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JAN 22. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 2. FRI. MK. 3. 13-19

Updated: Aug 22

Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.

Today’s Gospel is all about God’s obvious authority to allocate duties and circumstances to his followers “in any way he sees fit”. This is a truth many of us acknowledge openly; - but then when our life circumstances are not in accord with “my desires” we become upset and protest quietly, but firmly!

This is particularly so when it comes to skills and abilities as these are some of the “riches” we value highly as we do not wish to possess only minimal abilities or circumstances! And there are many other equally important “desires” we want satisfied,, such as the quality of our physical or mental health; - the level of “comfort” we have been given; - or our educational and professional !

Naturally these “desires” are kept very hidden, as we profess to be happy with the life circumstances allocated to us, but they certainly hold an important place in our day to day life, as we all have to “live within our God-given circumstances!”

This Gospel deals with a very important aspect of the spiritual life, namely the need to be content with our God-given roles and circumstances; - and having the ability to see in them; - be they “wonderful” or “minimal”; - as representing the Will of God!

One of the central truths proclaimed by Christ was the fact “he did not come to do his own Will”; - but rather the “Will of the Father!”; - nor did he come seeking “success” of the esteem of others; - lessons we can very easily overlook if we do not focus on this central teaching of Christ; - the need to seek and do the Will of God.

Sadly, it is very easy for Christians to “want to be God” themselves, in that we want our lives to turn out “the way we want”, rather than humbly; - and happily; - accepting our God-given duties and circumstances!

It is commendable for example, to desire to be a saint, and to think that the canonised Saints of the Church attained their sanctity as a consequence of their own efforts and abilities, but the Saints themselves would disagree strongly with this view, proclaiming themselves they only attained their sainthood as a result of graces bestowed on them by God!

While all Christians are called to live their lives in accord with the teachings of Christ it is easy to “overlook” the fact Christ was not “successful” in the eyes of the world, nor was he “comfortable”, having no place to lay his head; - nor did he have many “friends”; - and we should not forget these truths, when “desiring” our life be in accord with our own Will!

The lesson he repeatedly left us was one of humility and self-sacrifice; - “I did not come to do my own Will, but rather the Will of him who sent me”; - a lesson we need to heed and imitate!

Gospel Acclamation 2Cor5:19

Alleluia, alleluia!

God was in Christ, to reconcile the world to himself;

and the Good News of reconciliation he has entrusted to us.


First reading Hebrews 8:6-13 · The first covenant is already old

We have seen that Christ has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same degree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. If that first covenant had been without a fault, there would have been no need for a second one to replace it. And in fact God does find fault with them; he says:

See, the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks –

when I will establish a new covenant

with the House of Israel and the House of Judah,

but not a covenant like the one I made with their ancestors

on the day I took them by the hand

to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

They abandoned that covenant of mine,

and so I on my side deserted them. It is the Lord who speaks.

No, this is the covenant I will make

with the House of Israel

when those days arrive – it is the Lord who speaks.

I will put my laws into their minds

and write them on their hearts.

Then I will be their God

and they shall be my people.

There will be no further need for neighbour to try to teach neighbour,

or brother to say to brother,

‘Learn to know the Lord.’

No, they will all know me,

the least no less than the greatest,

since I will forgive their iniquities

and never call their sins to mind.

By speaking of a new covenant, he implies that the first one is already old. Now anything old only gets more antiquated until in the end it disappears.

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