One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readins: Jonah 3: 1-5, 10, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7,8-9, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1: 14-20 and the Memorial of St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity)
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him…Mark 1:17-18
REFLECTION – “Follow me!” Jesus says these words … to every Christian. Follow me, naked as I am naked, free from every hindrance as I myself am. Jeremiah said: “You will call me ‘My Father’ and never turn away from me” (Jer 3:19). So follow Me and put down the burdens you are bearing. For, laden as you are, you cannot follow Me who am running ahead. “I ran in thirst” says the psalmist about me (Ps 61:5 LXX), the thirst to save humanity. And where is He running? To the Cross. You too, run after Him. As He bore His Cross for you, take up your own for your good. From whence these words of Saint Luke’s gospel: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself” by renouncing his own will, “take up his cross” by mortifying his passions, “daily,” that is all the time, “and follow me.” (Lk 9:23) …
Jesus speaks to us like a mother who, wanting to teach her child to walk, shows him apiece of bread or an apple and says to him: “Come with me and I’ll give it to you.” And when the child is so close that he can almost catch hold of it, she draws away a little, showing the thing to him and repeating: “Follow me if you want it.” Some kinds of birds lead their little ones out of their nest and, by flying, teach them to fly and to follow them. Jesus does the same. He shows Himself as an example and promises us His reward in the kingdom so that we might follow Him.
So “follow me” for I know the right way and will guide you. We read in the book of Proverbs: “I will show you the way of wisdom; I will lead you by the ways of equity. When you have entered, your steps will not be constrained and when you run you shall not meet a stumbling block” (cf. Prv 4:11-12 LXX). … Therefore, “follow me”.” … St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the feast of Saint John the Evangelist
PRAYER – Grant Lord, that in the service of our fellowmen, we may always reflect Your own gentleness and love and so imitate St Francis de Sales, whom You made all things to all men, for the saving of souls. Grant that his prayers on our behalf may assist us in our daily struggles in traversing our pilgrim way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.