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Don’t Mend Your Broken Nets! Leave Them Behind!

Don’t Mend Your Broken Nets! Leave Them Behind! January 23, 2021

They were mending their nets.
“Don’t mend your broken nets! Leave them behind!” Pixabay / Public Domain.

 

Broken or not, nets are not what you need to be fishers of men and women.

 

Mark 1:14-20 for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

 

Today in the Gospel, we meet Christ at the beginning of his public mission to tell people the gospel of God.

Today, as he begins it all, he sums up the gospel of God in four short announcements.

This is the time of fulfillment.

The kingdom of God is at hand.

Repent.

Believe in the gospel.

The first two announcements promise something.

This is the time of fulfillment.

The kingdom of God is at hand.

The other two announcements make demands.

Repent.

Believe in the gospel.

To receive fulfillment and enter the kingdom, we need to repent and believe.

Where and what is the kingdom of God?

Why does it require repentance and faith?

The kingdom of God is paradise, and Christ is king and God.

This all repeats itself in the final hours of Christ on the cross.

On the cross, a sign over his head calls him king.

The executioner-soldiers mock him, saying: If you are a king, save yourself!

An unnamed criminal, also suffering crucifixion, announces his own repentance, confessing that he deserves to die for his deeds.

Then he declares his faith in the innocence of Christ and the kingship of Christ: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Christ canonizes him on the spot as a citizen of his kingdom: Amen, I say to you, this day YOU will be with ME in PARADISE.

As our original doubt and sin threw and barred us from paradise in the first place, so repentance and faith are the way back to paradise where Christ is king.

Not FAITH alone, but REPENTANCE and faith!

This is the time of fulfillment.

The kingdom of God is at hand.

Repent.

Believe in the gospel.

What is it to repent?

The word for repent in the original language of the gospel means literally change your mind.

During the rest of his public teaching, Christ explained in many ways what was involved in changing your mind.

Repenting, changing your mind, involves change in three ways.

  • You freely challenge the way you THINK with new ways.
  • You freely challenge your FEELINGS with new ways.
  • You freely challenge the way you BEHAVE with new ways.

And what are these new ways of THINKING, FEELING and BEHAVING?

In the Gospel today, after beginning to tell people to repent— to take on new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving— Christ sets up a real life example.

He calls four men— Simon, Andrew, James, John— and gives them a stark challenge for their thinking, feeling and living.

He tells them to leave behind their livelihoods, possessions, homes, families, coworkers and neighbors.

For their new livelihood, new possession, new home, new family, new coworker and new neighbor they are to have Christ and his mission.

Christ is the new way challenging my old and same old ways of thinking, feeling and living.

Christ is to be the reason and goal of my repentance and my faith.

Christ is the time of fulfillment.

The kingdom of God is at hand in Christ.

Repent for Christ.

Believe in Christ.

Today Christ tells Simon, Andrew, James and John: Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.

Come after me.

Repent.

Believe in me.

I will change your thinking, feeling and behavior so that you will draw others to fulfillment in paradise.

This is the time of fulfillment.

The kingdom of God is at hand.

Repent.

Believe in the gospel.

Whether two thousand years ago by the Sea of Galilee or within this very hour here in his Eucharistic Body and Blood, Christ challenges us to think, feel and act differently, in a new way, to freely choose to have him be the difference and the new way.

History and time are fulfilled in the Body and Blood of Christ.

The kingdom of God is at hand in the Body and Blood of Christ.

Repent for the Body and Blood of Christ.

Believe in the Body and Blood of Christ.

If we do not choose to repent of old ways, then it is pointless for us to receive Christ in his Body and Blood.

Without repentance, we are choosing to be like the broken nets that James and John were mending in today’s Gospel.

The King of Paradise is here, and broken nets cannot catch or hold him.

You have to run after him.

Broken nets get left behind.

Repent and believe!

 

Turn. Love. Repeat.

 


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