Sunday, January 21
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mark 1: 14 – 20
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.
Wait! What? Didn’t we just have this reading last week? Didn’t we hear Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew being called and Jesus inviting them to “Come and see?” We did and we didn’t.
We did hear about the call of Simon and Andrew, but it was told in the Gospel of John. This week it is being told in the Gospel of Mark. If you put them side-by-side, you would note and maybe wonder about several differences. That is exactly what I did. Actually, I spent some significant time doing that very thing. Then I began to wonder, am I doing this as a diversion? Am I doing this instead of spending some time looking deeply into the passage given today? I was avoiding looking more deeply and closer to the passage because I really don’t like that “leave everything” phrase.
We know that Peter and Andrew did not entirely abandon the fishing business, but they gradually follow Jesus, embrace his teachings and later begin their missionary work. We are not encouraged to give up our jobs or leave our families to become a follower of Jesus. We are asked to abandon anything that keeps us from following him completely. Abandon anything that shifts our focus from Jesus. Take some time today reflecting upon what draws your focus away from God; are there things or people you choose over being a disciple of Jesus? A good place to start would be to wonder why you might say, “I am too busy to go to Church.” “I don’t have time to pray.” “I’m too tired to be involved in any kind of service project.” “I go to Church (most of the time) so my relationship with Jesus is fine.” I don’t really want a relationship with Jesus.” Busy-ness combined with Spiritual Sloth are probably the two biggest causes of losing sight of what is most important in life. Go back to Msgr. Hendricks reflection from last week. He said, “What Jesus asks of them (Peter and Andrew) is no different than what he asks of us, namely to do the works he does, to speak with compassion as he does, to care for those who reach out to us for our assistance.” In the past week did you do that or were you too busy or too spiritually lazy to even think about it? This week listen to Jesus’ call and invitation to “Come after me.”
Sister Teresa Tuite, OP