January 10

FOCUS:    Trust Jesus, abandon earthly treasures, and follow him.


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Now that our Christmas Season celebration is over, we begin the winter part of the Ordinary Time of the Church liturgical year.  On weekdays, we will hear consecutive readings from first, the Gospel according to Mark, then those according to Matthew and Luke.


These “Ordinary Time” weeks between the Christmas Season and Lent used to be referred to as the weeks “after Epiphany.”  Although we no longer use that designation, there is something about that phrase that could help us interpret all the readings until Lent.  Since Epiphany means “revelation,” or “manifestation,” we can perhaps try to understand how the Gospel readings we hear on these Sundays and weekdays reveal who Christ is and manifest what his mission as Redeemer and Savior entails.  Each story in the Gospels reveals something about the person and mission of Christ; to interpret them as continuing “epiphanies” will give us an insight that goes beyond the idea of just “another” miracle story or just “another “teaching.”  We ask the Holy Spirit to help us delve deeper, beneath the surface level of the reading, to reap its Spiritual depth and benefit.


Today’s Gospel reading, for example, is not just about Jesus calling his first four disciples who would later become members of the Twelve.  On a deeper level, this story tells us that Christ calls us in the same way in our own day and time to follow him, and to be an apostle (with a small “a”), one who is sent on mission with a message.  As this New Year continues to unfold, may the Holy Spirit reveal to each one of us what particular mission Christ is inviting us to join him in, and in what way we are going to “fish for people” as did those first four disciples.