About a year since the first coronavirus case was detected in the United States, over 400,000 people have lost their lives. The presence of the vaccine seems to be sustaining our hope that the global pandemic will soon be behind us. Yet, we know that the world will never be the same.
Paul’s wise words in today’s second readings ring in my ear as we enter a new stage in humanity: “For the world in its present form is passing away.” (1 Cor 7:31) Just like Jonah in the first reading, Paul is taking action based on the revelation of God’s will to him. In Mark’s version of the calling of Simon, Andrew, James, and John, the disciples get up and follow Christ after merely being called. They do not speak, saying yes or no, they simply follow. I imagine that, although Mark does not document it, that there was dialogue between Jesus and these men, but what is highlighted are their actions: “They abandoned their nets and followed him.” (Mark 1:18)
As a new American president is inaugurated after some of the most chaotic four years in American history and as we begin to rebuild as a society around a post-coronavirus world, we are called to respond to the call of Jesus. Without denying the tragedy, brokenness, and need for healing, we are given a new opportunity to abandon our old ways and let our hearts be converted by the call of Jesus. We understand better now than before the wounds inflicted by White Supremacy on our country and our global interconnectivity, realizing that economic inequality resulted in the worsening effects of the pandemic.
Just as the dialogue is left out of Mark’s version and what is highlighted is the actions of the disciples so, too, will our actions be highlighted. We have spent months with masks and in increased isolation awaiting the moment when we will be able to act. Let us then abandon our nets and follow Jesus.
Amirah Orozco is currently in the masters of theological studies program at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry with a focus on systematic theology, especially ecclesiology and Hispanic theology. She works in Hispanic ministry training programs at Formación Continua at the STM. She is originally from the border between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.