21st of January 2018: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B
“The Call of Convertion”
Readings: Jon 3: 5.10 ; Ps 25;
1 Cor 7: 29-31;
Mk 1: 14-20
Mk 3: 14-20
He went up the mountain
and summoned those whom he wanted
and they came to him.
He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles]
that they might be with him
and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
[he appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James,
whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus;
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
He came home.* Again [the] crowd gathered,
making it impossible for them even to eat.
The Gospel of today tells us what should characterise our answer to the call of Christ: immediacy, generosity and a determination to change our life.
In today’s Mass, the prophet Jonah (First Reading) and the call of the first disciples in the Gospel of Mark show us that vocation has, as first condition, conversion that is realized following Christ to be with Him and like Him. He is the Way to follow discovering that the road to take is new not because it is different from the old one, but because new is the motivation or, better, the direction of our following. To say more, when life's journey is done humanely and without faith, it is a road that goes from life to death: we are born and we die. The path of the Gospel, namely with Christ, is on the contrary from death to life. The path is new and Jesus calls us and invites us to take it following Him.
To go on this journey is an act of faith and trust in Christ, which implies a change in thinking and action that leads to take the way of the Lord, whose names are "mercy, love, goodness and justice". Along these "paths" each of us must walk, putting our own steps on the "footprints" of the Lord Jesus who two thousand years ago walked the roads of Galilee and doesn’t stop walking and calling even now.
If the fishermen Peter and Andrew, James and John called by the Messiah who was passing by followed right away, it is because they understood that there was life, otherwise they would have been stupid and unreasonable. And then, as they followed him, they realized the logic of the journey. Then it was very reasonable to walk after Christ who had called them. In fact, in following him with loyalty and patience they have experienced the fruits of this journey. Faith is not irrational, it is not jumping in the dark, it is the opposite, it is very rational because it is very reasonable in the sense that if anyone gets a sensible proposal, it is reasonable to leave and follow. "Following Jesus is just that: to go with Him, behind Him for love: the same path, the same journey. The spirit of the world will be the one that does not tolerate and will make us suffer, but of a suffering like that of Jesus. Let ask this grace: to follow Jesus in the way that He has revealed to us and that He has taught us. This is beautiful, because He never leaves us alone. Never! He is always with us” (Pope Francis, May 28, 2013). From Lectio Divina of Monsignor Francesco Follo
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