Healing families

No one was strong enough to subdue him.  How frightened this man’s loved ones must have felt!   When Mark mentions this man’s family, he could mean parents or siblings, perhaps a wife and children.   Imagine the impact that this man’s spiritual ordeal had on them.   Anxiety about his harming himself.   Ridicule and marginalization from the rest of the village.   And above all, a sense of helplessness in the face of evil. Don’t rule out the...

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Help me to trust you

Teacher, do you not care? It’s easy to identify with these disciples in the boat.   We’ve all been caught in violent squalls, times of suffering or confusion, when we can hardly maintain our equilibrium, let alone steer our ship.   We may believe Jesus’ promise, to be with us always, but we’re not feeling his presence.   It’s as if he’s asleep.   In times like these, it’s tempting to conclude that he doesn’t care after all. But Jesus wants to...

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The seed would sprout and grow

The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Imagine how patient and trusting a farmer has to be.   He prepares his field and plants his seeds.   Day after day, he watches, even though nothing seems to happen.   But one morning is different: the field has a faint green haze.   The seeds have sprouted, and the crop is growing. It’s not a bad image for what bishops and parish priests do.   To the best of their abilities, they plant good...

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Why are you doing this?

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? Don’t you find it odd that these would be Jesus’ first words to Paul?   He could have thundered against Paul’s violent campaign.   He could have urged Paul to repent.   He could have even opened with one of his many parables!   But Jesus chose instead to ask Paul a probing question—Why are you doing this?   What do you think you are accomplishing? This isn’t the first time God has questioned one of his...

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Thank you for your generosity

I will . . . establish a house for you.  In the middle of the nineteenth century, an Italian priest named John Bosco established a home and school for delinquent boys in the city of Turin.   Having grown up in poverty, Bosco was no stranger to financial need.   Despite the support of wealthy benefactors, he never seemed to have enough funds.   But God provided for him and for his hundreds of orphans in marvelous ways.   Sometimes he would...

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Prayer can take many forms

David . . . came dancing before the Lord with abandon.  Prayer can take many forms.   Consider the scripture, when David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.   He not only had many sacrifices offered, but he also danced before God with childlike abandon.   This probably wasn’t what most people expected of their king.   They were likely surprised at his lack of decorum.   Yet David was so filled with joy that he couldn’t help but dance...

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