WEEK THREE – SUNDAY (B) – JANUARY 24, 2021 JESUS’ FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE (MK 1:14-20)

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, invite me today to be your disciple. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus calling his first disciples along the Sea of Galilee. 

Context: 

This gospel text begins “After John was arrested” and it records Jesus’ first homily of his public ministry. He repeats John’s teaching that the reign of God has come and gathers his four most important helpers.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, saying, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.”

Passing by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, casting nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their net and followed him. 

Going a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee and his brother, John. They were mending their nets in the ship. He called them, also. They left Zebedee in the ship with his hired men and followed him. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you).

  1. Jesus follows his heavenly Father’s timetable. While John is preaching, he remains silent. When John is arrested, Jesus knows to begin. 
  2. These are the most important years in world history, as Jesus begins to save all mankind. 
  3. Jesus says that the Kingdom is at hand. God’s power will break into human history. 
  4. Everyone must be ready. So, Jesus tells everyone to turn away from evil and believe in him. 
  5. The two sets of brother are the first to hear the message. They respond immediately. 
  6. Peter and Andrew leave their boats behind. James and John leave their father and friends. These four are perfect models for all believers. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words in prayer).

  • Heavenly Father, what is your timetable for my life? When is the time for me to act? 
  • Jesus, I believe. This is the hour, the time of fulfillment. I will not delay. 
  • I believe. I accept your Kingdom. I repent. I turn to you and hear your voice. 
  • Jesus, you want to come into my heart. 
  • I hear your call. I will follow you, forever and ever. 
  • O Jesus, You are the gift of the Father. What else compares with your friendship? I will leave everything to be your friend. 

Resolutions: (Use one of these or make your own)

+ I will learn God’s timetable. What does he expect today? 

+ When Jesus invites me today, I will answer immediately. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Come after me and I will make you fishers of men. 

WEEK TWO – SATURDAY – JANUARY 23, 2021 HAVING A NEW FAMILY (MK 3:20-21, 31-35)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me be a member of your family. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus saying to you, “You are my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Context:

Mark often begins a story, tells another story and then completes the first story. This story begins with the family squabble. (3:20-21) The word, “outside” refers to the family. “Inside” refers to those who do God’s will. Don’t get upset by this story. It doesn’t mean that Mary complains. (Mark never uses Mary’s name. She is entirely absent in this gospel.) Mark says “his mother” because he wants to say that the disciple can become Jesus’ mother. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

His mother and his relatives came. They stood outside and sent someone to say, “Your mother and your relatives are outside looking for you.” 

Jesus responded, “Who is my mother and my relatives?” Looking at those seated around him, Jesus said, “These are my mother and my relatives. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and my mother.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. These complainers are related to Jesus by nature, but not by faith. Therefore, they are outside the Kingdom. 
  2. They act like the world, and try to destroy Jesus’ ministry. 
  3. Those in the house listening to him are insiders. They belong to Jesus’ family. 
  4. Jesus announces a new reality. He is forming a new family of God. 
  5. All who do God’s will are a brother, a sister, or even a mother to Jesus. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how sorry the state of those who do not know you. They are outside of the Kingdom. 
  • I want to be inside, someone who knows and does God’s will. 
  • Form me into your family. Oh, to be a child of God! Nothing is a greater blessing. 
  • Who can believe your call? Whose heart could imagine your invitation to be a member of your family? 
  • O Jesus, I will always do God’s will. Then, I will be your brother or sister. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ponder the great privilege of being a child of God. 

+ I will seek God’s will all during the day. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whoever does the will of God is my brother, my sister and my mother. 

WEEK TWO – FRIDAY – JANUARY 22, 2021 CALLING THE TWELVE APOSTLES (MK 3:13-19)

Prayer:

O Jesus, help me to respond to your call. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus on the mountain calling his twelve apostles.

Context:

The mountain top symbolizes Jesus’ closeness to the Father and the great importance of this decision. These twelve apostles represent the new twelve tribes of Israel. Both the names of the tribes and the names of the twelve are inscribed in the heavenly Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:12 and 14). So, this call is decisive. After Jesus’ decision, these disciples form a new group, called “The Twelve.”

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. 

He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James. (These he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The mountain symbolizes the importance of this call. Jesus made his decision in union with the Father. 
  2. Jesus wants these Twelve to be his closest companions. 
  3. They will have clear tasks, to preach the gospel and to drive out demons. 
  4. They are important to the Early Church which carefully recorded their names. 
  5. Jesus does not yet send them out. For now, they must stay with Jesus. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how important is your call upon my life. From that call comes all your blessings. 
  • O Jesus, if I am faithful, you will draw me close. You will call and say “Come with me.” 
  • You want me to be your companion and to extend your Kingdom. 
  • You call my name. What a privilege to hear my name on your lips. 
  • Jesus, you will send me out. After I become your good friend, you will send me to your vineyard. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will listen for Jesus’ call. 

