Saturday, 21 January 2012

The First Step

GospelMark 1:14-20 

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
  As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
  Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

The Big Question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty “yes” to your adventure.
— Joseph Campbell

Two Sunday Gospels with very similar tales to tell - the calling of the first apostles. 

John concentrates on the sense of sight - a recognition that comes from within - the look across a crowded room - a seeing into the self - the depth of which seeks out anam cara - soul friends. Between them a sharing of the vision that is the Kingdom - a love that is not looking at each other but looking in the same direction. There is a perfection and a simplicity in John that is underlines the divinity, the charism of Jesus from the very beginning.

Mark is about the disciples; the waiting and longing that lives within us just waiting to be called; even when we don't know it's there.

There are suggestions that the fishermen were already known to Jesus - perhaps he had had a days work on their boats; perhaps they had listened to him preaching on the pier whilst they folded their nets; perhaps they had shared a meal and talked about a better future. So when the day came they were ready.

Or, perhaps not. John tells us that Andrew is a follower of the Baptist but there is no mention of the others. Andrew is seeking but he hasn't found what he was looking for: and now John is gone...

For some of us there is a calling that discomforts us. Especially when we think we are settled; when our lives are in our control; when we are doing  reasonably  well. Sometimes we try to silence the discomfort with more 'stuff' and more 'control' - sometimes, unfortunately, that even works.

But others still hear the small voice telling us that it's not enough - the world and all its promises are not enough - and one day the small voice invites us to do something about it.

The calling of the fishermen was not easy; in the middle of their day; with things to do and people relying on them - it was not meant to be. 

Perhaps this is one of the differences between the Father and Jesus? God who is Father and Mother knows that we all belong anyway; that we have always and will always belong; that time is a very flexible concept; that God's Will will be done.

Jesus of Nazareth knows the ticking of life; knows the temptation to wait until a better day; knows that there is always somewhere else to be - but if you - you-  want to be part of this Kingdom building then that is a decision you have to make sometime. Eventually,  the sometime will be now. 

The first step across the threshold; out of the box or into the shadows is always the hardest - every journey begins with that first step. 

And the call; the call asks for that leap of faith and only then is  the promise that Jesus will be with you - every other step of the way.

My journey is to be one of recognizing God, always, already present, and surfacing that presence in my daily life.— Edwina Gateley


1 comment:

claire bangasser said...

the waiting and longing that lives within us just waiting to be called

Yes. I know them both :-)