Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

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Going after Jesus

When the Baptist got arrested, Jesus came to Galilee and began proclaiming the gospel of God. According to Mark, he does not actually teach a doctrine for his disciples to learn and spread correctly. Jesus announces an event that is already taking place. He is already living it and he wants to share his experience with everyone.

Mark summarizes his message this way: This is the time of fulfillment–one must not look back anymore. The kingdom of God is at hand, for he wants to build a more human world. Repent–you cannot go on as though nothing was happening; change your way of thinking and acting. Believe in the gospel. This project of God is the best news that you could ever hear.

After this solemn summary, the first thing Jesus does is seek co-workers to advance his project. Jesus goes passing by the Sea of Galilee. He has begun his journey. He is an itinerant prophet who seeks followers in order to take an exciting tour with them, opening paths to God’s kingdom. He is not a rabbi who is seated on his teaching chair and looking for students in to form a religious school. To be Christian is not to learn doctrines, but rather to follow Jesus in his project of life.

It is always Jesus who takes the initiative. He draws near, fixes his gaze on those four fishermen and calls them to give their lives a new direction. Without his intervention, a true Christian is never born. We believers have to live with greater faith Christ’ living presence and gaze upon each one of us. If it is not Jesus, who else can give our lives a new direction?

But what is most decisive is to heed to his invitation within: Come after me. It is not a task for one day. To listen to this call means to awaken a trust in Jesus, to rekindle our personal adherence to him, to have faith in his project, to identify ourselves with his program, reproduce in ourselves his attitudes, and thus to win over more people to his project.

This could be a good motto for a Christian community today: Go after Jesus. Put him in front of every person. Remember him each Sunday as the leader who goes before us. Generate a new dynamic. Center everything in following Jesus Christ more closely. Our Christian communities would then be transformed. The Church would be different.

January 25, 2015
Mark 1, 14-20

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