In last Sunday’s Gospel from St John, we were told of the scene where John the Baptist pointed out Jesus saying: “Look there is the lamb of God”. As a result, two of John’s disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned round and said, “what do you want?” They ask: “Rabbi, where do you live?” “Come and see” replied Jesus.
In that scene and dialogue, we have the whole message and the foundation of the Gospels. We too can ask the question to ourselves, “what do I want?” Or “whom do I want?” “What am I seeking out of life?” “Who has the message of eternal life?” We know that the answer is in the person of Jesus. This is what St Mark will be exploring with us, as we listen to the Gospel in the weeks ahead.
There is a sense of urgency in today’s readings. Jonah sets out for Nineveh, but only after running away from the Lord. We remember the story of Jonah in the belly of the whale. He realises that there is no point in trying to escape from the Lord. He set out on his mission to the great city of Nineveh. To his surprise, when he proclaims the words as directed by God, the people repented and return to the Lord.
Likewise the urgency in St Paul to the Corinthians: ‘Our time is growing short’. At this stage Paul was convinced that the second coming of Christ would happen in his own lifetime. He later learns that the end is not so soon.
Twice in the Gospel we see that when Jesus calls Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew and James and John, AT ONCE they leave their fishing and follow Jesus. There is no hesitation or procrastination – their meeting with Jesus personally, was enough to convince them to follow him.
What do we learn? We too are called to be disciples of Jesus. In our Baptism we have that mark of approval. But the problem is; we get so used to the idea of being a follower of Jesus, that we can become complacent. We can feel comfortable on our spiritual journey – that’s good! But we could take many things for granted. That is why we need to respond to Jesus on a daily basis. Each new day is a blessing from God. It gives us new opportunities of loving, serving, forgiving and just learning more about the mystery of who Jesus is in our lives. We are on a journey towards God. That means we can’t be static – our faith has to be ‘alive and active’ as Hebrews says. There are always new beginnings in serving God and one another. Think of what extra you might do in the week ahead!