1st Week in Ordinary Time
Psalter: Week 1
Ps 40:2 and 5, 7–8a, 8b–9, 10
Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
1st Reading: 1 S 3:1–10, 19–20
The boy Samuel ministered to Yahweh under Eli’s care in a time in which the word of Yahweh was rarely heard; visions were not seen.
One night Eli was lying down in his room, half blind as he was. The lamp of God was still lighted and Samuel also lay in the house of Yahweh near the ark of God. Then Yahweh called, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel answered, “I am here!” and ran to Eli saying, “I am here, did you not call me?” But Eli said, “I did not call, go back to sleep.” So he went and lay down.
Then Yahweh called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel stood up and went to Eli saying, “You called me; I am here.” But Eli answered, “I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep.”
Samuel did not yet know Yahweh and the word of Yahweh had not yet been revealed to him. But Yahweh called Samuel for the third time and, as he went again to Eli saying, “I am here for you have called me,” Eli realized that it was Yahweh calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you again, answer: “Speak, Yahweh, your servant listens.”
Then Yahweh came and stood there calling as he did before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant listens.”
Samuel grew; Yahweh was with him and made all his words become true. All Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was really Yahweh’s prophet.
Gospel: Mk 1:29–39
On leaving the synagogue, Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. As Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever, they immediately told him about her. Jesus went to her and taking her by the hand, raised her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening at sundown, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had evil spirits: the whole town was pressing around the door. Jesus healed many who had various diseases, and drove out many demons; but he did not let them speak, for they knew who he was.
Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where he prayed. Simon and the others went out, too, searching for him; and when they found him they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Let’s go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came.”
So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; he also cast out demons.
A strong prayer life may have been one salient feature of Jesus that remained in the memory of the apostles but it is always in function to His mission. Prayer does not take away the Lord from His work but it is the wellspring and springboard of His creativity. Thus when He was praying and His apostles sought Him because of the pressing need of people, Jesus did not linger but immediately invited them to go to nearby villages to preach and expel demons. His prayer did not take Him away from others. It prepared Him to encounter them meaningfully.
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