Don't nobody give me no backtalk!

Readings for Monday January 11, 2010

First Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20

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. (Mk 1:16-20)

If you have or have ever worked with children and teens, the one thing that will never cease to drive you crazy is backtalk. It is always a mystery why certain kids (especially teenagers) seem to always want to argue, debate, or make some snide comment when being asked to do something. It almost makes you want to preface each and every request or direction with a term frequently used by Mr. T, "and don't nobody give me no backtalk!"

In today's gospel reading, we read about the calling of the first disciples (Simon/Peter, Andrew, James and John). Now when Jesus called out to these men, there was no argument, they did not debate, they did not stop to analyze the situation, and there certainly was no backtalk. No, these men just got up, left all that they had and followed Jesus. In this situation, not a single word was spoken, but their actions were more powerful that any words could ever be. I think that the first disciples give us a powerful insight into what it means to listen and follow God. For all of their flaws, they certainly had the courage to do something that many of us could never do, and that is leave it all behind and follow Christ.

For the disciples, backtalk was not a problem. They actually listened and followed Jesus, sure they fumbled a little bit early on, but never ceased to follow and listen to Him. They certainly were not about giving God backtalk, they were more about action. Now, how about in your life? Are you one to give God backtalk? When He places something on your heart or a thought in your head, are you one to say, "I can't do that!" or "That would take too much effort." Perhaps you are really good and debating and making excuses of why your can't do something. I think that backtalk to God is something that we are all guilty of, whether it be very blatant or very subtle, we are all guilty of protesting and/or giving excuses of why we cannot do something for God.

Think about this, if we appreciate it when someone just simply does what we ask without any backtalk, how much more does God appreciate it when we too just do what we are asked without any backtalk? So let's all take a lesson from the first disciples and from Mr. T today "and don't nobody give no backtalk!"

Father above, thank you for the gift of our lives and the gift of this day. Lord, help us to conform to your will which is perfect. Help us to follow you with complete faith and trust and to hold nothing back from you who give us everything. Lord, your ways are perfect and please help us to be the lights in this world that we are called to be. We pray for all of our priests and all religious. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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