January 11, 2021 – Monday 1st Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/011121.cfm)
Our Christmas songs that filled the air have stopped playing. Most of our Christmas decorations were all kept and hidden. However, the spirit of Christmas lives on. Our liturgy portrays to us today how the spirit of Christmas continues to call us towards God as we also begin the first week in Ordinary Time.
Here in Ordinary Time, we do not celebrate any particular aspect of the mystery of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Rather, what we celebrate during this time, is the mystery of Christ honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays (from the Ordo 2021). This means that in Ordinary Time, we are called to listen, follow and live the invitations of Christ revealed in his public ministry. The mystery of the resurrection is also fully celebrated during the ordinary Sundays.
Now, our Gospel today from Mark, begins with the invitation to listen and follow the Lord. This call ultimately brings us to live fully the invitation of Christ. Hence, Mark tells us how the Emmanuel, who is Jesus, walks and encounters people as he goes along in his journey. In those encounters of Jesus, the Lord calls and invites people to follow him.
From what we have heard in the Gospel, we might have wondered if those men, Simon and Andrew as well as James and John followed Jesus immediately without any difficulty. Mark only described to us the symbolic change of ways in following Jesus by leaving behind their “nets” and their “father.”
Moreover, Mark was actually trying to tell us about the attitude of these men by being able to change their way of life. This is what we have heard today in the Gospel, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” And so this was what these men did. They changed their ways by becoming fishers of men and women from being previously fishermen as Jesus invited them, “Come after me.”
They 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.
For us today, the Christmas Season was really an opportunity for us to encounter the Lord intimately in our life through our families and friends and through our Church and even through the difficult and dark situation that we have been through. We went through advent to joyfully wait for his coming and to be more vigilant of God’s presence. 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 the Lord, just like the first disciples, allows us to be more familiar with Jesus’ voice to follow him wherever he may lead us.
Thus, allow Jesus to call us today, to motivate us, to inspire us, to give us courage and faith so that he may lead u to change our old ways that prevent us from going forward. Allow the Lord to challenge us and lead us to go out from our comfort zones so that we may become free and happier.
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 wonders to un-learn our selfish human ways in order to learn God’s ways. Hinaut pa.