NOVEMBER 21, 2016 – WEEK THIRTY-FOUR – MONDAY – THE WIDOW’S MITE

(Mark 12:38-44) Prayer – O Jesus, to you I give all I have. Imagination – (Picture Jesus in the temple with his disciples.) Context: This gospel joins two different people, linked by the word widow.   The scribes want everyone to see their goodness while secretly they steal widow’s money. The widow, on the contrary, gives …

AUGUST 4, 2016 – WEEK EIGHTEEN – THURSDAY – TRANSFIGURED ON THE MOUNTAIN

(Mark 9:2-13) Prayer – O Jesus, reveal to me your heavenly glory. Imagination- (Picture Peter, James and John witnessing the glory of Christ.) Context: These three apostles witness both Jesus’ glory on the mountain and his agony in the Garden. Mark always links Jesus’ suffering with his glory, telling his persecuted Christians to persevere in …

JUNE 4, 2016 – WEEK NINE – SATURDAY – THE WIDOW’S MITE

(Mark 12:38-44) Prayer – O Jesus, to you I give all I have. Imagination – (Picture Jesus in the temple with his disciples.) Context: This gospel joins two different scenes, which describe two contrasting groups. The scribes want everyone to see their goodness while secretly they steal widows’ money. The widow, on the contrary, gives …

JUNE 3, 2016 – WEEK NINE – FRIDAY – THE SON OF DAVID

(Mark 12:35-37) Prayer: O Jesus, You alone are my Lord. Imagination: (Imagine Jesus teaching in the temple.) Context: While Jesus is teaching in the temple, he is constantly challenged. After silencing all his critics, he goes on the offensive. He raises the question of the true relationship of David to the Messiah and says that …

JUNE 2, 2016 – WEEK NINE – THURSDAY – THE SINCERE SCRIBE

(Mark 12:28-34) Prayer – O Jesus, I want to love you with all my heart and soul. Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with this good-willed scribe.) Context: This scribe is not hostile. His question is sincere. He searches for the most important commandment. Jesus quotes the great prayer which he himself recited each day. This had …

JUNE 1, 2016 – WEEK NINE – WEDNESDAY – LIVING LIKE ANGELS

(Mark 12:18-27) Prayer – O Lord, I want to live with you forever in heaven. Imagination – (Picture Jesus in confrontation with the Sadducees.) Context: The Sadducees (unlike the Pharisees) did not believe in the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead. They present to Jesus what seems to us a foolish …

MAY 30, 2016 – WEEK NINE – MONDAY – THE WICKED TENANTS

(Mark 12:1-12) Prayer: O Jesus, I will give you all of the harvest. Imagination (Picture Jesus with His disciples.) Context: Jesus bases this parable upon actual circumstances. In Galilee there were many foreign owners who leased the land to tenants. God is the owner and these tenants are the Scribes who claim to possess God’s …

MAY 27, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – FRIDAY – THE FIG TREE

(Mark 11:11 – 26) Prayer: O Jesus, let me offer you the good fruit of my life. Imagination: (Picture Jesus and the disciples looking at a withered fig tree.) Context: On the day after Palm Sunday, Jesus returns to Jerusalem. On the way, he seeks figs from a tree. Finding none, Jesus proclaims that the …

MAY 26, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – THURSDAY – THE BLIND BEGGAR

(Mark 10:46-52) Prayer: O Jesus, let me cry out to you in great hope. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the crowd and a beggar by the roadside.) Context: This journey to Jerusalem began with Jesus healing a blind man and culminates with this healing of blindness. In contrast, the disciples grow in their blindness about Jesus’ …

MAY 25, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – WEDNESDAY – AMBITIOUS JAMES AND JOHN

(Mark 10:35-40) Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Reveal the glory you have prepared. Imagination – (Picture James and John seeking favors from Jesus.) Context: Jesus has just told the apostles about his future sufferings. James and John, however, are only interested in their own glory. Jesus talks about the “cup”, which means both the cup …

