Gospel Reflection Jan 22 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, January 22
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 4: 12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.
Today we heard about Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee and he came upon two brothers, Peter and his brother Andrew who were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And then Jesus came across two other brothers, James and John, while they were mending their nets. What really amazes me, and I’m sure you as well, is that they all immediately dropped their nets and they followed Him.
What the heck is going on here? Can you just imagine Jesus coming up to you or me today and asking us to stop what we are doing and “Come after him” and “follow him?” I suspect the majority of us would probably have to think about it for a while to fully take in what Jesus’ request is and then try to figure out how we would do this.
When we take a look at these men who were asked by Jesus to follow Him, they were not special, they were not rich, they were not educated, and they certainly were not influential individuals. They were people who had no worldly importance whatsoever. They were hard-working fishermen. But, when Jesus asked them to follow Him, the disciples made a conscious decision immediately to stop living their routine, safe, comfortable lives, dropped their nets, and set off on a new life following Him.
I ask you this today, do you believe that you are personally called to be a disciple of Christ? Do you put what Jesus asks you to do into practice with zeal, preferring Him to everyone and everything else, picking up your crosses each day, and using everything He has given you for His purposes?
The disciples in today’s Gospel show us that discipleship depends on commitment. Though it doesn’t always call us to travel to the ends of the earth or sever every family tie that we have, however, it does require something more difficult. It calls us to surrender our wills to the Lord. We may have the best of intentions and be very sincere, but we can’t finish our journey with Jesus if we keep one foot on the shore just in case things get rough in the sea of life!!
Friends, God calls us today to a similar discipleship of putting Him first and putting everything we have at God’s service in our lives. Truly being a disciple of Jesus is not an easy thing to do, but it is something we should always strive to do. So, when you come to receive the Holy Eucharist, pray that you will hear God’s call, that you will be willing to follow Jesus, and live according to His way, His values, and never turn back. In other words, be a true disciple of Jesus and “come and follow him!”
Deacon Paul Zemanek