January 21, 2024: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the reign of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they made their living by fishing. Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. Going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel! Surely it’s not Ash Wednesday! No, not yet. But soon! Ash Wednesday is on February 14th! Valentine’s Day!! What a Liturgical Year it has been thus far. There have been very few days to the Advent and Christmas seasons, and now we hear those words that typically usher in Lent. As the saying goes, hold on to your seat. We’re in for quite a ride!
And, Jesus continues to call together his disciples. There is no time to waste. They will need a lot of instruction and guidance, and it won’t be enough before he leaves them with the work of continuing God’s mission. But for now, we see ordinary men ready for what they know not. Yet, they follow. I doubt that they dropped everything; I am sure they returned to fishing periodically as they followed the Master. In the midst of their vocation as fishermen, they took up the work of discipleship.
And so it is with us. We have been baptized in Christ and we continue on the path of Christian living. While life is ordinary in so many ways, it is never a time to rest on one’s laurels. And life is also extraordinary in the midst of its ordinariness.
Franciscan Father Richard Rohr has stated: “Healthy religion gives us a foundational sense of awe. It re-enchants an otherwise empty universe. It gives people a universal reverence toward all things. Only with such reverence do we find confidence and coherence. Only then does the world become a safe home. Then we can see the reflection of the divine image in the human, in the animal, in the entire natural world—which has now become inherently ‘supernatural.’”
During the next week find something to celebrate each day. Accept Father Rohr’s invitation to “see the reflection of the divine image in the human, in the animal, in the entire natural world.”