- Friday, 20 January 2017 -
Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:13-19.

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted  and they came to him.
He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach
and to have authority to drive out demons:
(he appointed the twelve:) Simon, whom he named Peter;
James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Bernard
“He called those whom he wanted... so that they would be with him”

"Nightlong in my little bed I sought him whom my soul loves” (Sg 3:1). It is a great good to seek God; in my opinion the soul knows no greater blessing. It is the first of its gifts and the final stage in its progress. It is inferior to none, and it yields place to none. What could be superior to it, when nothing has a higher place? What could claim a higher place, when it is the consummation of all things? What virtue can be attributed to anyone who does not seek God? What boundary can be set for anyone who does seek him? The psalmist says: “Seek his face always” (Ps 104:4). Nor, I think, will a soul cease to seek him even when it has found him. It is not with steps of the feet that God is sought but with the heart's desire; and when the soul happily finds him its desire is not quenched but kinkled. Does the consummation of joy bring about the consuming of desire? Rather it is oil poured upon the flames. So it is. Joy will be fulfilled (Ps 15:11) but there will be no end to desire, and therefore no end to the search... That every soul among you who is seeking God may know that she has been forestalled, and that she was found before she was sought... This is what you are urged to do by the goodness of him who anticipates you, who sought him, and loved you before you loved him (1Jn 4:10). You would not seek him or love him unless you had first been sought and loved. Not only in one blessing have you been forestalled but in two, being loved as well as being sought. For the love is the reason of the search, and the search is the fruit of the love, and its certain proof. You are loved so that you may not suppose you are sought to be punished. You are sought so that you may not complain you are loved in vain.

Homilies on the Song of Songs, no. 84, 1.5