Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M.
The Kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:15b). Hearing these words again as we enter Ordinary Time, hearing words from the first chapter of St. Mark's Gospel, the first Gospel to be written, may not have the same effect that it had on Peter, Andrew, James and John. They lived in the kingdom, the empire, of Caesar. It was the only political reality they knew. It affected their entire life in ways we will never understand. How the words of Jesus must have stirred their hearts. In fact, they were so struck by these words that they left everything to follow Jesus.
What would it take to get one of us to act so decisively today? We are people of indecision; our culture and society are so governed by fear that we fail, time and time again, to act. Before we act, we sit and discuss the ramifications of our actions for so long and so exhaustively that the time for action passes us by. Imagine, if you will, what would have happened if the four who were called had first sat down to consider their decision before simply getting up and following Jesus. How different our world would be today if these four had debated the pros and cons of leaving everything to follow Jesus.
St. Paul had written years earlier: Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2c). The time to act is now. We dare not wait.