JAN. 24. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK. 3. SUN. MK. 1. 14-20
Updated: Jul 24
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
Today’s Gospel reading is about individual people being called by God to carry out particular roles and duties at a particular time in history; - and these calls have never stopped, beginning with Noah and continuing until the present day!
“The time has come and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel” is a statement of truth that continues to be addressed to each and every baptised Christian, no matter the circumstances of his life!
And it is exactly the same situation with the invitation that follows; - “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men” where we are told what we need to do, once we have accepted this invitation.
We have to ‘follow’, ‘imitate’, ‘learn from’ and ‘believe in’, Christ, the Son of God, who is our teacher and who has issued the invitation!
But, in accepting and responding to this “invitation” we also need to be very conscious of Christ’s words “I will make you fishers of men”, as a common mistake by Christians and those trying to live a spiritual life is to believe one’s “success” depends on ones own efforts.
“A man can plant a tree, but he can’t make it grow”; - that responsibility rests with God alone, and so too with the spiritual life! Even when we put the seed in the ground, it will only produce the fruit God has determined it should!
The “fruit” Christians are asked to produce is to become another Christ! To become “fishers of men” by learning from, and imitating Jesus Christ, who had no other desire other than to do the Will of God!
Today’s scripture reading is all about God calling individual souls to carry out particular roles and duties “he has determined”; - which means at the heart of every individual’s “invitation” or “mission” is the “carrying out of the Will of God”!
This is such a profound truth! That the purpose of our life on earth is to do the Will of God and, if we do this, we will save souls, or “become fishers of men”, which was the purpose of Christ’s life; - and all Christians are called to have a share in Christ’s Mission on earth!
And Christ put the invitation so clearly; - ‘Learn from me and I will make you fishers of men!’
Gospel Acclamation Mark 1:15
The kingdom of God is near:
believe the Good News!