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Monday, January 10, 2005

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Hebrews 1:1-6
Psalm 97
Mark 1:14-20

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"He summoned them on the spot." —Mark 1:20

In Mark's Gospel, Jesus often does things immediately, especially healing. With one exception (Mk 8:25), He does no gradual physical healings in the Gospels.

Jesus not only acts immediately Himself, but He expects His followers to do the same. "They immediately abandoned their nets and became His followers" (Mk 1:18). Once Jesus called a man to come after Him. "The man replied, 'Let me bury my father first.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their dead; come away and proclaim the kingdom of God' " (Lk 9:59-60).

Jesus didn't waste any time while loving us or dying for us, and He expects us to respond accordingly. In our modern day, we usually expect everything to happen instantly. We want others to jump when we say "Jump," yet for ourselves we want to take our good old time. Jesus wants to remove this double standard. Whether we've noticed it or not, He's always there, caring for our needs faster than we can express them.

He promises: "Before they call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hearken to them" (Is 65:24). Now it's up to us to respond to Him with immediate obedience as befits God Himself.

Prayer:  Father, this year remove any time lag in my obedience to You. Jesus, teach me obedience.

Promise:  "In times past, God spoke in fragmentary and varied ways to our fathers through the prophets; in this, the final age, He has spoken to us through His Son, Whom He has made heir of all things and through Whom He first created the universe." —Heb 1:1-2

Praise:  The sudden death of a friend helped Marian realize what a precious gift God has given us in each moment of each day. Now she makes "the most of the present opportunity" for the Lord (Eph 5:16).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004