22 Jan 2011

January 23rd 2011 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weeks show has a prayer pause moment, our usual reflection on the gospel for the Sunday, a quick review of EWTN and this weeks Irish Catholic as well as Saints of the Week.

Gospel Mt 4:12-23

The gospel this Sunday marks the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus to the "lost sheep of the House of Israel" after the preparation by his herald, John the Baptist and Matthew seeks to remind his readers that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophet vision that "the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned".

Jesus calls to the Chosen People for the need to "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand". This was a call made by Jesus 2,000 years ago and it is the call that he still makes to us again and again in our own time. The need to repent or in the original greek "metanoia" can also be understood as changing one's mind, ones outlook; in a sense the embracing of thoughts beyond their present limitations or thought patterns or actions in our lives. It is a term which seeks to denote the meaning of repentance by replacing its negative connotation with a positive one, focusing on challanging us to becoming and moving toward a better way of living in communion with God and our neighbours rather than an excessive focus on the inferior way of life being departed from. A call which is very timely for us in Ireland both within the Church and civil society where as a community we have a deep and intrinsic need to repent in the best sense of the word and turn away from the ways we as a society have lived and acted and allowed especially over the years of the Celtic Tiger.

The gospel also recounts the call of the disciples to leave all to follow the Lord, again a call which is being made to all of the followers of Christ today, the need to leave immediately the things and ways in our lives which inhibit our following completely the teaching of the Divine Master. Of course it is also a reminder of the need for men and women to more explicitly follow the Divine Master by undertaking a journey in the religious and vowed life.

As we listen and reflect on this weeks gospel perhaps we should think about times or ways where we can accept the call of the Lord to metanoia or change of heart and go follow him directly. At the same time it is a reminder for us as a community to pray and encourage those who are considering the call to the priesthood and religious life. Those that are called to serve the Lord and the Chuch in the religious life are like the apostles called from out of the community to serve the Lord - they don't grow under bushes or behind trees, they are members of our families and communities who work more directly in the vineyard of the Lord. Have you prayered and actively encouraged vocations in your family and community this weekend?
Further reflections here, here and here

Saints of the Week

24th January - St Francis de Sales
25th January - Conversion of St Paul - (Acts 22:3-16 or Acts 9:1-22)
26th January - Ss Timothy and Titus
27th January - St Angela Merici
28th January - St Thomas Acquinas
29th January - St Valerius of Trier

Thanks for listening

John, Lorraine, Michael, Colin and Shane

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