Everybody is looking for you.
Mark 1:29-39 for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
In his Gospel today, Christ received a sort of “vocation” through one of his own disciples.
At nightfall, the whole town was gathered outside the house where Christ was staying.
Yielding to their wishes, he cured all the ill and freed all the possessed.
The next morning, he did not sleep in.
Before sunrise, he left for a deserted place to pray alone.
However, Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everybody is looking for you.”
Everybody, the whole town again, like the night before!
Christ did not excuse himself from the work by saying he wanted to pray.
He respected this “vocation” that he received through Simon, since it was a mission from his heavenly Father whom he had already been heeding in his prayer.
Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also.
FOR THIS PURPOSE HAVE I COME.
He went to the nearby villages, but that was only a beginning.
The Gospel testifies he went throughout the WHOLE of Galilee.
The zeal and compassion of Christ never wore out.
Even after spreading himself thin over the whole land, he knowingly and freely set his face toward Jerusalem, where he handed over his whole self in suffering and death out of obedience to the voice of the Father.
Though he rose from the dead and ascended into the invisible glory of heaven, Christ still comes into all the villages of the earth today as someone who is literally to be consumed by his mission.
This is my body given up for you.
This is my blood shed for you.
With his Eucharist, Christ our risen Lord still shows to his Church the marks of zealous obedience and compassion in his hands and side.
As he does so, he still hands over to us what he handed over on the cross and what he— newly risen— handed over in the upper room.
In his body and blood, he is still on a mission from the Father, breathing out to us the Father’s gift.
As the Father sent me, so I send you.
Receive the Holy Spirit!
In his Eucharistic Flesh and Blood, Christ himself also gives us the Holy Spirit.
If we dare accept the gifts of the Eucharist, then together with the Son of God we must accept the mission that Christ accepted, and we must hand ourselves over to be consumed by the Father’s will, consumed for the Father’s glory, and consumed for all men and women and for their salvation.
With zealous obedience and compassion!
As Christ tells us: Do this in memory of me.
Turn. Love. Repeat.