Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (1/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

An Introduction

Mark’s Gospel is the shortest, and the earliest collection of stories about Jesus. It was written just before 70AD for the non-Jewish [i.e. Gentile] Christians in Rome who were being persecuted by the Emperor Nero. Peter calls Mark “my son Mark” [1 Peter 5:13]. Mark probably based his Gospel on Peter’s teachings about Jesus, an example of which you can read in Acts 10:36-43.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (2/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

An Introduction

The Main theme is stated in the first line of the Gospel: the identity of Jesus as Son of God.  Writing for a persecuted Church, Mark stresses Jesus’ rejection, suffering & death. Read 8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34. His disciples must follow the same path. Read 8:34-35. We find Jesus in suffering not in glory. The Gospel originally ended at 16:8 with the empty tomb but no risen Jesus, with verses 9-20 added later.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (3/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

An Introduction

Other themes-The Secret: Jesus wants his identity as Messiah kept a secret so as not to be misunderstood. He is not a political warrior King defeating the Romans but a suffering servant, the Son of God, conquering Satan, sickness & sin. Read 7:36; 8:27-30; 9:9. Always on the move. When you read the Gospel, notice that Jesus

moves on “At once” or “Immediately” over 40 times.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (5/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

An Introduction - Overall Structure, continued:

On his journey to Jerusalem, Peter & the disciples constantly misunderstand Jesus & eventually run away. Read 14:50.

Peter even denies Jesus. Read 14: 66-72.

The first half builds up to Peter’s profession of faith in Jesus. Read  8:27-30.

The second half of the Gospel builds up to a profession of faith by a Roman soldier, the only one to recognise Jesus as the Son of God. Read 15:39


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (6/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

An Introduction

Next week, we start to look at the Gospel text from beginning to end. Here is a suggested overall structure to the Gospel. Your Bible may suggest another.

1. Prologue: Preparations for Jesus’ public ministry: 1: 1-13.   

2. Jesus’ Public ministry: a. In Galilee: 1:16 – 7:23, & b. in the Gentile regions: 7:24 – 8:30.

3. The Passion Narrative: 8:31 – 15: 47.  

4. Epilogue – the Resurrection: 16:1-20.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (7/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


1. Prologue: Preparations for Jesus’ public ministry: 1: 1-13.

The first verse states the main theme of the whole Gospel: the identity of Jesus as Son of God.  Is he or isn’t he?  

The second verse quotes three Old Testament passages, showing that the mission of John & Jesus fulfils the Old Testament promises.

The rest of the Prologue has three sections: John the Baptist & his preaching [verses 1-7]; Jesus’ Baptism [verses 9-10]; Jesus tempted in the wilderness [verses 11-13]


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (8/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


1. Prologue, continued: John the Baptist & his preaching [verses 4-8]:

John’s dress reminds us of the Prophet Elijah [see 2Kgs 1:8]. John is the expected new Elijah. The River Jordan is the site of important past events: e.g. the crossing into the Promised Land by Joshua [Josh 3:14-17], and the healing of Naaman the Syrian [a Gentile][see 2Kgs 5:14]. John’s work is therefore equally important. John’s Baptism offered the chance of forgiveness but did not bring this about. The Holy Spirit was needed for effective inner purity which Jesus’ baptism  will bring. John is humble before the mighty Jesus.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (9/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


Jesus’ Baptism [verses 9-10];

Jesus did not have any sin to be forgiven but he wanted to be one with humanity in its sinfulness so as to lead us out of sin to a restored relationship with his Father. Jesus’ mission was to fulfil this Plan of the Father. Heaven is thus “torn open” and the full Godhead is revealed: the Father speaks, the Holy Spirit descends.

Like in the first few lines of the Bible in Genesis, the Holy Spirit, like a dove, heralds a new creation. The River Jordan is now the site of entry into the Promised Land of Heaven.

 

Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (10/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

 

1. Prologue completed:

Jesus tempted in the wilderness [verses 11-13].  The Holy Spirit drives Jesus into the wilderness or desert for a time of testing, just like Adam and later, in Exodus, Moses & the Israelites. This short account shows Jesus defeating Satan & in harmony with the wild beasts & angels. A new creation is already here, heaven & earth are in harmony around Jesus. Jesus comes out of the desert as the victorious Messiah [see Isaiah 11] ready to start his public ministry and complete the defeat of Satan by overcoming sin & death.

 

Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (11/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

 

2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1. a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23. Verses 14—15: John the Baptist’s arrest prompts Jesus to start his public ministry in Galilee.