+ I will offer my life to Jesus. I will step forward and give myself. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Jesus summoned those whom he decided on. 

WEEK TWO – THURSDAY – JANUARY 21, 2017 TRYING TO TOUCH JESUS (MK 3:7-12)

Prayer:

Draw near, O Lord, so I can touch you in faith. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowds who are healed as they touch him. 

Context:

In this section, Mark pauses. Jesus tries to get out of the limelight by spending time with his disciples. However, his fame has spread. He must get into the boat, because of the overwhelming crowd.

More important is the crowd’s desire to touch Jesus to be healed. Later (5:25), Mark will give a deeper teaching on the need for personal faith.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus left with his disciples, but a great crowd from Galilee and Judea followed him. They came even from Jerusalem and beyond the Jordan. Many from Tyre and Sidon came because they heard what he had done. 

Jesus asked his disciples to have a fishing boat ready in case he was swarmed by the crowds. He healed so many that all who had illnesses pressed upon him so they could touch him. 

When unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” He strictly commanded them not to make him known. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus does not exalt himself. He avoids the limelight and enjoys being hidden with his disciples. 
  2. However, the people recognize his powers and they seek him out in great numbers. 
  3. The need for the boat shows the size and enthusiasm of the crowds. 
  4. Their faith is rewarded by miracles and casting out of demons. 
  5. These demons have superb intellects. They know Jesus’ identity. However, they are subject to his power. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, you are truly meek and humble of heart. 
  • I recognize your great powers, and I come to you in faith. 
  • Nothing will hold me back. I will press in. I will touch you by faith. 
  • O Jesus, let your power go forth into my feelings, my desires, my body and my soul. 
  • Cast out all my demons of anxieties, depression, and self-hatred. 
  • By your power, make my inner voices be silent. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will bring my greatest problem to Jesus. 

+ I will use Jesus’ name to take power over my inner anxieties. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

All who had illnesses pressed in to be healed. 

WEEK TWO – WEDNESDAY – JANUARY 20, 2021 THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND (Mk 3:1-6)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me faith in Jesus’ powers. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus healing the man with the withered hand.

 

Context:

For a while, Jesus continues his ministry within the synagogue. Unfortunately, this great healing of a withered hand is overshadowed by a controversy. This leads to the pronouncement that “doing good” and “saving life” is more important than Sabbath laws.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus again entered the synagogue and there was a man with a withered hand. His enemies watched him to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, so they might accuse him. 

Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stand up here.” Then he said to his enemies, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil? To save life or to destroy it?” They did not respond. 

Looking at them, he was filled with anger. He grieved because of the blindness of their hearts. He said to the man, “Stretch forth your hand.” As he stretched it forth, the hand was restored. His enemies went out and consulted with others how they might destroy him. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Time and again, Jesus returns to the synagogue, so it would receive the new powers of the Kingdom. 
  2. Jesus did many healings on the Sabbath because that was when the people gathered in the synagogue. 
  3. Some reject his powers. They do not understand the greatness of his gift or the importance of his invitation. 
  4. Fortunately, this man does believe. He stands up and stretches out his hand. By Jesus’ power, he becomes a living sign of the Kingdom. 
  5. Jesus’ enemies still resist. This healing only hardens their hearts. Even miracles will not change them. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Come to my synagogue Jesus. Restore my life! Pour out your blessings. 
  • O Jesus, I need your powers and I need your Kingdom. 
  • Jesus, turn your eyes to my afflictions. Let me hear you say “Stand up here.” 
  • Jesus, I will stretch out the withered hand of my emotional needs, my sinful tendencies and my ruined life. You will make me whole. 
  • I will be a sign to others. By my changed life, I will be your witness. 
  • Jesus, do not let me harden my heart to your invitations. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will always trust that Jesus will come, will enter my heart, and will heal me. 

+ I will not allow my critics to sway my decisions. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

As he stretched forth the hand, it was healed. 

WEEK TWO – TUESDAY – JANUARY 19, 2021 EATING GRAIN ON THE SABBATH (MK 2:23-28)

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples in the grain fields.

