3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B - 24/1/2021 - Gospel: Mk 1: 14-20
Spiritual Tangle
After John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus began His public ministry with the message: 'The time has come' he said 'and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News' v.14. It is a call to 'repent and believe the Good News'. It is rather hard to define which action takes place first; Repent then believe the Good news or; believe and then repent. Maybe both actions go hand in hand because they are closely related. The announcement 'the time has come' has twofold levels, universal, and individual. At a universal level 'The time has come' happened at the birth of Jesus; and 'the kingdom of God is close at hand' happened because wherever God is; there is God's kingdom. There is no separation between Jesus and His kingdom. Without Jesus, there is no God's kingdom; and kingdom without God is a godless kingdom. At a personal level 'the time has come' occurs when one becomes Jesus' disciple, when one believes in Jesus, and whenever one repents.

For Peter and Andrew, John and James, 'the time had come' when they left everything behind to follow Jesus. They left their former way of life to follow  God's way. They struggled to understand the call, and yet they followed, and trusted Him. Their spiritual lives were entangled between the way of world and God's way. They learnt from Jesus and began slowly to work it out over the coming years. The highest point of their call was to carry their own cross to follow, and were crowned with their martyrdom. For John the Baptist 'the time had come' when Jesus began His public ministry. His time was completed at his death, being beheaded by Herod. With the coming of Jesus, God's kingdom is at hand. God's kingdom is in the person of Jesus, but its fulfilment will be at the second coming of Jesus.

Jesus called us to follow Him. It is a call to follow a person. Christianity is about the life, and death, and resurrection of Jesus. The call for us is to put Christ as the first priority in life, and everything will flow from that call. 'I will make you fishers of men'. Jesus called us to follow, to be reformed by Him. He wants to make us into something new. 'Fishers of men' was a play on words and a play on profession. Instead of gathering fish as before; the two pairs had a new vocation, gathering people for Jesus. The vocation requires one to act immediately, not to delay, but to do it straight away, and to go with a heart full of love for Jesus. 
Fishermen don't like their nets being tangled. Untangling a net is hard, non productive work. It requires patience and is tiresome, and time consuming. After fixing the tangled net, the next job is mending the net. Our lives are often being entangled with the tension between a commitment to follow Jesus, and the many calls to follow someone whom we love, or someone whose gifts we admire. Some of the worldly calls are very attractive, and promising. Don't forget that almost all worldly calls have hidden minefields. God calls us to follow, to do things for, and with God. God patiently waits for us to respond. God's call is full of compassion, and love and mercy. God calls to have life in him, and to share that life with others. God's call is a personal, but it has universal dimension.