A summary of Jesus’ message is given which is then illustrated in more detail in the coming Chapters. The message: God and his Kingdom is intervening in history, the promised time of the Messiah has arrived. Repent or turn our lives around, away from sin and towards God’s way revealed by Jesus in his Gospel message.

 

 

Through the year withThe Gospel of Mark 12/52.

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

2. Jesus’ Public Ministry:

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

1: 16-20: Jesus calls the first four disciples. What can we learn about being a disciple of Jesus? Jesus chooses whom he wants to follow him, not vice-versa. These four had minimum education having to rely on God’s wisdom rather than their own. They probably knew Jesus when John the Baptist’s disciples. Their response is immediate & total, taking precedence over all other activities. Being ‘fishers of men’ implies a mission to men & women everywhere.

 

Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (13/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

 

2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23

1:21-39: A day in the life of Jesus. Does the balance in our day compare? The Sabbath is set aside for Synagogue [the Jewish church]. His powerful preaching results in healing. He spends family time with Peter, whose mother-in-law is  restored as host. The Sabbath over, he sets to work, healing with authority & silencing evil spirits. His power & authority stems from Daily prayer with his Father, which drives him on with a sense of Mission.

 


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (14/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry


1: a. In Galilee: 1:14-7:23. 1:40-45: The healing of the leper. Jesus’ ministry, & therefore ours as his disciples, reaches to people on the margins of society, like lepers, restoring them back into society, healing them both physically & socially. He breaks Jewish purity laws for a greater good. He effectively swops places with the leper having to live in deserted places because his Secret mentioned previously in 3/52 is not kept.  Jesus “feels pity” revealing his humanity.

 

 Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (15/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14-7:23. 2:1 – 3:6:

3 Controversies with the Jewish Leaders.

A. v’s. 1-12 has two stories in one: Jesus forgives the paralytic his sins & is driven to prove to the scribes that he has this divine authority by curing him.

B. in v’s 13-15, Jesus’ new law means he embraces with mercy “the unclean” - public sinners, like Levi & other tax collectors, to render them clean. Therefore, so do we!  But scribes under the old law become isolated to avoid contamination.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (16/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14-7:23. 2:1 – 3:6:

4 Controversies with the Jewish Leaders.

D. Sabbath observance: 2:23 – 3:6. The Sabbath is for benefiting the people not for burdening them. Who dares to criticise the great King David’s example: feeding the hungry, overriding the law? The Pharisees are silenced. And giving life to the disabled man outweighs the importance of law keeping. The undermined Pharisees, seek Jesus’ downfall.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (17/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14-7:23. 3: 7-12

In this typical summary by Mark, Jesus’ popularity grows as a teacher & healer around Galilee among the ordinary people in contrast to the hostility of the Jewish leaders. But Jesus is more than a teacher & healer. The evil spirits in fear recognise Jesus’ true identity but are not allowed to witness to Jesus. The secret of his identity, [see 3/52 above], will be revealed at the joy of the resurrection.



Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (19/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

3:13-19. A mountain = a place of encounter with God. Jesus chooses the 12 apostles: his companions, sent on mission to preach & cast out devils. “12” = a new Israel is being formed, i.e. “the Church”. V’s 20-35: Again, 2 stories in 1 about the rejection of Jesus, by his family who think he is mad, and the scribes who think he is working for the devil. Jesus teaches: the Holy Spirit is at work & a new family relationship, the Church, is being formed centered on Jesus the Word.

 

Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (21/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

Ch 4: 1-34: Parables about “the Kingdom of God continued: The parables encourages the early Church through difficult times. The sowing of seeds in the ground indicates the secret, hidden action of God. [Also, v’s 26-29] Although you can’t see it, God IS at work! At first, A. only the few are let in on the secret. [v’s 11& 12, & 34]. Eventually, everyone will see & benefit from the Kingdom. [v’s 21,22]B. the small group will eventually reach the whole world [30-32]


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (22/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

4:35-40: Jesus calms the storm & like God in the Old Testament, is in command over the evil powers in the sea. He has power, too, over the storms of our lives & the Church today. The disciples lack faith & are afraid. Jesus rebukes them.

