January 23rd, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Any part or any excerpt from one of the Gospels makes for interesting and important reading, but today is really special. Today, Mark’s Gospel captures that magic scene where Jesus, walking by himself along the Sea of Galilee, begins to see people that he will choose and call to be his followers. They are added in three groups and each one with the same literary flourish. Seeing suntanned fishermen working on the Sea of Galilee and busily casting their nets, Jesus invites them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately abandon their nets.
In two more scenes, the words are repeated. I think that the use of the verb “abandoned” is important. I don’t know what the original Greek would be but abandon accents a dramatic change in their lives. It reflects the fact that they really turned away from the nets, turned away from the sea, turned away from being fishermen and thus began to walk as followers of this mysterious man. Jesus would proclaim the good news of the Kingdom and these new followers would later assume that same responsibility. All but one will die violently for accepting his invitation.
Work still needs to be done and we are the ones who are supposed to do it!