GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 11TH JANUARY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 11TH JANUARY 2017
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
FIRST READING: Hebrews 2:14-18
PSALM: Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9
GOSPEL: Mark 1:29-39
THEME: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHRIST
In a discussion with a friend-missiologist of high standing, I was particularly struck by a statement he made, “A church that does not make her presence felt in a tangible way wherever she is located has ceased to follow Christ.”
The Gospel text for today gives us a taste of a day in the itinerary of Jesus during his public ministry. We can infer from the text that the first thing Jesus did, early in the morning, was to go to a lonely place and spend quality time in prayer (cf. Mk 1:35). After prayer, he would set out from one place to the other, preaching, healing the sick and casting out demons (Mk. 1:34,39). The effect of his ministry was evident as expressed in the words of Peter to him, “Everyone is looking for You” (Mk. 1:37).
The Church is more than a physical structure of cement and roofing sheets. The Church is primarily you and I, with Jesus as the Head. We are the real building blocks. The mission of the Church is to continue doing the mission of Jesus and not to start our own mission and do our own thing. Hence in the footsteps of Christ, the Church must be:
1. A Praying Church: Unfortunately, in some of our churches today, issues about money and projects have overshadowed prayer.
2. An Evangelising Church: We need to get out of our comfort zones and our parish walls and bring the light of Christ to dark places in our Society. A church that does not place premium on evangelization does not grow. Indeed, “The Church exists in order to evangelize” (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, No. 14).
3. When the Church fulfils her missionary mandate, she becomes useful, the whole city gathers at her door…and everyone looks for her (cf. Mk. 1:33,37).
As salt in a bowl of soup or light in a dark place is evident and experiential, the Church of Christ must always make a difference in society. If Jesus should visit your church today, would he recognise her as his own?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, cause us to arise and walk in your footsteps. Make us light for the world and salt for the earth. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).