El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Fellowship International
Daily Gospel Reading - December 4, 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Mark 1:1-8



John the baptist prepares the lord’s way

1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ [the Son of God]. 2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;/ he will prepare your way./ 3A voice of one crying out in the desert:/ ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,/ make straight his paths.’ ” 4John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 6John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 7And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Reflection:

A voice of one crying out in the desert. We live in a noisy world. News reporters seem to be shouting at us all the time. We are bombarded with news, information, skills, gadgets, and technologies. We are full not only of noise but also of activities, advice sessions, programs, seminars, inputs.

 

We need to go to the desert sometimes, to feed on simply “locusts and wild honey”—listening to the sounds of the rain, the wind, the insects, and our own heartbeat—and to be “clothed in camel’s hair”—wear our conscience, our intuitions, and our inhibitions. We have to shut out the noise and raise the volume of nature and our soul. There we will find repentance and consolation, meet God and his grace, and touch our hearts and our innermost longings.

 

Spend a lazy Sunday, doing nothing, wearing loose old clothes,

listening to nothing, and watching nothing.

 
Daily Gospel Reading - December 3, 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Matthew 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8



The Twelve Are Sent

35Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. 36At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; 38so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

1Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

5Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus, 6“Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

 

Reflection:

Ask the master of the harvest to send laborers. Besides pity, Jesus here shows a sense of urgency. Sometimes Jesus seems slow and calm: “Look at the birds in the sky. Learn from the way the wild flowers grow… tomorrow will take care of itself” (Mt 6:26, 28, 34). This time Jesus seems to be in a hurry. When it is about ourselves, Jesus is relaxed and easy. But when it is about helping others, Jesus sounds urgent.

 

Peace is not sitting calmly, with our feet raised on the table and daydreaming. To be at peace is to know when to run and when to walk, what needs to be done today and what can be done tomorrow, when to pity and when to play, what is important and what is incidental, what is urgent and what could wait.

 

I do not bring a book when I am at the beach; I enjoy the sea. I do not think of the sea when I am in my study; I read a book in there. Knowing where to place ourselves and where to put our hearts will define our peace.

 

Sit calmly and quietly in a corner for 15 minutes,

 without thinking, planning, or praying for anything.

 
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