Following the Lord closely

January 13, 2020 – Monday First Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings


Christmas Season is over. Christmas songs have stopped playing. Christmas decorations were all kept and hidden. However, the spirit of Christmas lives on and this is what our liturgy is portraying us today as we also begin the first week of Ordinary Time.

The Gospel of Mark tells us how the Emmanuel, the Word-made-flesh, who is Jesus walks and encounters people as he goes along. In those encounters of Jesus, he also calls and invites people to follow him.

We might have wondered also if those men, Simon and Andrew as well as James and John followed Jesus immediately without any difficulty. Mark only described to us symbolically the change of ways in following Jesus. We have been told in other Gospel stories, that these men had previous encounters with Jesus and even with John the Baptist as they first knew the Baptizer.

However, what Mark was trying to tell us here is the attitude of these men of being able to change their way of life. This is what Jesus preached, “Change your ways and believe in the Good News.”

And so this was what these men did. They changed their ways by becoming fishers of men and women from being previously fishermen.

They have abandoned their comfort zones in order to go beyond from themselves. They gave up their old attitudes that prevented them to go forward. These include accepting their sins and failures and accepting too that they were in need of God’s mercy.

Their personal encounter with Jesus made all of these brighter for them. They had been given the courage as well as with the faith to believe in their capacities and potentials and to believe in God’s tremendous love for them.

This is the invitation for us today also. The Christmas Season was an opportunity for us to encounter the Lord intimately in our life through our families and friends and through our Church. We went through advent to joyfully wait for his coming and to be more vigilant of God’s revelations. We have celebrated the Birth of Jesus to affirm that we are indeed loved beyond our expectation despite being unworthy. 

Hopefully, our Christmas experience had really given us that opportunity of intimate encounter with Jesus. Our encounter with Jesus, just like the first disciples, allows us to be more attuned to Jesus’ voice to follow him wherever he may lead us. 

Thus, allow Jesus to call you today, to motivate you, to inspire you, to give you courage and faith so that he may lead us too to change our old ways that only prevent us from going forward. Allow the Lord to challenge you and lead you to go out from your comfort zones that we may be able to go beyond from ourselves.

In this way, we may discover more and more who Jesus is in our life and who we are before God. This is discipleship. This is following the Lord closely. In this journey, we may find more adventures and wonder to un-learn our selfish human ways in order to learn God’s ways. Hinaut pa. 

Jom Baring, CSsR


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