Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mk 1:14-20 Seeing Jesus

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Click here for readings)


After John had been arrested,
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.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

While I was thinking about what to say about this Gospel reading, I was considering going the traditional route—talking about how much courage James and John and Simon had to giveup everything they owned and follow Christ, etc, etc. However, as much as we would like to have faith in the rugged risk-taking and blind trust of the disciples, we can’t forget that they were no less human than we are. They were no more likely to take risks than we are.

Imagine: you are going about your day-to-day routine when a man (who appears to be impoverished) approaches you and starts speaking about the Kingdom of God and some ‘good news’ of whose meaning you can only speculate. Do you drop everything and follow him? Do you leave your family behind? Definitely not!!! I equate it in a strange way to the people who evangelize door-to-door or follow you at the mall to ask if you are saved (hint: be very cautious when saying you are Catholic). Very few people actually take to heart what is said by these people. But essentially, wasn’t Jesus like the ancient Israeli radical evangelist? This just goes to show that the first disciples, who were just as human as you and I, must have had some strong, supernatural conviction to follow Jesus. They wouldn’t have just followed Him to follow Him, just like we don’t follow every person who comes to our doorstep to preach on a whim.

In other gospels, the Miraculous Catch precedes the call of the first disciples. “Then, they have reason to follow!” we say. Maybe if the person at our door performed a miracle, we would actually leave and follow after them. But why, then, does Mark not include the Miraculous Catch in his Gospel? Wouldn’t that make the disciples seem less crazy? Each Gospel writer essentially got to choose what to include in his Gospel in order to get his point across. Conversely, sometimes they leave things out to make a statement. What is Mark trying to say? I think Mark does wants to urge us to have some element of radical trust, but primarily, his omission of the Miraculous Catch teaches us something profound about the person of Christ and what it is like to be in His presence.

Take a look at today’s first reading from Hebrews chapter 1:

In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways
to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son…
who is the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being,
and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
When he had accomplished purification from sins,
he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
as far superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

What would it be like to behold a person like that? The very imprint of God’s being? Who sustains all things through His word? Have you ever known a person who radiates holiness? We all know one. And if we know that earthly good is only a shadow of God’s goodness, what must it really be like to behold the face of God? Perhaps the disciples didn’t need the Miraculous Catch as proof; maybe they only needed to see Jesus, or to hear Him speakMaybe it was blatantly obvious that He was God. Sometimes, you just know.

As Christians, we have the hope that one day we will all be able to see Jesus face to face.  Let us pray that this hope is ever present in our lives, and we will have the same conviction of the Apostles to follow Christ on earth.

PS: If you thought it was impossible to make a rap song out of Hebrews chapter 1, think again. This is by Lecrae and it has been my Monday morning jam since freshman year.

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