Context:

This controversy is not about picking off heads of grain, (which was an accepted practice), but about picking them on the Sabbath. This controversy allows Jesus to pronounce that persons are more important than the law. Jesus goes further and proclaims that he is Lord even of the Sabbath (a divine attribute). 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus and his disciples walked through a field of grain on the Sabbath, his disciples began to pull off the heads of grain. The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Why do they do what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 

Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his men were hungry? He went to the house of God under Abiathar, the high priest, and ate the holy bread which only the priests were allowed to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The disciples are enjoying the new freedoms in Jesus’ Kingdom. 
  2. The Pharisees are still outside the Kingdom, still judging by Old Testament standards. 
  3. Jesus points to David’s freedom in using the sacred loaves. This prophetic action foreshadows the new Kingdom. 
  4. Jesus makes his pronouncement. Man is the first object of God’s love. Everything in Jesus’ Kingdom is meant to bless man. 
  5. Claiming that he is Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus reveals the great mystery. He is God and shares the Father’s authority. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, lead me into your new freedom. I will be an example to others. 
  • Free me from narrow-mindedness. Open me to your thoughts. 
  • Feed me the new Bread of Life. Give me to drink of your Blood. These are the food of eternal life. 
  • O Father, you made the whole world for me. I am the object of your infinite love. 
  • Jesus, you are God. You are Lord of the sabbath. You are my king. Everyone else is an imposter. 

Resolution ((Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Everywhere, I will seek my new freedom in Christ. 

+ I will make Jesus my Lord, fully serving his interests. 

Thought for the day: (Recall this text during the day)

The Son of Man is Lord, even of the sabbath. 

WEEK TWO – MONDAY – JANUARY 18, 2021 SOME SURPRISE PRONOUNCEMENTS (MK 2:18-22)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, make me a new creation. 

Imagination:

Imagine Jesus with the disciples and the Pharisees. 

Context:

Jesus uses two images of cloth and wineskins to show that his Kingdom demands a totally new way of acting and thinking. Nobody sews new cloth on old garments or pours new wine into old wineskins. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees came to ask, “Why do we fast but your disciples do not fast?” 

Jesus answered, “How can the guests at a wedding banquet fast when the bridegroom is still with them?” As long as he is there, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them. Then, they will fast. 

No one sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment because the new will pull away from the old, and the tear will get worse. 

No one puts new wine into old wineskins. The wine will burst the skins and the wine will spill and the wineskins will be ruined. New wine must be put into new skins. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus does not allow his disciples to fast. His Kingdom is new and contains greater blessings. 
  2. He reveals an astonishing mystery. He is the bridegroom, the presence of God in their midst. 
  3. The Bridegroom’s presence precludes all fasting at his wedding. 
  4. Both images (new cloth and new wine) carry the same message. Jesus is God’s new presence and the former response to God is inadequate. Jesus’ Kingdom bursts these limited ideas. 
  5. To be faithful to the Bridegroom, the disciples must seek the new wine of the Holy Spirit. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, my faith is too small to receive you. 
  • You are such a gift. Why do I not rejoice always? 
  • You are the bridegroom, God in our midst. To you is all honor and glory. 
  • When you are present, I rejoice. Sorrow is cast out. Joy abounds. 
  • I will find new cloth, greater faith that can hold your blessings. 
  • Jesus, pour out the new wine of your Spirit. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask, “What must I do to receive Jesus’ gifts.” 

+ I will make Jesus my bridegroom. He wants to have everything. 

+ I will ask for greater faith so I gain every gift of God. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

How can the guests fast, when the bridegroom is still with them? 

WEEK TWO -SUNDAY – (B) – JANUARY 17, 2021 FINDING THE MESSIAH (JN 1:35-42)

Prayer:

Jesus, I will be your disciple and follow you everywhere. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his three new disciples.

 

Context:

This gospel gives some more details and the call of these disciples. Andrew, and the other man, were originally disciples of John the Baptist who told them about Jesus. Andrew brings a third man, his brother Simon, to Jesus who immediately calls him Peter. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The next day, John was with two of his disciples, when he saw Jesus walking by. He said to these disciples, “Look, there is the Lamb of God.” When they heard what he said, the two disciples followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following him, he said, “What are you looking for?” They said, “Rabbi (Teacher) where are you staying?” He said, “Come and see.” So, they went and stayed with him. It was four in the afternoon. 

One of the two who followed Jesus was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter. The first thing he did was to find Simon and say, “We have found the Messiah” (meaning the “Anointed One”). He brought him to Jesus. When Jesus saw him, he said, “You are Simon, son of John, your name shall be Cephas” (which means, Peter).

