Suy Niệm: Từ xưa đến nay, ai đọc đoạn Tin Mừng này hẳn không khỏi ngạc nhiên tự hỏi động cơ nào khiến các môn đệ đầu tiên “lập tức” bỏ mọi sự để đi theo Chúa Giê-su. Phải chăng các ông đã gặp Chúa trước đây rồi, và đây chỉ là giây phút quyết định? Vâng, đúng thế. Thế nhưng, chừng ấy chưa đủ cơ sở để các ông bỏ cha mẹ, bỏ lưới thuyền, “lập tức” ra đi theo tiếng gọi của Đấng “không có nơi gối đầu.” Hai tác giả V. Howard và D. Peabody giúp lý giải điều này: ơn gọi chính là Tin Mừng cho con người, Tin Mừng về Con Thiên Chúa cũng chính là Tin Mừng của toàn dân. Thế nên, việc các môn đệ mau mắn đi theo Chúa Giê-su vì họ nhận ra Ngài là Tin Mừng đích thật, có giá trị hơn mọi thứ các ông đang sở hữu.
Cầu Nguyện: Lạy Chúa Giê-su, con biết theo ai bây giờ? Chỉ có Chúa mới đem lại cho con hạnh phúc đích thật và vĩnh cửu. Xin hãy kéo con về phía Chúa như Chúa đã đánh động tâm hồn các môn đệ đầu tiên. Xin cho con niềm vui và hạnh phúc khi bước theo Chúa. Amen.
Chúa Nhật 3 Thường Niên – Năm B
BÀI ĐỌC I: Gn 3, 1-5. 10 “Dân thành tin tưởng nơi Chúa: họ công bố việc ăn chay”.
Trích sách Tiên tri Giona.
Lời Chúa phán cùng Giona rằng: “Hãy chỗi dậy và đi đến Ninivê, một thành phố lớn, và rao giảng cho nó điều Ta sẽ nói cho ngươi”. Giona chỗi dậy và đi đến Ninivê theo lời Chúa dạy. Ninivê là một thành phố lớn, rộng bằng ba ngày đàng, Giona tiến vào thành phố đi một ngày đàng, rồi rao giảng rằng: “Còn bốn mươi ngày nữa, Ninivê sẽ bị phá huỷ”. Dân thành tin tưởng nơi Chúa: họ công bố việc ăn chay và mặc áo nhặm, từ người lớn đến trẻ nhỏ. Chúa thấy việc họ làm, vì họ bỏ đời sống xấu xa, Chúa bỏ ý định phạt họ, và Người không thực hiện điều đó. Đó là lời Chúa.
ĐÁP CA: Tv 24, 4bc-5ab. 6-7bc. 8-9. Đáp: Lạy Chúa, xin dạy bảo con về lối bước của Ngài. (c. 4b).
1) Lạy Chúa, xin chỉ cho con đường đi của Chúa, xin dạy bảo con về lối bước của Ngài. Xin hướng dẫn con trong chân lý và dạy bảo con, vì Chúa là Thiên Chúa cứu độ con. – Đáp.
2) Chúa nhân hậu và công minh, vì thế Ngài sẽ dạy cho tội nhân hay đường lối. Ngài hướng dẫn kẻ khiêm cung trong đức công minh, dạy bảo người khiêm cung đường lối của Ngài. – Đáp.
3) Lạy Chúa, xin hãy nhớ lòng thương xót của Ngài, lòng thương xót tự muôn đời vẫn có. Xin hãy nhớ con theo lòng thương xót của Ngài, vì lòng nhân hậu của Ngài, thân lạy Chúa. – Đáp.
BÀI ĐỌC II: 1 Cr 7, 29-31 “Bộ mặt thế gian này đang qua đi”.
Trích thư thứ nhất của Thánh Phaolô Tông đồ gửi tín hữu Côrintô.
