Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

January 13, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry


Memorial Feast: Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (310-368) Patron Saint of snake bites

First Book of Samuel 1:1-8

Psalm 116

Mark 1:14-20

Today we begin the liturgical season of Ordinary Time.  In this sense, “ordinary” does not mean “common.”  The root of the word comes from “ordinal,” so that it literally means “counted time.”  This is the season of the church year that is counted or marked week by week for a period of time after Advent and before Lent and from the end of the Easter Season until the end of the Church year.  It is the time of year, through the three Sunday cycles and the two daily cycles of the readings we get our biggest nourishment of sacred scripture over a three year period.

  Our Gospel narrative is from Saint Mark.  It is wonderful to see Jesus begin His public ministry so boldly.  “This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe in the Gospel.” 

The story begins with the call of the first disciples.  It is remarkable that Jesus doesn’t seem to even consider doing His work alone.  He has the power of God the Father behind Him.  Nature and evil spirits obey Him.  It is clear that from the beginning Jesus needed disciples.  He needed people who would be with Him and would be drawn into His ministry and be able to be witnesses to it.  Most of all, as we’ll see in Mark’s account of the story, He needed disciples that He could instruct in His very different way of being the true Messiah.  They would learn that He would lay down His life, according to the Father’s will.  They would learn that to be His disciples, they too, would have to take up their cross and follow Him.  They learned that the very nature of being a disciple was to be servant of all.

The first step was to move away from their previous way of living their lives and place their trust in Him.  If they were to gather people to Jesus they would do it in a completely new way, which He would teach them.

For us, this begins our journey in this time after Christmas and before Lent.  It is a great time to be renewed in our call to follow Jesus and to listen carefully to how He will show us how to follow Him.  For today, there are things we must leave behind if we are to follow Jesus completely and freely.  We can’t say “yes” and keep doing everything the same way. 

Question of the Day:  What is it that stands in the way of my following Jesus more completely, as one who needs a savior, as one who is being asked to be a servant, and give my life away?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, create a pure heart in me.  Allow me to be your disciple on earth and bring your Holy Word to the world. 



Consider joining the Men and Women of Malvern by deepening your personal relationship with Jesus and your commitment as a disciple through a weekend retreat. 

COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY Join us every Tuesday from 5 pm – 6 pm for this new and exciting radio broadcast from Malvern Retreat House on Radio Maria USA. Download the app for Radio Maria or go to the internet at


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