Mark 9:14-29 – At the Bottom of the Mountain

From the ecstatic peace of the mountain we descend, with Christ and the three disciples, into the usual melée which is the backdrop to life on the ground.  For all of us it can be so appealing to want to remain in the thickness of the cloud, removed, as it were, from one reality to be able to experience real reality in the undiluted presence of God. 

Mark 8:31-33 – Great Expectations

With these few verses in our lectio we reach the real point of Mark’s Gospel – that the Christ has come to be revealed in his Passion. The verses which have preceded these, of course, form a single unit and each portion relies upon the other for its full meaning: the faith realisation about Jesus’ true identity and then what that identity implies.

Mark 8:27-33 – Who do you say I Am?

With this lectio divina we reach a turning point in the Gospel, and with it, perhaps, a turning point for ourselves. There is no doubt that we cannot avoid being drawn into this scene as participant, both hearing Jesus’ questions addressed directly to us, and feeling his expectation as he waits for each of us to answer. He asks a profoundly disturbing question, which divides itself into two parts – the first general, by way of softening us up, as it were; the second particular, personal, and pointed.

Mark 8:14-26 – Christ Event: Darkness to Light, Blindness to Sight

The themes of blindness, loss of sight, and poor sight, are some of the most common themes which appear in Sacred Scripture. This suggests that the particular affliction – whether from birth or occurring in formerly sighted people – was not uncommon and provides a foundation of experience for our sacred authors. A quick scan in a biblical concordance reveals a wealth of passages in which the blind or blindness is mentioned, and that’s without looking for phrases which express loss of sight or similar experience.

Mark 8:11-13 – Signs

Just a few verses, but so much comes into our prayer as Christ asks us to reflect with him on the value of signs in our lives. The Pharisees are really not very happy people! Almost nothing satisfies them and they continually hanker after something more. It’s a way of life and an outlook on life which is doomed to be characterized by perennial disappointment. More than that, it lacks the wonder and awe which is the mark of those who know that they have the possibility of encountering mystery at every moment.

Mark 8:1-10 – A Second Course – the Same but Different

There is no repetition in a Gospel simply for the sake of repetition. In this the sacred writings are somewhat akin to music, when a section is marked with a repeat mark: although the very same notes and chords will be played the performer must have a sense of a slightly different feel to the same music and communicate that to the audience.