Everyday with the Word

Announcement of the Birth of Jesus Luke 1:26-38 Mary is “full of grace” as God willed her to be for the role she plays in salvation. She is taken aback by the angel’s announcement and, yet, humbly accepts God’s invitation. From the very beginning, Mary is the model disciple. Prayer: All too often I either hesitate, ignore, or refuse to do what you call me to do. Dear God, I pray to be as willing and trusting as Mary.
Posted: March 25, 2017, 4:00 am
The Greatest Commandment Mark 12:28-34 Jesus responds to the scribe’s question by pulling together two passages, one from Deuteronomy and the other Leviticus. The two become one, the Greatest Commandment of loving God and neighbor. Jesus acknowledges the scribe’s sincerity by telling him he is not far from the Kingdom. Prayer: St. John of the Cross tells us we will be judged on how well we have loved. I pray to be able to get past all that gets in the way of my loving God, neighbor, and myself. St John of the Cross, pray for us.
Posted: March 24, 2017, 4:00 am
Jesus and Beelzebul Luke 11:14-23 Some in the crowd who witnessed Jesus driving out the demon question the source of his power. Perhaps he is in league with the devil, they say. Others ask for a sign, as if the miracle is not enough. Because he is of God, all that he says and does is from God. Prayer: I pray that all I say and do is of you, the source of all that is good, and that I have the courage to stay with you no matter the consequences.
Posted: March 23, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about the Law Matthew 5:17-19 The religious leaders are concerned that Jesus is going to abolish the law. However, it becomes clear that his intent is to fulfill the law. This particular Gospel passage is preceded by the beatitudes, the heart of the Commandments, and followed by the antitheses, “you have heard it said … but I say,” a reference to the meaning of the law. Prayer: Your law, O God, is so much more than a list of do’s and don’ts. Your law is a law of love. It is life giving. Help me to understand and live it.
Posted: March 22, 2017, 4:00 am
Parable of the Unforgiving Servant Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells Peter that, though it has been the custom, they must not set limits to forgiveness. The parable makes clear God’s compassion but also emphasizes that forgiveness will not be given to those unwilling to forgive. Prayer: Lord I want to return to you with my whole heart just as I want to forgive others with my whole heart.
Posted: March 21, 2017, 4:00 am
The Genealogy of Jesus Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A The role St. Joseph played in the Incarnation must not be measured by the limited mentions of him in Scripture. His openness to the prompts of the Holy Spirit and his willingness to step out in faith welcomed Jesus into the world and kept him safe throughout his childhood. Prayer: St. Joseph, you protect the Church in the same way you protected the child Jesus. Pray for us as we continue to live out his vision and mission.
Posted: March 20, 2017, 4:00 am
The Samaritan Woman John 4:5-42 The feelings of ill will between the Jews and the Samaritans are long standing. In John’s Gospel, the Samaritan woman waits until the heat of the day to draw water to avoid contact with others. It is then that she encounters Jesus and, as stated in the Collegeville Biblical Commentary , his word “moves her from isolation to faith to mission.” Prayer: Jesus, you are the living water that refreshes my soul. You speak to me in word and sacrament. How can I possibly keep from spreading the Good News?
Posted: March 19, 2017, 4:00 am
Parable of the Lost Son Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 Jesus’ association with sinners angers the Pharisees. It is in this context that Jesus tells the beautiful story about love and forgiveness. Though the parable focuses on the one son’s bad behavior and the other’s jealously, it is the father’s unwavering and extravagant love that is at the heart of the story. Prayer: I pray this day for families, particularly those in distress because of estrangement. May the Holy Spirit help them find their way through the anger and resentment and on to love.
Posted: March 18, 2017, 4:00 am
Parable of the Tenants Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 Within this parable is the hope, even expectation, that the son of the landowner would not be rejected like the servants, but he is. In the same way, like the prophets before him, Jesus is rejected by his own people. Though rejected, he is the “cornerstone” of all creation. Prayer: Creator God, you walked with Adam in the garden. You entered the world in human form. We are blessed to be loved so much by you. Forgive those times I reject Jesus as the cornerstone for my life.
