Pondering for Sunday, January 22, 2023

Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of the 3rd Week of Epiphany: Year A

Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 5-13; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23

“As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” (Matthew 4: 18 and 19)

Our Lord Jesus changes us.  But even for Jesus, we must recognize our invitation to, “Follow Him.”  In following Jesus we are changed. And here’s an added note, we might be changed more than once.  Depending on the needs of our communities, and what God asks of us, we might be changed over and over again.

Perhaps we might live a lifelong transformation; lawyer, doctor, trash collector, etc . Jesus himself was a chief carpenter, lawyer, healer and trash collector.

Jesus defends the woman caught in adultery by inviting those who have not sinned to cast the first stone. The case was dropped like the stones in their hands.  Jesus goes through out Galilee healing all of their infirmities.  This was his own calling as a doctor.  And finally, Jesus collects all of our trash, our sins, and thus frees us and makes us fit for eternal life in the kingdom. Jesus sets the example for us to follow.

God in Christ Jesus changes us?  We might start out in a blue collar trade or even as a lower echelon administrative clerk.  But when our Lord Jesus commands us to follow him, we are changed.  And here’s the thing, we can be changed over, and over again.

This change from fisher persons to evangelist of the gospel is the realization that our secular vocations are changed from vocations to ministries; from fishermen to evangelists.  If what you do to earn your bread served a common communal good, then see that vocation as a ministry. What you do for the community in which you live, be it to teach school, repair shoes, cut hair, cook food, or even pick up neighborhood trash; each vocation must be seen as a ministry for the building up of the community.  This also applies for volunteer vocations like assisting at the urban ministry, or local soup kitchens or clothing closets. And for how long?

Yogi Bearer said it best, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”  In Christ Jesus, we are recyclable. We can be used to do the Lord’s work over and over again. I myself have been a mover of furniture, a Marine, now a minister and I understand that the Lord is not done with me yet.  And I further understand, my work, my ministries are not about me, but rather the communities in witch I live and serve for the benefit of the faithful.

The same is true for each of you. Our Lord Jesus says to you, “Follow Me.” What say yee?

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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