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Sunday Sharing

Hello Saint Edna!  My name is Allison Blomeke, and I act as the Children’s Choir Director here at our parish.  I also teach music and junior high religion at Saint Mary School in Buffalo Grove, and live in Arlington Heights with my husband, Phil. Below you can find a reflection on this Sunday’s readings.  I pray that you find the courage to say yes to God’s call in your lives!

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In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 1:14-20, Jesus calls out to his first disciples with a simple invitation: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Simon and Andrew, who were casting their nets into the sea, abandoned their nets to follow Jesus.  As Jesus walked along a little farther, he called out to James and John, who were also in a boat, mending their nets. James and John left their father Zebedee along with the hired men to follow Him.

On its surface, the Gospel of Mark is the simplest and most direct of the four Gospels.  We read more about Jesus’ actions rather than his dialogue, and Mark typically does not elaborate in his descriptions.  My junior high students have a mixed reaction to Mark for these reasons.  Some of them love that simplicity and the directness, while others crave the details:  “What were Simon, Andrew, James and John really thinking when they heard Jesus’ call?”  “Was Jesus’ presence alone that magnetic?”  “How could the four disciples just stop everything they were doing and follow, without saying goodbye to their family members, friends and career?”

There are times in my life when I feel that God has called me, but I’m afraid that my experiences don’t match those of our first four disciples.

After graduating college and moving back home to Buffalo Grove, I knew that I should find a church to call my own, but didn’t feel particularly motivated to do so.  A friend of mine who was an instrumentalist for the Saint Edna 5:30 Sunday Night Liturgy group invited me to come to Mass one Sunday.  I attended rather begrudgingly and warned him that he wasn’t allowed to sign me up to sing, because I wasn’t ready to jump into something new just yet.  After Mass, I walked up to the choir area and my friend said to the director, “Norma! Meet your newest singer… You’re welcome, Allison.”  While I wanted to dig in my heels and say no, part of me knew that perhaps God was working through my friend, calling me to be here to serve at this parish.

A few months later as I read the Sunday bulletin, I came across an ad about auditions for the newest Snack Theatre show.  Being new to Saint Edna, I had no idea what I was signing myself up for, but felt a tiny tug at my heart when I read that ad.  Taking a leap of faith, I contacted this stranger named Jenni Falk.  Six Snack Theatre shows and countless nights of fun, friendship and laughter later, I know now that God can even call me through something as simple as a bulletin ad.

Years later, after a Snack Theatre performance, Fr. Jerry approached me. While we didn’t know each other well, he said to me, “It’s time for you to start singing with and learning from Gary Daigle.”  I was horrified and protested, sharing that I wasn’t ready to leave the 5:30 Mass and feared working with the quiet and mysterious Gary.  Fr. Jerry laughed and said that it was the right move for me.  I took our conversation to heart and started working with Gary soon afterwards.  If we hadn’t have had that discussion, I’m not sure if I would have had the courage to make that move on my own.

At the end of our second reading from 1st Corinthians 7:29-31, Saint Paul states, “I tell you brothers and sisters that time is running out… For the world in its present form is passing away.”  While our world is ever changing and evolving, there is one thing that is always constant: God’s love for us.  His compassion, His mercy, His forgiveness, His invitation.  God’s hand is always outstretched towards YOU, waiting for you to clasp your hand in His, accepting his invitation.  God’s call out to YOU to follow and make fishers of men may parallel the four fishermen, or could happen through a friend, a bulletin ad, a conversation with a stranger, or perhaps a simple tug at the heart.  

Questions to consider:
· In what ways has God called you in the past?
· What fears hold you back from following Jesus?
· In what ways can you follow Jesus’ message of love and service here at Saint Edna?
· In what ways can you follow Jesus’ message of love and service outside of Saint Edna, in your family, workplace, local community and in our world today?

Allison Blomeke

Rev. Robert Heidenreich
Administrator