Saturday, Jan 16, 2021
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In the time of Jesus, there were numerous rabbis, scripture scholars, leaders of the law. And each rabbi would choose their followers. Now there would be many, many students that were trying to learn scripture and understand the law. These students would be encouraged to learn and memorize scripture and to learn the interpretations as presented by their specific teacher or rabbi. As you might imagine, not every student was a great student. And so, as time passed, only the very best of the best students would be encouraged to continue in their studies and would be asked by the rabbi to follow them. These special students would become the apprentices of the rabbi and continue to learn their particular teachings of the faith. If you were not invited to follow, well then it was assumed that another profession was for you; a fisherman, a farmer, a tradesman, etc.
Along comes Jesus and he invites twelve disciples to follow him. Each of the twelve were hardly the very best of the best students of the law. In today’s gospel from Mark, Jesus calls on Levi while he sits at his custom post. In other gospels, this person is known as Mathew, the tax collector. Jesus calls on some fairly simple men to follow him. I’m sure Jesus had his reasons for choosing the men he did. Perhaps it is because he knew that we would find them so relatable. These are simple men, often uneducated in the deeper nuances of faith and scripture. And yet they were teachable men, men who would follow and learn from the Great Teacher.
This is very encouraging news for you and me. I, for one, acknowledge that I’m not the greatest of greatest students of the faith. But that does not mean that He can't use me and whatever talents I have to serve Him. And the very same can be said of you. No matter what talent God has given you, no matter what talents you may think you lack, you too can be a great servant of God. Simply by the way we act and go about our daily activities we can be great followers of Jesus Christ and great messengers of his call for mercy, forgiveness and love.
We received the gift of faith on the day of our baptism. Our Lord has invited us to follow Him! We are called to be a part of His Church. We are called to go and make disciples.
What is your response?
Have a blessed day.
(I won’t get into the alternate names game at this time. Perhaps in another reflection.)