Posted on 01/13/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Preaching of John the Baptist/The Baptism of Jesus Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 The hopeful expectation of the people causes John to remind them of the difference between his role and his baptism and that of Jesus. It is a striking contrast made even more clear by God’s voice naming Jesus his beloved Son. Prayer: Rather than focusing on the “what ifs” of tomorrow, may I be filled with the hope that comes with your promise to walk with me, hold me, carry me until you return.
Posted on 01/12/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
Final Witness of the Baptist John 3:22-30 The ministries of John and of Jesus overlap briefly. Some followers are confused, but John reminds them that, from the beginning, he has been humbly preparing the way for one far greater than he. Prayer: I pray fully to understand what it means to decrease in order to allow you to increase in me. All too often I let my ego take control.
Posted on 01/11/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Cleansing of a Leper Luke 5:12-16 We can only imagine what it means to be “full of leprosy.” Was the disease so advanced? Was the leper’s appearance so repulsive? Jesus does not hesitate to go to the man and give his healing touch. He breaks through all physical and social prohibitions to help this man. Prayer: May we be mindful this day of all who have been pushed to the fringes of society and have the courage to take them by the hand and draw them into our embrace.
Posted on 01/10/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry/The Rejection at Nazareth Luke 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 turn. Prayer: How often doubt and fear encroach on the truth and hope for all that has been promised. Keep me focused on you.
Posted on 01/9/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Walking on Water Mark 6:45-52 The miraculous feeding of five thousand people followed by Jesus walking toward his disciples on the turbulent waters of the sea should be all that is necessary to bring clarity to the disciples’ understanding. They’re not there yet. Their hearts are hardened by fear and doubt. Prayer: Fear creates its own blindness to the truth. Sometimes it is easier to cave in to fear rather than to embrace and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all. I pray for courage.
Posted on 01/8/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Feeding of the Five Thousand Mark 6:34-44 The feeding of the five thousand immediately follows the return of the Twelve from mission. They are asking Jesus for quiet time with him to rest, reflect, discuss, and process all that has happened on their journey, but ministry to the people comes first. Jesus knows the crowds are hungry, physically and spiritually, and must be fed. Prayer: Lord, you show me often that the interruptions are the work you call me to. Help me to let go of my agenda and put my needs aside in order to do your will and to serve others.
Posted on 01/7/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry/Ministering to a Great Multitude Matthew 4: 12-17, 23-25 Jesus begins his public ministry. Matthew has him preaching in a similar way to John the Baptist: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In the second half of today’s gospel, Jesus’ activities are summarized. It can be said that all of this is preparing the reader for the greatest teaching given by the master, the Sermon on the Mount. Prayer: Master, Teacher, inspire all who devote their lives to preaching and teaching. Strengthen and increase the gifts of your Spirit in them.
Posted on 01/6/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The Visit of the Magi Matthew 2:1-12 This story relates 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 him homage, and return home. Prayer: I pray for those whose hearts are hard and whose minds are closed. I pray that they find the way that leads to you.
Posted on 01/5/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The First Disciples, cont’d John 1:43-51 Phillip invites Nathanael, who is skeptical about Jesus, to come see for himself. He does and is surprised to find Jesus knows him already and speaks highly of his character. Jesus’ words touch Nathanael. His skepticism is overpowered by belief. Prayer: You know me better than I know myself. Your love for me has the power to break down the walls of doubt and fear.
Posted on 01/4/2019 05:00 AM (Our Sunday Visitor Catholic Publishing Company )
The First Disciples John 1:35-42 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. He follows, too, and is given the name Peter. Prayer: “Follow me.” With those two words you invite me on an adventure. There are highs and lows, but I can count on you being with me every step of the way.