1. Introductory prayer
I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…
Jesus wants to show us how our personal faith can be quickly replaced by institutional faith alone. Instead of a personal relationship with God, we focus on following the rules. He doesn’t want to say that there is something wrong with the rules, but he wants to show us that love comes first, the relationship with God comes first. He invites us to listen first, to observe with the heart. Let us ask ourselves in a way that opens the inner eyes, the eyes of the heart, first of all, our own, and we invite others to do the same. He shows us a direction that goes against dead rules and established patterns that don’t open us up. Jesus, lead me on your way.
2. Reading – Listening: – First Disciples of Jesus – Mark 1:14-20 – Meaning and Commentary
Jesus Drives Out an Impure Spirit
21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
3. Thoughts on the Gospel – First Disciples of Jesus – Mark 1:14-20 – Meaning and Commentary
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called four people and created a community with them (Mark 1: 16-20). People immediately noticed that he was teaching about the kingdom of God in a different way. They were not so much surprised by the content as by the way he spoke when describing the kingdom of God. The people who observed all this said: He teaches with authority, he is not like the others. They teach by quoting. But Jesus taught from his own experience with God and life. His authority came from within him. His word was rooted in his heart and from the observation of life.
In the Gospel of Mark, the casting out of the unclean spirit is the first miracle described. The power of evil has taken over people and alienated them from each other. Humans were broken under the weight of the action of unclean spirits. Even today, the fear of the devil is great and growing. It is enough to watch a film showing the exorcism of the devil.
In Jesus’ day, the way to explain and solve evil in life was similar to the explanations given by ancient traditions and culture. In those times, as we read in the Bible, the word devil or satan often pointed to the power of evil that led people astray. Jesus was also tempted by the devil, as he wanted to lead him in a different way than the Father in the Holy Spirit showed him (Luke 4: 1-13).
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On other occasions, the same word pointed to a person leading another astray. Thus, Peter, who wanted to reverse Jesus ’path, was Satan to Jesus:“Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
There was a great deal of talk in Jesus’ day about the devil and his exorcism. There was a lot of fear of him present and some took advantage of the described situation. Jesus opened the way to a new life. Until then, unclean people were not allowed to pray or receive God’s blessing. They had to clean up first. In this connection, however, many laws and rituals were applied that made it difficult to cleanse, especially for unclean people from the fringes of society
We are now cleansed by faith in Jesus Christ, we can be part of the kingdom of God. It’s a free gift. There is no need to do any special and complicated cleaning tasks. Therefore, the glad tidings of the Kingdom of God proclaimed by Jesus were a relief, both to the people of that time and to us today, and a cause for great joy and serenity. Jesus assures us that faith and trust in Him not only helps us fight the evil that alienates us from ourselves and from God, but that we can also overcome it with Him.
4. Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- What does the word of Jesus in this passage awaken in me?
- How can I observe and listen more, more qualitatively, with Jesus?
- The question posed guides us in thinking. That is why it makes sense to ask in such a way that the question invites us into the essential and into the opening. How can I ask wonderful questions that open us up and invite us to change?
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).
8. Prayer at the end
Thank you, dear Jesus, for recognizing the evil spirit where I least expect it, and where it peacefully undermines the roots of life to the fullest. Thank you for banishing from our hearts and relationships all the demons and all the noises that want to stop the relationship with you. Thank you for the opportunity to really listen and speak from you and with you.
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others, and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si
Text from the Bible – New International Version (KJV)