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The Baptist repeats these words twice: “Behold the Lamb of God.” He wants these special disciples to find the Messiah. 
  2. The Baptist is completely unselfish. He wants his disciples to leave and follow Jesus. 
  3. They act immediately. They take the initiative because they want to find the Messiah. 
  4. Andrew so prizes this relationship that he wants his brother, Simon, to be included. 
  5. Simon also responds and comes to Jesus. 
  6. Jesus gives him a new name, foreshadowing his role as the foundation of the Church. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, You are the Lamb of God, sacrificed for me. 
  • Invite me to come to you. 
  • I will follow you, stay with you and be your disciple. 
  • Jesus, I will tell others about you. They will share my gift. 
  • All of us will remain with you. 
  • You have a task for me (but that will come later). For now, staying with you is all you ask. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will take every opportunity to seek and find Jesus. 

+ After finding him, I will tell others. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Rabbi, where do you abide? “Come and see.” 

WEEK ONE- SATURDAY – JANUARY 16, 2021 EATING WITH LEVI’S FRIENDS (MK 2:13-17)

Prayer:

O Jesus, call me into your Kingdom because I am a sinner.

 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at table with Levi and his friends.

 

Context:

Having heard Jesus call him, Levi calls others. When they sit at table, some religious people complain. This allows Jesus to announce that he is a physician who ministers to sinners. Jesus shatters the social conventions that have banished sinners from the community. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

As Jesus passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alpheus, sitting at his tax collector’s post. He said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him. 

When he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 

Seeing that he ate with tax collectors and sinners, the scribes who were Pharisees asked his disciples, “Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus overheard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the just, but sinners.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Exteriorly, Levi performed a task despised by the Jews. Interiorly, his heart was open to Jesus’ invitation. 
  2. Levi is a “fisher of men,” quickly gathering his friends to hear Jesus. 
  3. Jesus enjoys the company of tax collectors and sinners. They are written on his heart. 
  4. This shatters the usual procedures. Jesus’ enemies see only the exterior and never understand his heart. 
  5. The final sentence contains Mark’s real purpose in telling this story. Jesus’ mission is to sinners. He wants to bring them into his Kingdom. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, call me. I will leave everything to follow you. 
  • I will be your evangelist and bring others to you. 
  • O Jesus, You are welcome in my house and at my table. 
  • You can touch the heart of anyone, good or bad. 
  • You do not judge by appearances. You see my heart. You know me inside and out. 
  • You are the physician. I am the sick person. You have come to earth for me. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ At every moment, in every situation, I will listen for Jesus’ voice. 

+ I will accept my own sinfulness, knowing that Jesus has come for me. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Only the sick need the doctor. 

WEEK ONE – FRIDAY – JANUARY 15, 2021 THE PARALYZED MAN (MK 2:1-12)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus healing the paralyzed man.

Context:

The next five stories contain controversies which allow Jesus to make a solemn pronouncement (the high point of each story). This reveals Jesus’ prerogatives. In this story, Jesus proclaims that he has the power to forgive sins. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus was at Capernaum, a crowd gathered around the house. Four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man. Because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So, they uncovered the roof and lowered the man to Jesus. Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 

Some thought, “This is blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins.” Jesus asked them, “Which is easier to say, your sins are forgiven, or arise and walk?” So that you may know that I have the power to forgive sins, I say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk.” 

He got up, took his bed and went away in the sight of all. The crowd was amazed and said, “We have never seen anything like this.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The heroes are the four friends who love the paralytic. Against all odds, they make sure that he comes to Jesus. 
  2. Because of their faith, Jesus forgives the man’s sins. (The gospel never mentions the paralytic’s faith.) 
  3. To prove that the sins were really forgiven, Jesus heals the paralyzed man. 
  4. In all of this, the paralytic remains totally passive. 
  5. However, when Jesus tells him to get up, he obeys. He rises and picks up his mat. 
  6. The event confounds the learned critics and delights the simple believers who believe in Jesus’ powers. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Lord, send me friends who believe in you. Let their efforts bring me to you. 
  • What is it like to come close to you and to see you, face to face? 
  • Forgive my sins. This is your greatest gift, (which I often do not seek). 
  • You heal everything – soul, mind, feelings, senses, intellect and will. 
  • You say, “Arise, take up your mat and walk,” and your power lifts me up. 
  • Lord, do your work in me and I will be a sign to others. They also will come to believe. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will choose my friends from those who believe in Jesus. 

+ I will seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The four men uncovered the roof and lowered the man to Jesus. 

