25.01.2020 — Command to become a new creation

Posted under Reflections on January 25th, 2020 by

Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle, Saturday – 25th January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 16,15-18

Command to become a new creation

The command given by Jesus to his disciples, ‘to preach the Gospel to the whole creation’, is similar to God’s command to Adam and Eve when he blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1,28). The commands were similar, but those who received them were in quite different circumstances. The command of God to first parents was a sign of punishment that subdues them to the work of slavery. The command of Jesus is given to a people living after his resurrection in freedom and truth. His command is a Word for those who have listened to Jesus, believed in him, and are being transformed by his grace. Paul, who experienced the risen Lord, was transformed and commissioned with this salvific mission. He then proclaimed the gospel to the gentile believers promising baptism and salvation (16,16). According to him, baptism is necessary for salvation. In baptism the believer participates in Jesus’s resurrection and becomes a credible witness to him in the new creation. 

24.01.2020 – Named to be Disciples first and Apostles later

Posted under Reflections on January 23rd, 2020 by

Week 2 of Ordinary Time, Friday – 24th January 2020 — Gospel: Mark 3,13-19

Named to be Disciples first and Apostles later

Of the three stories of the call narrative, this section highlights of Jesus’ specialized authority in “naming” that elucidates the call within a call. In the first, consisting of two scenes, Jesus calls from the seashore four fishermen (1,16-20). In the second, Jesus passes along the shore at the tax-collector’s station and invites Levi, the tax-collector, to follow him (2,13-17). In this third story Mark does not give any details about the time and the place for the calling of the remaining disciples. After the mountain experience, Jesus called many to be his disciples in order to share his experience of God. From this group of disciples he chose twelve and “named” them as apostles. These apostles were chosen for a specialized mission: “to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons”. In this way, they are to be identified with Jesus and in his ministry of building the kingdom of God in this world. From among this twelve he gave “new names” to the first three to signify a new identity, who were later named as pillars of the early church. As beloved disciples, Peter, James and John formed the inner circle of witnesses at the transfiguration and in Gethsemane. Finally, the twelve chosen by Jesus are individually named. To be named by Jesus is to be personally involved with him, as followers and companions, then as the human Jesus, now in our time as the risen Christ.

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