GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 21ST JANUARY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 21ST JANUARY 2017
SATURDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
(MEMORIAL OF SAINT AGNES, VIRGIN & MARTYR)
FIRST READING: Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14
PSALM: Psalm 47:2-3, 6-9
GOSPEL: Mark 3:20-21
THEME: FOOLS FOR CHRIST
A saint and an insane person have certain things in common. First of all, they are both selfless in their appearance. Secondly, their worldview goes beyond the ordinary senses – they ”see” and “hear” things that others do not. Thirdly, they do things that do not appear ‘normal’ in the eyes of the ordinary person. However, there is a big difference between the two. A saint is not an insane person. In fact, the sanity of a holy person is beyond measure.
The pastoral ministry of Jesus attracted so many people that he and his disciples could not even find time to eat (Mk. 3:20). In our Gospel text, we read, “When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind’” (Mk. 3:21).
Jesus had to go one step beyond the normal to save all those who had become abnormal and unfortunately, that step was misconstrued as insanity. The consequence of the total self-giving of Jesus is described in a language of rituals in our First Reading – “…He entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption” (Heb. 9:12). He virtually gave his all.
Today, the Church remembers and celebrates a 12year old girl by name Agnes who was murdered in cold blood in c.304 AD on account of her unflinching decision to give herself, body and soul, completely to Christ. In the eyes of her murderers, she was not sane enough to live in this passing world.
In the footsteps of Christ, we too risk being described as persons who are not “correct”. People, including friends and close relatives, would label you a freak if you take the “Christ-thing” too seriously. Yes, in the eyes of people, we may appear insane but in the eyes of God, we are saints in the making.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, give me the courage not to despair when I am misunderstood. May I choose to be a fool for you rather than an intelligent person for the world, 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).