Daily Reflections

Day: Thursday 2nd January 2020

Excerpt from John 1:19-28

[John the Baptist] said [to the priests and Levites who had been sent from Jerusalem]: “I am ‘the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said”

Short Reflection: 

John’s action did raise interest and probably many people went to be baptised by him, thus the interest of the religious leaders from Jerusalem. John confesses publicly that he is not the Messiah;
Neither is he Elijah, nor the Prophet. Jesus comes into our lives if we lend him our voices and if we reflect his light. If we take upon ourselves the titles that do us honour and leave him out, we cannot assist the world to know that he is the Messiah. 

When and how have I been tempted to appropriate for myself some “spiritual honour” that people wanted to attribute to me?

Day: Friday 3rd January 2020

Excerpt from John 1:29-34

The next day [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me’”.

Short Reflection: 

Jesus is presented as the Lamb of God by John the Baptist. The sacrificial Lamb that symbolically takes away the sins of the people, and reconciles them with God. The Lamb does not impose itself. On the contrary, it endures what people make it suffer. This image might have brought to mind the image of the servant of the Lord, who in humility, takes upon himself the sins of his people to reconcile them to God.

How aware am I that Jesus gives his life for me as a Lamb, and that he leads me to share fully in the communion of love with his Father?

Day: Saturday 4th January 2020

Excerpt from John 1:35-42

Jesus turned and saw [two of John’s disciples] following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day.

Short Reflection: 

Jesus invites them to come and see. A word that we cannot easily forget or an attitude of somebody towards us can change our lives and lead us to Jesus; different circumstances can contribute to this call. In order to become a disciple of Jesus, Jesus himself intervenes; he meets us at the depths of our desires and he calls us. It is the personal encounter with Jesus that ultimately changes everything and gives it a completely new direction.

How have others helped me hear and respond to Jesus’ call in my life?

Day: Monday 6th January 2020

Excerpt from Matthew 4:12-17.23-25

From that time on [when John the Baptist was arrested], Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Short Reflection:

Jesus’ coming into the world is meant to be an entry also into my life and the life of our family and community. It cannot continue to be “business as usual”. There is the need to adjust something in order to live the Gospel values. There is no situation that is so desperate that God does not shed his loving and merciful light on it. As the proverb has it, “no village is so remote that God’s sun does not shine there”!

How can I open my eyes to the wonders of God’s love?

Day: Tuesday 7th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 6:34-44

He said to them [the disciples] …, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat? [We have only] five loaves and two fish”

Short Reflection:

Jesus’ attitude is that of calling forth the best in each one. When the best of each one is shared with the best of the other, something happens that could not have happened if each one stayed in his or her corner. Jesus works miracles in opening up the love of God sown in our hearts towards each other. Jesus still continues to work miracles of love and sharing today when we love the poor freely, without expecting anything in return. This is how God has loved us, and this is how he calls us to love each other.

What am I reluctant to share with others? To receive from the others? Why?

Day: Wednesday 8th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 6:45-52

Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!”

Short Reflection:

Because of the fear in their hearts, the disciples initially did not recognise Jesus’ power. It was a similar thing before the feeding of the 5,000 people. Fear is never a good adviser; it paralyses us and closes us in on ourselves when we should be open to God and to others.

What am I afraid of in my life or in my community? The Lord knows and he cares. Let me/us speak to him about it!

Day: Thursday 9th January 2020

Excerpt from Luke 4:14-22

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord”

Short Reflection:

God’s love for the poor does not mean the punishment of their enemies. For this reason, even the text of Isaiah read by Jesus is slightly modified. It had been expected that when God intervened through his Prophet for the good of his people, he would at the same time punish the enemies of his people (Is 61:2b). Instead, here Jesus announces that the Jubilee Year (God’s year of favour) is for all.

How has my belief in Jesus as the Messiah impacted the way I relate to the poor in society?

Day: Friday 10th January 2020

Excerpt from Luke 5:12-16

Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately.

Short Reflection:

The encounter between Jesus and the leper restores the leper physically and socially from a state of total exclusion to one of inclusion. Jesus, by deliberately touching him, chose to incur the ritual impurity that would put himself outside society because he had touched a ritually impure person. His becoming a human being is precisely so that our human condition will be fully taken up by God.
In Jesus, God reconciles us to himself, to others in society, and to ourselves.
Who are the needy who need my embrace today in order to be reintegrated into our society and our Church?

