Pastors Desk: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time / B

Posted 20th January 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 21st January 2018 - Third Sunday in Ordinary Time / B

“God’s call can be found in the ordinariness of our daily lives.”

Today’s Gospel is in two parts. The first part is an important invitation of Jesus to each and every one of us. If Twitter had been around in the time of Jesus, he might have used it to say this or perhaps given it as a soundbyte to a reporter from Sky News: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

This is a key statement of Jesus at the beginning of his public life. It’s his opening remarks as he sets out on his ministry to come. The second part tells the story of the call of the first four disciples: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. He gives the same invitation to us today.

The Jesuit Father Donal Neary points out that God’s call can be found in the ordinariness of our daily lives: “God can surprise us and call us into his service. Our expectation is sometimes different - that we need long times of prayer to find God, or read about him, or do big things for him. Just as the smallest things are done out of human love, God is found in the ordinary”.

When reflecting on this gospel during the week and its call to be of service to others, I was reminded of the work of Professor John Monaghan of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul who died last week. John was National Vice-President for many years and the public face of the Society, particularly at budget time. He was a strong advocate for equality, social justice and the less well off. In tribute, President Michael D Higgins said:
“Professor Monaghan was an advocate for the importance of education and an ethic of care. He set a powerful example of practical solidarity and inclusiveness, working to improve the welfare of those most in need.”

As we thank God for our own calling to be followers of Jesus, we should also reflect on the meaning of that call in the changing circumstances of our lives and how we respond to it. Like John Monaghan, may we be generous in our response to what God may be asking of us at different moments of our life’s journey.

Deacon Gerard Reilly