A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (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.
Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in our hearts the fire of Your Love!
He saw Simon and His brother Andrew. He saw James, ... and his brother John. Before Jesus calls these Apostles He saw them. This detail is significant in some of the other accounts of Apostles being called, Matthew, Nathaniel. In the case of Nathaniel, Nathaniel asks Jesus, "How did you know me?" and Jesus says, "before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." Jesus SEES these men, and calls them. But his seeing also implies knowing (because He is God!) and knowing implies loving (because God is love!).
So Jesus saw these men, He saw them in the midst of their work, presumably a bit smelly, messy, hard labor of fishing. And He knew them. And He loved them. And He called them. Jesus sees us too. In His seeing us He knows us perfectly and loves us perfectly. He even sees us, knows us, and loves us more perfectly that we do ourselves. What is my reaction to knowing that Jesus sees me? What rises in my heart when I sit with this truth? Is there shame, fear, guilt? Remember this gaze of Christ is one of perfect love and mercy. He is more merciful with us than we are with ourselves.
Lord, I ask for the grace that we might see ourselves as you see us, help us to rest in Your gaze of love and mercy, that we might truly receive and live from this place of being utterly loved even in all our mess. Thank you Jesus, for your Love, we love you.