MONDAY HOMILY: Follow Me
We now return to Ordinary Time where each day we contemplate the public ministry of Jesus.
The Lord's mission to humanity begins with a simple invitation, and a personal response. "The kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15).
SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic Online). "Jesus said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.' And immediately they left their nets and followed him" (Mark 1:17-18).
There is something reassuring in knowing that Jesus wanted to associate others with him in the work of proclaiming the Gospel. The Lord was not to undertake his public ministry alone. "From the very beginning, Jesus associated his disciples with his own life, revealed the mystery of the Kingdom to them, and gave them a share in his mission, joy, and sufferings" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 787).
The Lord's mission to humanity begins with a simple invitation, and with a personal response. Jesus proclaims the central message of the Good News of salvation with clarity and directness: "the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Not a merely theoretical proposition, these words are a call to faith and personal conversion. The future apostles were among the first to hear this invitation.
The Gospel according to St. Mark presents the calling of the first apostles in a way that is straightforward and direct. That is St. Mark's style. Jesus speaks, the apostles respond. We must turn to the other Gospels to learn the details of this episode.
According to St. Luke, Jesus encounters Peter by the lakeshore, washing his nets after a long night of fishing. The Lord commandeers Peter's boat and with Peter at the helm, puts out a little way from the shore. "He sat down," St. Luke says, "and taught the people from the boat" (Luke 5:3).
Jesus uses Simon's boat in this way because a large crowd was present. St. Luke says "the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God" (Luke 5:1). By putting out "a little from the land" (Luke 5:3), Jesus was able to use the boat as a lectern, his voice bouncing and reflecting off the water, making it easier for the assembly to hear his voice.
The Gospels do not preserve the words that Jesus used on that occasion. We do know that after speaking, Jesus turns to Simon and Andrew, and later to James and John, and says, "Follow me" (Mark 1:17). Their lives would never be the same.
There are a number of interesting characteristics about this encounter.
First, Jesus does the choosing. None of the future apostles propose themselves to Christ. They do not volunteer. They do not meet in advance and plot a strategy that will call the Lord's attention to them. There are no secret alliances, behind-the-scenes maneuvers, or political posturing. Jesus choosing the men that he wants to choose. He does not give reasons for his particular selections. The Lord's call is an expression of his divine will.
Second, Jesus chooses ordinary men. Asking a group of fishermen to be one's disciples does not look like a successful plan. One would think that as an emerging Jewish leader, Jesus would have included members of the Sanhedrin, Pharisees, or teachers of the Law among his first disciples. It would have been pragmatic to select a few people who had political or social influence. Jesus did none of those things.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Year of Faith News
- Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God in Himself and Us in God
- Fr Dwight Longenecker on the Holy Trinity and Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life
- FRIDAY HOMILY: Is It Lawful or Just a Lower Standard?
- THURSDAY HOMILY: Becoming Salty Christians in a World Without Flavor, Rotting from Within
- True and False Spirituality: Beware the Friends of Job or How to Deal With Fair-weather Friends
- WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Finding God Where You Would Rather Not Look
- TUESDAY HOMILY: Holy and Unholy Ambition
- We Need a New Pentecost: Come Holy Spirit, Come With Your Fire!
- MONDAY HOMILY: I Do Believe, Help My Unbelief!
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?