Gospel Mk 1: 14-20
“Come! Follow Me!”
The reading for today recounts an event which occurs very early in Jesus’ public ministry. John the Baptist has just been arrested for speaking some rather unpalatable truths to the reigning King Herod. Yet John’s message of repentance is echoed by Jesus, though with a very positive addition, ‘Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand.’
Perhaps it was his courage amidst such dangerous circumstances or just his own personal charisma but whatever it was, the force of the man Jesus had an attraction.
The simple words, “Come! Follow me!” directed to these four men was enough to have them down tools and immediately follow after him. What on earth could prompt that kind of response?
Like last week’s reading from John’s Gospel, here we have an account of a real encounter between persons. One which dramatically changes lives and indeed alters our reality.
It is exactly this encounter which is the essence of Christianity – in the words of our beloved emeritus pope Benedict XVI ‘Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.’ (See Deus Caristas Est, 1)
These two sets of brothers did not make their decision to follow him lightly, but nor did they simply weigh up all the evidence empirically – they trusted their innermost desires and followed Him who alone can give their life meaning.
Points to Ponder
Have I even given time to reflecting upon what it is that I truly yearn for?
Am I open to following the inner-most desire of my heart?
Am I courageous enough to follow these desires all the way to their end? Even if it means leaving behind what is comfortable and familiar?