THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
These days we seem to live in weird and wonderful times at the start of this week we heard the British Prime Minister outlining the Brexit or at least putting a wee bit of meat on the bony skeleton of the UK leaving the EU. Then on Friday we had the inauguration of President Trump as the 45th US president how the world is continually changing hopefully for the better but who knows things really are in the hands of God. The Sundays of Ordinary Time lead us through the three years of Christ’s public ministry. We began last week with his identification as the Lamb of God by John the Baptist and this week we hear how he called the Apostles to follow him. In our Gospel story this Sunday we hear about Jesus calling Andrew, Simon, Peter, James son of Zebedee and his brother John to follow him. As Jesus travelled around Galilee, he actively built a following. Biblical scholars speculate that the Galileans would network and form groups around social, economic, or religious issues. Even though the Romans put down revolts with brutal efficiency, large Jewish protests did sway official decisions, especially at the local level. There was strength in numbers. Part-time fishermen like Peter and Andrew, like James and John would easily leave their daily tasks, if the group they joined promised to protect and enhance their way of life.
Proclaiming the Kingdom was a message with political undertones for Jews and Jesus quickly amassed an audience. This gospel story is about the call of Jesus to the first apostles to be his followers. This gospel story is not just an echo from the past it is very much for us today as it was yesterday. Are we listening to Jesus saying to us today, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men?” This Gospel also asks us to remember that our own personal vocation is an absolutely free choice to make. This means that we are totally free to accept or deny the invitation for us to take up the vocation that is there for us. Some are called to the Priesthood, or Consecrated Life, others to marriage, others are called to a single life there are many other vocations in life all of the m are different and yet they are all calls to holiness that we are given.
May we experience the beauty of accepting the call with faith in God and acting on it. In this way we will become like the first apostles who quickly responded, continued to learn during their three years walking with Jesus and the years afterwards during which, with the power of the Holy Spirit, they did what they probably never imagined they would do when first called; travelled to the ends of the earth.