Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
January 9th, 2012

Howie Kalb, S.J.

Jesuit Community
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Monday in the First Week of Ordinary Time (INTL)
First Samuel 1:1-8
Psalms 116:12-13, 14-17, 18-19
Mark 1:14-20

In the US, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated today. Click HERE for those readings and reflection.
The Gospel reading for today’s Mass pictures our Lord recruiting men to be the workers in his Kingdom after he has ascended into heaven.  As he walks along the shore of the lake he sees Peter and Andrew “casting their nets into the sea; they were fisherman.”  As fishermen they would have many of the skills needed to encourage others to be followers.  So Jesus challenges them “come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” 

A little further he sees John and James with their father Zebedee working on their nets and again Jesus throws out his invitation for them to be followers.  And like Peter and Andrew they leave everything and become Christ’s followers. Because of their dispositions, skills and virtues Jesus has the perfect plan for them.

What do you think Jesus sees in these fishermen that would make them great workers in his Kingdom?  First they were men of faith wanting to serve their God.  As fishermen they needed patience.  They could troll, cast or work the nets for hours without any success.  Next was perseverance.  As fishermen they repeat these procedures over and over again always with the hope that this time it would be different.  Then, they were able to accommodate their efforts according to the circumstances.  They couldn’t afford to become discouraged or give up. 

If fishing was good they would continue working all through the night. At other times, if the fish were not feeding now, they might be forced to start work tomorrow, hours before sunrise.  Jesus foresaw all of their traits of character that would enable them to bring people to God and God to his people.
It’s the same with us.  Jesus knows our abilities, gifts and dispositions.  He has a definite plan for each of us where we will fit into the Kingdom.  So he calls us as he called these future fishers of men.  Many times we ignore his plan and follow our own ways. The Lord will then adjust to plan “B”.  He will always know how to fit us into the Kingdom.  But often we will find the alternate plan a less effective and a less satisfying way of spending our lives.

At every moment and in every situation of our lives, Jesus is calling us: “follow me.”  If we listen, following his plan day by day, we will find our lives rewarding and fruitful.  This could be one of the messages Jesus wants us to learn from the scriptural picture of him recruiting followers in today’s Good News.

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