15. Jan, 2018

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time B

Repent and believe

Belief in the Good News is about an openness to a whole new vision of God, and God’s action in the world. Jesus’ central message is to believe in that, to embrace that, and turn away from anything that hinders our relationship with God.

Notice that repentance comes before belief. Repentance is the 1st response to the Good News because a life without God, excludes a life with God. They are mutually exclusive as one builds a life centred around one’s self, and the other builds upon our faith in Jesus. One is self-centred, one is other centred, or Christ-centred. 

To be self-centred is to create an idol of one’s self. In my egoism I will not be challenged. I am always right. I will get what I want. I don’t want to look bad among others, meaning that maintaining my social image is important. There are lots of things we do, and lots of ways we think about ourselves, to maintain this idea that we are the centre of our world.

Then there are those are concerned how they are in the sight of God, who tear down their inner iodol, and who trust God alone. Their lives are built up on their faith in Jesus Christ. They have repented of egoism. This allowed them to free themselves from selfishness to be completely other centred – to be Christ centred.

Repent and believe means putting away our egoism, pride, possessive desires, lusts etc. rooted in a life centred on self, and putting on the armour of faith. Belief in Jesus Christ means a commitment to follow the Lord wholly and selflessly. “Don’t become engrossed in the world it is passing away,” rather build your life upon him.

Leave your fishing net and go after Jesus! 😊

Let’s look at the Gospel. Simon and Andrew, James and John are not looking for Jesus. They are too busy with the nets. It is another day of casting and mending. They may not have even noticed Jesus, but he sees them. Jesus has a way of showing up in the ordinary places of life and interrupting our daily routines.

Whatever your life is, however you spend your time, there is in that life Jesus’s call to “Follow me.” Repent, believe, follow–a simple message; it’s radical message of freedom from our egoistic preoccupations. It’s a message of a life built on Christ.