me what I...
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Feb 5

Feb. 5, 2020

Mk 6:1-6 Jesus returns home. Initially the people are astonished at his teaching but that gives way to rejection. Their negative attitude is as much a problem for Jesus as it is for them because their lack of faith stands in the way of his mission and their salvation. I am genuinely amazed at all you do for me. Perhaps you are equally amazed at...
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Feb 4

Feb. 4, 2020

Mk 5:21-43 Mark intertwines two stories of encounter with Jesus. Jesus is sought by people who believe he has the power to heal. Jairus disregards the message about his daughter’s death. The woman, afflicted with a sickness that causes her to suffer physically and emotionally because it alienates her from community, reaches out from the...
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Feb 3

Feb. 3, 2020

Mk 5:1-20 Mark’s story of Jesus casting out demons is very detailed and ends with an unexpected twist. This poor man has lived a lonely, miserable existence and once restored to wholeness wants to accompany Jesus. Jesus tells him to be his disciple by going home and telling his family the Good News. Your powers are limitless only surpassed...
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Feb 2

Feb. 2, 2020

Lk 2:22-40 As Jewish parents of a first-born son, Mary and Joseph faithfully fulfill what the law prescribes. Jesus is consecrated to the Lord. They hear amazing things about their son as revealed by the Holy Spirit to Simeon. He also tells Mary that Jesus’ mission will not be without suffering. Jesus, you were destined for greatness but...
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Feb 1

Feb. 1, 2020

Mk 4:35-41 The disciples have listened to the wisdom of their teacher and witnessed extraordinary things that Jesus has done and yet they still do not trust that he will protect them. Once awakened, he calms the sea. The disciples are awestruck by his power over nature, yet he demands more than awe. Time and again you calm the storms in my life...
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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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