Anh em thân mến, tôi nói cùng anh em điều này là: Thời giờ vắn vỏi; còn có cách là những ai có vợ, hãy ở như không có; những ai than khóc, hãy ăn ở như không than khóc; những kẻ hân hoan, hãy ăn ở như không hân hoan; những người mua sắm, hãy ăn ở như không có gì; những ai dùng sự đời này, hãy ăn ở như không tận hưởng, vì chưng bộ mặt thế gian này đang qua đi. Đó là lời Chúa.
ALLELUIA: Mc 1, 15 Alleluia, alleluia! – Nước Chúa đã gần đến, hãy tin tưởng vào Phúc Âm. – Alleluia.
PHÚC ÂM: Mc 1, 14-20 “Anh em hãy ăn năn sám hối và tin vào Phúc Âm”.
Tin Mừng Chúa Giêsu Kitô theo Thánh Marcô.
Sau khi Gioan bị bắt, Chúa Giêsu sang xứ Galilêa, rao giảng Tin Mừng nước Thiên Chúa, Người nói: “Thời giờ đã mãn và nước Thiên Chúa đã gần đến; anh em hãy ăn năn sám hối và tin vào Phúc Âm”. Đang lúc đi dọc theo bờ biển Galilêa, Người thấy Simon và em là Anrê đang thả lưới xuống biển, vì các ông là những người đánh cá. Chúa Giêsu bảo các ông: “Hãy theo Ta, Ta sẽ làm cho các ngươi trở thành những kẻ chài lưới người”. Lập tức các ông bỏ lưới theo Người. Đi xa hơn một chút nữa, Người thấy Giacôbê con ông Giêbêđê và em là Gioan đang xếp lưới trong thuyền, Người liền gọi các ông. Hai ông bỏ cha là Giêbêđê ở lại trên thuyền cùng với các người làm công, và đi theo Người. Đó là lời Chúa.
Gospel Mk 1:14-20
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.
Daily Reading & Meditation
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.19 And going on a little farther, 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.
Meditation: What is the Gospel of God which Jesus came to preach? The word “gospel” literally means “good news”. When a king had good news to deliver to his subjects he sent messengers or heralds throughout the land to make a public announcement – such as the birth of a newborn king or the victory over an invading army or occupied force. God sent his prophets to announce the coming of God’s anointed King and Messiah. After Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan and anointed by the Spirit he begins his ministry of preaching the Gospel – the good news that the kingdom of God was now at hand for all who were ready to receive it.
God rules over all
What is the kingdom of God? The word “kingdom” means something more than a territory or an area of land. It literally means “sovereignty” or “reign” and the power to “rule” and exercise authority. The prophets announced that God would establish a kingdom not just for one nation or people but for the whole world. The Scriptures tell us that God’s throne is in heaven and his rule is over all (Psalm 103:19). His kingdom is bigger and more powerful than anything we can imagine because it is universal and everlasting (Daniel 4:3). His kingdom is full of glory, power, and splendor (Psalm 145:11-13).
In the Book of Daniel we are told that this kingdom is given to the Son of Man (Daniel 7:14,18,22,27). The Son of Man is a Messianic title for God’s anointed King. The New Testament word for “Messiah” is “Christ” which literally means the “Anointed One” or the “Anointed King”. God sent us his Son not to establish an earthly kingdom but to bring us into his heavenly kingdom – a kingdom ruled by truth, justice, peace, and holiness. The kingdom of God is the central theme of Jesus’ mission. It’s the core of his gospel message.
As soon as John the Baptist had finished his testimony, Jesus began his in Galilee, his home district. John’s enemies had sought to silence him, but the gospel cannot be silenced. Jesus proclaimed that the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Jesus takes up John’s message of repentance and calls disciples to believe in the gospel – the good news he has come to deliver. What is the good news which Jesus delivers? It is the good news of peace (restoration of relationship with God – Ephesians 6:15), of hope (the hope of heaven and everlasting life – Colossians 1:23), of truth (God’s word is true and reliable – Colossians 1:5), of promise (he rewards those who seek him – Ephesians 3:6)), of immortality (God gives everlasting life – 2 Timothy 1:10), and the good news of salvation (liberty from sin and freedom to live as sons and daughters of God – Ephesians 1:13).
