Our Gospel lesson is Mark 1:14-20, taken today from the Common English Bible (CEB).
After John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee announcing God’s good news, saying, “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom! Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!” As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.
Jesus begins His ministry by telling us to “change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!” (v. 15). He wants us to understand that we are precious to God but that we need to turn from our self-centered way of living. Only by following Him can we be part of God’s plan.
He invites everyone to be included, but chooses some to be the core of His work, learning from Him that they may go to teach others. That call is still the way we share our faith in Him, person to person, generation to generation. Christ is counting on us to continue the work He began, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to know God’s love.
How are we answering His call? We live in a time that makes it difficult to see each other safely in person, but God has blessed us with a variety of ways of communicating. When the apostle Paul was unable to visit communities of believers in person, he wrote to them instead, sharing what he had been given. We too must find new ways to reach others in Jesus name.
Loving Lord, we are slow to change our hearts and lives, often fearful of new things and new ways. Help us to go in confidence to share the Good News of Your kingdom to all the world. Amen.