Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Mary O’Brien, SNDdeN

Jan 17, 2024 | Gospel Reflections

January 21, 2024

Mark 1: 14-20

Perhaps it is significant that John had been arrested before the events described in this Gospel story occurred. That was a turning point, certainly in the life of John himself and of all his friends. He had known that he faced danger in all that he was teaching and doing so that his arrest was a part of the path to which he had responded without knowing all the possible consequences.

Jesus is proclaiming that, ‘The time has come’. What did that mean to his followers? How did they see ‘this time’? The Sea of Galilee is the scene for several of the occasions about which we have been told. A lake is an important part of the daily scene and a source of many of the daily needs for the communities living near to it. Jesus came to Simon and Andrew and then to James and his brother, John who were fishermen. What did they know of this man who came and asked them to do something out of their experience and leading to they knew not where? We are told that they responded with total simplicity and followed him.
These are examples of immediate response to a call. The initial response is recognition of being asked/invited to choose. Calls can bring greater or lesser effects in our lives, frequently not immediately obvious. The gift then is that of recognizing the invitation, responding positively and then being faithful to living whatever may be the consequences of that active acceptance of the invitation.


Mark 1: 14-20

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.
The Gospel of the Lord


Meet Sister Mary O’Brien, SNDdeN

Mary O’Brien was educated at Notre Dame High School Manchester. She entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at Ashdown, England, in 1962. After her religious profession in 1965, she was missioned to Liverpool to teach in Notre Dame Collegiate School, Everton Valley and then in Notre Dame High School, St. Helens. Then, back in Liverpool, she spent ten years in Notre Dame High School Woolton which, on reorganization, became St. Julie’s High School, Woolton. Sister Mary went to Kenya in 1992 where she taught for some years, and made many contacts. She was then engaged in ministry and administration in the Kenya Province until 2018 when she returned to the British Province.