Heb 1:1-6; Ps 97:1,2,6,7,9; Mk 1:14-20
Our Psalm Response invites us to ponder the mystery of the One whom all the angels worship. This one is The King, The Lord. Indeed, all the earth rejoices in Him, and the many isles are glad. This Lord is not an angel; rather his angels worship him. No angel is lifted up for adoration by the other angels. The One who evokes all the worship of the heavenly court is none other than the Lord Jesus. Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. His throne we have seen. His throne is the cross. The only true justice and judgment found in this world is found on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his passionate sacrifice the Lord Jesus is also the Victim and the Priest. He freely offers up his body, blood, soul and divinity so that mercy and justice might kiss and peace and mercy might embrace. Such a revelation has just been celebrated in our Christmas-Epiphany Season, and now we are on the doorstep of the Season of the Year. The year of grace and glory 2013 is upon us, The Year of Faith. After the Epiphany, and Baptism of the Lord Jesus, we are now ready to respond to his call to discipleship and to reveal his sovereign majesty He is the Lord and there is no other god besides him; indeed, he is the Most High over all the earth, exalted above all gods. This participation in his Holy Sacrifice enables us to lose ourselves and find ourselves in the mystery of Christ.
In the Letter to the Hebrews we overhear the early church pondering the mystery of the incarnation. There is in this reflective dialogue about the mystery of Christ and his origins a clear statement that he is not an angel. Neither is he a reincarnation of one of the prophets. The angels and the prophets have helped our ancestors in the faith to delight in the truth and to be opened to the mystery of the Word becoming Flesh and dwelling among us. Indeed this Christ, who walks along the Sea of Galilee, is the refulgence of the Father’s glory; He is the very imprint of his Father’s being. As Saint John will go on to proclaim, “anyone who has seen the Son has seen the Father.” The Father sustains the whole universe by his Word made flesh and dwelling among us. After this Word made flesh had given his whole being in sacrifice for the purification of sins, He took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Indeed, this perfect imago Dei, this perfect image of God, evokes the worship of all the prophets and angels. We join in this adoration because we have heard the Father say: “This is my son!” We have heard the Father say: “This day I have begotten you!” Indeed, we have heard the Father say in the depths of our hearts: “Come, worship Him!” This is the awe and wonder with which we must hear today’s gospel, or it will never have an impact upon our lives.
Once Herod had arrested his forerunner, the Lord Jesus began to preach a new message. Saint John the Baptist was heard preaching, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.” The Lord Jesus begins to preach a new message, truly good news, “Repent and believe the Gospel!” Among the first to receive this summons are the four fishermen, Peter, Andrew, James and John. They show no resistance to the Lord Jesus and his Spirit filled preaching. They leave everything, even their father, in order to follow the Christ into the Kingdom. The Lord Jesus built a new identity for these brothers on their old identity as fishermen: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men!” This summons both reveals and hides the mystery of discipleship. It reveals that these men will have to lose their livelihood. They will have to follow the Christ. They will have to embrace the cross, love the cross, so that in their flesh they will carry about the death of the Lord, until he comes again. They will walk by faith and not by sight. They will come to see the God of gods in Zion. They will come rejoicing, carrying their sheaves. Indeed, these are our models for living in this Year of Faith; we all must learn to walk in faith and not by sight.