Daily Mass Reflections - 1/14/19
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” ~ Mark 1:17
As the green vestments and Christmas tree-free altars make their reappearance in conjunction with the return of Ordinary Time, today’s Gospel (Mark 1:14-20) is occasionally referred to by some as “Jesus’ inaugural address.” It is here where he would set the tone for his ministry here on Earth. Mark tells us that he was proclaiming the Good News of God, and that this was "the time of fulfillment." The teachings of the Old Testament were beginning to come to fruition.
“The Kingdom of God is at hand” Jesus proclaims. “Repent and believe the Gospel.” As the word made flesh, Jesus is the Gospel. He is the Good News. And the invitation he extends to both Simon and his brother Andrew as well as James and John he extends to each one of us as well. It’s important that we occasionally take a step back to assess our response to this call.
Are we joyful, charitable, patient and complimentary towards our co-workers, neighbors and those we encounter in the day-to-day interactions of life? Do we obey the Commandments, pray for others (including those who treat us poorly) and forgive swiftly and unconditionally? These are just a few key points to ponder as part of a thorough examination of conscience that all of us should most certainly engage in from time to time.
A sense of urgency is critical, for the hours are passing and as Jesus stresses in today’s Gospel, the Kingdom of God is very much at hand. Through the diligent honing and cultivating of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we too can become fishers of men and thus fulfill our divine vocation.
“Dear Lord, give us the hands of a true fisher of men. Help us to not be afraid to go wherever the fish are. Let us not be afraid to get our hands dirty. Father help us not to just “catch and release” new converts, let us also be disciplers of men as well. ~ Amen