Year B: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel: Mark 1: 14-20
Today, we have Mark’s version of the call of Peter and Andrew - which differs from the version we read from John last week.
The differences do not mean that one or other of them is wrong - the accounts were written for different people and the writers chose to edit their material in ways that would help them to learn about Jesus - and, hopefully, to receive the Good News of His life, death and resurrection and respond to it.
So, in John’s version of the call of the first disciples, we find them already embarked on the search for spiritual truth as disciples of John the Baptist. John sets their search in a new direction when he points Jesus out to them. They are attracted to Jesus and choose to follow Him.
In Mark, we have a more active Jesus who goes out and finds them busy about their daily work and calls them to something greater.
Mark was writing for a community of Christians in Rome. They would not have heard of Jesus had not Peter - Paul and their companions travelled to them and brought the Good News.
Like the disciples in today’s Gospel, they would have been going about their daily work. They might have been interested in spiritual things - but they had not gone in search of them - rather, the Good News came to them.
They had not heard Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom Himself - but had heard Paul and Peter and others echoing the words of Jesus: the time has come - repent - believe the Good News. They too had had to make choices - were they going to repent and believe or not.
Mark offers them clear examples of what discipleship means. When Jesus calls Peter and Andrew to follow Him, they left their nets ”at once”...when Jesus sees James and John, He calls them ”at once” and they too leave their nets - their father and followed Him.
Mark does not explain how they settled their affairs (though presumably they did!) but emphasises that Jesus does not waste time - His message is urgent - there are souls to be saved - people to be gathered into the Kingdom - the time has come - now!
What does it mean for me?
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