Last evening just before beginning this reflection on the selection from Mark's gospel, I spent some time speaking with someone who is retiring after a lifetime in the same work -- close to fifty happy years. Now a long time ago beginning is ending but a new beginning is about to unfold ... and it is frightening.
Imagine the feelings of the apostles who were called by Jesus to join his group. Giving up their professions to work with a man they did know. Perhaps they had heard some talk about this man. Most likely then had also heard that John the baptizer had been incarcerated. Might these future apostles have some reservations because of John's connection with Jesus.
You may not feel God tugging you away from your current vocational works. However, at this beginning time of new ways of living your life each of us must feel at the outset of a new year, you must have some strange feelings. Are you absolutely sure God wants you to repeat last year's way of life? None of us is a saint. Again our challenge is to ascertain through prayer and reflection what God wants of me for this year. I suspect all of us know that there have been encounters with sin in the last year.
So today can you peacefully write what you believe it is that God is asking you to change for this new year? Truly a challenge!!!