Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

January 21, 2011

Marcus Dawson

3rd Year Law Student

Heb 8:6-13
Ps 85:8 and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Mk 3:13-19

Today’s Gospel reading has two important themes regarding the calling of the apostles, on which we will focus.  Jesus called twelve of his followers, twelve ordinary men, to hold a special place of leadership, the successors of whom are our bishops today. 

First, what exactly happened when Jesus called these twelve men?  A cursory overview of the Gospel seems simple enough: Jesus went up a mountain, brought twelve men with him and sent them forth to preach his message.  But when we really break down the few details Mark gives us, something else really emerges. 

Jesus went up the mountain.  So many times, Jesus was followed by multitudes of people, but when it was time to make this big decision, Jesus sought solitude and went up the mountain. In other words, he took the high ground; he became physically closer to God.  I know many times when I am faced with a tough decision, I try to get people’s opinions I trust and then mull it over.  But how many times do I consult God?  Do I take the time, maybe in Adoration or at Mass, to really try to hear what he has to say?  And if I don’t hear something right away, do I have the patience and stillness to really tune in to what God is saying to me?  Would I trust him if I heard him anyway?

Secondly, the apostles, here, set the standard for us.  They went up the mountain with Jesus, “that they might be with him.”  They followed Jesus away from the hustle and bustle of their lives to hear what he had to say.  And upon hearing Jesus, they went forth to preach; the apostles just listened and acted, no questions asked.  It is not enough to simply check in with God and get his two cents; we are called for more.  His call is two-fold.  We are called to discern God’s will for us through prayer and communion with him, and then follow the call. Are we really prepared to do this, though? 

This is where the importance of a strong prayer life comes into play.  Without it, we neither will have the patience to hear God’s call, nor the strength to follow it.  Today marks three weeks from the start of the New Year, when many people make their resolutions for bettering their lives.  But let us take steps to make real improvements in the area that really matters, in our relationship with God.  It’s not too late. 

Make this be the year that we really make God our first priority.  Maybe stop in at church more to pray during the week, attend one more Mass each week, or go to confession more often.  Frequent the sacraments.  If we take some real, concrete steps in strengthening our relationship with God, living for Jesus won’t be a radical way; Jesus will be the real way. 

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