Friday, January 22, 2021


Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

(I Samuel 24:3-21; Mark 3:13-19)

The man sat down.  He said that he had five children -- four of them still living.  He said one died in childbirth.  Then he named that unforgettable, dead child.  In a sense, he resembled Jesus in today’s gospel choosing his apostles.

 Jesus is setting apart twelve of his growing number of disciples to be his apostles.  He gives special names to three of the troupe.  He calls Simon “Peter” or “Rock” because of the latter’s steadfastness.  He names James and John “Boanerges” because of their impetuosity.  Not all of the twelve will play a memorable part in the history of the Church.  But all have names; all are important.

Today we pray for the scores of millions of babies who have been aborted since the infamous Supreme Court decision.  We cannot give each an individual name because one or both of their parents considered them unimportant.  But we can name the crime that blithely allowed them to be killed.  Let’s call it “irresponsible individualism.”  By doing so, we are saying that their right to life has been denied out of a desire to escape the responsibility of caring for them.  But perhaps we should not condemn those parents too quickly.  They are part of a society which condones sexual permissiveness and cherishes convenience.  Let us then include society in our prayer today.