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3rd Sunday in OT (B): Sunday of the Word of God

A leap of faith. MARK 1:14–20

By Sr Cecile St Remy SSM, Grenada

The prophet Isaiah proclaims; “The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in the land of deep shadow a light has shone.” God is fulfilling His promise. God loves us. What a joy!

Mark tells us that after John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There He proclaimed the Good News from God.         We are living in a time of mercy; the pandemic is a call of mercy for all God’s children. It is a wake-up call.

Christmas heralded a call from our loving God through COVID-19. God is showering His infinite Mercy on all His children. However, God in the person of His Son, Jesus, needs prophets to proclaim: courage and trust. These prophets, first of all, must live their way of life in the footsteps of Jesus.

We are living in Ordinary Time: a time when Jesus lived and walked among His people, the poor, and the sick. Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John, asking them to follow Him, and they would become fishers of men. They left all and followed Jesus. What a leap of faith!

Who is this person who calls and receives an immediate response? Who is this person whom these men followed? There must be something special about Him. Jesus chose four fishermen; they believed and followed Him.

They and the other disciples would be the ones to accompany Jesus and then pass on the Good News. What a gift! Who can tell the wonders of the Lord! God humbled Himself in the person of His Son and came to live with us.

Our Christmas is to live daily the love of God. We Christians, followers of Jesus, are invited to forget about ourselves and follow the humblest creature that ever lived: Mary, the mother of Jesus. We also have a shining example in John the Baptist: “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

St Paul appeals to us to make up our differences and be open to the Holy Spirit who unites us as a people of God.

God’s children today are hungry for God; some may not even know for whom they are hungry. We are invited to see Jesus in all God’s children. No-one is higher or better than. It is our choice to see Him and behold Him in others.

Just as the four disciples left all to follow Jesus, we are invited to drop or let go of the net and be with Jesus as He showers His mercy and compassion on those He sends to us.

We are invited to allow His children to experience Jesus’ love for them. COVID-19 calls us to trust our loving God, and to focus on Jesus, the only One who heals and pardons.

Jesus Himself is plagued with the coronavirus, because His children are suffering. Coronavirus comes in all disguises. We are to protect ourselves, yes, but we embrace all with the Spirit of Jesus, and our Guardian angel. The saints in Heaven and on Earth open the way to help us respond to our times. This is a time of grace. Jesus says, “I am among you.” God enfolds in His love all humanity.  Let us not be concerned in what we lack, but in what good we can do for others.

God lavishes on us the happy privilege of sharing His love with everyone. God excludes no-one. I am not going to convert anyone, if they don’t know I love them. No-one is poor with love to spend.

Let us pray that Jesus’ friends continue to increase. Let us look at our present situation in the light of God’s saving power, and when read this way, the present is turned into promise for the future.

It is not about me but about how God’s purpose is unfolding. God appreciates our effort; our successes and failures can never surpass our effort.

 

The gospel reflections for January are by the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, a Catholic congregation of Franciscan religious sisters founded in Rome, Italy, in 1883, who serve worldwide, particularly in the field of healthcare. The Sisters serve in Italy, Austria, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Germany, the United States, Grenada, St Lucia, Tanzania and Trinidad and Tobago.

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