Mass Reading & Meditation for January 21, 2013
Meditation: Mark 2:18-22
Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
New wine is poured into fresh wineskins. (Mark 2:22)
At first, cars were a luxury for the wealthy. But that changed in 1908 when Henry Ford found a way to build a car that almost anyone could afford. An unconventional thinker, he invented the moving assembly line, which made the process so efficient he could double workers’ wages and still lower prices. Through his unorthodox approach, Henry Ford literally changed the transportation landscape.
In Jesus’ day, Judaism was often linked with scrupulous traditions and elite groups like the Pharisees and Sadducees. But Jesus wanted to share the good news in a way that anyone could hear, understand, and embrace. Like Henry Ford, he was considered unconventional, a revolutionary even, and many of his contemporaries didn’t know what to make of him. He welcomed the sinful with assurances that they were precious to God. He healed people on the Sabbath. Through his miracles, he made God’s mercy tangible, leaving crowds astounded.
Part of what made Jesus so effective was his gentle approach in calling as many people as possible. Rather than fasting with the righteous, he dined with sinners—not because he loved food but because he loved redeeming the lost souls who gathered around the table. He favored hearts that were pliable, like new wineskins that could accept the ever-expanding power of his message.
During this Year of Faith, God is asking us to take up a new evangelization, something that is “new in ardor, new in methods, and new in expression” (Pope John Paul II). He asks each of us to try to discover what strategy works best for us. For some, it may be direct one-to-one conversations. For others, it may be making sure our lives witness to our faith more clearly. Still others may choose to evangelize through acts of service to the poor and needy. For most of us, it may be a combination of many different approaches. There is no end to the possibilities—we just need to ask the Spirit to help us!
Pray today for opportunities to evangelize. Pray, also, that those who hear or see you will have hearts open to receiving God’s good news. Together, we can change the world more than Henry Ford ever did!
“Jesus, give me wisdom in witnessing to your love. Please send forth your Spirit to renew the face of the earth!”
Hebrews 5:1-10; Psalm 110:1-4