Mark 7:31-37 A Deaf Person is Healed

And when he had gone out of the region of Tyre, he went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the midst of the region of the Decapolis, again. 

And they brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking, and they begged him that he might lay hands on him. 

And when he had taken him privately away from the crowd, he put his fingers in his ears, and after having spat, touched his tongue.

And when he had looked up into heaven, he groaned and said to him: ‘Ephphtha’ (that is ‘Be opened.’)

And his ears were opened, and the bond of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly. 

And he ordered them not to say anything. But as much as he ordered them, so much more they proclaimed. And they were completely amazed saying ‘ He has done everything well, and he made the deaf hear, and the mute able to talk. ‘

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


Mark 7:24-30The Syrophoenician’s Woman’s Faith

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Canaanite’s Daughter (La Chananéenne), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 1/16 x 5 9/16 in. (23 x 14.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.117 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.117_PS2.jpg)

From there, having set out, he went away into the region of Tyre, and having entered a house, he did not want anyone to know, and yet he was not able to be hidden. 

But immediately a woman, (who had a little daughter with an unclean spirit) having heard about him, came and fell at his feet. 

The woman was Greek, Syrophoenician by race. 

And she asked him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 

And he said to her: ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’

But she answered: ‘Lord, even the little dogs under the table eat the children’s little crumbs.’

And he said to her: ‘Because of this word go – the demon has left your little daughter.’

And when she went into her house, she found the little child lying on the bed and the demon gone. 

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art –
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.

Mark 7:14-23 The heart and the guts

And having called the crowd together again, he said to them:

‘Everyone, listen to me and understand. Nothing outside a person, going into them, can make them unclean., but the things that come out from them they make a person unclean.’

And when he went into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the saying. 

And he said to them:  ‘So are you also without understanding, do you not perceive that everything which goes into a person from outside cannot make them unclean? For it does not enter their heart but their guts and goes out into the sewer. ‘ (Cleansing all food).

He said: ‘What goes out from a person, that makes them unclean. For from within, from a person’s heart, come out the bad thoughts: sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, indecency, an evil eye, slander, pride, foolishness.

‘All these evil things come out from within and make a person unclean.’

Lord, you have given me so much,
I ask for one more thing –
a grateful heart.

George Herbert

Mark 7 1-13 The Tradition of the Elders

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Curses Against the Pharisees (Imprécations contre les pharisiens), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (16.2 x 23.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.142 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.142_PS2.jpg)

And the Pharisees, and some of the scholars having come from Jerusalem, gathered around him.

And when they saw that some of his disciples ate food with unclean hands, that is unwashed…

—for the Pharisees and all the Jews  do not eat unless they have washed their hands in the proper way, holding fast to the tradition of the elders, for when they return from the market they do not eat unless they wash themselves, with the result that there are many things which they observe, washings of cups and pitchers and bowls, and couches—

….the Pharisees and the scholars asked him: ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the traditions of the elders, but eat food with unclean hands?’

But he said to them: ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are very far away from me.
In vain, they worship me,
teaching as ‘doctrines’ human rules.'(Isa 29:13)

Disobeying the command of God you hold to human tradition.’

And he said to them:
‘”Rightly” you reject the command of God, so that you might establish your tradition. For Moses said: “Honour your father and mother”
and “The one who speaks evil of their father or mother surely let that one be put to death.

‘But you say: “If a person says to their father or mother ‘Whatever help you would have from me it is Korban ( that is a gift)’ then you longer permit them to do anything for their father or mother, so nullifying the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down, and similar things you do such as this.’ 

Be thou a bright flame before me,
Be thou a guiding star above me
Be thou a smooth path below me
Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me
Today – tonight -forever

St Columba

Mark 6:53-56 – The Healing of the Sick

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). In the Villages the Sick Were Presented to Him (Dans les villages on lui présentait des malades), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, image: 10 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (25.7 x 17.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.103 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.103_PS2.jpg)

And having crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and anchored there. And after they had left the boat, the people, having recognised him, ran through that whole region and began to bring those who were ill on their mats, to  wherever they heard he was. And whenever he entered villages, towns or the countryside, they would put the sick in the marketplace and beg him that they might at least touch the tassels on the fringe of his robe.

And as many as touched him were healed.

O Love, O God who created me, in your love recreate me.
O Love, who redeemed me,
fill up in me whatever part of your love
has fallen into neglect within me.
O Love, O God, who first loved me,
grant that with my whole heart,
and with my whole soul,
and with my whole strength,
I may love you.

Gertrude the Great

Mark 6:45-52 Jesus on the Water

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Jesus Walks on the Sea (Jésus marche sur la mer), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on green wove paper, Image: 11 3/16 x 4 13/16 in. (28.4 x 12.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.138 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.138_PS1.jpg)

And immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he sent the crowd away. And when he had said goodbye to them he went to the mountain to pray. 

