The fish­ers of men

Tempo - - News - SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philip­pines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 8957328; E-mail: [email protected]; Web­site: http://www.stpauls.ph.

Gospel Read­ing: Mk 1:14-20

AFTER John had been ar­rested, Je­sus came to

Galilee pro­claim­ing the Gospel of God:

“This is the time of ful­fill­ment. The King­dom of God is at hand. Re­pent, and be­lieve in the Gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Si­mon and his brother An­drew cast­ing their nets into the sea; they were fish­er­men. Je­sus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fish­ers of men.” Then they left their nets and fol­lowed him. 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. Then he called them. So they left their fa­ther Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and fol­lowed him.

I will make you fish­ers of men

The Gospel nar­rates the be­gin­ning of Je­sus’ min­istry with the procla­ma­tion: “This is the time of ful­fill­ment. The King­dom of God is at hand.” Je­sus calls his dis­ci­ples from among or­di­nary men. In a play of words, he calls Si­mon and An­drew, James and John, from be­ing fish­er­men to be­com­ing “fish­ers of men.” They are sim­ple folks who are sturdy, hard­work­ing, ded­i­cated, and ac­cus­tomed to rig­or­ous life. Yet, they are re­cep­tive to the in­vi­ta­tion of Je­sus and im­me­di­ately fol­low him.

To these dis­ci­ples, Je­sus will re­veal his per­son and the mys­ter­ies of the King­dom of God through his teach­ings, mir­a­cles, and mighty acts. Their first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence of Christ, the Word of life, will en­able them to see him with their eyes, hear him with their ears, and touch him with their hands (cf 1 Jn 1:1). They will then be wit­nesses of Je­sus to the whole hu­man­ity.

Je­sus’ in­vi­ta­tion, “Come after me,” can come at any mo­ment of life, and the im­me­di­ate an­swer can be life-chang­ing to any per­son. To be formed as Je­sus’ dis­ci­ples we must have a close re­la­tion­ship with him, learn from his school, ac­quire his com­pas­sion­ate heart, and “fol­low him” in his sac­ri­fi­cial pas­sion for hu­man­ity. Dis­ci­ple­ship also re­quires ded­i­ca­tion, in­tegrity, ser­vice, com­mit­ment, lead­er­ship, and en­durance.

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