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Daily Devotional for July 21


July 21                                                               Mark 3:7-19

Jesus' power to preach and heal brought huge crowds to him.
His own human limitations in coping with such large crowds
led him to make the most significant selection in history. The
twelve whom he called to himself, and whom he sent out to
preach, heal, and cast out demons, found their lives irrevocably
changed. Thrust to the center of this impromptu stage of Jewish
and world history, the twelve were never again to be private
citizens or idle bystanders. With Christ, through Christ, and
in Christ; in preaching, teaching, healing; in betrayal, denial,
and even in death, they were never to escape having been
selected by Jesus. They were his, and he was theirs. And even
after the death and Resurrection of Jesus, they devoted
themselves to a ministry of witness that consumed them to
the end of their lives.

They were, nonetheless, very ordinary people with very ordi-
nary ways of sinning: jealousy, doubt, denial, betrayal, and
all manner of selfish pursuits. Yet it was to this band of twelve
very ordinary persons that Christ entrusted the good news of
the reign of God.

As Christians, we today are challenged with the same trust that
Christ placed in the first unlikely group of disciples. Still called,
sent, and commissioned by Christ through the church and
God's particular call on our lives, we struggle to love, minister
to, and care for the people of our world. Still oppressed with
disease, hunger, poverty, with demons and unbelief, the
crowds come in search of healing and hope.

The challenging question to us from today's Gospel is this:
As Christians called by Christ to preach, teach, heal, and cast
out demons, what do we offer the crowds when they come?

            Jesus, you have called me to serve you in the
  people I encounter today. Strengthen and empower me to
             fulfill the ministry with which you entrust me.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.198

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