JAN. 11. ORDINARY TIME. WK. 1. MON. MK. 1. 14-20
Updated: Jul 24
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
How appropriate this reading is as we move out of the Christmas Season into Ordinary Time? Christ became a man in order to redeem his people, so as we move into Ordinary Time we are told “The Time has Come! The Kingdom of God is close at hand! Repent, and believe the good news!”
“Repent”; Turn away from your old way of life; - from your pride and self-love, that continues to manifest itself in so many ways in your daily life, where you are constantly caring for yourself, and seeking and desiring comfort, consolation and “success”.
There is a very real danger for Christians, because they have been baptised, to see themselves as somehow “better” than non-Christians or non-believers because of their Baptism. What they forget however is that we are all sinners; - both Christians and non-Christians!
Christ pointed this out clearly when he warned us that, at the judgement, sinners and prostitutes might well be deemed God’s closer friends than those who had been baptised! This comes about because some Christians see their Baptism as some sort of “ticket” into heaven and God’s friendship; - which it is not!
When they receive Holy Communion Christians are in danger of “saying the words”, ‘I am not worthy’, but not really believing it in their heart; - whereas the prostitutes will really believe they are not worthy; - and we often forget that Christ came to redeem sinners, not the Saints!
“Believe”; - We have to believe the message, and the wisdom, of the Gospels, but not only “believe” it, but more importantly we have to “live” it. “Believing” what Christ has told us is not enough! Many sinners “believe” in heaven and hell for instance; - but sadly they do not live their lives as they should in light of this “knowledge”!
And many Christians are in the same situation; - they “know” their Faith; - but they do not “live” their Faith! They “offer” the sacrifice of the Mass, but do not “live” their sacrifice!
Today’s Prayer, at the beginning of Ordinary Time, expresses somewhat similar sentiments:
“Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care,
O Lord, we pray,
that they may see what must be done
and gain strength to do what they have seen”.
Gospel Acclamation Mk1:15
The kingdom of God is near:
repent and believe the Good News!