January 22nd, 2021

The Gospel according to Mark (3:13-19)

Jesus 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.

Opening Prayer: Here I am, Lord, I come to do your will. In today’s Gospel you appoint and send out your Twelve Apostles. I know that you have appointed me in the very same way. You have called me, set me apart, and then sent me. Please give me the strength to respond to your call. I wish to do your will and be your apostle. Although I know you will give me the strength, oftentimes I feel the weight of this mission, and I begin to doubt. I want to renew my commitment and my decision to answer your call and your mission.

Encountering Christ:

First off, do you see yourself more like a Disciple OR like an Apostle? Before you read on – stop and think about that question. Have you ever thought about how you are serving Jesus and the kingdom every day?

Google definitions:

  • Discipleship: A personal follower of Jesus during his/her life, especially one of the twelve apostles.
  • Apostle: One of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.

Both of these definitions sound very similar to you? – They should!

If you are following the “Deacon 5” every day – then I would suggest that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and further more – you really are an Apostle as well! Are you surprised?? You shouldn’t be. We are all called by our very Baptism (whenever that was) to be part of the body of Christ – a part of His faithful. When we are confirmed and are fully initiated into the church, we are filled with the Holy Spirit, just like the Apostles. We become more that just a follower of Jesus, we become his MESSENGERS! We continue throughout our lives “proclaiming” our Christianity – either in a positive way OR sometimes – not so positive way. It is our choice!

We are called into a deeper relationship every day with Jesus and the Father. How we go about carrying on that dialogue and entering into that relationship takes on many forms. We pray daily, we recite the rosary, we help others, we give support to those in need and we bring Jesus to others through our contact and interaction with others.

You might argue that we aren’t able to be much of a disciple during this pandemic, but to the contrary we have an even more important role in this time of challenge. The pandemic should not be a crutch for us to use to hinder our support of our faith and we can certainly act out our faith by continuing to pray – to maybe call people we haven’t heard from in a while. Perhaps supporting our parish food banks or even delivering needed supplies to a family you know who is restricted to home as a result of COVID.

There are many options to consider. Go to prayer with one of these thoughts and see where Jesus calls you to serve!  Be ready for any surprise AND be open to Jesus setting a challenge squarely in front of you without your help! He wants to have you included in this world needing help.

Today happens to be a day that has been set-aside for prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Wow! There is a great opportunity for us to be strong disciples of Jesus by praying and speaking out about the sanctity of life. All life and especially the unborn!

Today, while you’re trying to figure out your role in this crazy world, take just a minute to reflect on this: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect on the vocation you have called me to, and see how I can better be with you, preach you, and stand strong against the devil in my life and in the life of others.

If you can do that today – GOOD JOB! If it seems too much – then make that your weekend goal, to figure out a way to be more “Christ Like” as his follower (Disciple and Apostle).

REMEMBER: You can AND will change the world one person at a time, and it begins with yourself. Then you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with others in a renewed way that will be powerful and BOLD!

Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, you have called me to be your apostle. It is a mission well beyond me, and many times I do not understand how to do it well. I have tried to meditate on the reasons you have called me, the reasons you call all of us. Help me to stay close to you always. Help me to preach you fearlessly to everyone that I meet. Keep me strong against the temptations of the devil. 

Action for the Day: Sit and reflect on your Baptism and what that truly means to you in your life today, right now. Then call someone you haven’t spoken to in some time and “check in” on them and renew your connection with them – see where God takes the conversation!

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