Beloved Lord Jesus: You know that many times my agenda and my passions take control of my life. I surrender to You my mind and my senses so that, placed in You and free from my limitations, they may follow our Father's perfect paths. Amen.
This Sunday's Gospel reading is a call to surrender ourselves fully to God. "NOW is the time of fulfillment" - not just 2000 years ago, not at the Second Coming of Christ, but right now in your life when and where you need Jesus the most.
"The kingdom of God is at hand" - what you need from the Lord is right here, at hand, ready for you.
"Repent, and believe in the gospel" means "Come follow Me and learn from Me to become like Me." For the first disciples, it meant dropping whatever they were doing to spend so much time with Jesus that their whole lives were forever affected. And this is what it means for you and for me: We have to put aside our own agendas and busy schedules to spend more time following Jesus wherever he leads us.
In the modern world, we have become more dependent on our technological devices than on Jesus. Many of us cannot even go on vacation without remaining accessible to their employers via the cell phone. Somehow, we need to find a way to take a stand against this. It's one of the social justice teachings of the Church: We are actually called by God to rebel against working on Sundays and other days of rest. Why? Because we need to spend that time with Jesus getting renewed, restored and re-energized.
Unfortunately, Jesus doesn't walk through the door and circle dates on our calendar and write "Rest with Jesus" so that we can plan ahead. We have to follow his lead at a moment's notice - every moment. To experience the kingdom of God on the earthly side of heaven, we have to be willing to drop everything to follow Jesus into unfamiliar places at unexpected times. We have to learn to follow his lead even in situations where his way is the surprising way.
Questions for Personal Reflection: What's on your to-do list? What keeps you busy? What are your goals for the future? What are you dreaming of? If Jesus has a different plan for your day or for your life, how easily could you switch over to new ideas and plans?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing: What are some of the nets you've abandoned in the past in order to follow Jesus? How difficult was that to do? Are you happy about it now? Why? How was this an experience of the kingdom of God on earth?