Friday, March 9, 2018 at 6:37 PM
5th Annual 40 Hours Devotion March 14-16, 2018

Daily Reading and Prayer

March 2018

Mar 20

March 20, 2018

John 8:21-30 In this gospel, Jesus is direct about who he is in relationship to God. He is divine, the “I Am,” “sent” by the Father in heaven. He is obedient to the will of the Father. He tells them 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...
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Mar 19

March 19, 2018

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A The story of the birth of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel is introduced by the genealogy. Jesus’ place through the lineage of Joseph is very important to Matthew. There is, however, a break with tradition in Mary, Joseph’s betrothed, conceiving outside of marriage yet through the power of the Holy Spirit....
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Mar 18

March 18, 2018

John 12:20-33 Jesus’ death is near. He explains it is necessary that, like the new fruit produced from the grain of wheat fallen to the ground, he die to return in glory. There is a seeming reference to his agony in the garden. He is troubled yet knows that he must go on. He turns to the Father, hears his voice, and obeys. Lord, you...
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Mar 17

March 17, 2018

John 7:40-53 The people go round and round in their discussion about Jesus. Their expectations of the Messiah do not help their understanding of who is before them. It is interesting that the temple guards are the ones who sense something special in this man, and it is Nicodemus who settles the crowd. Minds are made up. No one will listen. They...
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Mar 16

March 16, 2018

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 still want additional proof through...
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Mar 15

March 15, 2018

John 5:31-47 Testimony has been given about Jesus repeatedly, by John the Baptist, by his works, by Moses and the words of Scripture. His Father has rendered testimony, and still they don’t get it. Jesus’ challenging words are directed at his listeners. Do they understand? So many messengers then and now. Open the minds and hearts of...
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Mar 14

March 14, 2018

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 things to a new level. He speaks of God’s divine prerogative over life and death even on the Sabbath as being his prerogative in...
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Mar 13

March 13, 2018

John 5:1-16 On the Sabbath, Jesus goes to the pool called Bethesda where healings are known to take place. He encounters one man who has been ill for a very long time. The man wants to get into the pool to be healed but cannot. By his word, Jesus restores the man to health. Those who witness and question the man after the fact are more focused...
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Mar 12

March 12, 2018

John 4:43-54 Jesus returns to Cana, the site of his first miracle. 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 sends the official home, making no attempt to accompany him, rather reassuring him that his son is well. The child is not healed by Jesus’...
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Mar 11

March 11, 2018

John 3:14-21 Jesus alludes to an incident in the book of Numbers. The Son of Man is the source of salvation and, like the serpent, “must be lifted up” on the cross in order to be raised up to the Father. One of the most beautiful and often quoted passages in John’s Gospel speaks of God’s love, a love so great that he...
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Mar 10

March 10, 2018

Luke 18:9-14 The tax collector is self-righteous and prideful. Even though he tithes, prays, and fasts as required, he does not acknowledge the weakness of his human nature exhibited in his blatant criticism of others. The tax collector, on the other hand, is very aware of his sinful nature, and his prayer is a humble and contrite expression of...
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Mar 9

March 9, 2018

Mark 12:28-34 Jesus is questioned by a scribe. His response combines two commands given by Moses to Israel, the Schema from Deuteronomy and a new command about loving one’s neighbor from Leviticus. He has presented the scribe with the heart of the Ten Commandments, and the scribe acknowledges the truth in Jesus’ words. Make us a sign...
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Mar 8

March 8, 2018

Luke 11:14-23 In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus’ driving the demon out of the man brought a surprising response. Some wanted an even greater sign, while others put a negative spin on the event. Jesus sums up his response to their “hardness of heart” by warning them that those against him will be scattered. Rid us of the negativity...
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Mar 7

March 7, 2018

Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus understands the profound meaning of the “law and the prophets” and is thus able authoritatively to interpret and shed light. This is critical for God’s people. The heart of the law will not change but remain in force until the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom. Jesus wants his disciples to be clear in...
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Mar 6

March 6, 2018

Matthew 18: 21-35 In the final section of this chapter of Matthew, Jesus speaks to his disciples about their willingness to forgive one another. When asked how often one should forgive, Peter responds “seven times.” Jesus comes back immediately, multiplying that number by 10, meaning there should be no limit to forgiveness. He...
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Mar 5

March 5, 2018

Luke 4:24-30 The ancient prophets of Israel, Elisha and Elijah, were rejected by their own people yet accepted by outsiders. In the same way Jesus will take his message and mission to the Gentiles. This honesty infuriates the people in the synagogue. They chase him out, wishing to harm him, but he moves on untouched. There will always be those...
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Mar 4

March 4, 2018

John 2:13-25 Jesus finds the area of his “Father’s house” being used as a marketplace. He is greatly angered by this and forcefully chases the moneychangers away. In so doing he speaks about the temple being destroyed and raised up in three days. His disciples do not understand the parallel at the time but remember his words...
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Mar 3

March 3, 2018

Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 The central figure in Jesus’ story about the father and his sons initially seems to be the wasteful and extravagant son. The younger son’s return is an important part of the story, but the father’s extravagant mercy, a reflection of God’s love, is the heart of the parable. To know that no matter what,...
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Mar 2

March 2, 2018

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 The parable alludes to the rejection of the prophets and ultimately of Jesus. It is directed to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they know it, but they also know to bide their time because of Jesus’ reputation with the people. There are times when it is fitting to stand against those who reject you, and there...
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Mar 1

March 1, 2018

Luke 16:19-31 Jeremiah contrasts people who trust in humanity with those who trust in God alone. In Luke’s Gospel the stark contrast is depicted through a poor man living on the fringes of society and a self-absorbed rich man. In the end how they live their lives on earth leads each one to his experience of eternity. May I be ever mindful...
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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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