3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading I: Jonah 3:1-5,10 II: 1 Cor 7:29-31
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and began preaching the Good News of God.
15 He said, "This is the time of fulfillment; the kingdom of God is at hand. Change your ways and believe the Good News".
16 As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake, for they were fishermen.
17 And Jesus said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men".
18 At once, they left their nets and followed him.
19 Jesus went a little farther on and saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee; they were in their boat mending their nets.
20 Immediately, Jesus called them and they followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men.
(v.14) Jesus starts his public preaching "after John was arrested". Jesus would soon suffer a similar fate. Even at the beginning of the Gospel, Mark does not let us lose sight of the cross.
(v.15) Jesus's first public words are: "This is the time of fulfillment". The time of waiting is over. God's reign of power, his Good News, has come in the person of Jesus. But Jesus links this good news with a required response from us: "Change your ways".
(v.17) Mark's account of Jesus calling his first disciples is very brief. This suggests the hurriedness and urgency of the call. "Fishers of men" is alluded to in the Old Testament, where God's judgment is described as his fishing with a net or hook (Jer 16:16; Ez 29:4-5). ). The disciples will gather men for God's judgment, a judgment of salvation (Mk 6:15).
(vv.17-20) Several lessons about discipleship are introduced here.
To learn from Jesus is to live with him. It is a lived experience.
Jesus does not say where he will be going. Discipleship is to give Jesus the control of the journey.
The disciple cannot take with him anything but himself. Not the nets, not the family.
In being with Jesus, the disciple finds himself in the company of those not of his own choosing. It is Jesus' choosing. It is Jesus' wisdom. The disciples are asked simply to be servants to each other (Mk 10:35-45).
One Main Point
A new world (the Kingdom of God) has arrived. That new world comes in the person of Jesus. We are asked to respond by changing our way of life, and to follow Him.
To receive God's Kingdom requires a change in my outlook, my way of life. How is my way of life different from God's teachings?
To follow Jesus means to take nothing with me except myself. Looking at my past and present way of life, what are the things I have difficulty letting go of?