Monday, January 11, 2021

 Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 1:1-6; Mark 1:14-20)

The four gospels are read almost entirely at mass on weekdays every year.  Today’s gospel begins the reading of the Gospel according to Mark.  When it is finished sometime in late spring, Matthew’s gospel will be started.  Finally, Luke’s gospel is read for most of the fall.  John’s gospel is reserved for the Easter season.  Selections from all four gospels are read during Lent, Advent, and Christmas. 

In today’s gospel Jesus is seen preaching, “’Repent, and believe in the Gospel.’” This sounds like a relatively easy command to fulfill.  It isn’t.  Mark will illustrate what it means in the very next scene.  Jesus calls first Peter and Andrew and then James and John to follow him.  They must suddenly leave livelihood in the first case and family in the second to “’believe in the Gospel.’”

Men hear such a radical call today when they know that it is time to stop looking at pornography.  Women sense the same call when they realize that they should stop dressing seductively.  These are hard commands to follow.  Something inside our brains tells us that salacious pictures and promiscuous dress will satisfy our needs.  But the Lord knows better than where our true interests lie.