5: 1-20: Jesus shows his divinity again – he confronts and conquers the demons among whom the pagans live. Setting them free from evil, he offers them salvation too. Without faith, like the disciples, they are afraid.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (23/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

5:21-43: Another two stories in one. Faith in Jesus enables the girl & the woman to be healed. – First, Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter, with only his 3 inner circle. For Jesus, death is like sleeping. The mocking & faithless have no place among the followers of Jesus, including for us today. Jesus sends them away. Again, the Secret [see 3/52]. The woman with bleeding is legally an outcaste – she and Jesus disregard the law by touching, breaking a taboo.



Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (24/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2 Jesus’ Public ministry

1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

6: 1-6: Once again, Jesus is rejected by his family & neighbours in his home town. Without faith in Jesus their lives will not enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit. 6: 7-34: The 12 Apostles, no longer shadow Jesus, but are sent out with Jesus’ authority in two’s on their own mission. It is a training exercise, trusting that their needs will be met on the way, &, like Jesus, preaching , casting out devils and curing with oil. Is this a hint of the Sacrament of the Sick?


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (25/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

6:14-29: Typically, Mark interrupts the narrative about the Apostles training in Mission by telling the story of John the Baptists martyrdom, which foreshadows Jesus’ death.  This story is a warning for today’s leaders who prefer to protect themselves & their institutions, instead of living virtuous lives & defending the innocent. John is like an Old Testament prophet. Herod imprisons John, fearing a Messianic rebellion.

This story contrasts Esther Ch. 5-7.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (26/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

6: 30-33 Returning from Mission, Jesus makes the apostles rest & reflect on it. But crowds want to meet the one who sent the Apostles. 6:34-44: Feeding 5,000. Jesus shows us how we, the Church, are to show pity/compassion like a good shepherd. The satisfying of the people’s physical hunger is a metaphor for satisfying their spiritual hunger. The feeding is structured like the Mass. The 12 learn to “minister” rather than Jesus.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (28/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


1: a. In Galilee: 1:14 – 7:23.

7: 1-23: Mark explains to his non- Jewish Christian readers that God’s Law is more important that the human laws of the Jewish Leaders, especially when they get around the following of God’s Law. Jesus returns to the original purpose of God’s Law: e.g. giving money to the Temple is OK, but not if it prevents you from caring for your parents in their old age. Being hygienic is important, but it’s more important to have a clean heart overflowing with good & loving actions. All food is OK to eat.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (29/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2. Jesus’ Public ministry: b. in the Gentile regions: 7:24 – 8:30

7: 24-30: Jesus moves to the non-Jewish Greek speaking regions. His healing actions encourage us & the early Church Christians, to overcome our cultural differences & prejudices. Jesus’ seeming hostility draws the best of faith & humour from the woman. 7:31-37: The healing of the man symbolises the freeing of the non-Jews to hear Jesus’ message and proclaim it. By his own power, through words & actions, Jesus heals. The ‘secret’ again [see 3/52 above.]


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (30/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2. Jesus’ Public ministry: b. in the Gentile regions: 7:24 – 8:30

8:1-10: Feeding 4,000 is almost a repeat of 6:34-44. But, also very different. 12 baskets = the 12 tribes of Israel, i.e. the Jews. The 7 loaves & baskets = the 7 pagan nations who once occupied the region, i.e. the non-Jews. Jesus has come first to the Jews but also to the pagans, the non-Jews, to offer them salvation, too. And so must we. Jesus satisfies the spiritual hunger of ALL the nations. 8:11-13: The Pharisees are dismissed who are blind to the many signs already given by Jesus.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (31/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


2. Jesus’ Public ministry: b. in the Gentile regions: 7:24 – 8:30

8:14-21: The disciples, yet again, fail to understand Jesus’ teaching – this time a metaphor about the corrupting influence on society by the Pharisees & Herod. Jesus’ frustration bursts out with nine quick-fire questions. 8:22-26: But the gradual healing of the blind man symbolises the gradual realisation of the disciples about who Jesus is – is Jesus the Messiah? 8:27-30: Finally, Peter is able to say: Yes, you are the Messiah, the Christ! Prompting the ‘secret’ again.



Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (32/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15: 47.

8:31-9:1: Peter’s profession of faith in the last verse marks a turning point in the Gospel. Jesus starts to prepare his disciples for his passion, death and eventual resurrection as the way to his glory as the Messiah. Here is one of three prophecies by Jesus about his passion [see also 9:31, 10:32-34.] & each time he says that his disciples must share in his sufferings. Misunderstanding, Peter tries to block Jesus’ path, like Satan, instead of getting in step behind & following Jesus.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (34/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15: 47.

