Gospel Reflection Jan 21 – Deacon Paul
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.
In today’s Gospel, the four fishermen were called by Jesus to “Come follow me,” but it was with absolutely no further instructions whatsoever. They were called to a totally uncertain future.
The amazing thing to me is that the disciples ‘immediately’ obeyed Jesus’ call. And not only did they immediately respond in obedience to Jesus’ call, but they even left everything behind to do so.
Now, this is how we should respond to Jesus, but the truth is we don’t always do this, do we? I am guessing that more often than not we have a tendency to take a long time to come to this decision. For when Jesus calls us, he is not only wanting our loyalty and our trust, but he is wanting to ‘change’ us as well. He wants to make us into something that we were not before.
Whatever our life is or however we spend our time, there is in our lives Jesus’ ‘call’ to “Follow me.” But the invitation to “Follow me” is also an invitation to ‘leave behind.’ To leave behind our nets, our boats, and even our fathers. For that is the hard part for most of us as we are pretty good at accumulating, and clinging to things, but not so good at letting go. For more often than not, our ‘spiritual growth’ involves some kind of letting go. For we can never get anywhere new as long as we are unwilling to leave where we are. As we ‘accept’ Jesus’ invitation to follow, not by packing up, but by letting go.
Friends, “What are the nets that entangle your lives?” “What do you need to let go of in your life and leave behind so you might follow Jesus? Today, let us be disciples for Jesus, and accept his invitation to “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Deacon Paul Zemanek