WEEK ONE – THURSDAY – JANUARY 14, 2021 CLEANSING A LEPER (MK 1:40-45)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to believe that Jesus can cleanse me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus cleansing the leper

Context: 

Mark provides no geographical setting for this miracle. His goal is to show Jesus’ power and how his fame quickly spreads. Jesus tries to avoid this publicity. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A leper came to Jesus. Kneeling down he said, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus had compassion on him. He stretched out his hand and, touching him, said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” 

The leprosy left him immediately and he was made clean. Warning him strictly, Jesus said to him, “Tell no one. Go, show yourself to the high priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed. That will be proof for them.” 

However, the leper went away and told everyone. When the news went forth, Jesus could not go openly into a town. He stayed outside in deserted places. Yet, they came to him from everywhere. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you).

  1. Having seen others who were healed, the leper believes totally. 
  2. Jesus shows deep human feelings of compassion for the leper’s condition. 
  3. Jesus comes close. He touches the leper and makes himself ritually unclean. 
  4. His power goes forth quickly. He uses just a simple word, “Be clean.” 
  5. The leper cannot control his joy. He tells everyone the story. 
  6. The crowds find Jesus even when he remains in deserted places. They know the power of God is in their midst. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Lord Jesus, I know you have power. I have read the gospel stories. 
  • I ask with all my heart, “Please make me clean.” 
  • Jesus, you always have compassion for me. 
  • You come close. You touch me. You make me whole. 
  • After you cleanse me, I can begin a new life. 
  • My tongue will not be silent. I will tell everyone. I will claim your mighty deeds. 
  • By my words, others will believe in you and search for you. 

Resolutions: (Use one of these or make one of your own).

+ No matter what my illness (moral or physical) I will believe that Jesus can make me clean. 

+ I will be God’s witness, telling others of Jesus’ compassion for them. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If you will it, you can make me clean. 

WEEK ONE – WEDNESDAY – JANUARY 13, 2021 MULTIPLE HEALINGS (MK 1:29-39)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me experience your healing power. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus surrounded by the sick seeking to be healed.

Context:

Jesus’ powers are diverse. He heals many illnesses and casts out all kinds of demons. They do not shout out because Jesus quiets them. When his work is finished, He walks away from the acclaim, because much work lies ahead.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When they left the synagogue, they came to the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. 

He took her by the hand and lifted her up. Immediately, the fever left her and she waited on them. 

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill and possessed with demons. All the city was gathered at the door. He healed many with various diseases and he cast out demons, not allowing them to speak because they knew who he was. 

Rising early before dawn, he went out to a deserted place to pray. Simon, and those with him, followed Jesus. When they found him, they said, “Everybody is looking for you.” Jesus said, “Let us go to the neighboring towns and villages, that I may preach there, also. For this purpose I have come.” So, he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout Galilee. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you).

  1. These apostles have quickly come to believe. They know that Jesus can heal the mother-in-law’s illness. 
  2. The crowds also have great faith. At sunset (as soon as the workers are home), they bring everyone to Jesus. 
  3. Jesus does not disappoint their simple faith. His power goes forth to all. 
  4. Jesus’ pace is hectic. From the synagogue, to the house and to the crowds after sunset. 
  5. The final scene is important. The disciples want to bask in the popularity. Jesus wants to go elsewhere. He is interested only in doing the Father’s work. 
  6. Jesus senses an urgency. He must visit all the towns. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words in prayer)

  • O Jesus, lift my heart to a highest level of faith. Then, do your wonders in my soul. 
  • If the crowds, who hardly knew you, believe, why do I not have greater faith? 
  • O Jesus, fill me with zeal. Let me not rest until I complete your work. 
  • O Jesus, your power is always going forth. At every moment, You are always blessing me. 
  • I will bring you all my worries, my hopes and my burdens, laying them at your feet. 
  • You will complete your task. You will visit me and I will receive you. 
  • Come to my village, Jesus. 

Resolutions: (Use one of these or make one of your own).

+ I will have faith in Jesus’ powers. 

+ I will go to Jesus with my greatest difficulty. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

After sunset, they brought to Jesus all who were ill. 

WEEK ONE – TUESDAY – JANUARY 12, 2021 AN EXORCISM IN THE SYNAGOGUE (MK 1:21-28)

Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit. Set me free from the Kingdom of Darkness. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus in a synagogue setting the man free from the unclean spirit.

Context:

Mark groups his stories by geography. The next few stories take place at Capernaum, and provide a quick overview of Jesus’ activities. Jesus’ ministry begins in the Jewish culture and in their place of religious worship – the synagogue. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

In Capernaum, Jesus entered the synagogue on the sabbath and began to teach. The people were spellbound by his teaching because he taught with authority and not like the scribes. In the synagogue, there was a man with an unclean spirit who cried out, “What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet! Come out of the man.” The unclean spirit convulsed him. Then crying out with a loud voice, the spirit left him. 