Posted: March 17, 2017, 4:00 am
Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 This is the story of two reversals of fortune, in life and in death. The rich man is oblivious to the plight of the poor. It is unbelievable given the fact that Lazarus is on his doorstep. But when they die, it is Lazarus who is comforted and the rich man who is tormented. Prayer: The gap between those who have and those who have not seems to widen with each generation. I pray to see ways to change this and to have the courage to act.
Posted: March 16, 2017, 4:00 am
The Request of James and John Matthew 20:17-28 After the third prediction of the Passion, the mother of the disciples James and John asks that her sons be given prominent positions in God’s kingdom. Jesus tells her there is no place for prominence or status in the kingdom. To follow him requires sacrifice. To lead like him requires a servant’s heart. Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, you sacrificed your life for me. Who am I to deserve your kindness? Heavenly Father, I am your adopted child, ever grateful for your love.
Posted: March 15, 2017, 4:00 am
Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees Matthew 23:1-12 Jesus cautions the crowd and his disciples about imitating the piety and religious practices of the scribes and Pharisees. What they say is one thing, what they do is another. A leader must understand that they are to humbly serve the community. Prayer: Holy Spirit, help me to think of myself less and to think of and serve my sisters and brothers more.
Posted: March 14, 2017, 4:00 am
Judging Others Luke 6:36-38 Jesus gives the disciples a very important message about relationship. He calls them to be compassionate, to give and forgive rather than judge and condemn. They will be repaid beyond measure for the Father’s generosity exceeds all expectations. Prayer: God, you are great and awesome! Your generosity astounds me. I know that I am not worthy of anything you do for me, but I am truly grateful.
Posted: March 13, 2017, 4:00 am
Transfiguration of Jesus Matthew 17:1-9 It is on the mountain that Jesus’ identity is revealed in history and eternity. He is witnessed in the company of Moses and Elijah, representing the Law and the prophets of the Old Testament. Peter, James, and John hear the voice of the Divine proclaiming, as at his baptism, that Jesus is the beloved Son of God. Prayer: All too often, my reluctance to let go trumps my trust in you. Please take away my fear.
Posted: March 12, 2017, 4:00 am
Love of Enemies Matthew 5:43-48 Loving those who love you comes easily, but loving those who do not love you is more challenging. One way is human, the other divine. Jesus tells the disciples to reach beyond the standard relationship norms to the perfection of God’s way. Prayer: Love Divine, the bar is high — sometimes beyond my reach. Thank you for not leaving me to be less than you hope for me, always lifting me up to be more.
Posted: March 11, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about the Law Matthew 5:20-26 In this second part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus contrasts the Scribe’s approach to the law with the intent of the law. He uses a series of antitheses, placing his sayings beside the words of the Old Testament: "You have heard…but I say to you….” Jesus came to fulfill the law. Prayer: Jesus, responding in anger comes quickly and more readily than the high road of love and kindness. Help me to seek understanding, to be tolerant, to love.
Posted: March 10, 2017, 4:00 am
Answer to Prayers Matthew 7:7-12 Jesus tells his disciples to pray to God with confidence and hope. God knows what his people need and answers accordingly, though God’s ways do not always fall in our timeframe nor are his ways always what we expect or want. God loves us and asks us to care for and love one another. Prayer: When I look back, I see your love for me, Father, in the all the ways you answer when I call. I look forward with hope.
Posted: March 9, 2017, 4:00 am
The Demand for a Sign Luke 11:29-32 When asked by the crowd for signs, Jesus tells them he should be sign enough for this generation. He compares himself to two notable Old Testament figures, Jonah and Solomon, adding that someone greater is standing before them. Prayer: I pray this day for this present generation. May we be open to you, Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier.
Posted: March 8, 2017, 4:00 am
Teaching about Prayer Matthew 6:7-15 Jesus begins teaching his disciples about prayer with the form of the Lord’s Prayer. The first three petitions address God directly in praying for the coming of the Kingdom. Petitions follow asking for physical and spiritual well-being during the times of trial before God’s coming. Prayer: Father in Heaven, I am thankful for your willingness to forgive my transgressions. Please help me to forgive, by your example, those who have offended me.
Posted: March 7, 2017, 4:00 am
Listen: "We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek - Jesus, her Son." St. Louis Marie de Montfort Ponder: What are some simple ways I can honor Mary? How will this bring honor to Jesus as well? Respond: Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, help me to honor your mother as you do.
Posted: March 7, 2017, 4:00 am
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