January 13, 2016

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.

 Reflection (Sem. Justin G. Gatus)



Before entering the seminary, I never really played sports that much in my life. Yes, I tried different ball sports but it seemed that the ball did not like me. The first few months of my stay here in the seminary, I prayed that it would end quickly because I really did not know how to play any sports. I tried playing volleyball but I tended to always miss the ball. In one very unfortunate event, I attempted to do a spike but my landing was off, severely spraining my ankle. After three months of recuperating, I once again tried playing volleyball. To my surprise, I could now hit the ball back to the other side.

Through reflection, I realized that I must move beyond my comfort zone. There are things that I need to improve on. I need the confidence, the focus, running and going after the ball and not just waiting for the ball to come near me. And now, I am as excited as my brothers are every sports time to play volleyball.

In the Gospel today, Jesus invites us to go beyond our protective shells. We must leave our comfort zones, and plunge into the deep. We must get to know more about the world so as to discover ourselves better.

Jesus did not let His mission be confined in one village or town. He went from town to town, and village to village to fulfil His mission, to heal the sick, cast out demons, and spread the Word of God. It was easy for Him just to stay in His comfort zone wherein He could have stayed in a town where He was accepted. But to be faithful and to fulfill His mission, He even went and preached in places where He was being rejected. He was not afraid and did not let fear overcome Him.

Our seminary formation is a long process of going beyond our comfort zones. We are doing this for our spiritual purification, extending and using all what we have for our mission, for our calling and for our vocation. Like in playing volleyball, we must not stand there and wait, we must always try to go after the ball and hit it properly.

Jesus is inviting us to follow Him without any reservations. We must not let our comfort zones ruin our decisions in life. Sometimes, we need to accept that going beyond our comfort zones entails hardships and trials which are part of our priestly formation. Let us rely on His divine providence on the road which is beyond our comfort zone. Let us offer everything to God and then let the Holy Spirit guide us in our journey.

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