Reflections - Jan. 25, 2015

“This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  Mk. 1:15.
 
There is a phrase that today defines men and women, “we are children of time”.
We dedicate long hours to stressful work, time on the expressway always full of new constructions that never end, time in the home servicing our children and at work which is more than a full time where we sometimes don’t even have time to think.  However, when the Lord wants to tell us about our salvation He tells us that the time of our salvation was fulfilled, that it has already arrived, that He is the bearer of that “good news”.  The prophecies have come to an end because John the Baptist was arrested.
 
Now is the time of the Messiah, the Christ, we can’t wait.  That is why the apostles leave everything and follow Him.  It is the time of fullness where evil is defeated and all creation is guided towards Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of our existence.
 
Jesus preaches about a time of conversion, “repent and believe”.  What does repenting and believing in Jesus mean?  Jesus’ proposal is quite simple, “deny yourself”.   But can we still propose to deny oneself in a world in which you and I know that you hear talk only of self-realization and self-assertion?
 
Saying no to oneself is a way to say yes to Christ, which is the purpose of our calling.  The new Disciples of Christ did not mourn what they left behind because now the foundation of their lives is the Lord.  That is the change.  Before they lived for themselves, their boats, their nets, their fish, their comforts, and their own glory.  Now to refuse themselves and to follow Christ is to place their intentions on the glory of Christ, the interests of the Kingdom and of the Church.  Remember that:  Each no, small or large, said to oneself for love is a yes said to Christ.
 
To follow Jesus, the Christ, is to respond with concrete acts to the call that the Lord gives us in our every day lives:  as fathers and mothers, as retirees, as students, as professionals.  God manifests himself to us in the every day daily living.  As someone who has been baptized as yourself in Holy Communion:  Do I proclaim the Good News of God’s presence among those who surround me?