Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mark 1:16-20: We, too, Can Abandon our Worldly Nets and Follow Jesus Christ.

Mark 1:16-20

Simon, Andrew, James, and John immediately give up their livelihood as fishermen to follow Jesus. They are expert fishermen and now employ their talents as evangelizers for Jesus by becoming fishers of men. The apostles unhesitatingly give up everything, family and trade, to follow Jesus and serve.

Although Jesus does not call us to abandon our families and careers, He does call us to serve each in His name. What does this look like?

All personal focus on "things for me" have no meaning outside of Jesus Christ. Any self-aggrandizing is meaningless, therefore, and requires abandonment. Living a life in Christ has no place for "me" as the primary focus.  Service in Christ is about loving God and neighbor. Even my duties as a husband and father are meaningless outside of my primary love for and relationship with God. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and all love, gifts and talents spring from His eternal well.  The gift of family, for instance, comes from God, and I am to be His servant in all duties as a loving husband and father.

Living a life of service is offering the first fruits of God's gifts on His altar; we offer our whole selves, turning those gifts given back to God, as a sincere, loving devotion to the Trinity in our hearts and an expression of that love in our acts.

In this, I must try my best to be Christ in everything I do. Even though I frequently fail, as the apostles did, through repentance, Jesus lovingly forgives and guides me to His heart.

Much like these fishermen, I too, must lay down my nets of the world and take up the nets of Christ, working from His boat, not mine. As I cast Jesus's nets, I am giving Him my total self and service in love. And as imperfect as I am, He leads me to a new, ever-evolving relationship as His servant.