January 25, 2015

The Gospel Today

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 abandoned 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 (Sem. Wilbert John Celestial Alivar):

After reading the Gospel for today, I wonder why Jesus is very attractive for the people especially in Galilee that in just one command, they follow him immediately without hesitation. While I am doing my reflection about these passages in the Bible, I remember and see plenty of signboards and even prints in our shirts especially here in the Seminary, like Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mk. 1: 17)

What I know and understand about the Gospel today was the calling or the invitation of Jesus to his first disciples, that until now this invitation is an unending invitation to follow after Jesus and to continue his ministry. The Gospel today is a perfect passage and I think this would also summarize my vocation story just like the invitation of Jesus to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, who were busy doing their job because they were fishermen. I could think that their family or the community depended on them. Just like me, I also have a family that really needs help especially financial aid but I need to cast my net to get plenty of income so I can support others but the invitation of Jesus was very powerful. At first I wondered why they just left anything including their families and livelihood just to follow Jesus but now I realize that just like the first disciples, I too heard of Jesus’s invitation to follow him, and following Jesus was not easy for me, because from what I understand, to follow Jesus is to imitate him and follow his footsteps and what he commanded us to do.

The Gospel today invites me to re-examine myself to where am I going? Am I still following the footstep of Jesus, or did I really leave my net? For me, to follow Jesus is also denying myself and to take up my Cross just like what Jesus Christ did, willing to offer his life as a living sacrifice for others to be saved. To be honest, I do not know what happened to the family, relatives and friends of these disciples that had been called by Jesus when they just left everything they have. Of course after reading this Gospel, I offered a prayer to God considering that I have issues with relationship with my parents; my mother is already old and sick. She consulted the doctor and they found out she has cancer of the breast and they need to remove her breast and will have to undergo treatment. What else I can do but pray and believe that God will take charge. In my prayer, maybe God is telling me to focus on Jesus, continue to follow his footsteps and with God’s grace, I would say this is the time of fulfilment. The kingdom of God is at hand.


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