Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Mon.Ordinary Time, Year 2. Lectionary #347. I Peter 1:3-9.
Psalm 111:1-2,5-6.9.10. Mark 10:17-27.
Ordinary liturgical time begins with readings from I Peter and St. Mark’s
Gospel. We are rather startled that the Easter season has ended with just
one day dedicated to the Solemnity of Pentecost. Easter is past and so is
the birth of the Church at Pentecost. We are back in the ordinary routine
of our liturgical life, but it is rewarding. Our readings are very helpful
for the transition we are experiencing. Transitions are progressive and
dynamic and that is the experience we have from these two readings.
First, from Peter’s baptismal homily or epistle we have the theme of our
own baptism in Christ and the great hope it brings us. The opening of the
letter is affectionate and confirming that we are in conformity with Christ
through the Paschal Mysteries that are symbolized in our Baptism and our
Confirmation. Thus we have not let go of Pentecost but have geared it
toward our “ordinary” time and its experiences and responsibilities.
We always hear the living voice of God in both the Old Testament readings
and those from the New Testament. The Scriptures are revelatory and
sacramental in their development in our lives. Surely we learn much from
them but it is more important to listen to the living voice of our God and
his Son Jesus Christ.
As we hear from the first letter of Peter we realize that Mark, his
faithful follower, will be our guide for listening to the living voice of
the Christ, Jesus our Lord. I Peter is clear in its presentation of the
hope engendered by our baptism and we will be enjoying this lesson from
Peter for a number of days.
Mark tells us the story of the devout Israelite, undoubtedly a Pharisee,
who approaches Jesus and asks what he can do to obtain eternal life. Since
his orientation to God is definite, Jesus does not mention the observance
of the opening commandments but takes him into the ordinary commandments
which demand sensitivity toward all other people who are grouped under
“neighbor.” This is the challenging task of the Mosaic law which Jesus
interprets in a very deep and personal way. There are no “ands, if, or
buts”. Jesus invites him to be a disciple, a learner, and a follower, but
he cannot take that challenge. So Jesus has to explain to his other
followers that it is difficult for one who has many talents and many
possessions to leave them aside and follow the call of the Master. Jesus
ends the message with the statement, “but nothing is impossible with God.”
Abraham heard it and became the father of faith; Mary learned it and
became a model for our own journeying in faith as we continue to listen
daily to the living voice of God and Jesus. The Holy Spirit reveals this
to us and gives us the impetus and desire to do it. Amen. (no