(Part 92)


January 11, 2016

Today’s readings:

Psalm 116:12-19

Mark 1:14-20

Why are we supposed to be servants of Jesus? It is because we belong to him. We were slaves of sin, but because Jesus saved us on the cross, we were freed, but now are to be slaves of righteousness. As such, being a freed person in the Lord, we are now slaves of Christ. Jesus paid for us with his blood shed on the cross. Jesus freed and liberated us. “You have loosed my bonds.” (Ps 116:16c). We have been bought at a price. And so we belong to him. “Lord, I am your servant” (Ps 116:16a).

For God’s gift of salvation, we owe Him. When you owe, you are supposed to repay. However, we can never repay what God has done for us. “How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me? (Ps 116:12). So what are we to do? We are to serve God. And the best service is to help Him bring salvation, already won by Jesus, to many others as well. This is through the work of evangelization. “I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” (Ps 116:13). Our intent is that others will also call upon His name, so that they will be saved.

This was clear to Jesus. He started his public ministry by calling people to repentance and faith, thus experiencing salvation (which he was to win on the cross). “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15). What Jesus was doing was “proclaiming the gospel of God” (Mk 1:14). Now Jesus knew that after his short public ministry, he would pass on the continuing work to others. So right at the very start, he formed his core group. He called his would-be servants together. And they would be trained to proclaim the gospel and help bring people to salvation. “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mk 1:17).

How do we repay God? We cannot. But we can serve Him. We can carry on the very divine work of Jesus. We can commit our whole selves to the work of evangelization, to the ends of the earth. “I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.” (Ps 116:14/18).

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