1st Week of Ordinary Time (14th January, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 1:1-6
Gospel: Mk 1:14-20
The call of first disciples mentioned in Mk 1:14-20 gives us many insights. First of all, we come to know from their account that proclamation of good news is done by a community of people. At times, we do see that God calls someone personally. Despite these, those personally called do not accomplish them individually. They are helped by others in many ways in their mission. We see this in both the Old Testament and New Testament. Hence the first message we get from this account is that proclamation of good news is always a communitarian aspect. It is not any one’s personal venture or business. No one can carry it singly but in togetherness with others God gives each a unique gift to carry on his mission and brings about God’s will in the best way possible. This also reminds us of what St Paul says in 1 Cor 12:12 “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ”. Again, he says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part” (1 Cor 12:27). So, Church is composed of many people with various ministries and talents so that together we may bring about glory, peace and love of God.
The second message we receive from the case of the first disciples is what St. Mark mentions in vv 18 and 20. What we find is the complete renunciation of the past life. Once the call comes to them, they follow him. They renounce everything they had both the belongings and persons. They renounced the old life in search of new life with Jesus. This is indeed true mark of discipleship of Christ. In fact, this si what Jesus was announcing or calling for as he said, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is near”. True repentance and turning to God require us to turn away from what is not of God. it is necessary especially with regard to our sinful nature. We have innumerable instances of true repentance in the Gospels such as the story of Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, woman caught in adultery, parable of Lost son, conversion of St. Paul etc.
We too may have heard in our own time during the retreats, the testimony of people who, once they were convinced of God’s love for them, consequently gave up the old life and adopted new life with God’s blessings upon them. Thus, we need to realize God’s call and its implications in our life. Am I seeking God and pursuing the Mission God has given me alone or together with others? Have I left my past to walk with Him and for Him? Amen.