Mark’s gospel readings this week offer us a capsulized portrait of Jesus’ early ministry in Galilee. After the call of the first apostles to be “fishers of people” (Monday), Jesus confronts a man with an unclean spirit who shouts “I know who you are!” (Tuesday). Yesterday we pondered the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus’ preaching, and his expelling still another demon. Today Jesus meets a leper who says: “If you will to do so, you can cure me.”

These brief snapshots offer a point of entry into my own personal journey with Jesus:

—when and how did I experience some stirring of faith in Jesus?

—what sort of demon have I asked Jesus to remove from my heart?

—how have I invited Jesus to cure my blindness, hard-heartedness, or similar illness?

—these early weeks of 2014, how do I experience Jesus’ invitation to more lively faith, to stronger hope, to generous love?

As I look into Jesus’ eyes today, what do I say? And how does Jesus respond amidst the hectic pace of my daily routine?

— The Jesuit Prayer Team