Gospel Reflection for the 3rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year A – January 22nd 2017
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.
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.
Something in Jesus attracted a group to follow him. They must have known of him already, had been looking forward to meeting him, and now were ready to leave John the Baptist and follow him. Maybe they saw him as the one they admired in how he dealt with people with compassion and dignity; maybe his words and vision about a better world and the coming of God’s kingdom drew them; maybe just his personality and his offer of friendship. Whatever it was, it was enough for them to throw in their lot with him, bringing others with them.
SOMETHING FOR OURSELVES
Something for ourselves: can we find out what it is in Jesus that attracts us; what it is we might ask him for; what it is we might worth following.
He offers his friendship, forgiveness, and also a meaning to life. That life is lived for love, love for the people special to us and for the world, a love that reaches beyond here to eternity.
TO DO THE WORLD A WORLD OF GOOD
Our following of Jesus is following a person, not just a set of rules. We follow him to love the father who created us in the image of God. We follow him to make our world a better place: ‘to do the world a world of good’.
Take time this week to be grateful that we have this friendship in our lives that gives life and breadth to every other love we have; and throw in our lot to bring about the kingdom of God in compassion, justice and love.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
Reflections for Year A, first published in other years in Logos Missalette, have now been published in book form:
Gospel Reflections for Sundays of Year A: Matthew, Messenger Publications 2016, €9.99
Order online at www.messenger.ie, or in Veritas and other booksellers.