Offers food for thought
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
One major complaint about the church is that we don’t walk our talk. We don’t look like Jesus and we don’t live like Jesus. Someone might say to you, “You know what the problem is with you Christians?” and without rolling your eyes, you tell him “I’d love to know.” So he continues, “You guys have an outstanding product but your delivery system is messed up.” Confused, you ask “What do you mean?” He clarifies by asking, “You guys are selling Jesus right?” Despite the thoughts immediately swirling through your mind, you charitably respond “Uh, sorta. Yeah.” So, he goes on saying “Well Jesus is amazing. He’s incredible. What a tremendous product. But the delivery system – the church of the lukewarm, nobody wants that. You guys are like bait and switch salesmen… you talk a good talk but you don’t even believe it enough to walk the walk”
So there it is, take a minute and reflect on your own life and commitment to follow him. Mercifully, God never gives up and his word is always ready to speak new life into our souls, as it calls us back and teaches us how to go forward.
Paul, in today’s Second Reading gives us a key truth without which we will never realize the holiness for which we are made. He tells the Corinthians that it’s who and what we are in God, not what we have, that defines us. He affirms the Way of Christ which is to live in total freedom and holy detachment from that which isn’t lasting. If any of us is going to be able to respond to the voice of God calling us, we will first need to be free and detached, or at least somewhat internally oriented in this way and stay that way.
In the second part of today’s Gospel four fishermen are called and we see how free and detached they are. They weren’t unfamiliar with Jesus, they had already spent time with him. They would not have gone home without being changed. Now, after their encounter with the Lord and after a time of growth in understanding, Jesus seeks them out and calls them to be with him, learn from him and share in the mission of salvation; to proclaim the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.". Acting with complete trust and total surrender, they left their nets and followed Jesus.
Most of us, are we like those first apostles or are we fearful and pragmatic? “Where are we going? What will we do? How long will we be gone? What do I need to take? Where will we stay?” However, God promised us that if we cling to Jesus and commit to lives that affirm our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, cooperating with the grace of God and the transforming power of relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit; then we will increasingly be able to recognize Gods voice, discern God’s will, and eagerly respond with freedom and complete surrender.
Jesus started a revolution, in the souls of a few people who said ‘You are the Messiah, to whom else could we go’ and, we are completely yours ‘be it done to me according to your word’! Let the revolution, in your soul happen. A revolution that transforms you and changes the world. THIS is the adventure of your life. We are saved to be sent. We are saved to serve. We are saved to share. This is how you will know the will God.
The call to repent, believe, follow and serve, continues to go out to each one of us. It’s also a progressively unfolding call. I am first called to ‘come and see’ and then to ‘repent and believe’. Then I’m called to ‘listen to him’ and to ‘do whatever he tells us’ as we increasingly learn how to live in the imitation of Christ. At some point, Jesus seeks us out some of us and calls us to participate directly in the mission as Priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters. For others, he calls to participate in the mission primarily through building the Kingdom of God as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers… and to love God and Neighbor through the mission of a holy family.
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.