9:9-13: Elijah’s return. In Malachi 3: 23-24, he predicts that Elijah the prophet will return to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. The 3 disciples wonder: does Elijah just seen speaking with Jesus fulfil this prophecy, & confirm that Jesus is the Messiah? If Jesus is going to overthrow the Romans, why is he speaking about suffering & death? And what does “resurrection” mean? Or is Elijah still to come? The disciples struggle to understand! Jesus says, John the Baptist = Elijah



Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (35/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

9:30-32: A second prediction of the Passion, which still the disciples do not understand, pride making them fearful to ask. 9:33-37: The disciples jockey for the power of leadership but need to learn humility which Jesus will show them by his passion & death. Meanwhile, he gives the example of a humble child – welcome, embrace that you are a child of God, completely dependent on God. Share in Jesus’ loving relationship with his Father. Be humble!


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (37/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

9: 38 – 40: Jesus says, “Anyone who is not against us is for us”.  Jesus has a relationship with people outside the Church. His Spirit is at work beyond the Church, which does not have a monopoly of the Holy Spirit. Do not try to control God or act as judge over what God can and cannot do through anyone he chooses. In fact, 9:41, accept even the most basic help offered to you because you are a Christian, even if from complete strangers.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (38/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

9:42-50: Avoiding temptation. Jesus uses hyperbole [knowing that humour will help his hearers remember] to express how important it is to be ruthless with ourselves by turning our backs on sinful environments or company that lead us away from Jesus and his Church. Our inaction in this regard will be the cause of our going to hell. The reality of hell is taken for granted. Our Christian task is to bring out the best in people – like salt!



Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (40/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

10:13-16 – Marriage is life-long thus providing a welcoming, secure environment for children, who had no status in society. Their welcome by Jesus into the Kingdom of God paved the way for infant Baptism.  17-31: all disciples are called to renounce the desire for status & dependency on wealth & everything else except God, who will reward them one hundredfold. The good, rich young man, loved by Jesus, could not lovingly trust Jesus in return [v.21], because of his dependence on his riches.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (41/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

10:32-34 –Third prophecy of the Passion – see previous weeks 32 & 36. 35-40 – James & John are more interested in status than the humble service of the Passion. 40-45 – Jesus tries to explain what servant leadership really is. He prophesises his own ‘giving of his life as a ransom’ – a word only used here.  46 – 52 – The healing of the blind man is a sign of hope for the ‘blind’ disciples: they still do not understand Jesus’ prophecies. ‘What do you want me to do for you’ – a good opening question for all missionary disciples.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (42/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”


3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

11: 1-10- Mark has Jesus coming to Jerusalem only once, for the beginning of his Passion. At last, Jesus allows the people to proclaim him as the Messiah – but no warrior king, rather a humble one on a donkey. V’s 12-14; 20-26 – the fig tree represent Israel, and the Temple: both will wither & die in 70AD, destroyed by the Romans. As Messiah, Jesus has the authority to restore the Temple for Gentile & Jew as a House of Prayer. V 27 ff- Jesus’ call to purify the Jewish faith, like John the Baptist, remains unsupported by the Jewish leaders..


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (44/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

V’s 28-34 – After confrontations with the religious leaders, at last, Jesus finds someone to commend: a teacher of the Law. To the basic daily recitation of the first commandment or Creed – called the Shema, Jesus adds love of neighbour, as a consequence of love of God. . v’s 35—37: ….V’s 38-44: In these two passages, Mark challenges us all, by contrasting the behaviour of the scribes & the widow. v 38-40: there is a severe punishment for leaders who pretend to be holy but act unjustly.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (45/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

Ch 13: ‘the little apocalypse’, as opposed to the final book of the Bible. Jesus predicts the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, which will happen in 70AD by the Romans. When they attack, get out fast! It will feel like the end of the world, but its date is unknown. Christians will be persecuted, too. Don’t follow the many false Messiah’s who will emerge. Rather, keep alert, because Jesus’ followers, not dependent on buildings or particular nations, but centred on Jesus the Word, will triumph.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (46/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

Ch 14: 1-10 – The scheming to kill Jesus. In contrast to Judas’ betrayal, & Peter’s denial, [both predicted by Jesus] a woman [according to John 12:3, it was Mary, sister of Martha & Lazarus] shows great love, anointing Jesus as the King Messiah, & for his death. Jesus cared for the poor but in this moment what is happening to Jesus is more important. The Last Supper – unusually, v 13, a man fetches the water. The meal is a ritual enactment of his death on Calvary, but also points towards the triumphal heavenly banquet.


