It’s a short phrase that’s easily overlooked. Mark observes that Jesus went into Galilee “after John had been arrested” (1:14). With these few words, he casts the shadow of the cross over Jesus right from the very first moment of his ministry. Jesus will announce good news, teach with authority, heal the sick and overcome evil spirits, all to the amazement of the crowd. But as time goes on he will face more and more misunderstanding, unbelief and hostility, as Mark bluntly makes clear. For the moment we revel in Jesus’ proclamation of the good news and his successful summoning of disciples.
The week’s prayer focus
The year is still young, still gathering momentum. Pray each day and take to heart, Jesus’ words to move us forward: “The kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.”
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, the kingdom of God is always close at hand, and the time is always right to take the good news to heart. At this moment of grace let us pray for all the world’s needs.
We pray for all who have heard the call of Jesus and left everything to follow him, that by God’s grace their joyful witness will draw many into the kingdom of God, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the church as a whole, that it will repent of its sins, especially those of sexual abuse, and become a more transparent sign of the teachings of Jesus, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the people of Australia, that the observance of Australia Day this week will stimulate reflection on the state of the nation and advance the cause of indigenous inclusion and humane treatment of asylum seekers, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the people of India celebrating Republic Day this week, that their nation will grow in peace and prosperity and in respect for freedom of religion, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for peacemakers, especially those working to defuse tensions in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, that they will succeed in persuading all parties to moderate their claims, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for maritime workers serving aboard the world’s cargo ships, that they will be assured of safe working conditions and be paid fairly for their labour, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
(Qld) We pray for children and teachers starting the new school year, that they will set out together with enthusiasm for the adventure of learning, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for those who feel drawn to live the gospel radically, that some will take the path to priestly service or religious life and others to prophetic witness as lay faithful, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will take their place at the banquet of eternal life, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
Saving God, from generation to generation you call your people to walk in your ways. Forgive our refusal to heed your call, and return us to the path of life traced out for us by Jesus. We ask this through Christ our Lord.