Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 10, 2011

Damian Olsen

1st Year Medical Student

Heb 1:1-6
Ps 97: 1 and 2b, 6 and 7c, 9
Mk 1:14-20

Today’s readings remind us of the true divinity and power of Christ. The first reading from Hebrews places Jesus high above any angel or prophet that has come before Him. I think it is so appropriate and purposeful how in the first line of this reading it says ‘…In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets…’ When God spoke through these people the message was great, it was the unchanging message God has always spoke to His people. However, through Jesus is the only way these words could be complete, without Him any words are empty. These prophets foretold of Jesus’ greatness; He is the fulfillment of the Word and Law.

I consider this a reminder to all of us that without Jesus we are nothing. We are the resounding gong spoken of in Corinthians if we lack His love. While the words of the prophets of old are of great value to us, to know and to follow the words of Christ is how we are truly His instruments here on earth. But in this reading we are also reminded that we are entitled to everything by Christ’s love. We are heirs of His greatness, sons and daughters of the almighty Lord, and it is by this power freely given to us that we are able to accomplish all things.

While the Responsorial Psalm from today just reinforces this truth of Christ’s almighty power handed to Him from the Father, the Gospel reading shows this power in action. This is the great reading of Jesus calling His first apostles as He begins His public ministry. This reading has boggled my mind and I’m sure I’m not the first… How could these men literally drop what they are doing right then and there to follow Jesus, this man they had never even met before? To try and play this scenario out in a modern day setting is nearly impossible. People are so caught up in themselves and building up their own kingdom here on earth that you probably couldn’t pay someone enough to give up their dreams and aspirations. I myself catch this fever as I go through school and look to the future, it’s so easy for us all to get wrapped up in ourselves. But when we put this Gospel in the light of the first reading, the pieces fit together perfectly. Jesus isn’t just some man with His own crazy plan who hopes that it will work. He is the Son of God, having all power in heaven and earth bestowed upon Him from the Father. His zeal and passion for love's sake has ignited the hearts of modern day saints(-to-be) just by His words and presence to us in the Eucharist. People like Pope John Paul II, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, or St. Therese of Lisieux have given up every ideal the world values just to be more like Christ.

Jesus was truly, physically present in His human form to Peter, Andrew, James, and John in this Gospel reading today. While we may not be able to speak with Him in the same way during Mass, His calling in His true presence in the Eucharist is no different for us. For over 2000 years, and even before through the prophets, He has called us to lay aside ourselves and our own selfish desires to come and serve Him. As we leave this Christmas season and enter into the ordinary time of the church, let us not forget that we are each expected to answer this great call. Let's draw deep from the graces present in the sacraments and seek God's unique will for us in the beginning of this year. Sharing the love of Christ given to us is the most important thing we will do in our lifetime, so let us share of ourselves with complete disregard just as Christ did. As the Gospel says today, the kingdom of God is at hand. Let us enter into the New Year with renewed zeal and fervor for the forthcoming kingdom of our Lord. 

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