Reflection by Fr James Fernandez

First Reading Jonah 3:1-5. 10

Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Gospel Mark 1:14-20





For many priests in our diocese, this would be the first weekend after taking on new assignments in different parishes. Leaving the familiar to something unknown can be a huge challenge. In many ways this theme is reflected in the call of Jonah to preach to the Ninevites and in Jesus' invitation to his disciples to abandon their nets and become fishers of men. While Jonah takes some time to gather the courage to fulfill God's mission, the fishermen swiftly leave their nets to follow Jesus.

Our primary calling originates from our Baptism: to know, love, and serve God, and to lead others to do the same. God, in His boundless love, consistently meets us where we are and beckons us to embark on a journey of new life by following Him in a unique and personal vocation. He invites each of us to traverse unknown paths toward genuine richness, meaning, and purpose.

The "follow me" moments in life are less about the destination or the actions we take, and more about the transformation of who we are becoming. These moments resonate deeply within us, speaking to our hearts. It's not a time for meticulous planning, organization, or packing supplies; rather, it's a moment to let go of our attachments to things and shift our dependence from worldly concerns to God.

Simon and Andrew exemplify a willingness to leave their nets and embark on a new journey, while James and John are ready to step out of the boat and part from their father, Zebedee. Embracing the call requires a genuine and authentic response, a commitment to learning, growing, and engaging in endeavours we never envisioned before. We never get anywhere new unless we are willing to leave where we are. "Follow me, and I'll make you fishers of men".