Day: Saturday 11th January 2020

Excerpt from John 3:22-30

“I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease”.

Short Reflection:

John, does not want to take upon himself any glory that does not belong to him.
What counts for John and for us today is to give Jesus the room he needs in our lives so that he might grow and transform us. It can be tempting to look for and to accept cheap popularity, but that is done at the expense of giving Jesus his rightful place in our lives.
Where am I tempted to put myself in the centre instead of Jesus?

Day: Monday 13th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 1:14-20

Jesus (saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew and) said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.

Short Reflection:

God calls us in the ordinary circumstances of our lives because he wants to associate himself with us in the proclamation of the Good News of his love to all people. This changes things radically in our lives. It can no longer be business as usual! There follows a break with the past and the familiar. God gives a new direction to our lives so that we are more completely dedicated to his service. Jesus remains the master and as disciples we follow him, learn from him and then,
later, act like him.
Where am I tempted to put myself in the centre instead of Jesus?

Day: Tuesday 14th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 1:21b-28

He (Jesus) taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

Short Reflection:

Jesus brought a freshness into our relationship with God and with others. This happened not only in his words but in his actions. His Word, because it was firmly rooted in God who sent
him, is life-giving, and astonishes all. As a disciple of Jesus, the relationship with God is visible through the relationship of love and justice with the neighbour. If the Word spoken does not lead to greater life by promoting faith, hope and love, it is merely an empty word.
To what extent and in what measure do my words carry the weight of what they say?

Day: Wednesday 15th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 1:29-39

[Simon on finding Jesus] said, “Everyone is looking for you.” [Jesus] told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”

Short Reflection:

Although it might be tempting for Jesus to continue where he is successful and people are looking for him, after prayer he discerns that God has sent him to bring the Good News to other places and not just to the people of Capernaum. Jesus continues to touch and change people’s lives through his disciples today. When we are successful we should not get settled. The Good News always spurs us on to reach out to others who still need to hear it through our deeds.
Who/what helps me move beyond my ordinary routine to meet the needs of serving others?

Day: Thursday 16th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 1:40-45

A leper came to him (and kneeling down) begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”

Short Reflection:

Jesus knows his suffering, but to heal him he needs to move from the knowledge (head) to the desire (heart). His reply is that he wishes him to be healed and thus restored to the community.
In the face of human suffering, Jesus shows that the life of the person is more important than the rituals, especially when they keep the person alienated from others.
Who are the people I exclude? How can I correct my attitude towards them?

Day: Friday 17th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 2:1-12

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

Short Reflection:

The faith of others can and does help us in the process as by their intercession they carry us before God for healing. Part of the goodness of living in a community is to carry each other to God through our prayer and deeds. We cannot go to God alone nor can we be saved alone. We journey together. Sometimes we are the ones carried, and at other times we help carry others
so that God can heal them.
When have I been carried by my community members to Jesus?
Whom have I helped carry to Jesus for healing?

Day: Saturday 18th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 2:13-17

As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him

Short Reflection:

Jesus calls him at his work place. Jesus was aware of his state, what people thought of him, and what they called him. By reaching out to Matt hew, Jesus demonstrates to all that no one is excluded from God’s love because of sin. When we go to him in the sacrament of Reconciliation, we discover that he has been waiting for us and he welcomes us.
How did God’s call to me surprise me and probably some others who thought otherwise about me?

Day: Monday 20th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 2:18-22

[Jesus said to those who objected to his not fasting like others], “New wine is poured into fresh wineskins”

Short Reflection:

The coming of Jesus initiates the new time of the Messiah, and brings about new life in an unexpected manner from within. Jesus fulfils the expectations of his people. In the light of this renewal, the first type of fasting has to give way to the newness of the message Jesus brings.
That is why Jesus’ disciples, in his presence, are invited to listen to him and to be fed by his Word
rather than listen to what others are saying about the one who is to come. He is already there.
As I listen to Jesus’ Word, where do I feel that he challenges me to renew my sense of being his disciple?

Day: Tuesday 21st January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 2:23-28

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

Short Reflection:

The law does not have another purpose because it is not an end in itself. Its purpose is to help us love God and each other. Jesus’ presence reminds us of the newness of time that surpasses the emergency of David’s time!
How do I hide behind the law in order to refuse to love as God invites me to love?
When do I hide behind the law to avoid loving God and others?

