January 10th, 2021

Gospel according to Mark (1:14-20)

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.” As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they left their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

Reflection: Now most of you know that I just love to go up to the Eastern Sierras and fish the rivers. As I gingerly walk upstream or downstream fishing one spot to another. There are many times when I just take a break because my legs need a break from fighting the current. So, as I sit at the banks, enjoying the beauty that God has put around me, I contemplate scripture that comes to mind and this Gospel reading is one of them. I had often wondered what my response would be if Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Come, follow me”. Would I immediately go? Would I tell him to “wait” because I am fishing this great spot? Or would I simply say no? Then I feel guilt for my latter answer or even thinking of it. But it is right then when the Holy Spirit comforts and assures me that I am following Jesus. It is also the moment when I contemplate what other missions can I do for Him.

My sisters and brothers, this scripture reading is plain and simple. Jesus is asking us to follow Him right now. Not when we have gone home to eternal rest in heaven. Hence the word “rest”. He is calling us to action and fulfillment right now here on earth. And this action is not a New Year’s resolution that just dwindles out after a few weeks. He is asking us to increase our social circle and to decrease the margins between you and others in need. 

What about you?  Do you hear Jesus calling you?  Do you hear Him speak to you, calling you to come after Him?  Hopefully, as our Lord speaks to each one of us, we will respond immediately and in a complete way.  Hopefully we will not hesitate to embrace the glorious calling we each have been given. 

Action of the Day: You have been called to an extraordinary life of grace which requires total abandonment and commitment.  What have you have been called (new or old) to respond immediately and freely to Jesus’ invitation?   

Owens River, Somewhere in the Eastern Sierras, California

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