A Daily Gospel Reflection
by Deacon Kevin Heim
Monday, January 11, 2021
The First Week of Ordinary Time
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they left their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
And so the ministry of Jesus begins. It would be easy to say that what he offered his disciples was better than what they had. Maybe it was, but the time they spent with Jesus was the best of times – the worst was so far in the future, or so they thought. Jesus was always with them and they were better for it.
I grew up in rural Iowa in the afternoon shadow of the Second World War, during a polio pandemic. Not what I would now consider the best of times. I remember the folks driving us to the county seat for our shots of the new Salk vaccine. Hundreds of children all waiting and dreading what would happen next – shots were not something we were given without reason, for they were awfully expensive, and we were part of a cash-based society. Could things get any worse? Not as far as we kids were concerned, but then, we had not seen or experienced the fate of those children afflicted by polio. We were among the blessed - twice.
Time has a funny way of bringing up memories where you see there were blessings to be found even as we appeared to be headed for the guillotine (A Tale of Two Cities reference. I know it is a bad pun, but I am punny that way. I hear the groans!) Some of those memories still have a lot of pain associated with them, yet I see blessings that outweigh it, and I can see where I have had extraordinary help in coping. Hopefully one day we can all look back on this past year and see the blessings we have received.
May God look kindly upon you in the coming months.
A few thoughts as we begin Ordinary Time:
You live your life day by day and find ways to get through it. You grow up through things that are challenging, and you find the joy. You realize there are so many people that have it much worse and remind yourself - I have been very blessed. Kelly Rutherford
When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better. Malcolm Forbes