January 12, 2015

Gospel MK 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.
This may well be one of the most familiar gospel passages in the bible.
The great call of Jesus to his first disciples; “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.”
Interestingly, Jesus did not appeal to the intellectuals or religious of his time, saying; “Listen guys, after you get your degree, come and sit down with me. I have some great ideas I think might interest you”
No, he chose to make his appeal to fishermen: common working people,
Peter, Andrew, James and John were not attracted to Jesus’ theory. They were attracted to Jesus the man: his compassion, his non-judgmental attitude, his willingness and desire to have them become part of spreading the love of God.
As the old saying goes: “We admire people for reasons, we love them without reason.” Jesus was a guy that they couldn’t help but love.
And what did he invite them too? He invited them to come take part in doing difficult, but worthwhile work, in community with others. The privelege of serving others, looking for nothing in return. He called them to commit to a life of giving their all for the sake of others.
Today, for those who commit to serving others in the name of Jesus, such dedication does not seem far fetched or out of the question. To those who have not experienced the love of Christ, the commitment of the first disciples may well seem foolish, even ludicrous.
Jesus continues to stop along the way, look at people and say: “Come, follow me.”
The question remains. Who will leave their nets to follow?