3rd Sunday - Gospel: Mark 1:14-20 –

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Repent and Believe in the Gospel.

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Mark 1:12-20:

Mark 1:12-20 Repent and Believe in the Gospel .

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12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him. 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press. The English translations of the works of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) who also uses the RSV-CE or its Second Edition.

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19 And going on a little further, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed Him. The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press. The English translations of the works of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) who also uses the RSV-CE or its Second Edition.

Map:

Map When John the Baptist was arrested Jesus returned to Galilee to begin His earthly ministry .

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The Gospel of Luke explains that John was arrested because he publicly accused King Herod of having taken his brother’s wife to be his own which is a violation of the law, prison was intended to silence John .

The Call of the First Disciples:

The Call of the First Disciples First Jesus calls Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew. Simon & Andrew were quickly followed by the recruitment of James and John . All of the disciples were called from Galilee except Judas Iscariot. In this reading we see the first four had a long heritage associated with the fishing industry.

The Fishing Industry:

The Fishing Industry Fishing was an important part of the Palestinian economy in the first century. But it was not the “free enterprise” that most modern readers would imagine . Even fishermen who owned their own boats were part of a state-run enterprise, with a complex web of financial relationships. Fishing was controlled by the ruling leaders. The local rulers sold the fishing rights to “tax collectors.” The tax collectors in turn contracted with fishermen. The fishermen contracted for rights and o ften times equipment and supplies were also furnished thus the fishermen became indebted to their rulers . Matthew or Levi probably sold these rights (Mt. 9: 9 ;Mk. 2: 14 ) which was just one more reason why tax collectors wer e despised as instruments of the state.

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In 1935 the REA (Rural Electrification Administration) was created to bring electricity to rural farms and towns in America. When the electric lines started to appear in those communities they also brought not only electricity but a very different way of living. People had to believe in electricity and make practical changes in their lives to utilize this new technology.

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The ice box was replaced with the refrigerator, wood stoves with electric stoves. The rural communities were in essence told, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of electricity is at hand; repent, and believe in electricity.” Repent meant to turn from their kerosene lamps or lanterns, their scrub-boards and their woman-powered sewing machines, to electricity.

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By making some relatively simple changes in their lives they could utilize all that the kingdom of electricity had to offer. Some just didn’t want to change, some said they couldn’t afford to change. The kingdom of God has been here long before any of us were born. The kingdom of God is available to those who are willing to change, to accept its reality, to repent of their secular values and to accept the Gospel as a guide to life. Today we see the call of the first disciples. Like rural farmers they were given a chance to accept or reject a new way of life. Like the rural farmers they saw the need to change, to believe and thus embraced Jesus and the kingdom.

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