REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 17, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas”—which is translated Peter. John 1:42
God’s call is always on us. In the preceding verse of our gospel reference today, Jesus the Baptist introduced Jesus to his disciples as the “Lamb of God”. These disciples follow Jesus at his invitation and spent the whole day with Him, and bring along Simon Peter. We often come to serve the Lord through the invitation of others. We can offer that same invitation to those who have not yet heard the Gospel message.
In our gospel reference of today, the Apostle Andrew brings his brother Simon to Jesus after telling Simon that he has found the Messiah. Jesus immediately receives them both as Apostles and then reveals to Simon that his identity will now be changed. He will now be called Cephas. “Cephas” is an Aramaic word that means “Rock.” In English, this name is usually translated as “Peter.”
When someone is given a new name, this often means that they are also given a new mission and new vocation in life. For example, in the Christian tradition, we receive new names at Baptism or Confirmation. Additionally, when a man or woman becomes a monk or a nun, they often are given a new name to signify the new life they are called to live.
Simon is given the new name of “Rock” because Jesus intends to make him the foundation of His future Church. This change in name reveals that Simon must become a new creation in Christ in order to fulfill his high calling.
So it is with each one of us. No, we may not be called to be the next pope or a bishop, but we are each called to become new creations in Christ and live new lives fulfilling new missions. And, in a sense, this newness of life must happen each and every day. We must daily strive to fulfill the mission that Jesus gives us in a new way every day.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that God invites you to live a new life of grace in Him. He has some new mission for you to daily fulfill, and He promises to give you all you need to live it. Say “Yes” to the call He gives you, and you will see incredible things happen in your life.
Lord Jesus, I do say “Yes” to You and to the calling that You have given to me. I accept the new life of grace that You have prepared for me, and I willingly accept Your gracious invitation. Help me, dear Lord, to daily answer the glorious vocation to the life of grace I have been given. Jesus, I trust in You.