Feb 14, 2021: Sunday

“Being ready to act and respond to the Lord and ‘recharging’ ourselves, by dwelling with the Source of our life!”

(Based on Lev 13:1-2, 45-46, 1 Cor 10:31-11:1 and Mk 1:40-45 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B)

“Beep, beep” came the sound of the mobile phone
The beeping sound indicated a very low level of the battery.

After a couple of minutes, another clicking sound came…
… with a message, “Your phone is going to shut down because the battery is over!”

The mobile had stayed away from the charger for too long!

It lost its ability to function the way it was created and designed…
… because it stayed away from its source of power for too long!

Christian life is so much more similar

“We lose the charge and power when we stay away from God, the Source of our Strength!”

We cannot keep pushing our life too long on a “low battery mode”…
… and also thus wonder, why are things not going on well in my life?

Am in danger of “being shut down” due to “low-battery life?”

Is my life today in need of “recharging” by dwelling with the Source of our life?

St Mark, offers to us the “Gospel of action” by presenting Jesus Who is “fast-paced” and “accelerated”…
… inviting us to take decisions – without any delay – to receive His touch of Healing and Grace!

The Gospel of St Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels and probably the earliest.

This Gospel was primarily intended to the group of persecuted Christians.

It was most likely intended to be read aloud in the Christian assembly, rather than a private reading.

A Gospel for the ear more than the eye!

And so we would have in the Gospel of Mark, the use of constant repetitions, summaries, recapitulations and variations on a theme.

One of such word that is an oft-repeated one…
… is the word “Immediately”

The Greek usage of this word is Eutheos,” which is variously translated “straight away, immediately, at once, soon” etc.

St Mark would use this word “Eutheos” an astounding 40+ times in his Gospel which is only 16 chapters long!

Here are some examples:

Immediately, the Spirit drove Him to the desert (Mk 1: 12)
And they immediately left their nets and followed Him (Mk 1: 18)
Jesus immediately knew in His mind what they were thinking (Mk 2: 8)
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel against Him (Mk 3:6)
The seed sprang up immediately because the soil was not deep (Mk 4: 5)

Even the Gospel of the Day uses this word “immediately”…

The leprosy left him immediately and he was made clean (Mk 1:42)
Then warning him sternly, he dismissed him immediately (Mk 1:43)

No other Gospel or New Testament writer uses this word “immediately” to the extent that Mark does in his Gospel.

What’s happening?

Why is St Mark so gripped with this word “immediately”?

Perhaps the foremost word to describe the Gospel of Mark is ACTION.

No effort is wasted.

No time is spent on the frivolous.

The pace is fast.
The language vivid.

St Mark’s purpose was to immediately confront readers with the need to respond to the Lord.

In the Gospel of the Day, the leper who had undergone immense pain, struggle…
… encounters Jesus – the One Who could heal him and make him whole!

The ancient times had leprosy as one of the most feared diseases.

The book of Leviticus required that all those found unclean with leprosy “shall dwell apart, making his abode outside the camp” (Lev 13:46)

The man was facing …
… the possibility of being transformed
… the possibility of living a life anew!

And he had to make a decision… a decision to approach the Lord!

And so, without any delay, he approaches the Lord with a request: “If you wish, you can make me clean” (Mk 1: 40)

And Jesus – the Lord Who is ever enthusiastic and keen – to have His people experience wholeness touches the leper…and brings about healing!

“Jesus stretched out His hand, touched him and said to him, ‘ I do will it. Be made clean'” (Mk 1:41)

The presentation of Jesus by St Mark as being “fast paced” and “immediate into action” has a strong message for us: The need to “respond to the Lord” without any delay!

When we are called by the Lord…
… we are to follow Him immediately.

When we are touched by the Lord…
… we are to respond immediately.

There is to be no “delay,” but a need to “immediately” perform.

There is to be promptitude in His service and the urgency for His mission.
There is to be no holding back, no reluctance, no slackness, but a blessed “immediateness”.

As Christians, we have perhaps allowed ourselves to get into a “delay” syndrome…

We no longer feel the pinch to react when there is immense injustice and corruption around
We take it so lightly when we hear reports of tragic deaths and heart breaking calamities.
We are not much moved when people around us suffer and undergo deep pain.

We have many who “talk” in defence and importance of faith…

But very few who really live and profess this faith.

We have many who raise protests when false accusations and persecutions of faith are made

But very few who actually live a life of prayer and holiness.

We are often no longer on the cutting edge of relevancy…

We seem to be more comfortable!

Are we “delaying”…
… to help the suffering people?
… to reinvigorate our Christian lives?
… to take our faith and spiritual life seriously?
… to stand up in defence of Christ and His Church?
… to mould and shape our lives according to God’s Will?

In all these “delay” syndromes, the ‘Gospel of Immediacy and Action’ challenges and confronts us!

St Paul reminds us: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ!” (1 Cor 11:1)

Come, let us be ready to act…
Come, let us be ready to respond…
…Yes…. immediately!

Beep… Beep…

14th February is popularly celebrated as Valentine’s Day.

Jesus, the True Lover illustrates the real meaning of love…
… by leading us out of ignorance to true knowledge
… by inviting us to move from earthly riches to truly heavenly treasures

This is real and true love…
… a heart that makes one to move out of ignorance
…a heart that prompts in action to reach out to those in need of God’s true Word

Jesus, our True Lover… invites and challenges us to grow in this love!

Yea, the Lord…holds our hands, and in deep love and affection asks us: “Will you be My valentine forever?”

Let’s not blush….let’s not be shy…

Instead in deep faith and true commitment, pledge forever, our love to the Lover of all Hearts!
… Immediately!

God bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
God is the author of Sacred Scripture.

The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts…
… on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself. (CCC 105-106)

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