Saturday, January 21, 2017

01-22-2017 -- 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Jan. 22, 2017 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A 
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

Jesus has the power to walk into Andrew and Peter’s lives, say three words, and they get up and follow him. “Come after me.” And they do it immediately, with no hesitation.

Their lives are radically changed at that moment. They leave behind everything and they begin a new life.
The prophet Isaiah describes for us what happens when we answer the call to follow Jesus? The yoke that burdens us is smashed. The anguish that consumes us takes flight.

The prophet speaks of the transforming power of the Lord. There is no darkness, no gloom, only light. There is great rejoicing and abundant joy.

Jesus, after calling the Apostles, teaches them to work together. He assembles a motley crew and then calls them to be one family. There are squabbles among them, who is the greatest, who sits at the right and at the left.

As Paul cites in his letter to the Corinthians, Christians have always been a motley crew and as a result division tends to creep in.

Paul writes to the Corinthians because they are dividing into factions. The disciples of Jesus are saying things like I belong to Paul or I belong to Apollos or I belong to Cephas,

We see this today. Instead of focusing on Jesus, we focus on the personalities of some of Jesus’ modern day apostles. I like John Paul II or I prefer Mother Angelica or I follow Cardinal Burke or Cardinal Lacroix or I belong to Francis.

When we act like this, we divide the Body of Christ and act in a very un-Christian way. There should be no division among us. We all belong to Jesus Christ.

We all must answer the call to follow. And when we answer the call we become Apostles.

Do we answer the call perfectly? Of course not! Sometimes I am inadequate in my attempt to answer Jesus’ call.

We all are. We are sinful, selfish, weak, broken. We are too attached to our own ways or to our possessions.

Because of our sinfulness and poor life choices, we don’t always answer the call. And when we do, we don’t always answer perfectly. So what?

In my experience, my life is always better, I am always happier when I am trying to be an Apostle.

Why? Because Jesus already knows that I am a sinner, and still Jesus calls me to be the best version of myself. Jesus calls me to use my gifts and talents, to build up the Body of Christ. Trying is better than not doing anything at all.

It has almost always been my experience that my life seems to be appreciably better when I am cooperating with Jesus instead of working against him.

So when Jesus walks into your life, and Jesus does walk into your life, and speaks those three words, “Come after me,” what do you do? Immediately, the Apostles left everything and followed him.

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