First reading - Deut. 18: 15–20
Responsorial psalm - Ps. 94 (95)
Second reading - 1 Cor. 7: 32–35
Gospel - Mark 1: 21–28
Link to readings.
In today’s First Reading we hear Moses announcing God’s intention to raise up a new prophet, into whose mouth God will put his own words.
The Gospel shows how this new prophet is Jesus himself, the great prophet for all times. In speaking with God’s own voice, Jesus makes a deep impression on the people. He speaks with a deep authority we cannot ignore.
The Psalm also urges us to listen to God’s voice. Focusing our attention on God’s word and deeds helps us move towards a deeper awareness of him.
St Paul, in the Second Reading, expresses his concern for the effect of worldly distractions on the faithful. He encourages us to avoid anything that might distract us from listening to God, so we can give the Lord our ‘undivided attention’.
Perhaps this week, we, too, might pray to ‘listen well’ to the Lord – asking him for a greater realisation and appreciation of the activity of God in our lives, and leading to a desire for heartfelt service.
Psalm 94 (95)
In the busyness of life, I set aside some quiet moments to be with the God who made me. I try to become still, that I may give my day to the voice of the Lord, who speaks now.
I read the psalm slowly, allowing any words or phrases to make their impression on me. I pause often. As I do, I may like to ponder on my life and my circumstances.
Perhaps I can identify some areas of difficulty and hurt that may have led to a hardening of my own heart. I bring these to the Lord now, asking that his touch might soften me.
I imagine myself coming before the Lord, bending low. I may even like to kneel for a few moments.
What is it like to be in the presence of the God who made me?
I am God’s. God is mine. How does this make me feel?
Do I want to say anything to God now? I speak freely, as the Spirit leads.
‘Let us come before him, giving thanks’. What, today, do I want to thank God for? In what ways am I a source of gratitude for others?
When ready, I end my prayer in a spirit of thanksgiving. Glory be …
Mark 1: 21–28
I may like to ponder this miraculous healing using my imagination in prayer. Firstly, though, I enter into this time of prayer gently.
I try to become calm as I read the text a few times.
Then I carefully set the scene.
I pay particular attention to Jesus as he teaches. I note how his teaching makes a deep impression on the crowd.
Why is this?
What impact does he have on me?
I then watch as he deals with the man in the synagogue.
‘I know who you are’, says the evil spirit. Who is Jesus for me?
The people respond to the healing with astonishment.
How do I respond? What do I make of Jesus’s authority?
Jesus’s words are manifested through powerful deeds, so that his fame spreads throughout Galilee.
As I listen to Jesus and watch his actions, what do I sense arising within me?
Do I feel that Jesus may want to speak with me now?
What do I wish to say to him?
I give what time I can to this dialogue from the heart. I can trust this ‘Holy One of God’.
I end with a slow sign of the cross.
Prepared by St Beuno’s Outreach in the Diocese of Wrexham.