3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020-B January 24th
My brothers and sisters in the Lord!
The word “Gospel” means good news, and St. Mark’s intention behind his Gospel is to persuade his listeners that, despite the persecution they were undergoing, it was really “good news“. He does this by showing Jesus in action. There are fewer teachings of Jesus in St. Mark’s Gospel than in the other Gospels. He talks about Jesus teaching but, apart from the parables, the Jesus we encounter is the person who heals and nourishes and calls people to follow him.
There is something restless in St. Mark’s account, an urgency right from the start in the underlying message that the kingdom is close at hand and we need to change our hearts as well as change our ways. The kingdom is Mark’s description of the presence of God, brought about through and in the person of Jesus, and it is the person of Jesus who is the good news. There is also something very curt about the way Jesus calls his disciples. Simon and Andrew, James and John are going about their daily activities , fishing and preparing the fish. With his joke about now being “fishers of men” rather than of fish, Jesus calls them and, immediately , they follow him. We see there is no debate or discussion, and it seems as though there is not even time for farewells. The meeting with Jesus is sufficient for them to get up and go.
My brothers and sisters, we are all at different stages of our lives. Probably few of us are at the point where we are looking for what is missing in our lives. Some of us may, like the people of Ninevah in the first reading, have become stuck in a rut that we would like to change but lack the willpower or conviction to do so. Others of us may, like the apostles, be happily dealing with our daily lives without giving too much thought to what Jesus might be asking of us over and above that. Others may have experienced that change that comes about through the encounter with Christ and are trying to tread a path that expresses that deeper commitment.
At the start of a New Year, at the start of a reading once again of a different Gospel , it is a good time to renew our awareness of what our belief in Christ means. As with the experience of the apostles, it is not so much a question of reflecting on ourselves but rather asking what we think Jesus is asking of us. WE might ask: Who is this person who wanders into our lives and asks us to follow him? And can we get up and follow him, even though he is leading us? During this liturgical year, St. Mark’s Gospel will help us to discern that path.
2021 Annual Appeal
Once again, we remind you of the start of our 2021 Annual Appeal. Information flyers and pledge envelopes may be found in the vestibule of the Church.