And when evening came the boat was in the middle of the sea, and he was alone on the land. And when he saw them struggling  in their rowing, for the wind was against them, at the fourth watch of the night, he came to them walking on the sea and he wanted to go past them. 

But when they saw him on the sea, walking, they thought, ’it is a ghost’. For all who saw him were terrified. 

But he immediately talked with them:  ‘Take courage!. It is me. Do not be afraid.’ And he climbed in to the boat with them and the wind stopped, and they were altogether amazed. For they did not understand about the breads, but their hearts were hardened. 

Teach us, good Lord,
to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do thy will,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

St Ignatius

Mark 6:35-44 The Sheep are Fed

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes (La multiplication des pains), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 7 3/8 x 10 9/16 in. (18.7 x 26.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.134 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.134_PS1.jpg)

And already the hour was late and his disciples came to him and said ‘This place is deserted. And the hour is late. Send them away, so that they can go into the surrounding country and villages and buy for themselves something to eat. 

But he answered: ‘Give to them something to eat yourselves.’

And they said to him: ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii of bread  and give that to them to eat?’

But he said to them ‘How many breads do you have? Go and look!’

When they found out they said ‘Five, and two fish.’

And he ordered them to sit everyone down in groups, on the green grass. 

And they sat in groups of hundreds and fifties. And having taken the five breads and the two fish, looked up to heaven, said a blessing and broken the breads , then he gave it, again and again to his disciples to distribute to them, and he divided the two fish among them all. 

And everyone ate and they were satisfied, 

and they collected fragments, enough to fill twelve baskets, and of the fish. 

And those who had eaten were 5,000 men. 

Grant, Lord,
that we may hold to you without parting,
worship you without wearying,
serve you without failing;
faithfully seek you,
happily find you,
and forever possess you,
the only God,blessed now and for ever.

St Anselm

Mark 6:30-34 Jesus seeks rest for the Apostles

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Jesus Commands the Apostles to Rest (Jésus engage les apôtres à se reposer), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 7 1/16 x 9 3/4 in. (17.9 x 24.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.121 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.121_PS2.jpg)

And when those sent out gathered together with Jesus, they told him everything that they had done and what they had taught. 

And he said to them ‘Come, by yourselves, alone, into a deserted place and rest for a little while.’ 

For many people were coming and going and they did not have an opportunity to eat. 

And they left in the boat to go to a deserted place, alone.
And people saw them going and many recognised them, and many hurrred there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 

And when he got out he saw a great crowd and he had compassion for them, because they were sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things.

Thank you, dear Jesus,
for all you have given me,
for all you have taken away from me,
for all you have left me.

Thomas More (c.1478-1535)

Mark 6:21-29 The Death of John

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Daughter of Herodias Dancing (Hérodiade dansant), 1886-1896. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 9 5/16 x 7 5/16 in. (23.7 x 18.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.131 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.131_PS2.jpg)

An opportunity came –
when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet
for his nobles
and the army officers
and the prominent people in Galilee
and when the daughter of this Herodias
entered  and danced-
she pleased Herod and the guests. 

The king said to the girl:
‘Ask me for whatever you wish and I will give it to you.’
And he swore oaths to her.
‘Whatever you ask of me I will give, even to half of my kingdom.’

And she went out and said to her mother ‘What shall I ask for?’ 

She said ‘The head of John the Baptiser.’

And she went in and immediately with speed asked the King:
‘I want you to give to me at once upon a plate the head of John the Baptist.’

And the King became full of sadness,
but because of the promises and the guests
he did not want to break the promises to her. 

And immediately the King sent a guard and he gave orders to bring his head.
And he went and beheaded him in prison.
And he brought his head on a plate
and he gave it to the girl,
and the girl gave it to her mother. 

And when his disciples heard, they came and took his body and put it into a tomb. 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy,
For your mercy and for your truth’s sake. Amen

Mark 6:14-20 Herod, John and Herodias

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Herod (Hérode), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 6 3/16 x 3 3/16 in. (15.7 x 8.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.130 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 00.159.130_PS1.jpg)

And King Herod heard-  

for his name became known, 
and people said ‘John the Baptizer has risen from the dead
and because of this the powers are at work in him.’
Others said ‘He is Elijah.’
But others said ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets.’

– but when Herod heard this he said ‘John, whom I beheaded – this man has been raised.’

For Herod himself had sent (men), and seized John
and bound him in prison
on account of Herodias, the wife of Philip, his brother, because he had married her.

For John had been saying to Herod ‘ It is not lawful for you to have the wife of your brother.’

Herodias had it in for him and wanted to kill him, but she could not. 

For Herod feared John,
knowing that he was a righteous man and holy, he protected him.
And having heard him, he was greatly confused and yet gladly heard him. 

O Lord Jesus Christ,
stay beside me to defend me,
within me to guide me,
before me to lead me,
and above me to bless me,
that with you and in you,
I may live, and move and have my being,
for ever and ever.