All were amazed and asked among themselves, “What is this? What is this new teaching with authority? He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him. His fame spread over the whole region of Galilee. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you). 

  1. The man had attended the synagogue for years, but the synagogue had no power over his unclean spirit. 
  2. When Jesus enters, the demon can no longer stay hidden. 
  3. The demon faces a powerful new enemy and realizes that Jesus has come to destroy him. 
  4. The demons know well that Jesus is “the Holy One” come from the Father. 
  5. Jesus acts quickly so the unclean spirit can do little harm. 
  6. This was never heard of before. The people have never seen such power. The word about Jesus spreads quickly. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how many hidden forces come against me. 
  • Without you, O Lord, these forces would control my life and I would be in complete darkness. 
  • Jesus, you are the demons’ powerful enemy. To me, you are a mighty friend. 
  • Cast out from me any powers of darkness that dwell within me. 
  • Come to my synagogue, O Jesus – to my heart which needs your cleansing. 
  • Never have I seen such power as yours, and you always use it for my benefit. 

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Does the demon have any power over me? I will examine my conscience. 

+ If involved in occult practices, I will confess them and seek total freedom. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

He commands even the evil spirits and they obey him. 

WEEK ONE- MONDAY – JANUARY 11, 2021 JESUS FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE (MK 1:14-20)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, invite me today to be your disciple. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus calling his first disciples along the Sea of Galilee.

Context

This gospel text begins “After John was arrested” and it records Jesus’ first homily of his public ministry. He repeats John’s teaching that the reign of God has come and gathers his four most important helpers. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, saying, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel. 

Passing by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother, Andrew, casting nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately, they left their net and followed him. 

Going a little farther, he saw James, the son of Zebedee and his brother, John. They were mending their nets in the ship. He called them, also. They left Zebedee in the ship with his hired men and followed him. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you).

  1. Jesus follows his heavenly Father’s timetable. While John is preaching, he remains silent. When John is arrested, Jesus knows to begin. 
  2. These are the most important years in world history, as Jesus begins to save all mankind. 
  3. Jesus says that the Kingdom is at hand. God’s power will break into human history. 
  4. Everyone must be ready. So, Jesus tells everyone to turn away from evil and believe in him. 
  5. The two sets of brothers are the first to hear the message. They respond immediately. 
  6. Peter and Andrew leave their boats behind. James and John leave their father and friends. These four are perfect models for all believers. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words in prayer).

  • Heavenly Father, what is your timetable for my life? When is the time for me to act? 
  • Jesus, I believe. This is the hour, the time of fulfillment. I will not delay. 
  • I believe. I accept your Kingdom. I repent. I turn to you and hear your voice. 
  • Jesus, you want to come into my heart. 
  • I hear your call. I will follow you, forever and ever. 
  • O Jesus, You are the gift of the Father. What else compares with your friendship? I will leave everything to be your friend. 

Resolutions: (Use one of these or make your own)

+ I will learn God’s timetable. What does he expect today? 

+ When Jesus invites me today, I will answer immediately. 

Thought: (Recall this text during the day)

Come after me and I will make you fishers of men. 

SUNDAY (B) – JANUARY 10, 2021 THE MORE POWERFUL ONE (MK 1:7-11)

Prayer:

O Holy Spirit, fall upon me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus coming out of the Jordan

Context:

Mark begins his gospel with the ministry of John the Baptist. The preceding verses describe John who then describes Jesus as the more powerful one. After the baptism comes the divine manifestation of the Spirit and the Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

John preached, saying, “There comes after me one more powerful than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. 

In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As he came out of the water, he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit as a dove descending and remaining on him. There came a voice from heaven. You are my beloved Son. In you, I am well pleased.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. John turns the spotlight away from himself. 
  2. His task is to prepare for Jesus. 
  3. He minimizes his own power to baptize with water. 
  4. He promises a more powerful person who will baptize in the Spirit. 
  5. Jesus comes to the Jordan as God had planned. 
  6. After his Baptism, the Holy Spirit remains on Jesus as a permanent anointing. 
  7. The Father’s voice confirms Jesus as his beloved. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, prepare my heart for you. 
  • O Jesus, you are the strong one, who comes from Nazareth. 
  • O Jesus, pour out your Spirit upon me. 
  • Teach me to know and follow the Father’s plan. 
  • Open the heavens and pour out all your graces. 
  • O Spirit, remain upon me. 
  • O Father, always exalt your Son. I will do the same. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask for the Holy Spirit. 

+ I will try to be the Father’s beloved child. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Spirit descended and remained on him. 