Day: Wednesday 22nd January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 3:1-6

“Stretch out your hand”. He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

Short Reflection:

Here again, Jesus shows that the real purpose of the Sabbath law is not to oppress people by refusing to show them God’s kindness when they most need it. God continually shows his loving mercy to his people and is not conditioned by the Sabbath law.
When have I tried to eliminate the one who shows me that love of neighbour is more important than the law?

Day: Thursday 23rd January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 3:7-12

He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.

Short Reflection:

Most of the crowd see glory, power and fame but are not aware that the road leading to this glory and power is one of self-denial and constantly looking out for the good of the other, especially the weak and excluded. It is the way of the cross, and without Good Friday there is no Easter morning! The desire to follow Jesus and to listen to him needs purification.
Where do I need to reconsider the reasons why I am a disciple of Jesus and why I want to help or accompany others on this journey of discipleship?

Day: Friday 24th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 3:13-19

He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

Short Reflection:

From the crowd, he chooses a smaller group of twelve men who form an inner circle and who will be with him all the time. Being with the master is the first reason why they are chosen. The second reason why Jesus chooses apostles is to send them out to teach and to have power to cast out demons. They become apostles (the ones sent) because of the mission of Jesus. They do what Jesus himself has been doing to now and will continue it.
How and when did I hear Jesus call me as his disciple and associate me as his apostle to his Mission?
How am I responding to this call daily?


Excerpt from Mark 16:15-18

Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Short Reflection:

Most of the crowd see glory, power and fame but are not aware that the road leading to this glory and power is one of self-denial and constantly looking out for the good of the other, especially the weak and excluded. It is the way of the cross, and without Good Friday there is no Easter morning! The desire to follow Jesus and to listen to him needs purification.
O God, who taught the whole world through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul,
draw us, we pray, nearer to you through the example of him whose conversion we celebrate today, and make us witnesses to your truth in the world.
(Collect Prayer of Mass)

Day: Monday 27th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 3:22-30

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.

Short Reflection:

This deliberate twisting in attributing the goodness of God manifested in Jesus to Satan cannot be forgiven because, by so doing, the Scribes have shut themselves outside of the grace of forgiveness. The challenge is not to close one’s heart in this way but to recognise the
fruits for what they are, and to thank God for them. As the Rwandese proverb has it: You recognise the fool by what he says.
Where do I feel blocked in appreciating the goodness of God in and through others?


Excerpt from Mark 3:31-35

“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Short Reflection:

Sitting at someone’s feet and listening to the person is the attitude of a disciple. That is what the crowd around him is doing. Jesus invites all his relatives to enter into this new type of relationship. Listening to God’s Word and living by it creates new types of bonds that go beyond the physical relationships created by blood. Though spiritual they are real because they link us all to the ultimate source of life itself, God himself.
How can we deepen our common bond in Christ because of our Baptism?

Day: Wednesday 29th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 4:1-20

“But those who that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and hundredfold.”

Short Reflection:

As Jesus addresses his parables to all those who listen to him, he underlines the importance of listening! It is not enough to know what is said; it must be welcomed wholeheartedly if it is to bear fruit.
How attentive am I to the Word of God when I welcome it in prayer?

Day: Thursday 30th January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 4:21-25

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or
under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand?

Short Reflection:

Jesus describes himself as the light of the world. Just as the role of light is to shine forth and show the way and thus cast out darkness, his teaching and his person show a new way of being human. This way is to live as a child of God and to abide by his teaching. Not all have had the chance to hear Jesus teach or to see his wonders and to come to share in the new life he brings.
The gift of light received cannot be kept for themselves. They are invited to share it.
How am I sharing the light of Christ with others in my family, community and in my work place?

Day: Friday 31st January 2020

Excerpt from Mark 4:26-34

He said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land.

Short Reflection:

Jesus’ coming into the world is like a seed that is sown by God the Father. There are risks because the message might not be received by all for various reasons. And even among those who will receive the seed of the Word that is sown in their lives, not all will be able all to bear the corresponding fruit all the time. Still, in spite of this, God takes the risk because of his faith, hope and love for human beings. He shares his own life with us in and through Jesus, his Son, so that we might also live for eternity with him.
Which value(s) do I need to promote most in me and around me to continue growing spiritually?

Adapted from:

TEACH ME LORD, YOUR WAY! Year of Publication: 2016 (Paulines Publications Africa)

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