Gospel Reflections

Gospel Reflection for  Sunday the 24th of January 2021

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Week 3 Ordinary Time

John 1:14-20

The Gospel this Sunday is a nice continuation of last week’s Gospel. From one of the first encounters with Jesus of the future disciples, to the call to follow Jesus. By an invitation “come and see” the disciples stayed with Jesus and got to know Him and got to recognise Him. To spend time with Him prepares us to respond to the call to become a disciple, to come and follow Him.

It is important to be aware that we need to go out to Him. Andrew and Peter, and presumably John and James, went to John the Baptist to see what all the hustle and bustle was about in relation to this man standing at the Jordan calling for repentance.

It often involves getting out of your comfort zone in order to discover something novel, something new. It is on that adventure that John the Baptist points them towards Jesus. If they had stayed at home nothing would have happened. To get to know Jesus, and to become a follower of Him always means getting out of our comfort zone!

Jesus is preaching “repentance”. The word μετανοέω in Greek does mean repent, but more literally it means “a change of mind” or maybe even a “change of heart”. It is opening our heart to allow God to change it and to be lead onto a new road.

This Sunday’s Gospel can be read as a continuation of last weeks to show the natural progression of discipleship as it happens to most people.

Jesus embarks on His preaching mission. The disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John, got to know Jesus and have become followers of Him. They walked with Him, they learned from Him, they allow Him to transform them.

While many people have conversion moments, as did Andrew who ‘stayed with Jesus’ and recognised Him as the messiah, it does not always lead to a dramatic change in ones life. The disciples were again fishing that week, still at the ‘day-job’ too so to speak. But in their hearts they knew how to discern, and to be ready to respond. When Jesus calls them they were ready to follow, they leave everything behind and followed Jesus.

Discipleship is following the Lord. For most of us it is something that grows slowly. But it doesn’t go automatic, we need to put effort in. It requires making conscious decisions. We need to spend time with God, we need to pray, in order to hear His voice, and to be able to respond when He asks us to ‘come and become fishers of men’. In what way that finds fulfilment in our lives is different for each person. Sometimes it might be in small things, sometimes in big. But one thing is for sure, the encounter with Jesus should always leave us changed and walking a different road.

 

– Fr Luuk Jansen OP