Thursday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
January 19, 2023
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Mark’s Gospel portrays Jesus in his “heyday”.
It is early in his ministry. Word is spreading about his teaching and his miracles. He is the “hot ticket” in any town he visits. But what was Jesus thinking in the midst of all the hubbub?
We get a few good hints in our Gospel.
- Jesus withdrew toward the sea
- He wanted a boat ready lest the crowd would crush him
- He warned the unclean spirits not to make him known
These phrases suggest that Jesus was a bit overwhelmed by the furor. No doubt he realizes that his identity and message go far beyond the show of miracles. Can the “fandom” of these early crowds be converted to deep and committed discipleship?
This reading might incline me to consider my own faith.
Do I love and follow just the “heyday Jesus” – the One who is powerful over the demons and deaths I fear?
Or have I learned to love and follow the deeper Jesus, the One who suffers and dies for justice, goodness and love – the One Who lives in the poor?
One way to answer these questions is to ask ourselves where we find Jesus in our daily lives.
Is he confined to our Bible, our church, our prayerbooks and our moral judgments?
Or is our faith deep enough to see and love him in the suffering face of humanity – perhaps where it is inconvenient, costly and sometimes unsettling to find him?
Poetry: Viriditas by Hildegard of Bingen
I am the one whose praise echoes on high.
I adorn all the earth.
I am the breeze that nurtures all things green.
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am led by the spirit to feed the purest streams.
I am the rain coming from the dew that causes the grasses to laugh with the joy of life.
I call forth tears. I am the yearning for good.
Good people, Most royal greening verdancy, Rooted in the sun,
You shine with radiant light, in this circle of earthly existence.
You shine so finely, it surpasses understanding.
God hugs you. You are encircled by the arms of the mystery of God.
Music: God of the Poor ~ Graham Kendrick