Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we begin the Ordinary Time proper, and traditionally, today is still the season of Christmas as well, which will end only at the second of February, at the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or which we now know more commonly as the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Thus, as we continue the readings from the past few days, we know that yesterday as we commemorate the Feast of our Lord’s Baptism, His mission on earth began from that moment onwards.
Thus in the Gospel today, we heard about the calling of the Apostles, beginning with those at the shore of the Lake of Galilee, including St. Andrew, the first called among the Apostles, his brother Simon Peter, who would become St. Peter, the chief of the Apostles and Christ’s Vicar on earth, as well as the two sons of Zebedee, St. James and St. John the Evangelist. They were the first of the disciples of Christ, who accompanied Him from the very beginning of His earthly ministry.
And in the first reading, from the Letter and Epistle the Hebrews, it was highlighted of the special nature of the mission which Christ had come into the world for. This Epistle was written specifically for the Jewish Christians and maybe also to the Jews, hoping that through it they would believe in Christ and follow Him, and therefore, many parts of this Epistle relate what had happened in the past eras of Israel, of the time of the prophets and the patriarchs with what Jesus Christ our Lord had done.
In the past God did not speak directly with His people except with several chosen and special individuals, who had been given the grace to speak with God, to receive the messages of the Lord by vision or speech, and in some cases even to see God directly face to face as Moses had been, and as Abraham had as well. The others whom God spoke to directly were His prophets and messengers whom He had sent to His people to be His mouthpiece and the ones to proclaim to them the words of the Lord.
But God also gave His people a prophecy of the time to come, when God no longer would speak through the prophets, but would instead directly speak to His people, and not just that, but even for Him to walk directly among His people, that they may see Him face to face. And all these were accomplished in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word of God and the Son of God, who came into the world and was incarnated into the flesh of Man.
Thus God spoke no longer through intermediaries but He spoke directly and plainly to His people through Jesus Christ, and He walked among them, showing them how good and great His love for them is. And that is why He bothered to come to us, so that He may directly bring about our salvation and liberation from the enslavement and tyranny of sin. For our sins and wickedness are so great that it requires nothing less than the effort of Christ to bring us to salvation and freedom.
But in that work and effort, Christ did not do it alone by Himself, but He sought the help and participation of men themselves, some of whom He called to be His disciples and followers, and through them, He would work many wonders. They would be the extensions of His love to mankind, and through their works as the servants of God and as the bearers of God’s Good News, many knew of the love of God and were stirred to seek Him and be saved.
But this did not just end there, brothers and sisters in Christ, as many people remain in the darkness and have yet to see the Light of Christ. They have yet to receive the Good News of our Lord’s salvation and they have yet to witness His love for us. That is why God called His disciples, whom He turned from being fishermen as well as of other professions, into the fishers of men. They were to bring mankind to God by introducing to them the Good News, being witnesses of the Faith they had professed.
And this continues even today, brothers and sisters in Christ, as many remains out in the darkness and enslaved to sin. It is our duty then as the followers of Christ and as the members of His Church to continue the good works of Christ and His Apostles, that is to preach the Good News of the Lord to mankind, to our fellow brethren who have yet to hear of it. We cannot be idle or worse to cause people to be misguided or lose the desire to seek the Lord, and that is why we have to live out our faith with real action and works, so that our faith is not just an empty profession but a real, genuine and living faith.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all reaffirm our faith in God, by carrying out the works entrusted to us by Christ our Lord. We shall not be idle anymore and remain aloof to the plight of our brethren, but we shall make use of the gifts which God had bestowed on us, and help each other, so that together we may all be justified by our faith and actions, and together receive the glory of heaven everlasting. God bless us all. Amen.
First Reading :
Gospel Reading :