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Daily Prayer - 2014-01-14

Presence

Dear Jesus, I come to you today
longing for your presence.
I desire to love you as You love me.
May nothing ever separate me from You.

Freedom

There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.

Consciousness

To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me. To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God

Mark 1:21-28

When the sabbath came, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and 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." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, "What is this? A new teaching - with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him." At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Battle lines are being drawn here. Jesus, we already know, possesses the Holy Spirit and carries the Good News of God’s love for humankind. The unclean spirit represents whatever forces dominate people and make them less free. Such life-sapping dynamics are found right across human life: in family relationships, in religious teaching, in politics, in economics and so on. All misuse of power is included. We see it everywhere. But for Jesus, power is simply for the service of others, as in this healing scene.
  • Power as humble service is a favourite theme in Mark’s depiction of Jesus. He will die in what seems like a futile effort to eliminate the misuse of power. Here I am being educated into the cost of discipleship. Two questions arise: Do I sometimes try to dominate others? Do I ever protest against domination? I ask to be shown how my behaviour needs to change.

Conversation

Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God?
Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry?
Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me,
I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.

Conclusion

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.

Amen

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