Thursday, January 22, 2015

Going after Jesus

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
January 25, 2015

Mark 1:14-20

When John the Baptist was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee and began to "proclaim the Good News of God." According to Mark, he doesn't exactly teach a doctrine so that his disciples would learn it and spread it correctly. Jesus proclaims an event that's already happening. He is already living it and wants to share his experience with everyone.

Mark sums up his message thus: "This is the time of fulfillment" -- you don't have to look back now. "The kingdom of God is at hand" -- since he wants to build a more humane world. "Convert" -- you can't go on as if nothing were happening; change your way of thinking and acting. "Believe in this Good News." This plan of God is the best news you could hear.

After this solemn summary, Jesus' first act is to find collaborators to carry out his project. Jesus "passes by the Sea of Galilee." He has begun his journey. He's an itinerant prophet who's seeking followers to make a fascinating trip with them -- opening the way to the Kingdom of God. He's not a rabbi sitting in his chair, looking for students to form a religious school. Being Christian isn't learning doctrines but following Jesus in his life project.

Jesus is always the one who takes the initiative. He approaches, fixes his sight on those four fishermen and calls them to give a new direction to their lives. Without his intervention, no true Christian is born. We believers are to experience more faithfully the living presence of Christ and his eyes on each one of us. If not him, who can give a new direction to our lives?

But what's most important is hearing his calling within: "Come after me." It's not one day's work. Listening to that call means awakening trust in Jesus, reviving our personal allegiance to him, having faith in his plan, identifying with his program, reproducing his attitudes in ourselves...and winning more people for his plan that way.

This could be a good motto for a Christian community today: Go after Jesus. Put him in front of everyone. Remember him every Sunday as the leader who goes before us. Generate a new dynamic. Focus everything on more closely following Jesus Christ. Our Christian communities would be transformed. The Church would be different.

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