Gospel Reflection – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle B

When we read today’s Gospel, it’s impossible to overlook the immediate reaction of Simon and Andrew to Jesus’s question. That immediacy is a subject for contemplation, as we weigh up our personal reaction to our own Apostleship in Christ.
What, when we hear Christ’s message, do we do? What do we say? What, fundamentally, do we change in our life? Simon’s and Andrew’s lives changed dramatically. You could say that they changed in an instant and, in many ways, they did. But there must have been some longing well before they met their Saviour, somewhere in the depths of their being, some kind of inbuilt desire to seek truth.
And that is where we begin. Yes, in our own life, we can take that inbuilt desire to seek the Truth, and use it as a springboard into following Jesus. We are all born to seek, to find the truth of our existence, to develop communion with the source of our creation.
When we study this Gospel passage, we can be tempted to think that we are hard done by. After all, Christ didn’t just walk past our car as we got out, and say: ‘Come, follow me.’ Yet, even the first disciples had choices, they had free will. They didn’t have to follow. It is doubtful that they felt pressured. No, they were already searching, already seeking communion, and they were waiting for the grace of a moment with Jesus, face to face.
So, we are not hard done by. Look at what we have: the Gospels, the great traditions of the Church, the lives of the saints, endless writings all pointing towards living in and for Jesus. All of this is a God-bestowed grace, a pathway into his presence. And we are invited onto that pathway.
Throwing down those fishing nets, the disciples may have had worries, just as we have worries, too. We still face difficulties, trials and any number of hardships. But to follow Jesus does not mean a miracle cure from difficulties. He Himself died on the cross for us. There will be pain. Our major fault is seeking a path without thorns. There is no such path that leads to Christ. He wore those thorns around his head; they pressed into his head and made him bleed. No, we will need to embrace those darker shadows as we journey. But we can use the disciples’ immediate response – a response born from love – as inspiration as we make our wonderful journey to Jesus.
He said: I will make you fishers of men. And so, let us live in His image in all we do and are, and especially as we face our darkest trials, so that many others may follow. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (1:14-20)
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen.
And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’
And at once they left their nets and followed him.
The Gospel of the Lord.