Tag Archives: Gospel of Mark

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.

A time of distress

James Moriarty
Fig Tree in Spring, 2005

Everyone I talk to has something difficult to bear: the death of someone dear to them, grave illness in the family, loss of income, oppressive work conditions, the lessening of physical abilities, coping with addiction.

Add to that rampant anti-Semitism, racism, prejudice, selfishness, greed, and indifference to the poor, homeless, refugees, and immigrants—and the world seems unsafe, unloving, and ready to implode.

It is a time of terrible grief where anger, blame, and depression dominate.

Today I will be a part of God’s vision of love and compassion. I will offer comfort and kindness to everyone I meet because I know we are all grieving something.

I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Psalm 16:8

Give it all

Common or Corn Poppy

Sometimes it seems that what I have to offer God and my neighbor is woefully inadequate, but I cannot compare my offering to that of others. Each day I must do my best to give all that I have to those in need—energy, love, kindness, compassion, listening, encouragement, and especially my presence.

Calling his disciples to himself, [Jesus] said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:43-44

Love thy neighbor

If I make the effort to love just one person today, I will help dissipate the anger, hate, and violence in our world.

Lord, help me to be a part of the solution to the divisions in our world, country, communities, and families.

Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31

What do you want

Carl Bloch (1834-1890)
Healing of the Blind Man, 1871

If the Lord asked me what I wanted him to do for me, I’d want to see, too. See with my heart. See with love. See with compassion. See how I could use my gifts and talents to be of help and service to others.

And then… be love, be compassion, be of service.

Jesus said to [Bartimaeus] in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Mark 10:51

Servant leader

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

To follow Jesus,  I must set aside ambition, arrogance, pride, and self-seeking. I must be willing to serve the poor, the lonely, the neglected, and the abused.

As I spend time in prayer each day to discern the will of God and ask for the grace to carry it out, I will let go of the need to compare myself to others and instead learn humility.

Jesus summoned [the Twelve] and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.” Mark 10:43