By welcoming and sharing His love, we, too, will be His faithful followers
Reflections on the readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (January 24, 2021): JON 3:1-5,10; PS 25:4-5,6-7,8-9; 1 COR 7:29-31; MK 1:14-20
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Let us be willing to examine our lives and commit ourselves to all that God asks of us. We may need to turn away from certain habits and temptations...
On this Sunday we are introduced through Mark’s Gospel to Jesus at the beginning of His public ministry. We know that John the Baptist has been preaching and calling people to turn away from sin and come back to God. But John’s mission was to prepare the way for Christ, and that is no longer necessary. “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’” (Mark 1:14-15). Jesus is not simply announcing the Good News. He is the Good News. And that is exactly what some fishermen discover when He calls them to follow Him. Simon Peter, Andrew, James, and John, like the other Apostles who come after them, turn away from the past – their own and that of the whole world. It will take three years spent in the company of Jesus before these men who willingly and instantly become His followers are ready to do what He asks of them. Only after listening to His message, witnessing His miracles, experiencing His love for them and for every person, particularly those who are poor, suffering, and looked down on by others – only then will they be “fishers of men.”
And only then, after Jesus, like John the Baptist, was arrested and killed, could the Apostles finally grasp the complete dedication that must be part of a Christian’s life. And only after the Resurrection of our Savior, the Son of God, would they, too, be ready to suffer and die to spread the word of His loving forgiveness and longing for all people to be His disciples. Our time on earth was never meant to be enough for us; God made us for Himself for all eternity. By welcoming His love and sharing that love with others, we, too, will be His faithful followers. Let us be willing to examine our lives and commit ourselves to all that God asks of us. We may need to turn away from certain habits and temptations that interfere with our relationship with Christ our Lord. We certainly need to grow spiritually into a warmer friendship and deeper bond with Him. But, in the end, we will know that we are His, and He is ours.
Suggested missionary action: Let us allow Jesus to draw us ever closer to Him, and to show us how He wants us to express our love for others.