Faith Daily | 10 January 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 526
who anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit
and revealed him as your beloved Son:
inspire us, your children,
who are born again of water and the Spirit,
to surrender our lives to your service,
that we may rejoice to be called your children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 1: 14-20
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” 16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rachel McFadyen
This all happens after John has been arrested, Jesus has returned from the wilderness, and gone north into Galilee, his home province, preaching that the kingdom of God is now ‘at hand’. He calls two pairs of brothers, Simon and Andrew and James and John, fishermen on the sea of Galilee. Mark gives the impression that this was the first time they had met Jesus, but John’s Gospel (1:35-42) says Andrew was a follower of John the Baptist in Judea, who had listened to Jesus there, and recognised that he was the promised Messiah. In John’s version, Andrew brings his brother Simon to Jesus, and Jesus renames him Peter the Rock. Luke (5:1-11) tells us that the 4 brothers were partners in the fishing business, and that Jesus had been teaching in Capernaum for some time.
So when they left their fishing business to follow Jesus, it wasn’t a sudden decision, but rather the next step on a path which started when the brothers went south to Judea to listen to John the Baptist. They were ‘seekers’ who already recognised that Jesus was the one they sought. Their big step was to leave their established jobs and position, with its financial security and status (hired men), and follow this new rabbi on the road. And despite everything, none of them ever wavered in their loyalty to Jesus. They got things wrong, Simon in particular was impetuous and out-spoken, but they formed the loyal core of followers who shared in all Jesus’ ministry, to the resurrection and beyond.
And I believe the same is true for most of us today – Jesus’ call does not come out of the blue, but starts with a desire for meaning in life, which leads to the recognition that Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Then comes the call to truly follow him, to put him first in our lives, whatever that may involve for each person. May God give each of us the courage to hear Jesus’ voice, and to follow him wherever he calls us.
FINAL PRAYER: from “The Summons” John Bell and Graham Maule
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don't know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known? Will you let my life be grown in you, and you in me?