Grace to you!
I would love to share with you some thoughts drawn from the Gospel of Mark 1:16-20. It is a story popularly known in the Bible as the call of the first four disciples, or Apostles, of Jesus. Disciples means followers and Apostles means those commissioned and sent to lead the followers of Jesus or to represent the Lord Jesus among his people.
The first four Apostles called by the Lord were Simon and Andrew, his brother, and James and John, who were the sons of Zebedee. One of the things I observed from their call was that all four were fishermen. They didn't seem to be extraordinary people. During the time of Jesus, influential people looked for jobs like Law, Rhetoric, Scripture scholarship, etc. Fishers were those who, using our contemporary language, live from paycheck to paycheck. The source of their livelihood lay on fishing. And it is unlike nowadays when we have storage systems to preserve the fish; they lived in the moment. If they didn't go fishing, there would be no food on the table. Mostly, they were ordinary people, as well as those who trust in divine providence.
God calls ordinary people. The Lord has a particular interest in the poor and the little. Those are unassuming. They are called the "anawims” in the Old Testament. God even told the Israelites of the Old Testament to treat the anawims with particular respect because He has a special love for them. I do not know precisely why; when we go to heaven, I would ask God.
God also calls those who trust in His providence. Those who realize that good or bad, wealthy or poor, He, the Lord God is in charge of their lives and their future, and they readily look up to Him. In the four fishermen, the Lord called, one would see this trust in providence as part of why they left everything and followed Jesus.
Similarly, another pattern I see in the calling of these four, which for me is very crucial, is hard work or readiness to work. Simon and Andrew were casting their nets into the sea when Jesus called them, and James and John were mending their nets when Jesus called them. All four were busy working. They were hardworking people or rather people ready to work. They weren't lazy or loafers.
God calls us and equips us at our duty post. When the Lord calls, he readily invites those who are disposed to work. The more you use what God has given for service, the more likely the Lord gives you more. The Lord said: "Whoever has, even more, would be added" (Mt 13:12) because the person is ready to be used by God.
So, do you want to be used by God to carry out some unique works? Would you wish to cooperate with the Lord in the process of promoting his Kingdom? Be unassuming, trust in providence, and be ready to work, to serve.
I am praying for the grace of readiness to be at the Lord's service of love. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday, Week 1 in Ordinary Time: 1 Sm 1:1-8; MK 1:14-20]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.