Gospel Reflection for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A – January 26th 2014
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Hearing that John had been arrested Jesus went back to Galilee, and leaving Nazareth he went and settled in Capernaum, a lakeside town on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. In this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled:
‘Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Way of the sea on the far side of Jordan,
Galilee of the nations!
The people that lived in darkness
has seen a great light;
on those who dwell in the land and shadow of death
a light has dawned.’
From that moment Jesus began his preaching with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand’.
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men’. And they left their nets at once and followed him.
Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.
He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogue proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds diseases and sickness among the people.
We notice a big change of life for the disciples – they leave the past to follow the Lord. Leaving behind their old jobs and roles, but also what might block them from living fully.
For this they need to believe in themselves. We pick up messages about ourselves from significant people and we may have to let the messages go. A child whose parents separate often feels unloved and they need the care and love that shows them they are ok. Every addicted person has deep down a sense of not being loved. Every child coming into the world deserves to know that he or she is loved.
Love and Call
In religion as well we need to touch into the love and the call of God. We need to let go of a religion of guilt, and of feeling separate from God for things that were often minor or not meant. We believe that the first gift of our faith is the love of God…the humble God who became one of us in love.
Look at the disciples now – letting go of nets. But they had something new. Each of us week by week can get this new thing here – the best thing going for us is in this church – the love of God. Everything else flows from that. We meet not to make ourselves loved by God but because God loves us.
To know the love of God – is a huge gift, and to know the love and acceptance of another or a few others in life is also a huge gift. Both are one. Love divine, all love excelling – in every love and friendship we have.
Donal Neary SJ