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Evang./Prof. Michael Howard, MACS

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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." (Mk. 1:14-20)


Our Gospel reading on the calling of Simon and his brother Andrew could not have come at a better time in our world today. In today's world, some say that Racism does not exist, as the Church mentioned in the document on Racism:


With the positive changes that arose from the civil rights movement and related civil rights legislation, some may believe that Racism is no longer a major affliction of our society— that it is only found in the hearts of individuals who can be dismissed as ignorant or unenlightened. But Racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism (2018)


We have privileged individuals twisting their tongues to belittle or criticize one's sexual orientation or physical challenges, disregarding the person's humanity. The degradation of our neighborhoods and the battle over gun control leave us gasping as mass shootings appear anywhere and at any time. Our politicians continue to argue among themselves with hearts full of stones, sleeping on ivory beds without a moral conscience. They refuse to wake up to hear the utterances of people experiencing poverty. Yes, we need Jesus to call forth more disciples who can speak to the terrorization of people; we have global conflicts, church dissension over the blessing of couples, and homes that have no walls. We are self-inflicting ourselves. We need beloved disciples today.


Interestingly, in Mark's narration of the call to discipleship, hidden in this pericope is Jesus asking for Simon's and Andrew's academic credentials or references from the Pharisees. Neither do we see Jesus asking these candidates for discipleship about their political party positions - if they follow the Sadducees or the Roman emperor. There is no application asking for cultural or sexual identity. All Jesus desires is for Simon and Andrew to be followers of Christ, to come and follow Him, and He will make them fishers of men and women. God knows we need disciples today.  


With so little information about following Jesus in Mark's Gospel, focusing on a significant element of Jesus to be fishers of men and women is imperative. In the first fourteen verses, John baptizes Jesus, God speaks to Him, Jesus ventures into the desert, is tempted by the devil, and is ministered to by the angels.  


I have concluded in this short Gospel reading that we must become Christ's beloved sons and daughters. In Mark's Gospel 1:11, God said, "You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased." Jesus then contends with the ruler of darkness for forty days, but not by himself; there are ministering angels around him. Jesus was God's beloved son, ready to preach a gospel of love. Simon and Andrew had to learn this when following Jesus. 


Therefore, when being a follower of Christ and a disciple of Kingdom building, we must hear these profound, affirming words from God. We need to listen to these words internally through baptism and the other sacraments: "You are my beloved Son [and daughters]; with you, I am well pleased" (Mk. 1:11).  


When hearing these profound words from God and trusting that God surrounds us with angels, we speak to the atrocities in our world today as disciples of the Lord. God will proclaim to us the need to stop the wars, Racism, defamation of character, the destruction of our neighborhoods, gun violence, and the many transgressions we perpetrate on each other.  


No matter the situation, we have God and angels as we follow Christ as disciples!  


"No evil shall befall you; no affliction come near your tent. For [God] commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go. With their hands, they shall support you" (Ps. 91:10-12).  


A beloved disciple of Jesus gets into good trouble.  

Author: Evang./Prof. Michael Howard, MACS

Facilitator, University of Dayton, VLCFF,

University of Notre Dame, McGrath Institute, STEP Online,

Lead Faculty and Course Designer "The Presence of Black Catholics in the Church Today and Tomorrow" Loyola Marymount University,

Founder of Eat the Scroll Ministry

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1 komentář

Professor Howard, I have to ring the bell on "Being a Beloved Disciple".

Marla Clark-Sanders

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