MAY 24, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – TUESDAY – RECEIVING THE HUNDRED-FOLD

(Mark 10:28-31) Prayer – O Jesus, teach me to set aside everything for love of you. Imagination: (Picture Jesus instructing his apostles.) Context: A young man has walked away from Jesus because he was rich. In contrast, Peter is a model disciple who has set all aside. Jesus spells out the rewards, in this life …

MAY 23, 2016 – WEEK EIGHT – MONDAY – THE RICH YOUNG MAN

(Mark 10:17 – 27) Prayer – Come, Holy Spirit. Let me sacrifice everything to follow Jesus. Imagination: (Picture the young man asking Jesus about eternal life.) Context: The gospel begins “As Jesus set out”. This sets the scene. Jesus is on a journey and the young man will be invited to come along. The man’s …

MAY 21, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – SATURDAY – THE LITTLE CHILDREN

(Mark 10:13-16) Prayer: O Jesus, I will accept your Kingdom like a little child. Imagination: (Picture Jesus surrounded by children and the disciples.) Context: Right after Jesus’ teaching on the permanence of marriage, Mark places this story of children (the fruit of marriage). Earlier, Jesus spoke of not scandalizing the little ones. Now, he sees …

MAY 20, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – FRIDAY – LET NO MAN SEPARATE

(Mark 10:1-12) Prayer: O Jesus, you have come to restore creation as it was in the beginning. Imagination: (Picture Jesus explaining his ideals to his disciples.) Context: Jesus believes that through the power of the Kingdom of God, all creation can be restored to God’s original plan. His critics cite Moses’ teaching about a decree …

MAY 19, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – THURSDAY – RESPONSIBILITIES OF A DISCIPLE

(Mark 9:41-50) Prayer: O Jesus, help me to live according to your highest ideals. Imagination: (Picture Jesus explaining his ideals to his disciples.) Context: These teachings deal with moral life in the Christian community. First, disciples must give good example to the “little ones” (the newer members). Secondly, they must make radical sacrifices to avoid …

MAY 17, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – TUESDAY – THE EXTRA MILE

(Mark 9: 30-37) Prayer: Jesus, teach me to be a little one, living in the simplicity of a child. Imagination: (Picture Jesus, with his arms around a child, teaching his disciples.) Context: The disciples have just failed to drive out a demon. Now, they do not understand Jesus’ teaching about suffering. Worst of all, they …

MAY 16, 2016 – WEEK SEVEN – MONDAY – THE BOY WITH A DEMON

(Mark 9:14) Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Set me free from the Evil One. Imagination: (Picture the boy’s father pleading with Jesus.) Context: The disciples are going backward. Earlier, they had great success in driving out demons. Now, they are total failures. Jesus gets exasperated. The difficulty is their lack of faith. The boy’s father knows …

APRIL 2, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – SATURDAY – REBUKING THE DISCIPLES

(Mark 16:9-15) Prayer: O Jesus, heal my lack of faith. Imagination: (Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples at table.) Context: Mark summarizes the Easter visions. Jesus rose and appeared to Mary Magdalen. She told the disciples. He appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They, too, announced the good news but the …

MARCH 4, 2016 – WEEK THREE OF LENT – FRIDAY – THE SCRIBE CLOSE TO THE KINGDOM

(Mark 12:28-34) Prayer – O Jesus, I want to love you with all my heart and soul. Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the crowd while he speaks with this good-willed scribe.) Context: This scribe is not hostile. His question is sincere. In response, Jesus quotes the great prayer which the scribe himself recited each day. His …

FEBRUARY 9, 2016 – WEEK FIVE – TUESDAY – SETTING ASIDE GOD’S COMMANDMENTS

(Mark 7:1-8) Prayer – O Jesus, let my heart be set only on the heavenly father’s will. Imagination – (Picture Jesus in this controversy with the Pharisees). Context: Jesus rejects the piety of the Pharisees, who have gone off course. This gospel contains two stories, washing of hands and declaring things sacred. Each story contains …