Follow Him

Readings for Monday January 10, 2011

First Reading: Hebrews 1:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 97
Gospel: Mark 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. (Mk 1:14-20)

In today's gospel reading we are told of the calling of four of Jesus' twelve disciples; Simon, Andrew, James and John. With each of these men Jesus tells them to follow Him, and He will make them "fishers of men." These men were simply going about their daily routine when Jesus came along and asked them to stop what they are doing and follow Him. It must have taken great courage and trust for these men to leave their normal lives which they knew and are were accustomed to. It says in the gospel that these men "left their nets ... left their father ... and followed Him." It doesn't say that they stopped to say goodbye, or had a going away party, or took time out to tie up loose ends; no, these first disciples left everything they knew to follow the unknown places where Jesus would lead them.

Imagine that you are at work one day or on a weekend vacation with family; and all of a sudden Jesus shows up asking you to leave it all behind and follow Him. How would you respond? Would you drop everything and follow Him, or would you be questioning whether He has the right name and address? While nothing like this scenario may happen to us, it is clear from this reading that we all must leave things behind to follow Christ. If we are to fully serve Christ, then we must be willing to abandon the things of this world so that nothing gets in the way of us following Him. For Simon and Andrew it was fishing; for someone else it may be dropping TV, for another person it may be leaving behind long hours at work, and for another person it may be letting go of some vice.

For each of us, Jesus is calling, and He is asking us to drop the things that are keeping us tied down to this world and follow Him. I pray that we all can find the courage and trust to drop what we are doing and to follow our Lord and Savior.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we pray for your blessing this day so that we might abandon our plans and be open to your will in our lives. Lord, give us to courage and strength that we need to follow you in our lives. Lord, increase our faith so that we might place all of our trust in you and not in other people and things. Lord, we pray for all of those who are tied down by things of this world, may they be brought to the peace and freedom that you offer. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen

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