After the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we celebrate the weekdays and Sundays of Ordinary Time. Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is behind us, a return to our more usual routine may come as a respite even in the depths of winter.
This year the period from the end of Christmas Time to the beginning of Lent is relatively brief, just five Sundays, designated the Second through the Sixth Sundays of Ordinary Time. During this short span (and for the entire year) the focus is on the Gospel of Mark supported by selections for John’s Gospel. These five Sundays offer a time to reflect on the origins of our call to be followers of Jesus Christ and what accepting that call means. The initial call of the first disciples is recounted first in John’s Gospel and on the following Sunday from Mark’s Gospel. On the succeeding three Sundays, Mark tells us about the first miracles Jesus performed: an exorcism, the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law, and the cure of a leper. Each reveals something new and unexpected about who Jesus is.
One interesting feature of Mark’s Gospel is of the lack of understanding displayed by Jesus’ hand-picked disciples. If nothing else the Gospel of Mark is a cautionary tale: undertaking the way of discipleship separates true disciples from mere followers. In these few Sundays we consider what God is doing in Christ, what God is doing in each of us, and through our partners in discipleship, in the Church and in our world today.
(With thanks to “2015 Sourcebook” published by Liturgical Training Publications)