Daily Gospel Reflection for January 20, 2017

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 3:13-19

The gospel for today is short, yet impactful. Sometimes in reading passages of scriptures that contain long lists of names as this one does, I find myself glossing over the words quickly, rushing to get to the “good part”. I have to admit to doing this with the first sixteen verses of Matthew 1, hastily plowing through the unpronounceable generations until I at last locate the name of Jesus!

Today, we read in Mark’s gospel that Jesus went up a mountain and “summoned those he wanted”. Once summoned, the twelve men came to Jesus. Jesus then appointed them, naming them “apostles” and giving them the directive to preach his word and the authority to drive out demons.

And then, we come to that list of names. This is not a long gospel, and yet in it we find contained the names of those who went on to build the Church. We find amidst the names Judas too, and we well know what became of the one who betrayed Christ.

I try today as I meditate upon this passage to “read between the lines”. I love to imagine the prayer and discernment that Jesus put into each of these names. I also find myself considering how they must have reacted, and what courage it must have taken to ascend that mountain and to answer that summons. Were they hesitant? Did they try to think of excuses or imagine themselves too busy or encumbered to answer Christ’s call? Or did they run up the mountain, anxious to be with this one to miraculously heal the sick and drive out unclean spirits?

You and I will not find our names on that list (unless we have the good grace to be named in honor of one of the Twelve!). Yet we too have the “summons” from Jesus. We are each called, within the context of our own lives and well aware of our human frailties and shortcomings, to preach the Good News as the Twelve did. On this day when we remember not only the Twelve and what they taught us, but also the life and death of St. Sebastian, a martyr for the faith, may our quiet humble actions of love and service be our most eloquent answer to Christ’s summons.

Ponder:

How will you answer Jesus’ summons to preach the Good News of the gospel by the way you live today?

Pray:

Jesus, you called the Twelve to you and sent them to share your love with the world. Soften my heart today to hear your call and embolden me to give you my “Yes”. Equip me with the words and deeds that will make your name known to all I meet this day.

Copyright 2017 Lisa M. Hendey

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children’s fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa’s articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

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