Lord, when I am feeling lonely,
remind me of your promise,
“You are never alone,
I am with you always,
Yes, to the end of time”.
Daily Prayer - 2013-01-28
Lord, when I am feeling lonely,
If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.
As I spend this time with you, Lord,
I am aware of how blessed I truly am.
I think of the love and laughter in my life,
And I feel grateful.
And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered. "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" - for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
- In Mark the scribes from Jerusalem are Jesus’ severest critics. Here they do not deny that Jesus performs successful exorcisms. However, they claim that, as he is himself possessed, it is by demonic power that he casts out other demons. Jesus’ response, pointing to what happens in a divided kingdom or a divided house, is logical and persuasive. Then he compares himself to an intruder wanting to plunder a strong man’s property (the strong man is Satan). It is a curious but effective way to speak about exorcism.
- Passages such as this remind us that the world-view shared by Jesus and his critics was very different from ours in the 21st century. We may need to ask, even more insistently than usual, for grace to understand how the story is relevant for us today. Always remember that Mark (and the other evangelists) is trying to explain who Jesus is and what it means to call him Saviour. That is the heart of the gospel.
What feelings are rising in me as I pray and reflect on God's Word?
I imagine Jesus himself sitting or standing near me and open my heart to him.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.
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