3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: MARK I: 14-20
Today’s Gospel speaks about the call of Jesus’ first disciples. Jesus
said to Peter and his brother, Andrew, and to James and his brother, John,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When Jesus called them,
immediately they left their nets and fishing boats and followed Jesus.
They must have felt some deep trust and some special attraction to Jesus.
Jesus called these first disciples not because they were perfect or better
than others; they were ordinary, simple fishermen. But they had special
qualities; they were ready to change their old ways of life and ready to
take on any tasks to follow Jesus’ mission. Jesus does not look for us to
be fit but makes us fit. By calling us, Jesus makes it possible for us to
follow Him, to participate in the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection,
and to make this mystery visible to others. Only those, who are ready and
willing to receive this gift of transformation, can hear the call of Jesus.
Jesus calls these ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
In our own lifetimes, we have seen how God called the ordinary woman,
Mother Teresa, to do extraordinary things in her own simple ways to the
poor and sufferings. Mother Teresa said, “I am only a pencil in God’s
hand. God writes through us …and however imperfect instruments we may be,
God, write beautifully.” I love Mother Teresa’s beautiful words. I
love the imagination they create. I like to imagine that I am one of those
worn-out old pencils. And every now and again, this pencil gets dull. I
mess up. I get petty and immature and short-sighted. I forget to trust and
start to strive. The once sharp point of my pencil wears down and the
eraser starts to disappear because I have made so many mistakes that need
to be rubbed out.
But God does not put me away and pick up a new pencil. God still decides
to write with me, despite my own dullness, despite my screaming
imperfections. God decides to sharpen me and put this pencil to God’s
page. And then God starts to write. And if there is one thing I am sure
of, it is that God is the best author out there. Not only did God pen the
best-selling book of all time, but God has also written beautiful stories
in the lives of the billions and billions of people, who have lived on this
planet: imperfect people, who lived beautiful lives.
God has a history of using imperfect instruments. God used an old,
childless man, Abraham, a prostitute, Rahab, a fearful runaway, Jonah, an
adulterous David, and a prideful and fearful person with a big mouth,
Peter. But maybe God chooses to use such imperfect instruments so that
God’s name is even more glorified. Because if God can use these dull,
broken down pencils to write beautiful stories –such as those of saints
like Mother Teresa and Saint John Paul II — then not only is God a great
author, but God is a good God. So, let us ask God’s grace that we be the
small instruments of God’s hands and to sharpen us again and again and
start a fresh page of our lives. May we use our hands to make a positive
difference in our families, communities, and in the world. I love this
beautiful quote from St. Mother Teresa, “*Not all of us can do great
things, but we can do small things with great love.”*