Feb 1 (Mk 6:7-13)

Ella Gunderson is an eleven-year-old Catholic girl from Seattle, USA

In 2004, she went into a Nordstrom’s ( an American fashion retailer) store to buy a pair of jeans.

>> However, none of the jeans were pleasing to her taste, lifestyle and liking…

Every style of jeans was either very loose that they would fall down…

… or so tight that she would have to wear them low and thus they would become provocative.

As a Christian, she knew that her body was the temple of the Holy Spirit and that God meant beauty to be pure, inspiring, and tasteful and not degrading and objectifying!

Instead of just whining about the situation, Ella decided to act…

She wrote a public letter of complaint to Nordstrom’s…

“Dear Nordstrom, I am an eleven-year-old girl who has tried shopping at your store for clothes (in particular jeans), but all of them ride way under my hips and the next size up, is too big and falls down.”

This experience of Ella Gunderson resonated with unvoiced concern of many teenagers and women across the country, who also believed it was possible to be ‘pretty, without being provocative’.

The letter caused a huge rage to be raised by the world of media…

The media firestorm motivated Nordstrom’s to create a new category of fashion wears for juniors called “Modern and Modest.”

A great Christian endevour was pursued and achieved – all because of the convictions of a Christian girl, who believed in being “pretty, without being provocative!”

To be a Christian in today’s world is a great task, a challenge and a responsibility.

The Gospel of the Day is a mighty invitation for each one of us to live as a True Christian, a True Missionary – just as the Twelve Apostles were sent by Jesus on the mission journey.

Jesus had become very popular by various deeds in His ministry…

… powerfully teaching the Word of God and authoritatively interpreting the Law

… mightily healing many of the sick and boldly accepting those rejected by the peoples

… intensely performing many wondrous actions and effectively transforming the society

A great band of people had also begun to follow Him…

…some from far, some closely

…. some with ulterior motives, some with genuine intentions.

In the midst of this rising popularity and increasing crowd-following, the Lord chose the Twelve – whom He named as Apostles (Mk 3:13)

• These Twelve were to be with Him and to be sent out

• These Twelve were to be an extension of His mission on the earth

To them, the Lord entrusts the great task of spreading His mission of the Kingdom of God.

“And He called to Him the Twelve, and began to send them out, two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits” (Mk 6:7)

One of the key issues that the Lord addresses when He sends out His disciples is to be aware of the fact that there will be great possibilities that they would be “rejected”.

However, the Apostles were not to get disheartened by it; rather to be bold and firm to stand against anything that would oppose their mission.

Jesus says to them: “Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet….” (Mk 6: 11)

Jesus warns them that their life as His follower and as a missionary of the Kingdom, would surely meet a lot of opposition…

… many would reject their teachings

… many would even, perhaps persecute them

… many would seek to make them compromise their values

However, in all this, the Apostles were to remain bold, firm and courageous.

They had to fill their hearts with two basic virtues: Dependence on God’s Providence and Firm Perseverance in His ways.

The message of the Gospel is always opposed to the ways and values of the world!

>> It was so… in the time of Jesus

>> It was so… also in the time of the Apostles

>> And it is so… in our own times and situations

To be a Christian, a Missionary in today’s world is indeed a great task, a challenge and a responsibility.

• There are many aspects in the world that go against Christian values…

• There are umpteen situations that challenge our Christian faith…

Christian virtues today are “rejected”, “trampled upon”, “compromised” and even “diluted”!

We can either…

…. give in to them

… or just complain about them

… or make efforts to change them

By virtue of our Baptism, we share…

… in the privilege of being called a follower of Christ

… also, in the responsibility and duty of being firm and faithful to our Christian values

Are we going to dilute, compromise, be lukewarm or adopt an ‘all-is-adjustable’ policy with respect to our Christian values?

• Or are we ready to grow and stand firm in our convictions and make efforts to live a True Christian life?

Is the world transforming me?

• Or am I, as a Christian, transforming the world?

Yes, as Christians, living in this modern world, let’s believe…

… that we can be “Modern and Modest!

… that we can be “pretty, without being provocative!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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