✝️ REFLECTION CAPSULE – Jan 12, 2022: Thursday

“Imitating Jesus in reaching out to the needy and bringing healing and hope to the world around us!”

(Based on Heb 3:7-14 and Mk 1:40-45 – Thursday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)

One of the common experiences in many of our daily lives is the aspect of “delay”…

Go to get a certificate in a university… and we are told: “Come next week”

Go to an office to get a document signed… and we are told: “Today it’s not possible”

Go to a department to meet an official… and we are told: “Sir is busy today”

Our works are not done in time… Much of our time gets wasted.

We experience a lot of “delays”

Delays could suggest lack of availability.

Delays could suggest a lack of interest.
Delays could suggest a lack of sincere efforts.

But the Gospel of the Day is in stark contrast to this “delay” syndrome!

Get set to meet the “fast-paced” and “accelerated” Jesus in the Gospel of St Mark!

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.

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

What does this “immediacy” mean for us – you and me?

This sense of immediacy is still relevant to us today.

When we take a stand for the Gospel…
… we are immediately tempted.

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

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

There is to be no “delay”, but a need to “immediately” perform.
There is to be a 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 is challenging and confronting us!

As seen in the Gospel of the day, let us imitate Jesus in reaching out to the needy…
… and “stretched out our hands and touch lepers” (Cf. Mk 1:41)

And thus, bring healing and hope to the world around us!

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

God Bless! Live Jesus!

📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them.

And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ. (CCC # 1499)

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