Prayer for the sick

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 1, 14-20

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying,

'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.'

As he was walking along by the Lake of Galilee he saw Simon and Simon's brother Andrew casting a net in the lake -- for they were fishermen.

And Jesus said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you into fishers of people.'

And at once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending the nets.

At once he called them and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Monday opens the first of the thirty-four weeks called “ordinary time,” that is the liturgical time that does not have special memories of the Lord. From today through the ninth week, the liturgy will have us meditate on the Gospel according to Mark. We will continue with the Gospel according to Matthew until the twenty-first Sunday and then read the Gospel according to Luke until the thirty-fourth. The Gospel of Mark was the first to be written and, unlike to the other two synoptic Gospels, starts directly with Jesus’ public life. Yesterday in the liturgy, we celebrated Jesus’ Baptism. Today, the beginning of Jesus’ preaching is offered for our meditation. Mark notes that Jesus went to Galilee after John the Baptist’s arrest. The prophetical word that proclaimed a new era had been chained. It was precisely at this moment that Jesus decided to start walking along the roads of his land to proclaim the “good news” to all. It is the first time that the term “gospel,” i.e. “good news,” appears in the Bible. It is not an abstract word that is pronounced and then vanishes in the fog of human forgetfulness. The Gospel is Jesus himself. He is the good news to believe in and to communicate to men and women so that they entrust their lives to him. With words and deeds, Jesus shows that the kingdom of love has come among men and women. With him a new story of love and friendship begins in human history. This is the “good news” that people needed to hear - and that they still need to hear today. Those who listen to it and make it their own, change their lives. The story of Christian preaching takes its first steps here. It its first fruits can immediately be seen. While walking on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus sees Simon and Andrew, two brothers who were fisherman, and immediately invites them to follow him: “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” The two men, even though they were busy mending their nets, welcomed Jesus’ invitation and followed him. This first scene represents the entire history of discipleship, from then until now. For indeed, the Lord passes through each generation - including ours - and calls men and women to follow him. He does not stop. Continuing to walk on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus meets two other brothers, James and John. And he calls them too. After listening to him, they left their nets and followed him. It is the beginning of a new fraternity that Jesus started and that still continues today, on the same path of listening and obedience.