It hardly seems possible, but the liturgical season of Christmas 2017 is behind us as it ended on January 8th with the Baptism of the Lord. So once again we sang the carols and heard the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, God made man, Emmanuel, God with us. Our hearts were once again struck by the beauty and the simplicity of how our God made himself known to the world through the ordinary birth of a child who we know as no ordinary child, but rather as the one who was gifted to us by our loving and creative God to save humanity from the depth of sin. Wow! Incredible isn’t it?
And so as we pack away our Christmas nativity scenes and all of the decorations we begin in our Church a liturgical season of Ordinary Time which does not pick up where Christmas left off. We do not hear in the gospel stories of the childhood of Jesus, in fact, very little is written about that. Rather, in today’s gospel which is from John we are witness to Jesus as an adult, fully engaged in his ministry, a ministry that in comparison to the Old
Testament was extremely short; only three years. Today we witness in the gospel the disciples coming to know Jesus.
We hear John telling the others, “Behold the Lamb of God” as Jesus walks by. And immediately they ask him where he will be staying and they followed at his invitation. to stay with him. It was there upon meeting Simon, the brother of Andrew, that Jesus named him Cephas which translates to Peter. This man Peter we would come to know as Simon Peter, the one whom Jesus proclaimed would become the “rock upon which I will build my church.”
So even in those beginning days of his ministry, Jesus was well aware of the plan that was in motion. He was choosing disciples, he was actively engaged in teaching them to think in new ways; not as man thinks and acts, but encouraging them to understand how God desires we live with one another which calls us to a deeper understanding of humanity; our capacity to love and of course the weakness that leads to sin.
Let us then, led by Jesus Christ, listen to his Word that we might, like his disciples, hear and see in new ways, that we might engage in activities and actions that can be witnessed by others and recognized as goodness and love. We have the privilege and also the pain of knowing how the ministry of Jesus leads him to the cross; to the cross where he, with his Father, makes the ultimate sacrifice that we might have eternal life. This is indeed an incredible plan. This is our legacy. And Jesus is truly a gift to the world!
Have a wonderful week.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC