Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
Father Jason Brooks, LC
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So, they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I adore you. You alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in the Glory of God the Father. Lord, I love you and wish to know you more intimately, since you are goodness and mercy itself.
Petition: Lord, grant that I may follow you faithfully all the days of my life.
- Repent and Believe in the Good News: There is no time to waste. We have one life to live and only one chance to live it. Jesus is trying to tell us that we have to make the most of it. We have heard about Jesus before. Perhaps we have been going to church and listening to his word for decades. However, have we allowed Christ’s message of love and mercy to penetrate our heart? Have we turned away from all attachment to sin in our life and really followed the Gospel?
- Follow Me and I Will Make You Fishers of Men: We can’t forget that the essence of Christianity is following Jesus, the Son of God. As his mother Mary told the waiters at the wedding at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Jesus is the real protagonist in our lives. He takes the initiative to call us to himself and to follow him more closely. He invites us to follow him in proclaiming the Good News to the whole world. It is not enough to know Christ. We have to share our faith with others and let the Gospel direct our decision-making process.
- Leaving Their Father in the Boat, They Followed Him: We naturally want to be comfortable and do things familiar to us. In fact, most ads we see appeal to our desire to rest and be secure. However, Jesus breaks the mold and commands us to leave our comfort zone. Unless we first change ourselves, we cannot expect to change the world. Until we first dedicate ourselves to knowing Christ better and more intimately, we will not be ardent apostles of his kingdom. Only after we have had a personal encounter with Christ can we experience the bliss of loving him more and cooperating in his saving mission. As Pope Saint John Paul II so often encouraged us, echoing the words of Christ himself, “Be not afraid!” Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone to serve Christ in love.
Conversation with Christ: Jesus, I want to follow you more closely. Help me to know you as you are so that I can love you as you deserve to be loved. Eternal Father, grant me the fullness of your grace, which consumes all weakness, so that my heart will be lifted up with an indescribable enthusiasm to embrace my cross and follow faithfully in the footsteps of your Son.
Resolution: Today I will perform an act of charity that I have neglected or been afraid to do for some time.