Category Archives: Mark

Perpetual student

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

When [Jesus] disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

A few of the things Jesus has taught me:
– Love my neighbor.
– Forgive those who hurt me.
– Don’t judge myself or others.
– Welcome strangers.
– Notice people and be aware of and attentive to their needs.
– Pray always.

Today I will practice one of the things Jesus has taught me by his word and example.

Be the kindness

Raphael (1483-1520)
Studies of the heads of two apostles and of their hands
black chalk over pounced underdrawing with some white heightening on laid paper
c. 1519 – 1520
Oxford, Ashmolean

Lord, let us see your kindness. Psalm 85:8a

Our smiles and encouragement, compassion and respect, peaceful presence and helping hands allow others to see and know the kindness of the Lord.

Today I will be the kindness of the Lord in all my interactions.

Without judgment

Khalil Raad (1854-1957)
Carpenters in Nazareth
1 January 1920

And they took offense at him. Mark 6:3

I don’t have to be offended by others’ opinions. I don’t have to envy others’ gifts and talents. I don’t have to be suspicious of others because of the way they look, the language they speak, or the religion they practice.

Today I will honor others instead of judging them.

Focus on the Lord

Laura James
The Woman Suffering from Hemorrhages
acrylic on canvas, 2007
Private Collection

Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Mark 5:36

With faith, I keep my eyes on the Lord instead of the problem. I reach out to touch the Lord and allow him to touch me. I trust the Lord to lead me, guide me, and show me the next right thing to do.

Today I will remember God is with me. I will put my focus on the Lord and ask him to help me.

Sleep when you’re tired

Jesus being awakened during a tempest
on the Sea of Galilee,
from a Mir’at al-quds of
Father Jerome Xavier
(Spanish, 1549–1617)

A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
Mark 4:37-38a

When events disrupt my serenity, overwhelm me with sorrow, flood me with anxiety, and challenge my faith, I need to ask God to help me, rest, eat, and stay in touch with loved ones.

Today I will take care of myself even when the storms of life distress me.

Give thanks

Beit Sahur and Bethlehem. Harvesting.
Between 1898 and 1946

It is good to give thanks to the LORD. Psalm 92:2a

Gratitude lifts me out of self-pity, focuses me on the moment, helps me let go of fear, brings me awareness of God’s limitless kindness and abundant gifts.

Today I will practice gratitude for God’s goodness and generosity and give thanks to the Lord.

The last words

Chapelle Dévôt-Christ
at Perpignan Cathedral
14th century crucifix

Having bought a linen cloth, [Joseph of Aramathea] took [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mark 15:46

The story of Jesus’ Passion is deeply distressing with its matter-of-fact narration of the human experiences of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, injustice, cruelty, mockery, bullying, abuse, pain, and suffering.

And yet… and yet it ends with caring and tenderness as Joseph of Aramathea removes Jesus’ body from the cross, wraps it gently in fine linen, and lays it to rest.

It seems to me that compassion and kindness will always be the last words in our human story.

Lord, help me to reach out with your tender care to those who are suffering and in need.

To know the Lord

James Tissot (1836-1902)
La transfiguration
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum

Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Mark 9:5-6

To look on the brilliance of the Lord… it is a terrifying thought and a compelling desire.

It is a call in and to me: I want to know the Lord.

Today I will seek the Lord in holy scripture, in the glory of creation, especially in the faces of the people I meet. I will listen for the voice of the Lord in the words of people in need, in the sounds of nature, in the silence of my heart.

Angels of compassion

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus tenté dans le désert
gouache over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

[Jesus] was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him. Mark 1:13b

I have been in a desert with wild beasts that trigger old trauma, where despair and fear and bad dreams keep me thirsting for refreshing, relaxing sleep.

And angels in the form of faithful friends who listen and comfort, who pray for me when I cannot pray for myself, have ministered to me.

Thank you, Lord, for being with me in the desert times. Bless all the kind and compassionate people who help me day by day.

Make me clean

Christ and the Leper
Mosaic in Monreale

“[Jesus,] if you wish, you can make me clean.”
Mark 1:40b

Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean of resentment, selfishness, racism, low self-esteem, disdain, and fear.

Bless me, Lord. FIll me with your joy.