Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
The Beginning of the Letter to the Hebrews 1:1-6; Psalm 97 & Mark 1:14-20
I can remember when I applied to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be considered for formation in the Permanent Diaconate. The process contained many steps and lasted nearly an entire year. Papers needed to be filled out. I needed to locate my certificates for all my Sacraments of Initiation and Matrimony, physical and cognitive exams, which included, of all things, Algebra. There were numerous interviews with my wife and me, as well as interviews with my references. However, after going through the lengthy process, I receive the welcome letter from the Archbishop that I had been selected into Diaconal Formation and would study at the St. Charles Seminary for the next six years.
Of course, the disciples of Jesus did not undergo such a process when He called them. In today’s Gospel narrative, Andrew and Simon are simply casting their nets into the sea while James and John are mending their nets. Jesus calls to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they leave everything in the boat and follow Jesus. Right then and there, they begin their three-year “seminary formation” with Jesus as their teacher.
Marks gospel about the calling of the first disciples gives us three things to reflect on in our own vocation as Catholic Christians:
First, Jesus calls us during the normal activities of our daily lives. Andrew, Simon, James, and John were working and fulfilling their daily routine, and Christ enters their lives surprisingly and calls them to be His apostles. They answer ' yes' because they are open to Him and trust Him. We hear Christ’s call more clearly and seek to please Him in our daily activities by being prayerful.
Second, Jesus’ call is urgent. “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” Jesus’ words transmit a sense of necessity and a demand to follow Him. Christ needs His disciples now!
Third, Jesus often means changing some aspect of our lives. He calls us to repent from our old habits, ways of thinking, and ways of living to believe and live fully according to His Word.
Many souls are waiting for the salvation of Christ. He only needs fishers who will go out and gather them in. This mission He places in our hands will result in the biggest catch. May we all love our mission, whatever it may be.
Question of the Day: How will you answer the call to discipleship with Jesus?
Prayer: Father God, empower us to respond to the call of Your Son Jesus. Allow us to deny ourselves, to take up our crosses, and to follow. Make us your disciples. Amen.