A reading from the gospel according to Mark 1:14-20:
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
15“This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
16 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen.
17 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
18 Then they left their nets and followed him.
19 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.
20 Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
Reflection: The Call
1. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of God. It is God’s Words that Jesus preached. It is not about any other good news but the message of God to the world which is the plan of salvation as fulfilled in His only Son Jesus Christ. That is why when Jesus asks us to believe in the Gospel, it is the same as saying that we must believe in Him.
2. Repentance is the first requirement to enter into the Kingdom of God. It means to turn away from sin and to turn towards Jesus and to leave behind our old way of living and to start anew with love, faith and hope as the main characteristics of our behavior.
3. When Jesus claims that the Kingdom of God is at hand, He is practically saying “Here I am to save you and your household. Start believing.” It is at hand because He was literally in the midst of people and they can reach out to him and be filled with joy and peace. That is why when Jesus travelled from town to town, He brought enlightenment as He taught with authority, gave sight to the blind, healed the sick, cast out demons, fed the hungry and even raise the dead to life again. All of these are manifestations of the Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated.
4. Yet Jesus cannot build up the Kingdom alone. So He called and trained some people to help Him. Starting with four fishermen namely Simon, Andrew, James and John, He formed a community of 12 Apostles to become the nucleus of the Kingdom. Read again the passage above and see how the initial four Apostles left everything to follow Jesus. They did not have any reservation at all. They just followed! Maybe Jesus wants to form a small community in your city or village. Do you hear your name being called out to become one of the first servant leaders?