• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 19 January 2018 18:31

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1, 14-20

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestOne of the most important events in an Athletics competition is the relay race. And one of the most crucial moments of this race is the baton change. The baton when passed from one runner to another is absolutely important. Sometimes races are won or lost because of this.

In the Gospel for today, we see a baton change. When John the Baptist was arrested because of his preaching particularly against King Herod, Jesus knew that the baton was now passed to him. And more crucially, Jesus started his ministry with a big sense of urgency because he knew that when John got arrested it wouldn’t be long before he was next.

Our Church has existed for thousands of years because of people who are willing to take on the responsibility to move the Church forward. One good example is the papacy. If we have time enough to research on the history of popes from St Peter all the way to the present Pope Francis, one can see this unbroken chain of this leadership of the Church. True, there were scandals and claims and counter claims to the Papacy and yet we can see a Church that has not only survived throughout its tumultuous history but it actually thrived and is still increasing as we speak.

And the same is true for all of us, we are called to continue what Jesus has started. We are called to carry this baton and continue running until the coming of the kingdom of God.

The second part of the Gospel is all about the calling of the first disciples of Jesus. In last week’s Gospel, we saw that two disciples of John the Baptist got interested in Jesus and after spending time with Jesus, they followed him. In Mark’s Gospel, we see that Jesus called his first four disciples and they left everything and followed him. Was their decision that quick? How could they have just left everything and followed a complete stranger? Is that the case?

I remember when I was in the seminary, after my Novitiate which was my third year in the seminary, I was recommended to take my First Vows. In the constitutions of the Society of the Divine Word, all are required to take Temporary Vows first for at least four times and in some cases nine times before making the Perpetual Vows. The idea was that a candidate who wants to be a perpetual member of the Society of the Divine Word will be given ample time to live the life of a religious person in vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) before taking the perpetual vows where a member would now be part of the Society of the Divine Word for life.

Most bible scholars agree that before the calling of the disciples, Jesus already knew them quite well already. These disciples must have listened to Jesus’ preaching for a long time now and somehow got attracted to the ministry of Jesus and finally they have received the invitation of Jesus and they have dropped everything and followed Jesus.

What Jesus did to his first disciples thousands of years ago continues until today. When we talk about the “calling” we always talk about priests, religious brothers and sisters. However, we should realise that the calling of Jesus to follow him applies to everyone. The call to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and be a part of propagating his kingdom is the duty of every Christian.

Hopefully, as we are always being called by Christ, we also respond to his call, with the same enthusiasm as the first disciples. We may never be needed to drop everything, yet to respond to his call to follow him will always be a must.

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