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Daily Devotional for July 14


July 14                                                              Mark 1:1-13

Like a great landscape painter, Mark with broad strokes intro-
duces us to the good news of Jesus Christ. Setting the scene
squarely in Judaic prophetic history, he first brings John into
focus, highlighting his ministry of calling attention to the com-
ing Messiah. Then in a few compact sentences he tells of the
baptism of Jesus, the descent of the Spirit on Jesus, and the
temptation in the wilderness. Mark expects his readers to
recognize, in this brief account of the earliest events of Jesus'
public life, that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecies of
the Jewish Scriptures.

The Gospel's challenge to us as it announces the coming of
Christ into our world is equally brief and succinct: "Prepare
the way of the Lord." There is no room here for lengthy
discourse or second thoughts. When Christ appears on the
horizon, some response is required of us. The politician in us
will try to evade the issue to no avail. The religious authority
in us will resist the changing of the status quo. The child in
us will seek to draw near to Christ. The leper in us will cry
out for Christ's mercy. The intellectual in us will meet Christ
by night to ask for instruction. No part of us will escape Christ's
powerful presence.

How then shall I prepare to encounter Christ appearing on
the horizon of my life today? I will go out into the wilderness
for a time, to the edge of my life, away from the frenzy of
my daily routine, and there I will listen for the voice announ-
cing Christ's arrival. I will confess my sins and immerse myself
in the waters of God's mercy, which cleanse and purify my
soul. I will simplify the paths of my inner life so that Christ
may enter easily and find the way to my heart open and clear.
In this way there shall be a new "beginning of the Gospel of
Jesus Christ" in my life today.

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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