Friday, 22 January 2021 14:07

Partners with Christ

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3OTBWeb400After 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 Simon’s 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 people.’ 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 the nets. He called them at once, and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him. (Mark 1:14-20)

Sometimes meeting new people becomes a life-changing event. There is a strong sense of that in this Sunday's Gospel. Jesus calls four fishermen. There's no indication in the Gospel that they knew anything about Jesus. Yet, they drop everything and go off in pursuit of him, leaving behind thriving fishing businesses, employees and even family members. One can only wonder what it was that they found so powerfully compelling about Jesus.

The Gospel today begins with the foundational cry of Jesus’ ministry: The Kingdom of God has drawn near; repent and believe the Good News. The call of the disciples follows immediately. The Gospel builds on last Sunday’s readings about vocation, and specifically, about how becoming a follower of Christ leads to transformation, new life and the proclamation of the Good News.

The idea of repentance here is not about turning away from sinfulness, but about leaving a known way of life behind and turning around to face in a totally new direction as a follower of Christ.

We see that played out in the call of the fishermen - called away from everything they know and even from their family to set off in a new direction, following Christ.

The fact that Jesus called (and still calls) disciples is not about creating a flock of ‘blind followers’ but a people who live and work in active partnership with Christ to establish the Kingdom and preach the Good News. Becoming ‘fishers of people’ they draw others into the circle of God’s life.

Using the proclamation at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and the story of the call of the first four disciples, the Gospel invites us to think about our own vocation, our own call, as followers of Jesus and what might need to be left behind in order to enter more fully into the mystery of God’s Kingdom; how we might work in partnership with the Spirit of Jesus in making the Kingdom a living reality in the world.

The Kingdom does not exist apart from human beings – it is to be incarnated (enfleshed) in the new people of God, the disciples of Christ.

If you can't be in Church this Sunday you can download our Celebrating At Home Prayer below.

pdf Celebrating At Home - 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time B [PDF] (297 KB)        pdf (297 KB)
default Celebrating At Home - 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time B [ePub] (799 KB)

 

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