Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on January 29, 2012

Gospel reading of the day:

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus came to Capernaum with his followers, and on the sabbath he 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.

Reflection on the gospel reading: Mark’s gospel portrays Jesus as a man of action who moves swiftly from one event to another in the days that follow his baptism by John in the Jordan. He quickly reveals himself as a man of power, one who has real authority: authority to teach and even authority to force unclean spirits to submit. The gospels over and over suggest that Jesus possessed a constellation of characteristics that created a profound impression among the people who encountered him. The Scriptures present much evidence this. We read about people leaving their ordinary lives to join him, the crowds which come to listen to him, people who bring their sick and disabled for him to minister to them. In many passages of the gospel, such as the one read today, we learn of his fame spreading everywhere. Moreover, the historical record suggests that within 14 years of his crucifixion, there was a sizable Christian community in the capital of empire, Rome. There was clearly something about Jesus’ presence while he walked the earth that evoked a response in the people who encountered him. We who are privileged to live in the time after the resurrection of the Lord continue to experience his call to leave behind our ordinary lives to join him, come and listen to him, and bring to him our burdens. When we cultivate his presence through our prayer, meditation, reading, and service, we still experience his power to change us.

Spiritual reading:

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light.

(Saint Dallan Forghaill)

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