REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 11, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” Mark 1:14–15
Jesus offers us authentic love and freedom. When we have a true encounter with Jesus, it is near impossible for our hearts to not be converted. Jesus’ authentic love and freedom attracts each of us. In responding to him, we follow the example of Jesus’ first disciples, who left everything behind when Jesus called.
In our Gospel reference today, Jesus begins His public ministry by proclaiming that “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” But He then goes on to state that, as a result of the new presence of the Kingdom of God, we must “repent” and “believe.” He went further to call his first sets of disciples.
It’s important to understand that the Incarnation, which we especially celebrated in Advent and Christmas, changed the world forever. Now that God had united Himself with human nature in the Person of Jesus Christ, God’s new Kingdom of grace and mercy was at hand. Our world and our lives are changed because of what God did. And as Jesus began His public ministry, He begins to inform us through His preaching of this new reality.
The public ministry of Jesus, as it is transmitted to us through the inspired Word of the Gospels, presents to us the very Person of God and the foundation of His new Kingdom of grace and mercy. It presents us with the extraordinary calling of holiness of life and an unwavering and radical commitment to following Christ. Thus, as we begin Ordinary Time, it’s good to be reminded of our duty to immerse ourselves in the message of the Gospel and to respond to it without reserve.
But this calling to an extraordinary way of life must ultimately become ordinary. In other words, our radical calling to follow Christ must become who we are. We must see the “extraordinary” as our “ordinary” duty in life.
Reflect, today, upon this radical calling on you to repentance and holiness. Use it as an opportunity to remind yourself of the importance of daily studying and prayerfully pondering the public ministry of Jesus and all He taught. Recommit yourself to a faithful reading of the Gospel so that it becomes an ordinary part of your daily life.
My precious Jesus, I thank You for all You have spoken and revealed to us through Your public ministry. Strengthen me during this new liturgical season of Ordinary Time to devote myself to the reading of Your holy Word so that all that You have taught us becomes an ordinary part of my daily life. Jesus, I trust in You.