Homily for Monday of the 1st Week in Ordinary Time Year C.
Theme: Fellowship with Christ
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mk. 1:14-20) Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaimed His message of repentance and the coming of the Kingdom. Immediately after, He began recruiting His apostles. For what reason? Can He not fulfil the mission alone? Of course He can. He is God, remember? But Jesus is just being consistent. Since the Creation of man, God had always included the participation and cooperation of man in His work of salvation. From Abraham, to Moses,to the prophets, kings and judges, God had shown His trust and confidence in man.
The ultimate act of saving mankind also included man’s participation through a woman named Mary. Thus, it should not be a surprise to see Jesus calling men to be a part of His mission. In a way, Jesus was founding the beginning of an organization which is now called a Church.
The apostles were not perfect men. In fact, today’s HR Manager would not approve of Jesus’ choices. One actually qualifies, Judas Escariot. Yet, he was the one who came out to be unworthy because he betrayed the Lord. Peter was the worst in terms of performance. His aggressiveness and raw attitude were not enough for Jesus to reject Him. Jesus knew that they can be formed. Jesus knew that they can learn and attain a commitment to the ideal level. For three years, they had been a witness to everything Jesus said and do. John put it best at the beginning of his letter:
“What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1John 1:3)
It is for this reason that we believe our Church is the Church Jesus founded. We trace our Church from Jesus through the apostles. The claim is not just because of the proven unbroken connection we have from Jesus to the pope. The claim consists in faithfulness to Jesus’ teachings as seen and heard by the apostles during their company with Jesus. For what good is an unbroken connection if a different Gospel is being proclaimed? St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians proclaimed this:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8)
The original apostles had gone. But they had transmitted the deposit of faith to the next generation of Christians. Those deposits of faith are now in our care. It is our responsibility to preserve and entrust them fully to those who will inherit the faith. We are part of the chain that links Jesus to the present age. Let us do our part. May we not break that chain with our neglect. Forward Christian soldiers!