First reading 1 Samuel 1:1-8

Hannah’s rival taunts her for being barren

There was a man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the highlands of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, one called Hannah, the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children but Hannah had none. Every year this man used to go up from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there as priests of the Lord.
  One day Elkanah offered sacrifice. He used to give portions to Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; to Hannah, however, he would give only one portion, although he loved her more, since the Lord had made her barren. Her rival would taunt her to annoy her, because the Lord had made her barren. And this went on year after year; every time they went up to the temple of the Lord she used to taunt her. And so Hannah wept and would not eat. Then Elkanah her husband said to her, ‘Hannah, why are you crying and why are you not eating? Why so sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?’
 

Responsorial Psalm 115(116):12-19

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
How can I repay the Lord
  for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
 
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people.
O precious in the eyes of the Lord
  is the death of his faithful.
 
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
  you have loosened my bonds.
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
  I will call on the Lord’s name.
 
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
  before all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
  in your midst, O Jerusalem.
 
A thanksgiving sacrifice I make to you, O Lord.
or
Alleluia!
 

Gospel Mark 1:14-20 

I will make you into fishers of men

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
  As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
  Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
 
___________________________
 

God is here. Believe and share the Good News

Jesus started His public ministry by proclaiming, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel”. Today, Jesus offers the same Good News to us. The kingdom of God is near, i.e. the presence of God is here. We are called to  respond by entering into God’s presence, allowing His love to transform our lives and living by His values of peace, mercy and justice.
 
In the gospel, we also read about Jesus calling Simon, Andrew, James and John to leave their work as fishermen and share in His mission  of bringing people to the kingdom of God. Jesus continues to call us. However, he might not call us to do something drastically different from what we are doing. Instead, He calls us to continue doing what we are doing in the workplaces, parish, homes, and faith communities, but  with more love. Our words and actions can lead others to experience the closeness of God and His immense love for them. Today, let us first enter into God’s presence and hear once again the call to mission.
 
Question for reflection:
What is the message that Jesus has for me today?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr. Sandra Seow FMVD.