Monday, January 10, 2010

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

(Hebrews 1:1-6; Mark 1:14-20)

In a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright song-writer Paul Simon wrote, “Architects may come and architects may go and never change your point of view.” Wright, of course, was different. His lines and spaces lift people from the drudgery of daily life to a celestial height engaging their freedom and nobility. Attending to Jesus’ words and actions in the gospel today, we are likewise called out of slumber to a new spirit.

John has been arrested. His prophetic message warned listeners of the need to repent or face the wrath of God. Jesus employs the same words as John, “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent…” but with him warning has given way to hope. Now God has come to look after people’s needs. First Simon and Andrew and then James and John have only to hear Jesus’ call to adopt a wholly new lifestyle.

For some after so many centuries and so many readings, Jesus’ message seems stale. It is a plausible criticism since many people who profess faith in him hardly exhibit a renewed spirit. However, for both those who are tired of reading the gospel as well as those who only give it lip service, there remains the challenge of taking Jesus up on the call. When people leave behind their boats – their little worlds of cynicism and prejudice – and their nets – their fortunes and pleasures – to follow him, they will find a refreshing and fulfilling way of life.