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Marcus 1,14-20

The Word of God

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea--for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

Marcus 1,14-20
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The beginning of the ministry of Jesus coincides with the arrest of John the Baptist. The need for a herald is passed. “The time is fulfilled”. The focus is now fully on Jesus as he announces and inaugurates the kingdom. Notice the urgency in his exhortation to “repent and believe”. Do you need to hear these words today? Are they “good news” for you?
    • This sense of urgency continues as Mark describes the calling of the first disciples. Note his use (twice) of the word “immediately”. It hurries the narrative along.
    • In the world of Greek and Roman philosophy, as well as in that of rabbinic Judaism, it is the pupil who seeks out the teacher. Here the opposite is happening as Jesus seeks out these four fishermen to be his pupils, his disciples. This is closer to the calling of the prophets in the Old Testament. The initiative comes from God/Jesus. Can you give an autobiographical account of your call to follow Jesus?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In Church Unity Octave we come together in prayer and praise, as people who believe that God became man in the one Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We share in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We also acknowledge that our unity in faith needs to be nourished and deepened. Through our prayer, work and study together may unity among Christians become ever more perfect.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • /They were fishermen./ Fishing was a major industry in Galilee. Simon and Andrew owned nets and employed others; they left behind a thriving and secure business to follow Jesus. But so compelling was the person and call of Jesus that no preparation was needed.
    • Lord, you say: /Follow me./ I believe you are the human face of God, and I can look to no other leader with confidence. Show me your spirit as I turn to you in prayer.
    • Nothing could be so ordinary a day for fishermen than to wash their nets. It wasn’t a difficult task but took time. It was a job that gave time to talk to other fishermen, to plan the next fishing venture on the lake. This day, for James and John, Simon and Andrew, there was an interruption when Jesus passed by and called them to follow him. That call would be repeated day by day in the ordinary events of the day. So for us – in the middle of work, family life, illness the call deep inside to follow him, care for another or others, to give him a priority place in our lives.  Can you be aware just now of when that might have happened recently for you?
    • The lives of the disciples were changed the day they followed Jesus: fishing would be over, and the world would be their home. The apostles would travel far with the memory and the story of Jesus, and would die in his name. In prayer we offer our future to God with generosity and trust.
    • Lord teach me to know you more, love you more and serve you more faithfully in my life.
    • Jesus called his disciples at their ordinary work. He involved himself in their lives and they knew he had something relevant to offer. They seemed to think that they could take part in this project called 'the kingdom of God'. We find the call of God to be people of the gospel in the ordinary moments of life. We are invited to be people for whom the love of others is a motivation of all we do and say. In the ordinary we become disciples and in the ordinary we can become saints.
    • We have to presume that the first disciples already knew Jesus or, at the very least, had heard good things about him. Otherwise it is unlikely that they would pack up and leave all simply to follow some unknown, itinerant preacher.
    • Can I retrace the steps that led me to want to follow Christ more closely?  
    • As Jesus called people, he recognised their skills and spoke to them in their own language. I consider how Jesus might speak to me as I listen for his invitation to follow.
    • The disciples were able to leave everything to follow Jesus. I pray for the freedom to be able to leave behind or to stay with, whichever way serves God.