SATURDAY – JANUARY 9, 2021 THE BAPTIST COMES ON THE SCENE (JN 3:22-30)

Prayer:

Come Holy Spirit. Help me to prepare to increase my life in Jesus.

Imagination:

Picture yourself at the Jordan with John.

Context:

Luke has told the stories of Jesus infancy, ending with Jesus being lost in the temple. The next 18 years are Jesus’ hidden life. Now the drama opens and John the Baptist is the first actor on the scene.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized. Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom, the best man, who stands and listens to him; rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase, I must decrease.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Caesar and Pilate have political power, but John has the power of God. 
  2. The “word came to John.” The Kingdom was coming and a religious revival was about to happen. 
  3. The people sensed this movement of God’s Spirit, and made their journey to the Jordan. 
  4. They repented of their sins and sought John’s Baptism. 
  5. Prepared by their Jewish culture, they understood that John was the messenger, preparing the way for the Messiah. 
  6. John’s clothing and food were signs of repentance, so the people quickly believed his preaching. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Let your word come to me, O Lord. 
  • You have a timetable, a moment prepared for my conversion. 
  • Where do you dwell, O Lord? Where can I find you? 
  • Where do you stir? Where is your Spirit moving? 
  • I will seek you in daily Eucharist. Your Spirit dwells there. 
  • You have promised to come. I will wait for you. 
  • Jesus, I will seek forgiveness for my sins, and be ready for your coming. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will find personal solitude where I can hear God’s word. 

+ I will repent of my sins and make a good confession.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths. 

FRIDAY – JANUARY 8, 2021 CLEANSING A LEPER (LK 5:12-16)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Help me to believe that Jesus can cleanse me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus cleansing the leper

 

Context:

In these early stages of Jesus’ ministry, Mark wants to show his great power. There is no controversy surrounding the healing because Jesus has not made any enemies as yet.

Although the man disobeys Jesus’ orders, he is a perfect model for the newly converted person. After Baptism, everyone should tell the world about Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

A leper came to Jesus. Kneeling down, he said, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus had compassion on him. He stretched out his hand and, touched him, saying, “I will. Be made clean.” 

When Jesus had said these words, the leprosy left and the man was made clean. Jesus said to him very strictly, “Tell no one. Go, show yourself to the high priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed. That will be proof for them.” 

However, the leper went out and told everyone. So, the word went forth. As a result, Jesus could not go openly into a city, but he stayed in desert places. Yet, they came to him from everywhere. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The leper believes in Jesus. Having seen others healed, he is stirred to faith. 
  2. Jesus shows deep human feelings. He has compassion on the leper’s condition. 
  3. Jesus comes close. He touches the leper and makes himself ritually unclean. 
  4. His power goes forth quickly. He uses just a simple word, “Be clean.” 
  5. The leper cannot contain his joy. He tells everyone. 
  6. Hearing the story, the crowds seek Jesus. They know the power of God is in their midst. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, I know you have power. I have read the gospel stories. I believe. 
  • I ask with all my heart, “Please make me clean.” 
  • Jesus, you always have compassion for me. 
  • You come close. You touch me. You make me whole. 
  • After you cleanse me, I will begin a new life. 
  • Jesus, my tongue will not be silent. I will tell everyone. I will proclaim your mighty deeds. 
  • By my words, others will believe in you and search for you. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ No matter what my illness (moral or physical), I will believe that Jesus can make me clean. 

+ I will be God’s witness, telling others of Jesus’ compassion for them. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If you will it, you can make me clean. 

THURSDAY – JANUARY 7, 2021 IN THE NAZARETH SYNAGOGUE (LK 4:14-22)

Prayer:

O Jesus, send the Spirit of the Father upon me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the synagogue.

Context:

Having overcome Satan’s three temptations, Jesus begins his public ministry. Other gospels record this visit to the synagogue but Luke gives it preeminence. This is Jesus’ inauguration address and highlights all the themes of his preaching. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and his reputation spread throughout the region. He taught in their synagogue and was praised by all. 

Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been raised and, entering the synagogue on the Sabbath, as he was accustomed, he got up to read. The book of the prophet, Isaiah, was given to him and he found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind and release to prisoners. To preach a year of favor from the Lord.” 