Two conditions for the kingdom – repent and believe
How do we enter the kingdom of God? In announcing the good news, Jesus gave two explicit things each of us must do to in order to receive the kingdom of God: repent and believe. When we submit to Christ’s rule in our lives and believe the gospel message the Lord Jesus gives us the grace and power to live a new way of life as citizens of his kingdom. He gives us grace to renounce the kingdom of darkness ruled by sin and Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44) and the ruler of this present world (John 12:31). That is why repentance is the first step.
Repentance means to change – to change my way of thinking, my attitude, disposition, and life choices so that Christ can be the Lord and Master of my heart rather than sin, selfishness, and greed. If we are only sorry for the consequences of our sins, we will very likely keep repeating the sin that is mastering us. True repentance requires a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17) and sorrow for sin and a firm resolution to avoid it in the future. The Lord Jesus gives us grace to see sin for what it really is – a rejection of his love and wisdom for our lives and a refusal to do what is good and in accord with his will. His grace brings pardon and help for turning away from everything that would keep us from his love and truth.
To believe is to take Jesus at his word and to recognize that God loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son to free us from bondage to sin and harmful desires. God made the supreme sacrifice of his Son on the cross to bring us back to a relationship of peace and friendship with himself. He is our Father and he wants us to live as his sons and daughters. God loved us first and he invites us in love to surrender our lives to him. Do you believe that the gospel -the good news of Jesus – has power to free you from bondage to sin and fear?
Like fishermen – we are called to gather in people for the kingdom of Christ
When Jesus preached the gospel message he called others to follow as his disciples and he gave them a mission – “to catch people for the kingdom of God.” What kind of disciples did he choose? Smelly fishermen! In the choice of the first apostles we see a characteristic feature of Jesus’ work: he chose very ordinary people. They were non-professionals, had no wealth or position. They were chosen from the common people who did ordinary things, had no special education, and no social advantages. Jesus wanted ordinary people who could take an assignment and do it extraordinarily well. He chose these individuals, not for what they were, but for what they would be capable of becoming under his direction and power.
When the Lord calls us to serve, we must not think we have nothing to offer. The Lord takes what ordinary people, like us, can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Do you believe that God wants to work in and through you for his glory?
Jesus speaks the same message to us today: we will “catch people” for the kingdom of God if we allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through us. God wants others to see the light of Christ in us in the way we live, speak, and witness the joy of the gospel. Paul the Apostles says, But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing (2 Corinthians 2:15). Do you witness to those around you the joy of the Gospel and do you pray for your neighbors, co-workers, and relatives that they may come to know the Lord Jesus Christ and grow in the knowledge of his love?
“Lord Jesus, you have called me personally by name, just as you called your first disciples, Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Help me to believe your word and follow you faithfully. Fill me with the joy of the gospel that your light may shine through me to many others.”
12 What shall I render to the LORD for all his bounty to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your handmaid. You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Common people on an uncommon mission, by Eusebius of Caesarea (260/263-340 AD)
“Reflect on the nature and grandeur of the one Almighty God who could associate himself with the poor of the lowly fisherman’s class. To use them to carry out God’s mission baffles all rationality. For having conceived the intention, which no one ever before had done, of spreading his own commands and teachings to all nations, and of revealing himself as the teacher of the religion of the one Almighty God to all humanity, he thought good to use the most unsophisticated and common people as ministers of his own design. Maybe God just wanted to work in the most unlikely way. For how could inarticulate folk be made able to teach, even if they were appointed teachers to only one person, much less to a multitude? How should those who were themselves without education instruct the nations?… When he had thus called them as his followers, he breathed into them his divine power, and filled them with strength and courage. As God himself he spoke God’s true word to them in his own way, enabling them to do great wonders, and made them pursuers of rational and thinking souls, by empowering them to come after him, saying: ‘Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for people’ (Mark 1:17, Matthew 4:19). With this empowerment God sent them forth to be workers and teachers of holiness to all the nations, declaring them heralds of his own teaching.” (excerpt from PROOF OF THE GOSPEL 3.7)
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