Monday, 11 January 2021 : 1st Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day as we embark on the first day of the current Ordinary Time season of this current liturgical year, we are reminded of the calling that all of us have received as Christians, that each and every one of us have received the same urging and calling from the Lord to be His disciples and followers as the Apostles had once been called.

In our Gospel passage today we heard of the account of the calling of the first of the Twelve Apostles, whom the Lord called just right after He began His ministry with His baptism at the Jordan. He went to the region of Galilee, near His own hometown of Nazareth, and found there the four fishermen, the brothers St. Peter and St. Andrew, as well as the brothers St. James and St. John, the sons of Zebedee.

The Lord came to them and called them, and they responded in kind, leaving everything behind, their boat and profession, and even their family behind in order to follow the Lord. In some historical accounts and according to the tradition of the Church, St. Andrew was one of the two disciples of St. John the Baptist, to whom the servant of God revealed the identity of the Saviour of the world, the Lamb of God.

It was therefore likely that St. Andrew introduced the Lord to his brother St. Peter as well as to the other fellow fishermen, and thus, having heard that the One before them was someone truly special and unique, and probably touched by His charisma and authority, they responded to His call and dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to His cause from then onwards.

The Lord has called His disciples to follow Him, and they responded in kind, committing themselves to Him, the One Whom the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews spoke of as the Radiance of God’s Glory revealed to the whole world, and as the One Whom God called as His own Son. And this revelation of truth had been made to all of us through the Church and the faith passed down to us.

Now, what all of us need to realise is that each and every one of us have a responsibility and duty to respond to God’s call much as how the Apostles had responded to Him. As we begin this season of the Ordinary Time after Christmas, it is easy for us to misunderstand the nature and importance of this time. Although it may be known as the ‘Ordinary’ Time, but it is by no means ordinary at all.

On the contrary, these passages from the Scriptures serve as an important reminder for us all to keep our focus on the Lord and to respond to His call to action. We must not let our days and moments just pass us by without anything significant or noteworthy in how we live our lives, especially in following Christ and His commandments and path. We are reminded that our actions are very important, and we need to follow in the footsteps of the Apostles in following the Lord.

There are still many areas in which our contributions and efforts are needed, and the works began by the Apostles are still very much in progress. The Lord has entrusted to us His Church the great commission, to go forth to all the peoples of all the nations and baptise them all in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Yet, there are still so many out there who have not yet known the Lord, or refused to believe in Him.

It is therefore up to us to make the Lord known among the people, and not just by mere words and proclamations, but even more importantly, through our actions and faith. If we are not living our faith in the way that we should have lived them, then how can we expect others to follow the Lord in the same way? How can we expect them to believe in God if we ourselves have not genuinely believed in Him?

Let us all discern all these as we proceed through these next few days and weeks ahead. Let us all be true Christians in all words and deeds, in all things, so that through us, God may be glorified and made known, and more people will come to believe in Him through us. May God bless each and every one of us, and guide us in our every good efforts and endeavours, for His greater glory. Amen.

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