Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for Monday of Ordinary Time, year 2. Lectionary # 305. I
Sam.1:1-8. Psalm 116:12-13.14-17.18-19. Mark 1:14-20.
Firsts, beginnings, initiations, and birthdays are important in our
lives. We can learn how to make them even more important by living them
out in the perspective we gain from what we know from Jesus through the
liturgical readings and from our faith development through study and
pondering over the word of God. On this first day of ordinary time, we
learn that Jesus immediately (one of Mark’s favorite words) begins his
active ministry realizing that the role of John the Baptist is completed.
John is now in prison and soon will be a martyr. The long awaited and
recently anticipated arrival of the one who is to come, now is on the scene
and starts his ministry with vigor and determination. The short active
life of Jesus begins with what we hear today in Mark. Jesus of Nazareth,
the son of Mary, begins doing the will of God by proclaiming that the
kingdom of God is here and that we all, who want to be a part of it, must
reform, renew, and invigorate our lives with a profound change in our way
of judging and thinking. Mark captures this by telling us throughout his
Gospel that we are to think the thoughts of God and not our own or others
human thoughts. Priority is part of conversion.
Through our baptism and our own following of Jesus we are enlightened by
the Presence of Jesus in Word and Sacrament. Like his first four disciples
in this Gospel–Peter, Andrew, James and John, we are called to begin anew
our dedication to Jesus in this ordinary flow of liturgical time. We enter
into the mystery of Jesus primarily through the liturgy and the sacraments.
We are fortunate this year to start with the earlies memories of Jesus from
the fresh green hills of Galilee as Mark narrates his active ministry. We
are startled that this time came upon us so fast after the nostaligic and
even sentimental memories that Christmas and Epiphany bring into our
lives. Now something deeper and special is happening in our love
relationship with Jesus.
Yes, we have heard this early proclamation of Mark many times and it will
be used often in Lent, but today it is new and exciting. Our prayer life
is enhanced and our ministerial concerns are motivated with renewed energy
coming from within our souls. We are summoned like the four to be aware,
alert, and responsive to the calls of Jesus. We are to bring him directly
into our work, our ministry, our apostolic endeavors. Let us listen
carefully to these words of Jesus: “This is the time of fulfillment. the
reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the Good News.
That is a “beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark
1:14-15; Mark 1:1). Amen.