REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
January 24, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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. Mark1:16-18
In our gospel reference today Jesus calls his first disciples. It is interesting to know how promptly these disciples responded to the call of Jesus. Andrew and Peter left their nets immediately and followed Him. James and John also responded immediately, leaving their nets, their boats, and their father “in the boat along with the hired men, (1:20),” to follow Jesus.
The act of abandoning their nets is a way of speaking of what must be left behind when one embraces radical discipleship. This was one of the revolutions that accompanied the public ministry of Jesus. In this way, what Jesus need is not really ability, but availability. By calling them, Jesus changed their identity from fishermen to fishers of men. This is the type of new life Jesus chose for His disciples. They might not have understood at first instance the beauty and the ugly nature of their call but they took the bold step to follow Him. By this we learn that the call to follow God does not require any bargaining because the road in which He leads the one He calls is though difficult but safe and sure.
There is no vocation without a call, and there is no true answer to a call without a change. To say yes to God implies saying no to ourselves. This simply means offering God our broken lives of sin and allowing Him to work on them. To follow God requires sincerity. It implies that there is an old net we must all abandon. If we don’t abandon the old net that offer us worldly comfort and security, it will be difficult to accept the net of God’s own comfort and security.
Many of us are yet to leave our old nets behind. We simply do not want to leave them. And we often imagine that we cannot live without them. We say yes to God yet deep within us we are not convinced. We keep casting our old nets into the world. How often are we driven to cast nets into the sea of rivalry, lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride etc?
Reflect today if you are available for Jesus and to make the radical response to his call? Are you willing to leave the nets of pride, gossip, rival art, lust etc behind? Are you ready to forget about whatever security they seem to provide, and instead accept the net of Jesus to cast in His own water? Jesus is offering you a new life today. Let us embrace the life that God offers us. Though it is difficult but it leads to everlasting happiness. We won’t regret it.
Almighty and ever-living God, it is your desire that we be saved. You have reminded today of our call to repentance and the need to embrace a new life by living according to the dictates of your Word. Help us to understand that our life here is short and therefore renew our commitment to You on the day of our birth into new life in You Jesus I trust in you.