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down. All the eyes of the synagogue were upon him. He said to them, “This day, this reading is fulfilled in your hearing.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus loved to preach in the synagogue where good people, eager for God’s word, gathered. 
  2. Jesus explains the source of his power. The Holy Spirit has come upon him. 
  3. Because his reputation had spread, all eyes were on him. 
  4. He chooses a text which outlines his work. He will preach and set free. 
  5. Every group (the poor, the captives, the blind) will receive the favors. 
  6. His coming establishes an extended time of God’s favor for all Israel. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, I know your reputation and I desire your favor. 
  • The Spirit of the Lord is upon you. You are the Holy One. 
  • I am poor. Preach your gospel to me. I am a captive. Set me free. 
  • I am blind. Help me to see. 
  • Your time of favor extends to all the years of my life. 
  • I will not delay. I will not put off accepting you as my King. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will be faithful to my reading of Scripture. 

+ Today, I will ask Jesus for the Holy Spirit. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me. 

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2021 WALKING ON THE WATER (MK 6:45-52)

Prayer:

O Jesus, come to me when the waves threaten my boat. 

Imagination:

Picture the disciples in the boat, seeing Jesus on the water.

Context:

These early stories of Mark’s gospel reveal to the disciples who Jesus is. However, even as they see the miracles, they do not understand. For some reason, their minds are closed. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus told his disciples to get into the boat while he dismissed the crowds. Then he went up the mountain to pray. When it was late, the ship was in the middle of the sea and he was alone on the land. He saw them being tossed about while they were rowing, (for the wind was against them). About the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking on the sea. He was going to pass them by. When they saw him walking on the water, they thought it was a ghost and they cried out because they all saw him and were troubled. 

Immediately, he spoke to them saying, “Take courage and do not be afraid. It is I”. He got into the ship and the wind ceased. They were astonished. They did not understand the incident of the loaves because their hearts were hardened. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus brings about this situation by telling the disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee while he remains on land. 
  2. Jesus’ supernatural powers are on full display. By divine revelation, He knows they are struggling on the lake and where to find them. 
  3. He is going to “pass them by.” This means “to come close enough to manifest himself.”
  4. By lack of faith, they mistake Jesus for a ghost. 
  5. Fortunately, he identifies himself and overcomes their blindness. 
  6. He gets into the boat and the wind dies down. (Another divine manifestation). 
  7. In spite of all these signs, the disciples do not understand the mystery. 
  8. They didn’t grasp the multiplication of loaves either. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, you plan all the events of my life. 
  • Seeing my struggles, you come to me. 
  • You whisper in my heart, “Do not be afraid. I am with you.” 
  • You “pass by,” close enough for me to experience your presence. 
  • O Jesus, you are not a ghost. You are my friend and companion. 
  • When you are in my boat, all is calm. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will obey Jesus and go wherever he wants. 

+ I will not miss his presence when he passes by today. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Take courage. It is I. Do not be afraid. 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2021 FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND (MK 6:34-44)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Multiply your gifts within me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus feeding the crowds.

Context:

This is the first of two multiplications of food in Mark’s gospel. (This one is for a Jewish crowd and the other is for Gentiles). This miracle is told in all four gospels and six times altogether, because it prefigures Jesus’ gift of Eucharist. Epiphany means manifestation and these gospels are Jesus’ manifesting himself. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved to compassion for they were like sheep without a shepherd. He began to teach them at great length. When the day was far spent, his disciples said, “This is a deserted place and the hour is late. Send them away to the nearby villages where they can buy something to eat.” 

Jesus answered, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “It would cost two hundred days of wages for bread to feed them all.” Jesus said, “Go, and see how many loaves you have.” They said, “We have five loaves and two fish.” 

When they sat down, Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish. Looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute. The two fishes he divided among them all. All ate and had their fill. The disciples gathered up twelve baskets of fragments. Those who ate were five thousand. 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. As Jesus begins to teach them, the crowd responds. 
  2. They pass the whole day with Jesus, heedless of their need to eat. 
  3. Jesus responds to their faith and He will provide a great abundance. 
  4. Jesus looks up to heaven, blesses and breaks the bread. He will do this again at the Last Supper. This miracle is just a preview. 
  5. Jesus invites the disciples to help him. The bread multiplies as they distribute it. 
  6. Jesus brings all to completion. The people have their fill and twelve baskets are left over for us. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Speak to me, O Lord. I will hear your voice, and you will be my shepherd. 
  • O Lord, I will stay with you during the whole day of my life. 
  • O Jesus, your plans for me are beyond my greatest dreams. 
  • O Jesus, I will help you with your tasks. 
  • Every day, you multiply the bread from heaven. Help me to love the Eucharist. 
  • I will eat your flesh and drink your blood, so you can complete your work in me. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will seek out Jesus’ teachings. 

+ My heart will seek the Bread of Life. 

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The disciples said, “Send them away.” Jesus said, “You give them something to eat.”