Patience and Ordinary Time- Reflection for Mass of January 11, 2010

11 Jan

Monday, January 11, 2010
Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: 1 Samuel 1:1-8; Psalm 116:12-14, 17-19; Mark 1:14-20

After the high point of the Christmas season, we have once again begun Ordinary Time. The word “ordinary” does not imply that this part of the Church year is monotonous or unimportant. On the contrary, for thirty-three or thirty-four weeks of each year, we celebrate Christ’s presence among us in our day-to-day lives. That presence of Christ is life-giving and brings order. It is “Ordinary” in the sense derived from the Latin “ordo,” which connotes the keeping of time and of order. (1) With God in our midst, then, we celebrate the divine ordering of the universe and we keep time as we wait with patience for Christ to come again.

The practice of the virtue of patience so central to Ordinary Time is not easy. In today’s readings, we are given examples of patience. At the beginning of 1 Samuel, Hannah is said to have wept and not to have eaten, because although her husband Elkanah loved her, she had been childless for many years. (2) In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus chooses the Apostles Simon and Andrew, then James and John, from among fishermen. (3) Fishing can be an extremely trying pursuit. I say this having fished for sport; I can only imagine what it must be like to fish as a profession. (4)

Even more strikingly, when Jesus calls to Simon, Andrew, James, and John, “Follow me,” (5) they are said by Mark to leave their nets and their families “immediately” to follow Jesus. (6) These four “fishers of people” (7) showed tremendous courage in taking that first step of faith. Moreover, Mark sets his account in the days “after John [the Baptist] had been arrested.” (8) Anyone willing to follow Christ at that time must have known of the perils associated with challenging those not willing to hear the “Gospel of God” (9) proclaimed by John and then by Jesus. Despite these dangers, the Apostles accepted the call to follow the Lord.

The patient example of Simon, of Andrew, of James, and of John must also be our example in our world. May our Ordinary Time be one of patience, courage, and faith in our day-to-day lives. “The kingdom of God has come near,” St. Mark tells us. (10) With patience and with great joy in our Christian vocation, let us believe in and be heralds of that Good News. (11)



One Response to “Patience and Ordinary Time- Reflection for Mass of January 11, 2010”

  1. canadiancatholicblog January 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm #


    (2) 1 Samuel 1:5
    (3) Mark 1:16, 19
    (4) For my reflection on the Gospel of Luke’s account of Jesus’ call of the fishermen, see my article, “Fishers of People- Luke 5:1-11,”
    (5) Mark 1:17
    (6) Mark 1:18
    (7) Mark 1:17
    (8) Mark 1:14
    (9) Ibid., New American Bible translation.
    (10) Mark 1:15
    (11) Ibid.


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