Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings.
After John had been arrested, Jesus went to Galilee Mark 1:14-20). There He proclaimed the Gospel of God. John was arrested by King Herod for having denounced the immoral behavior of the King (Lk 3:18-20). The imprisonment of John the Baptist did not frighten Jesus! On the contrary, in that event He saw a symbol of the coming of the Kingdom. Today, would we know how to read the facts of politics and of urban violence to announce or proclaim the Good News of God?
The message of Jesus is; Convert! The exact meaning is "change the way you think, feel and act." In order to be able to perceive the presence of the Kingdom in life, a person should begin to think and live in a different way. The person should change his or her way of life and find another way of living together with others! He/she should leave aside all of the legalism of the teaching of the Pharisees and allow the new experience of God to invade his/her life and give him/her a new way of looking so as to read and understand the facts in a new way.
Mark’s Gospel is written to answer two questions: ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘What are Jesus’ disciples meant to be like?’ Yesterday’s Gospel is a response to the first question, with the additional fact that Jesus proclaims the Good News of God--not just any good news, but God’s good news for the world. Today we get the beginning of an answer to the second: anyone can be a disciple--spectacular gifts or education are not requirements for eligibility. What matters is availability and a willingness to follow where Jesus leads. Discipleship also involves a change in our values until they measure up to the values of Jesus.
Two things make it difficult to hear how Jesus invites each of us to be with him as his companions and to share in his work. One is our limitations and consequent feeling of insignificance. The second is how exalted Jesus is as God, even though the same Jesus walked our earth. If you wish to pray with this reality, be with Jesus in a quiet place and let him call you by name. Let him first call you to be with him as his friend and then to share in his work.
Jesus begins his ministry by calling a group to follow him. He gives his disciples a mission – to catch people for the kingdom of God. He chooses as his companions very ordinary people, people with no wealth or position. What is striking is that they have no certainties, little knowledge of him and yet they risk all for him.
However, as Jesus called people, he recognized 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. I pray for the freedom to be able to leave behind or to stay with, whichever way brings serves God.
Now I ask you; do you dare to accept the call of Jesus to serve him? Do you understand the meaning of this call?