Jesus bequeaths the gift of prayer

Create in us silence so that we may listen to Your voice...

Lectio Divina: 

 Sunday, January 28, 2018

Jesus teaches and heals people
The first impression of the Good News of Jesus on the people
Mark 1:21-28

 

1. Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that You read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, You helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of Your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection. 


Create in us silence so that we may listen to Your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May Your word guide us so that we, too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of Your resurrection and witness to others that You are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of You, Jesus,  Who revealed to us the Father and sent us Your Spirit. Amen.

 

2. Reading

a) A key to the reading:

The Gospel text of this fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time speaks of the amazement of the people who see Jesus passing on His teaching (Mk 1:21-22), then presents the first miracle of the casting out of a devil (Mk 1:23-26) and finally speaks again of the amazement of the people who hear the teaching of Jesus about His power to cast out devils (Mk 1:27-28). 
In the 70’s, the time when Mark is writing, the community of Rome needed some guidance as to how to proclaim the Good News of God to people who lived under the oppression of the fear of evil spirits because of the arbitrary imposition of religious laws by the Roman Empire. In describing Jesus’ activity, Mark showed how the communities were to proclaim the Good News. The Evangelists catechized by telling the facts and events of Jesus’ life. 
The text on which we are to meditate shows the impact of the Good News of Jesus on the people of His time. As we read, let us try to pay attention to the following: Which activities of Jesus most gave rise to the amazement of the people?

 

b) A division of the text to help with the reading:

Mark 1:21-22: The people, in amazement at the teaching of Jesus, begin to develop  a critical awareness.
Mark 1:23-24: The reaction of a man possessed by the devil in the presence of Jesus in the Synagogue.
Mark 1:25-26: Jesus conquers and drives the devil away.
Mark 1:27-28: Again, the impact  of the Good News of Jesus on the people.

c) Text:

 Then they came to Capernaum, and on the sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Quiet! Come out of him!" The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, "What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him." His fame spread everywhere throughout the whole region of Galilee.

 

3. A moment of prayerful silence

so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions

to help us in our personal reflection.

a) What part of the text did you like best?
b) What caused most amazement on the part of the people in Jesus’ time? 
c) What drove the people to see the difference between Jesus and the doctors of the time? 
d) Devils have no power over Jesus. What impression does this make on the people? 
e) Does the reality of our community produce amazement among people? How?

 

5. A prayer with Psalm 46 (45)

God, revealed in Jesus, is our strength!

God is both refuge and strength for us, 
a help always ready in trouble;
so we shall not be afraid though the earth be in turmoil, 
though mountains tumble into the depths of the sea,
and its waters roar and seethe, 
and the mountains totter as it heaves.

There is a river whose streams bring joy to God's city; 
it sanctifies the dwelling of the Most High.
God is in the city, it cannot fall; 
at break of day God comes to its rescue.
Nations are in uproar, 
kingdoms are tumbling, 
when He raises His voice the earth crumbles away.

Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, 
our citadel, the God of Jacob.
Come, consider the wonders of Yahweh, 
the astounding deeds He has done on the earth;
He puts an end to wars over the whole wide world, 
He breaks the bow, He snaps the spear, 
shields He burns in the fire.

“Be still and acknowledge that I am God, 
supreme over nations, supreme over the world.”
Yahweh Sabaoth is with us, 
our citadel, the God of Jacob.

6. Final Prayer

Lord Jesus, we thank You for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May Your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which Your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, Your mother, not only listen to but also practice the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

 

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26.03 | 17:36

Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Holy Week is the most important week in the Church year! It is a time when we celebrate in a special way the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We remember his actions, reflect on his messages, and recommit to living as his d

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01.09 | 02:56

I enjoy these prayers, and resort to them whenever I want to pray but don't know how!

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15.08 | 13:01

Thank you for your valuable comments much appreciated.

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14.08 | 13:57

My daily devotion and yearly novena.

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