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Posted: 1/21/2009 5:24:49 PM EDT
1/25/09
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1
Jon 3:1-5, 10


The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
"Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you."
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD'S bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day's walk announcing,
"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,"
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Reading II
1 Cor 7:29-31


I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Gospel
Mk 1:14-20


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.



Overview of the Gospel:

  • The events in this Sunday’s Gospel according to Mark occur just after Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, and his temptation by the devil in the wilderness (Mark 1:9-13). It also occurs after the initial calling of the first four disciples we heard about last Sunday.

  • Jesus begins his preaching after the arrest of John, who is considered to be the last of the Old Testament prophets. The time for prophecy is through: Jesus picks up John’s call to repent (verses 1-8, 15) and announces the kingdom of God (verses 14-15).

  • Jesus calls for repentance before anything else— knowledge, good works, even faith. The word “repent” literally means to “change your mind,” to go from rebellion against God, to obedience (Jeremiah 3:22; Isaiah 30:15; Hosea 14:2; Matthew 4:17; Mark 6:12)

  • This call comes from the mercy of God, and the response is conversion, both initial and continually throughout the life of Jesus’ disciples.

  • St. Mark tells us that Simon Peter, James, John, and Andrew respond immediately to the call by Jesus (verses 18, 20). The first three of this four will later form the “inner circle” of Jesus’ Apostles, being present with him at key points in his ministry (Mark 6:35-43; Matthew 17:1; 26:37). Andrew will play a key part in the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (John 6:8), which will lead to Jesus’ great Bread of Life discourse.


Questions:
What was Jesus invitation to these fishermen? What seems unusual about their response? What prior knowledge of Jesus do you think they had (verses 14-15; John 1:35-42)?

How might the elder Zebedee have felt when his sons left (verse 22)? How significant is the fact that Jesus’ very first disciples were fishermen (verses 16-20; Jeremiah 16:14-16)?

When and why was John the Baptist arrested (verse 14; Matthew 4:12-17; Luke 4:14-15)? What significance does his arrest have for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry of preaching (verse 15)? How does it foreshadow the last days of his ministry?

What it is about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?

Different types of fishermen need different skills: sailing, casting, mending nets, reading charts, etc. If Jesus asked you to be a “fisher of men,” what skills could you bring?

Spiritually, are you still mending the nets? Leaving the boat? Following right after Jesus? Feeling left behind?


Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 541, 1422-1424, 1427-29, 787
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 6:52:37 PM EDT
[#1]
I would like to comment on the first reading. The people of Ninevah must have been leading BAD lives for God to want to destroy the entire city. Yet, when they heard this, they instantly repented and wept for their sins. This tells us a couple things. First, they knew there was a God and they knew they were sinning. They didn't look a Jonah like he was an idiot when he said "God's gonna destroy you". They knew that God existed. They didn't make excuses and try to disprove his existence to justify their actions. This passage also tells us that God will forgive you. There is only one sin that God won't forgive, but that's only because we refuse to be forgiven and he listens to us. Other than that, ANYTHING you do can be forgiven.

Now, on to us. I don't know about you, but sometimes  I wish God wasn't real. It would really make things a lot more fun, but it would make them much worse at the same time. I have made excuses for my actions and I have tried to show myself that God wasn't real. I couldn't. When I looked deep, very deep inside, i found that he was real and  I was just trying to avoid facing that. It's like when a small child overs her eyes with her hands and declares to her father "You can't see me". Her father is still there, the child knows he can see her, but she is only fooling herself by saying that he can't see her. We can say that he doesn't exist, and I think that if we all look deep enough into our motives, we will see that he is real. And when he sends his message that we are in trouble, we (like Ninevah) need to fall on our knees and beg for mercy and forgiveness.
Link Posted: 1/21/2009 11:08:26 PM EDT
[#2]
I didn't know if you really wanted some answers to the questions posted back as a reply or not, if not sorry.  Might give a starting point for some discussion.

What was Jesus invitation to these fishermen?

His invitation seems very simple.  "Follow me".  For most, it is the hardest thing they will ever try to do.  I know it is for me.

What seems unusual about their response?

They dropped what they were doing and responded without question.

What prior knowledge of Jesus do you think they had (verses 14-15; John 1:35-42)?

They only knew what had been told to them by John.  That "One mightier than I is coming after me.  I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.  I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit."

Also in John's gospel it relates the story a bit differently.  There John was with two of his disciples and upon seeing Jesus, he proclaims, "Behold, the Lamb of God."  Upon hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus

How might the elder Zebedee have felt when his sons left (verse 22)?

