Gospel Reflection for January 24, 2021 – 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time
Sunday Readings: Jonah 3.1-5,10; 1 Corinthians 7.29-31; Mark 1.14-20
As Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, casting a fish net in the sea. They fished for a living. Jesus said, “Come after me. I will make you fishers of people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Jesus. He went on a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in their boat getting their nets ready to fish. Immediately Jesus called out, “Come. Follow me.” They left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers and went off with Jesus.
In Sunday’s gospel Jesus begins preaching the good news. The year is about A.D. 30. Jesus heads for Galilee after the death of John the Baptist and as his first act calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow him and fish for people. Jesus’ call is simple and direct; their responses, quick and decisive. One wonders how they can act so impulsively? Their decisiveness expresses wholehearted persistence that they lived out in walking with Jesus.
Mark’s is the first gospel to be written down rather than passed on orally in the house churches of early Christians. This happens about A.D. 70. Jesus’ followers been spreading the good news of his resurrection from the dead for forty years. As followers in the story, Jesus’ disciples leave their old lives behind quickly but their faith journeys twist and turn as they walk with Jesus and take up his mission. They are the ones in the story who grow and persist in faith and commitment to Jesus. Easter changes everything. Everything Jesus taught and did gets told in its light.
Mark wrote for people who knew that these first disciples gave their lives to spreading thee good good news. What later Christians and we ourselves would not know without Mark’s gospel is the journey of these committed disciples through fear, failure, flight, drowsiness, denial.
What have you learned through persisting in a call?