January 25, 2015 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted Jan 21, 2015, 8:27 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:30 PM ]

Gospel of Mark 1: 14-20

Rita's Reflection

Have you ever heard a message so irresistible that it made you drop everything you were doing and you followed it with the biggest hope in your heart?!? I have. I was only a kid then, but I knew that pure happiness was so close to me. I would have to leave my parents' side, but the reward was definitely worth it. Unfortunately, I had no money, and the ice cream man continued to drive away -- and with him, my Mickey Mouse ice cream bar. It wasn't meant to be.

So, what IS meant to be? God's Kingdom. We need only answer the call. Jesus' call to follow requires no money -- only trust -- and yet, how often are we too caught up in our own lives that we don't let Jesus catch our hearts?

I often struggle to stop. I get excited about new opportunities and challenges. I am a serial multi-tasker and saying "no" is difficult for me. In the midst of the packed schedule I've created for myself, it's easy to forget Jesus' call to repent, believe, and follow. It is easy for me to lose sight of what's ultimately the most important use of my time -- building my relationship with God. Second to that would be my service to others to spread the good news. This gospel encourages me to reassess the paths I've chosen to follow. I pray that I'm able to manage my time more wisely in order to find harmony in my work life, faith life, family life, etc. I pray that I'm able to make myself more available to God, to hear his calling, and to serve more faithfully.

This gospel also reminds me that the best way to bring others to Christ, is to bring Christ to them through our actions. Someone once said, "God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called." The fishermen of this gospel heard the call, stopped, and put their faith in a new vocation. Jesus teaches them to be "fishers of men", and they were successful in building the early Church. How courageous of the first apostles to leave their nets and follow their beliefs!

When I was younger, I was happy to give my time and talent to the Church -- following in the example of my parents. I look up to them as "fishers of men" for God. As an adult, I continue to be involved in many aspects of parish life. I hope to instill this passion for parish & community stewardship in my own kids one day.

The same invitation that was given to Simon, Andrew, James, & John is still given to us today. Repent, believe, and follow. Change your heart and show it in your actions. Perhaps this is easier said than done, but the reward of heaven surely lasts longer than an ice cream bar takes to eat, and certainly doesn't melt away.

Chris’ Reflection

In this week’s Gospel Jesus goes to the Sea of Galilee telling people to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus then goes about collecting his first disciples, asking them to stop everything and follow Him. He is so compelling that Simon and Andrew literally drop what they are doing, abandon their whole life, and become followers of Christ.

Last year I actually reflected on this same reading. In that reflection I talked about the sacrifice that Simon and Andrew made. I questioned if I would be strong enough to make the same sacrifice if Jesus came to me. Could I leave it all behind? Could I put enough faith in Jesus and walk away from family and friends?

This year I want to take on a different perspective. With a lot of my friends and co-workers starting families soon and my Facebook news-feed getting flooded with baby pictures, it has me thinking about fatherhood. I ask: what about Simon and Andrew’s father? He was just working one day with his two sons and then all of a sudden they leave. They don’t even give him a proper goodbye. I imagine him turning to look at his sons working, only to find some empty nets lying on the floor. Now he’ll have to find other people to work for him. Who will keep him company now that his sons are gone? How will he explain this to their mother?

It must have been so painful to lose his sons so quickly. The faith he must have had to know his sons were doing a very righteous thing by following Jesus. It’s never easy to let go of loved ones, but I’m sure he knew that his sons were destined for great things. He certainly had his faith tested the day his sons left, but I’m sure he stayed strong. That seems to be the big struggle with parenthood, knowing when to let go and having enough faith in Jesus that your kids will be ok. It’s something I’ll probably have to learn the hard way when that day comes.