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 abandoned 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.
We begin today our ordinary time and we begin it with a call for conversion. Life has never being charitable to us. Just like any other being in the planet, we are called to observe, judge and engage. When the process is followed, by the proper discernment, using our intelligence, then, it ends with celebration. When this process is associated with the Creator, we will have the pleasure of participating in the creation process, a divine project.
We know it is easily said than done. We have two events, both in the OT and NT, which needs to be studied and imitated. Anna’s bitterness and the Lord's eagerness are understandable. The arrest of John the Baptist and the mockery of Peninna are not a failure neither for Anna to have faith in God, nor a block to Jesus for the proclamation of the Good News. They all becaome an opportunity to engage. Anna goes to the Lord weeping, and the Lord goes to the people inviting them to conversion.
Anna, the mother of the prophet Samuel, is a character who touches me personally, because she is a courageous and pious woman who remains faithful to her God, even when she finds no hope to accomplish her human desire of having a child. I would like to imitate her for the rest of my life and feel, at the end, the true plan of God that will be accomplished later in my life. Like the disciples in today's Gospel, let us respond positively to God's call and He will transform us and accompany us throughout our lives. Conversion is thus, not necessarily a change of life, rather it is synonymous with going home, recognising our own identity. That is, to become ourselves, true children of God.
Action of the day: Trust in God.
“The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Fr. Joan COSTA i Bou
Today, the Gospel invites us to conversion: «Change your ways and believe the Good News» (Mk 1:15). Convert to what? It would perhaps be better to say, to whom? To Christ! This is how He said it: «Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me» (Mk 10:37). To convert means to gratefully receive the gift of Faith and live a life of love and service. To convert means to accept Christ as our only Lord and King of our hearts, so that we become a useful servant to Him. To convert implies discovering Christ in every event in human history —and in our own personal history too— while realizing He is the origin, the core and the end of all History, and that everything has been redeemed by Him; in Him, everything attains its maximum plenitude. To convert also implies living with hope, for He has defeated Sin, the Evil One and Death, and the Eucharist is His guarantee.
To convert also involves loving Our Lord more than anything else in this world, with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength. To convert requires delivering our understanding and our will to Him, in such a way that our behavior makes true the Episcopal motto of St. John Paul II, Totus tuus, that is, All yours my God. And "all" means: time, qualities, possessions, illusions, projects, health, family, work, leisure… everything. Therefore, to convert requires us to love God's will in Christ over all things, while enjoying it, which means to be grateful for whatever He may care to send us —even if it is contradictions, humiliations or ailments— and take them as treasures, which allow us express more clearly our love for God: If You want it like that, so do I!
As it happened with the apostles Simon, Andrew, James and John, changing means to leave «immediately the nets» and follow Him (cf. Mk 1:18), once we hear His voice. To convert, after all, is that Christ be everything for us.