Through the Year with the Gospel of Mark (47/52)

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative:8:31- 15:47.

Ch 14:32-41 – Gethsemane = Olive Grove. Jesus’ agony in the Garden: 3 times = a very intense agony] he prays ‘Abba’ = Father or Daddy – a child’s affectionate word. When used between adults = a unique depth of relationship. Jesus is utterly alone, underlined by his friends falling asleep 3 times. A kiss of love is rejected by a kiss of betrayal. John 18:10, identifies Peter with the sword & names the servant as Malchus. Luke [22:51] says Jesus healed his ear. The naked young man might be Mark himself, who leaves everything to escape, not follow, Jesus’ company.



Through the year with The Gospel of Mark (48/52).

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative: 8:31- 15: 47.

14:53-15:15. The Trials. Before the Sanhedrin, 14:53-65, - leaders who advised the High Priest. False witnesses failed to convince that Jesus wanted to destroy the Temple.  But Jesus confirmed that he is the expected Messiah King & God’s equal. ‘I am’ = God’s Holy Name. Disbelieving Jesus’ claim, they wanted his death for blasphemy, which only the Roman Governor Pilate could order. Pilate, 15:1-15, tries to free the innocent Jesus, this time falsely accused of political agitation but is outmanoeuvred. Prior scourging speeds up death by crucifixion.  Peter’s denials, 14:66-72, showed his weakness in contrast to Jesus’ strength.



Through the year with

The Gospel of Mark 49/52.

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

3. The Passion Narrative: 8:31- 15: 47.

15:16-47: Ironically, the soldiers’ mocking title of Jesus is in fact true. Cyrene = Tripoli in Africa. The 2 sons are probably known to Mark’s Christian community. Wine drugged with myrrh would have eased Jesus’ pain. The Jewish leaders mock & demand miracles, but in contrast the pagan soldier confesses faith. Jesus becomes powerless so that the human race can be empowered. Jesus’ cry is from Psalm 22 which he realises is about him. Why not read it? The torn temple veil = God is now available to all & not a select few. Many women, unlike the men, remained faithful. Joseph is fearless in asking for Jesus’ body for burial.


Through the year with

The Gospel of Mark 50/52.

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

4. Epilogue – the Resurrection:16:1-20.

Vs 1-4:The empty tomb is the first evidence that Jesus is risen & alive. Vs 5-8:The young man is an angel [see Mt 28:2]. Mentioning Peter shows his denials are forgiven. Galilee is where Jesus started his ministry & where the new ministry of the Church will begin. The original Gospel ended here. Was its ending lost? The ‘longer ending’ was added later, summarising stories from other Gospels. Vs 9-14: Resurrection appearances – witnesses met Jesus risen & never to die again. Commissioning Vs 15-18 & Continued presence, Vs 19-20: Although ascended to heaven as King & Judge, Jesus’ Spirit ‘works with us’ [the signs show this] as we proclaim Jesus is the Messiah to every human person and experience.



Through the year with

The Gospel of Mark 51/52.

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

Ways of engaging with the Gospels: Prayer & Study

Prayer:  The Church encourages us to read the Bible in a prayerful way so that can grow in communion with God. The Gospel from daily Mass is a good place to start. Reading a recommended Commentary by the Church is a helpful guide: see ‘Bible Alive’, or ‘Magnificat’, or https://dailyscripture.servantsoftheword.org/readings/ or https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/daily-reflections/.  Set aside a regular time & place. Pray to the Holy Spirit for revelation: so that we know God rather than know about God; for inspiration: so that we gain new spiritual insights about life & salvation; & for transformation:  through personal healing & Christian action


Through the year with

The Gospel of Mark 52/52.

“Is Jesus the Messiah?”

Ways of engaging with the Gospels: Prayer & Study


A recommended way of Reading the Bible is called Lectio Divina:

In preparation, pray to the Holy Spirit, then read the Gospel through slowly once [& read the Commentary].

1. Read the Gospel again slowly & thoughtfully.

2. Meditate: on a word or phrase that strikes you. What is God offering you?

3. Pray about or long for what is being offered in the Reading.

4. Contemplate: sit quietly, receiving the gift offered.

5. Action: Now go and put the insights gained into action in daily life.  

Study:

1. Pick a Gospel [or other book] from a Bible with good introductions & footnotes. Read carefully, taking notes.

Or 2. Pick a character or theme in the Bible & look up all the references.




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