Week Four – Ordinary Time – Friday, February 3rd

The completion of the Story of John the Baptist (Mark 6:14-29) Prayer: Lord Jesus, let me not be swerved by the opinions of others. Imagination: Picture Herod with his party guests. Context: This section is an interlude, which Mark inserts between the sending of the Twelve and their return. It is the only story that …

Week Four – Ordinary Time – Thursday, February 2nd

The Presentation of the Lord Simeon’s Inspired Words (Lk 2:22-32) Prayer:   Come, Holy Spirit. Lead me this day to your divine appointment. Imagination:    Picture Simeon praising God with Jesus in his arms. Context: After forty days, Mary and Joseph fulfill the Mosaic Law by presenting Jesus in the temple.  Surprisingly, Simeon appears on the scene. Luke …

Week Four – Ordinary Time – Wednesday, February 1st

Rejected by His Own People (Mk 6:1-6) Prayer: O Jesus, I honor you as the true prophet who has come into the world. Imagination: Picture Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth. Context: Jesus returns to Nazareth, accompanied by his disciples. After his teaching, the crowd asks itself three questions which summarize Mark’s gospel. Jesus has …

Week Four – Ordinary Time – Tuesday, January 31st

Raising a Girl to Life (Mk 5:21-43) Prayer: O Jesus, raise me to new life in Your Holy Spirit. Imagination: Picture Jesus raising the girl to life. Context: Mark carefully notes that Jesus returns to Jewish territory and the atmosphere is filled with faith.  At Jairus’ home, however, people have little faith. So Jesus casts them …

Week Four – Ordinary Time – Monday, January 30th

Power Over Satan (Mk 5:1-20) Prayer: Lord Jesus, set me free in the power of your name. Imagination: Picture the possessed man coming to Jesus and his disciples. Context: Although this story seems strange, biblical scholars agree that it happened (although it probably is two stories joined together). Jesus began his ministry to Israel with …

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 29th

The First Four Beatitudes – Part I – (Mt 5:1-5, 12a) Prayer: O Jesus, call me to a special goodness and help me to be a faithful disciple. Imagination: Picture Jesus preaching to the disciples. Context: Matthew’s teachings are broken into five sections, (like the five books of Moses). The beatitudes are Jesus’ first major …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Saturday, January 28th

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, PRIEST & DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH Power Over the Sea (Mk 4:35-41) Prayer: O Jesus, calm the storms in my own life. Imagination: Picture the fearful disciples in the boat, while Jesus calms the sea. Context: Mark begins a series of 5 stories showing Jesus’ power. In this first calming of the …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Friday, January 27th

Seeds of the Kingdom (Mk 4:26-34) Prayer: O Jesus, plant your Kingdom on my heart. Imagination: Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. Context: Jesus uses two parables concerning seeds to show the power of the Kingdom. In the first parable, the farmer does nothing but “go to bed.” In the second parable, the tiniest seed produces …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Thursday, January 26th

Some Sayings (Mk 4:21-25) Prayer: O Lord, put your light on the lampstand of my heart. Imagination: Picture Jesus speaking to the disciples. Context: This text is really four different sayings which Mark links by opposite words, like hidden/revealed and given/taken away. They are all teachings about the Kingdom. Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) Jesus …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Rebuking the Disciples (Mk 16:15-18) 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 …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Tuesday, January 24th

Having a New Family (Mk 3:31-35) 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, …

Week Three – Ordinary Time – Monday, January 23rd

Casting Out Satan (Mk 3:22-30) Prayer: O Jesus, by your power, free me from the Evil One. Imagination: Picture Jesus in his controversy with the scribes. Context: Mark presents another group of critics, the scribes. However, Jesus does not answer them. Jesus speaks to the crowds to get a fair hearing. He destroys the scribe’s …

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 22, 2023

A Light Among the Gentiles (Mt 4:12-17) Prayer:  O Jesus, let your light shine upon my whole life. Imagination: Picture Jesus going to Capernaum with his disciples. Context: Many prosperous towns were around the lake of Galilee. Since Capernaum was larger than Nazareth, Jesus moved his headquarters there to reach a wider audience. In this …

Week Two – Ordinary Time – Saturday, January 21, 2023

St. Agnes, Virgin & Martyr A Startled Family (MK 3:20-21) Prayer: O Jesus, help me to stand firm. Imagination: Picture Jesus surrounded by the crowd and his family. Context: This text contrasts the crowds, and the relatives. The crowds hardly know Jesus, and yet they acclaim him. His relatives, who think they know him, have …

Week Two – Ordinary Time – Friday, January 20, 2023

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 …

Week Two – Ordinary Time – Thursday, January 19, 2023

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 …

Week Two – Ordinary Time – Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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 …

Week Two – Ordinary Time -Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Eating Grain on the Sabbath (Mk 2:23-28) Prayer:   O Jesus, be the Lord of my life. 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 …

Week Two – Ordinary Time – Monday, January 16, 2023

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 …

Second Sunday – Ordinary Time – Sunday, January 15, 2023

Recognizing the Lamb (Jn 1:29-34) Prayer: O Jesus, come to me. When you come, help me to recognize you. Imagination: Picture John at the Jordan River, seeing Jesus among the crowd. Context: In this gospel, Jesus does not get baptized. Instead, the Baptist recognizes Jesus and introduces him to the world as the Lamb of God. …