Daily Reading for January 25 • The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
As you ponder the scene [from Mark’s gospel], you may encounter Jesus taking the initiative and walking into your life, just as he took the initiative and walked into Peter’s life. Jesus always starts the relationship; we respond—or do not respond. We are free to invite Jesus to sit in our boat or to tell him to get out. He never coerces, but waits upon our willing consent to welcome him into our lives. Love is always a gift which we are free to accept or reject.
Again, ponder what it means to be known. What did Peter experience when he suddenly realized he was entirely known? Very few people truly know us, or want to. How difficult it is to enter fully into the heart and mind of someone else, even those we love most deeply! Yet there is One who sees into the depths of our hearts, knows all about us, from whom we can hide nothing. It is both wonderful and terrifying to be known as Jesus knows us!
When the boat starts to sink, we are afraid. Our fear is mixed with guilt, for confronted by the holiness of Christ, we see ourselves as we truly are. Being known by Christ is the means by which we know ourselves. Or ponder the meaning of “Be not afraid.” All our anxiety, loneliness, and fear are wiped away as we know ourselves to be with One who loves us forever and will never leave us alone.
Consider that Jesus always enters our lives in the company of other people. We do not meet him alone, but always with others. At first, we know him through our parents, church school teachers, and friends. But sooner or later, we deal with Jesus alone. This usually involves a struggle, for our first impulse is to tell Jesus to go away—we must choose Jesus or our sins. But once this is settled and we understand that we are known and forgiven and there is nothing to fear, we can go on. We go about our daily living in company with others and with Jesus. And we accept our responsibility to carry Jesus into the lives of people, as he once came into our life through others. Like Peter, James, and John, we become fishers of men.
From Prayer and Personal Religion by John Coburn, revised by Richard Schmidt. Copyright © 2009. Used by permission of Forward Movement and Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org