Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Mark 1:21-28
There are times in my life I take for granted the blessings in front of me. I admit, when I need directions I can just voice-command them into my phone and voila! I’m directed to my location. Or there's times where I complain about what to eat for dinner, not realizing I’m fortunate to have food so quickly at my disposal. But when it comes to recognizing Jesus, this is one that’s even harder. As a Christian I should recognize Him immediately, but more often then not I fail to recognize Him in the everyday. Sure, I recognize Jesus when I attend Mass and receive the Eucharist or when I offer up prayer, but how often do I fail to recognize him in the ordinary? Seeing Jesus in our daily lives can come in the most unexpected and even some of the most difficult moments, like forgiving someone who we don’t think deserves to be forgiven, or helping the homeless when we’d rather stay in the convenience of our cars while driving by them on the side of the road.
In today’s Gospel Jesus cast out a demon from a possessed man. The Pharisees, scholars of the Jewish law, can’t understand how a man of Jesus’ nature could have the ability or power to cast out demons or even to command them. The Pharisees question Jesus’ authority and credentials. They believe only a Pharisee can interpret the law. What’s most interesting is the possessed man immediately recognizes Jesus for who He is, without question. How is it that even demons, while they go against the nature of God’s will, can see clearly who He is?
When I hear this story, I stop to think about how I can easily turn away from recognizing Jesus, in my pride, my fears, my anger, or through my avoidance. Sometimes recognizing Jesus means doing the right thing, or putting ourselves out there. If Jesus were in my home I would without hesitation offer Him the best meal, but if a stranger came by I would hesitate and question his motives. The passage today clearly points out that we must do better to recognize Jesus even when we least expect it.
How can you recognize Jesus in your daily life? How can you work to invite Jesus into your heart in the simple and the ordinary?
Dear Jesus, open my eyes to see You in others who are often neglected, open my ears to hear You in my neighbor and listen to those without a voice, open my heart to love You in those who need to be loved, so that I can truly recognize You within them. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Copyright 2021 Andrea Bear
About the Author
Andrea Bear is a wife, mom, and teacher in Northern California. She runs a blog called Life in the Grace Lane and also contributes to Catholic Stand and Today's Catholic Teacher magazine. When she's not writing or taking her kids to volleyball practice you can find her sipping coffee from the neighborhood coffee establishments or tasting wine from the local vineyards.