It doesn't address Zebedee other than saying they left him in the boat.  I'm not sure about your verse 22 reference as that is referencing the people who heard Jesus teach in the synagogue.  I guess one could surmise that Zebedee would have had the same since of astonishment at the authority of Jesus but it would just be speculation.  

How significant is the fact that Jesus’ very first disciples were fishermen (verses 16-20; Jeremiah 16:14-16)?

Obviously we believe that the New testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.  The Old Testament verses from Jeremiah were fulfilled by Jesus' selection of disciples in the gospels.

When and why was John the Baptist arrested (verse 14; Matthew 4:12-17; Luke 4:14-15)?

He spoke out against Herod telling him "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."  Herod became angry and arrested and then beheaded John.

What significance does his arrest have for the beginning of Jesus’ ministry of preaching (verse 15)?

God's plan was that Jesus was not to proclaim the good news of salvation prior to the termination of the Baptist's active mission.

How does it foreshadow the last days of his ministry?

Jesus will also be arrested and put to death.

What it is about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?

His perfect example.  His selfless love for me.

Different types of fishermen need different skills: sailing, casting, mending nets, reading charts, etc. If Jesus asked you to be a “fisher of men,” what skills could you bring?

Still trying to figure this one out.

Spiritually, are you still mending the nets? Leaving the boat? Following right after Jesus? Feeling left behind?


Spirituality is a journey that never ends, at least not in this world.  I've been mending nets, falling out of the boat, trying to follow Jesus and failing miserably for quite some time.

Link Posted: 1/22/2009 2:58:10 PM EDT
[#3]
What it is about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?

The awesome fact that we get a fresh clean slate in life.  Years of being lost in sin, the idea that I can be forgiven and made into a better person with the great hope of eternal life, someone would be crazy not to follow Him!





Different types of fishermen need different skills: sailing, casting, mending nets, reading charts, etc. If Jesus asked you to be a “fisher of men,” what skills could you bring?

Not much.  I do have a passion for God's Word, and what lack of IQ that I have some of that is compensated with zeal.





Spiritually, are you still mending the nets? Leaving the boat? Following right after Jesus? Feeling left behind?

I feel that I am following the best I can.
Link Posted: 1/24/2009 7:32:33 PM EDT
[#4]




What seems unusual about their response?


Perhaps the fact that these were simple men rather than learned
scholars was part of the reason they followed so readily.  We know that
most of the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus, some because they were
afraid of losing their status, but some maybe because they
"over-analyzed" the situation, thinking it was "too good to be true".  These fishermen were just your average
Joe, so they didn't over-think things.  But there was just something
compelling and genuine about Jesus that made them follow without
question.  We can definitely learn a lesson by emulating them!




How might the elder Zebedee have felt
when his sons left (verse 22)?



I think the question may be referring to v 20?  But I do wonder what he thought.  He could have been a bit miffed to be left only with the hired men, and possibly felt betrayed by his sons.  That would make their response even more amazing, that in the face of letting their father down, they somehow knew they had to do right by their Heavenly Father.





On the other hand, he may have had the same common sense attitude toward Jesus that his sons had, and been happy to give his sons to God.




How does it foreshadow the
last days of his ministry?



The same word for arrested (or handed over) is used here as in Mark's account of the passion of Jesus as another parallel between the fate's of both men.




What it is about Jesus that makes you want to follow him?


His awesome promise!  Life everlasting, raised up on the last day, and all that; considering that we deserve none of it, that's pretty cool.




Spiritually, are you still mending the nets? Leaving the boat? Following right after Jesus? Feeling left behind?


I like to think I've at least left the boat...  From there, I probably waver between following right behind and left behind.  But that's what the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation & Penance are for, right?







1422 "Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon
from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the
same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their
sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their
conversion."




 
 
Link Posted: 1/25/2009 5:28:23 PM EDT
[#5]
I've often wondered about why the Apostles so readily left their lives to follow Jesus.  Explanations range from their sensing something extraordinary about him to they were simple folk who were easily swayed.  

I think there must have been more to it than meets the eye.  We know that Jesus had a brief baptizing ministry similar to John's and we know that Jesus' baptism by John was a rather unique event among the many baptisms John performed.  I've often wondered if it might be that the first disciples had previously seen Jesus either baptizing and preaching or being baptized by John along with the accompanying events.

If they had this previous experience, then it would more easily explain their quick response to Him.  However, the manner in which the story is preserved in the Gospel is meant to stand as an example to future Christians that they must be prepared to undergo a life-altering moment at their conversion.  They must die to the old ways and live life anew in Christ, even if that means giving up their previous way of life.
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