“Come And Follow Me”

Weekly Missionary Reflection
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 24 January 2021

Jonah. 3:1-5,10; Ps. 25:4bc-5ab,6-7bc,8-9; 1Cor. 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

After Jesus is baptized (1: 9-11) and defeats Satan (1:13), the evangelist summarizes the core of Jesus’ work as preaching the gospel of God. It means: the reign of God in this world has been commenced through the preaching, work and life of Jesus. This God’s initiative must be responded to by humans with an equal attitude, that is repenting and believing in the good news! How? The call of the first four disciples is the model.

Jesus walks, sees and calls. Jesus has been searching to choose us, before we try to seek Him! Unlike John the Baptist who waits for people to come, Jesus walks and goes out looking for people. Shore of Galilee Sea is a great place. People from different places gather and meet each other there. Jesus wants to greet as many people as possible. “Walking” would be the characteristic of Jesus’ next life: He always goes out searching and finding the lost humans. He is the role model for us as today preachers: never wanting to stay, nor be attached!

Jesus sees the candidate of His followers. This is not an ordinary viewing. Through His eyes, Jesus looks over the people before choosing. He sorts them out before picking them up. The four candidates are busy with their jobs as fishermen. Jesus chooses the busy people, not the idle. God’s calling occurs in my daily life, in your busy life, not when we are leisured or without activities. Ah, how often we only give Him our “leftover” time and energy!

Jesus calls His disciples shortly and unconditionally. “Come behind Me!” More or less that’s the literal translation. The position of a disciple is clearly emphasized: one must always stay behind the Teacher, listen to His teaching, watch His work and follow His way of life. The first four disciples are two pairs of brothers: Simon and Andrew, James and John. Jesus’ calling has both personal and communal dimensions. The personal-distinctiveness remains honored, at the same time they are also called into fraternity. They are called to “walk together with Jesus”, as well as to participate in His task: “to be fishers of men”. The priority is clear: first, live together with Jesus (relationship), then receive the task of mission. A qualified mission is based on and animated by the experience of “having relationship” with Jesus. Jesus’ followers are not an inclusive group of people. The disciples are assigned to fish “humans”: anyone, without exception!

This short calling of Jesus is truly authoritative. His word is powerful and never in vain. The four senior fishermen immediately leave their jobs and daily routines. Apart from that, James and John even leave their father. Of course God’s calling does not mean abandoning parents.

They still have the boat and labors who will ensure his father’s life. God’s calling means “leaving” others to “follow Him”. The bond to professions, life support, relatives, etc. is now replaced by new bond to Jesus. For the disciples, the relationship with Jesus is much stronger than all other relationships. Now they have a new vocation, as permanent followers of Jesus. From now on, that’s their only “life support”!

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Fraternity among the human beings: May the Lord grant us with strong fraternity for us to live in harmony with our brothers from different religions by being open and praying for each other. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
Community solidarity: As a nation, may we be able to continue and increasingly develop solidarity, escpecially for the poor and those who suffer from Covid-19 outbreak. We pray …

Special Intention for the year of St. Joseph:
Let us entrust this whole year into Your love, as seen in the offering of St. Joseph who accompanies Mother Mary in caring for The Son through sorrow and joy in Nazareth. We pray… …

Amen

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