Daily Reflections

Mark 1:29-39

How wise and insightful is this wry observation by G.K. Chesterton: ‘If a man is a fool for believing in a Creator, then he is a fool for believing in miracles, but not otherwise.’ In other words, because we believe in God we believe in miracles. If God did not exist there would be no miracles because God himself is the power and source of the miraculous. It is impossible to read the New Testament, especially the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, and not grasp that miracles were a vital part of Jesus’ life and ministry.

We tend to approach the miracles of Jesus with a modern mindset whereas we need to approach them with the eyes of faith. St Augustine of Hippo said, ‘Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.’ The plain truth is that Jesus was God made man and as God made man he performed miracles and displayed to all the power and majesty of God.

In the midst of reporting for us these signs and wonders, however, Mark captures for us something of the interior life of Jesus – the key no doubt to his life and ministry: ‘And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed’ (v. 35). Jesus’ entire life had its source in these times of prayer and communion with his Father. Jesus was a prayer warrior. He knew that his Father was truly omnipotent and had the power to do anything, to change anyone and to intervene in any circumstance.

What is interesting is the time of day Jesus prayed – very early in the morning while it was still dark. The Church has never been prescriptive about when we should pray: only that we should pray. However, perhaps the best time to receive our spiritual nourishment is early in the morning before the day begins. If Jesus received strength, consolation and wisdom from his Father’s presence, then we can be sure that it’s where we need to find ours. Prayer was the road Jesus walked to be with his Father and prayer is the road we must walk as well.

‘There is but one road which reaches God and that is prayer; if anyone shows you another, you are being deceived.’
(St Teresa of Avila) 

1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20  •  Psalm 39(40):2, 5, 7-10
Mark 1:29-39

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