Come with Me
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time - B

Frank Enderle
Reproduced with Permission

We have already reached the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. The First Sunday of this season, the Gospel Reading talked to us about the Baptism of the Jesus by Saint John the Baptist. The Second Sunday gave us John the Evangelist’s version of how the Lord began the process of choosing his first disciples. In today’s Gospel Reading, Saint Mark gives us his viewpoint on the same subject: how Jesus chose the group who, in the future, would be His most faithful followers. The apostles accompanied Him during His life and His ministry and they would form the nucleus of His Church.

The first apostles called were Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew. He then called James and John, the sons of Zebedee. The four were evidently relatively prosperous fishermen who owned their own fishing boats. One day, as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he called them. They were hard at work. Yet, even though the call of the Master came to them in such an unexpected way, we see the promptness with which they responded. Two of them were casting out their nets. The other two were mending theirs. The four of them immediately left everything and followed Him. The brothers, James and John, even left their own father, who was with them.

But let us not think that they followed Jesus blindly or impulsively or, as I have heard some people insinuate, because they were ambitious or wanted to escape the daily routine of fishing. Those four disciples already knew the Lord. They had heard John the Baptist talk about the Messiah and they were attracted by all that they had heard about Him. So when the Lord called them, they did not think twice about leaving everything. It was probably very gratifying for them when they heard Him say, “Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

All of us, without exception, are called by the Lord. He says to us each and every one of us the same words he said to his Apostles: “Come with me.” In order for us to hear the call of Jesus and be able to follow Him, as the apostles did, we need to disengage from the inordinate desire for material things that plagues this society in which we live. If we do not do that, we may find that there is too much clutter in our lives, too many things to worry about and we will not be able to follow the Lord freely.

The Lord knows that we live in a world of great temptations and many problems. In spite of this, He expects that we will learn to overcome these obstacles, even if it means sacrifice. He asks us to be sincere and truthful in our dealings with Him and with others. He shows us that our first obligation is to turn away from sin and prepare ourselves for when our hour comes to leave this world. That is why we not only have to distance ourselves from the many material things that tie us down but also from those people who can cause us to fall into sin, from whatever does not let us grow in our faith, whatever is an obstacle in the path that Christ sets for us.

In our Second Reading, Saint Paul tells us, firmly and clearly, that time is running out. This life does not last forever. Some day it will end. Saint Paul told the first Christians that they should leave behind the trifles that the world offers to them. And that, my brothers and sisters, is what we should also do. Let us change our lives and place them at God’s service because, in the long run, that is the only way that we will someday be able to enjoy eternal life with Christ, Our Lord.