Daily Reflections


25 January 2016           Monday of the 3rd week of the year

Mark 16:15-18

At that time: (Appearing to the Eleven,) 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 tongues; 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.”

Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Mary Magdalene who goes to tell the disciples that Jesus is alive. They do not believe her. Then Jesus appears to two of the disciples who are in the country, they too hurry back to tell the others but their hearts are hardened and still they do not believe. Jesus now appears to the eleven and reprimands them for their hardened hearts but nevertheless sends them out to preach the gospel to the whole of creation. 

Even if our hearts are hardened Jesus sees in us a glimmer of faith and sends us out to build up his kingdom around us. 

Fr Peter Cullen


23 January 2016           Saturday of the 2nd week of the year

Mark 3:20-21

In that time: Jesus went home with his disciples; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. And when his friends heard it, they went out to seize him, for they said, “he is beside himself.”

The crowds continued to throng Jesus to the extent that he hasn’t even got time to eat. His friends think he is going mad. What do our friends think of us as we try to live the christian life? Do they even know that we are christians?

Fr Peter Cullen


22 January 2016         Friday of the 2nd week of the year

Mark 3:13-19

At that time: Jesus went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

“He called to him those whom he desired” and in baptism we too have been called and have come to him. Just as the twelve were called to be with him so we are called as brothers and sisters into a close relationship with him. We are also asked like the twelve to build up the Kingdom in the situations in which we live and work and go to school. The twelve were sent to preach and to cast out demons. What task has Jesus given you? Our names are written on the palm of God’s hand and as Simon, James and John were given nicknames by Jesus what do you think is the nickname that Jesus has given you? 

Judas who betrayed Jesus was one of the twelve, how can we ensure that we don’t end up betraying Jesus as well? 

Fr Peter Cullen

21 January 2016         Thursday of the 2nd week of the year

Mark 3:7-12

At that time: Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed; also from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from about Tyre and Sidon a great multitude, hearing all that he did, came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they should crush him; for he had healed many, so that all who had deseases pressed upon him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “Your are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.

The Pharisees and the Herodians have gone off in a huddle to plot the demise of Jesus. Jesus and the disciples retreat to the lake side. Still the crowds from everywhere come to see Jesus. He has become a celebrity and everyone wants to touch him, but it is only the unclean spirits who know who he is: “You are the Son of God.” Jesus silences the demonic spirits because the people are not yet ready to accept Jesus as the messiah and what that means for him and for them. Do we really know who Jesus is? We accept him as the healing saviour, but are we prepared to recognise him as the suffering messiah and what that might mean for us as his followers?  

Fr Peter Cullen

20 January 2016         Wednesday of the 2nd week of the year 

Mark 3:1-6

At that time: Again Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But  they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

He grieved at their hardness of heart. What does Jesus see as he looks at us today? Does he smile or is he sad? In our thoughts, words and actions do we bring life or destruction to others? Have we hardened our hearts? Maybe we could use the motto for the Year of Mercy as our prayer for today: “Merciful like the Father” 

Fr Peter Cullen