Today we start reading from the Book of Samuel, actually two books, and we will do so for most of the month. The book or books of Samuel are important because they document the beginning of the monarchy in Israel, which will eventually lead us to Jesus the final and eternal King, not only of Israel but of the whole world.
So as we read Samuel we will see how God always remains faithful to the Covenant he has with the Israelites, and be extension with us, even when they are unfaithful, which they often are. Samuel, the prophet, provides the moral guidance to Saul and David, and is instrumental in having David replace Saul, under God’s guidance.
The reading from Mark is very appropriate on the first day after the Baptism of the Lord. Why, because our call to conversion began with our Baptism. Obviously, we had nothing to repent of when we were first Baptized, but our sinful nature tends to get us in trouble so repentance and conversion are necessary as we grow older. And repentance and conversion are an ongoing process throughout our lives. This is of necessity, because if our faith doesn’t mature and grow, it stagnates and may even die.
So when Jesus says repent and believe in the Gospel he is calling us to journey with him, just as he called Peter, Andrew, James and John. And the journey involves an every deeper commitment and understanding of where we are headed, and why it is important.
When Jesus appears proclaiming the Gospel of God, he is announcing that the long promised salvation is at hand. The messiah that the Jews had been waiting for is here; that is the meaning of the Kingdom of God is at hand. God has made his appearance on earth and this is now the End Times.
Peter, Andrew, James and John give the appropriate response. They drop everything and follow Jesus. Why did they do so? Perhaps they had heard Jesus preach? or maybe it was his charisma. Or maybe they remembered what they had heard in the synagogue and read in the scriptures and believed. We can be pretty sure that they did not know exactly where the journey would lead, but they were open to where ever Jesus would lead them.
The more pressing questions is this, we have the Word and the proof of its authenticity with the death and resurrection of Jesus, affirming that he spoke the truth. He is our salvation. Why don’t we drop everything and follow him? Or at least consider our life style and turn to him and began to change. I do not have an answer to that, but those of us here can at least do as he tells us “Repent and believe in the Gospel!” We also do not know where the journey will lead us in this life, but we do know the final destination. That makes the journey worthwhile, regardless of where it goes while here on earth.
Have a Great journey and May God Bless you Always.