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Jesus, Son of David

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2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29
Mark 4:21-25
 
Jesus looked to everyday life to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Yesterday it was the image of a sower sowing seed, today it is of a lamp bringing light into the darkness.
 
In both cases, however, the images refer to Jesus himself.  While the seed is his word, the lamp refers to his coming into our world to bring the light of truth — truth that will set the world free from the thrall of darkness and ignorance.
 
At one level, the hiddenness of the light is related to the apparent ordinariness of Jesus.  He grew up within a family and for thirty years was simply the carpenter’s son.
 
There is a hiddenness also because people’s minds were closed to the possibility that God’s Son could come among us.  And yet the words and actions of Jesus created a dilemma: what were people to make of  what they were seeing and hearing?
 
The mystery of Jesus is also hidden within the words of the Old Testament Scriptures.  Today’s passage from 2 Samuel 7 relates King david’s desire to build God's temple in Jerusalem.  But God sent the prophet Nathan to David to tell him that, on the contrary, it would be God that would build a house for David and indeed establish a kingdom and dynasty that would last forever.
 
With the coming of Jesus and his death and resurrection, this text is fulfilled, because the kingdom of the Son of David is now established forever.
 
The light that was hidden is now revealed!
 
Lord, may the light of your wisdom enlighten my mind and heart that I may discover hidden in the Old Testament the mysteries of God, revealed in the New!
 
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God's Word

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Mark 4:1-20
A sower in a field with birds above.


The Parable of the Sower is really a parable about the battle for the mind.  It is about spiritual conflict: the interior battle which occurs every day in our hearts to hold on to the word of God, to enable it to take root in us and bear fruit.

It is also profoundly related to Paul’s exhortation regarding the renewal of our minds: we are transformed by changing the way that we think (see Rom 12:2).  

The problem is that this is more easily said than done.

The key is nurturing the seed of God’s word which is planted in us each each — this is the seed of God’s grace — despite all obstacles and dangers, represented by the thorns, poor soil, weeds etc . . .

Our goal is to master living life in the Spirit, and today is a wonderful, God-given opportunity to put the Parable of the Sower into practice; read the parable, study and ponder it and ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the word, accept the word and so produce abundant fruit (see Gal 5:22-23).

Let us resolve to listen to the word of God in the Scriptures, and to pay heed to the writings of the saints and the documents of the Church.  In this way can God’s truth enrich our minds and take root in our hearts, enabling us to bear good fruit as we strive to build God’s kingdom here on earth.

Lord, help me to take your word and make it real in my life.  Let it take root and not fall on deaf ears.
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Repent

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Matthew 4:12-23
 
Jesus’s initial preaching began in the same way as the ministry of John the Baptist: with a simple proclamation about the need for conversion and change, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (v.17)
 
God created us with a gift of free will.  This why repentance is so vital.  God will assist us with grace but respects our free will and our ability to choose and decide about whether to sin or not to sin, to turn back to God or to remain in our rebellion.
 
Once we repent, once we turn back to God, once we take that first step, we open ourselves to the healing mercy of God.
 
Repentance will always be the key that unlocks the door to the royal road, the highway of holiness and the way of the Spirit.
 
Lord, thank you for the gift of repentance, the chance to change, turn over a new leaf, and renounce ways of thinking and acting that harm me.
 
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"You are the Son of God"

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Mark 3:7-12
 
Mark told the story in this way, keeping the “Messianic Secret” in order that his readers would accept Jesus’s true identity on his terms, in the context of his entire life and mission.
 
For Mark we are free to proclaim Jesus as our Messiah and Lord only when we accept his way of suffering messiahship along with all the signs, wonders, healings and miracles that he performed.
 
Mark has created a moment of pause, reflection and meditation; so must we.
 
It will not be in the skimming of religious books or in hastening through our religious duties that we will become strong in faith.  It will be in the unhurried meditation on gospel truths that we will grow in holiness and sanctity,
 
How true the wisdom and insight of St John of the Cross who said, “My spirit has become dry because it forgets to feed on you."
 
Finding time to pray, to be still and to quieten our mind, heart and spirit that we may draw close to God as he comes close to us, requires both a decision and effort.  But in making them we will be richly rewarded.
 
”Spend an hour every day, some time before the midday meal, in meditation; and the earlier the better, because your mind will then be less distracted and fresh after a night’s sleep.”  (St Francis de Sales)
 
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Have Mercy on me, a Sinner

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Mar 2:13-17
 
We must reach out to everyone with the Gospel message.  Jesus’s calling of Matthew was radical and reflected the scandalous nature of God’s mercy.
 
Pope Francis said: ‘ Tell me: when God looks at a gay person does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or does he reject and condemn this person?'
 
Jesus saw Matthew, the disciple, the apostle, the man of God.  We too must see in the others the person that Christ sees.
 
Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
 
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The Good News

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Mark 1:14-20
 
From the beginning of Mark’s Gospel we are introduced to the ideas of repentance, belief and good news.
 
The gospel, literally “good news”, is that God became man to save and resuce us because we could not save ourselves from sin, death and the power of evil.
 
The Good News is that God loves us and revealed that love to us by sending Jesus, his only son and the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, to die on the cross and to rise again on the third day.
 
The Good News is that our sins are forgiven, our lives are wiped clean by the blood of Jesus, and we are reconciled with God the Father, restored as his sons and daughters, blessed with a new dignity, purpose and hope.
 
The Good News is that we have received the Holy Spirit; we are a new creation.
 
Lord, teach me to be a witness of your grace and of the joy of heartfelt repentance, and in turn lead others to know deeply and personally your mercy and forgiveness.
 
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God's Love

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1 John 4:11-18 and Mark 6:45-52
 
God is our Father and he loves us perfectly.  
 
His love is unchanging.  It does not depend on external circumstances but is constand and sure.  We can trust completely because God is faithful and his love endures forever.
 
God wants to replace fear with a secure trust in his care for us.  He will set us free from fear as we draw closer to Jesus.  We can trust Jesus with everything: our past, our worries, our pain, our joys and our deepest longings.
 
We can hand over to Jesus every fear and oppression.  When we do this, something wonderful happens.  Through the Holy Spirit we enter into the inheritance that we received at baptism — we are born again.
 
As adults we may have taken the step of making our own the promises given us by our parents at baptism, and may have known the grace flowing from such great commitment. But we are weak and sinful.  How easily we can lose our first love for Jesus!  How quickly our vision of living life in the Spirit can grow dim!
 
From time to time we need to stop and take stock so that we can reaffirm our decision to take seriously the call of Jesus to follow him.  We need to come daily into God’s presence in prayer, repenting of the ways in which we have failed as his disciples.
 
God’s love is so great that he is quicker to grant forgiveness that we are to ask for it, and he will give us the power of the Holy Spirit to live a transformed life.
 
Father God, as your sons and daughters we ask you to release us from every fear.  Draw us deeply into the life of the Trinity each day and reveal how much you love us.
 
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