A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 1/26/14 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and Goodness to you this day!
In our Gospel today, we are told that Jesus moves from Nazareth, to Capernaum in Galilee. We aren’t told a whole lot more about the move. We don’t know why he moved, or who helped him move, but can reasonably assume that he didn’t rent a U-Haul truck. Lots of people move every year. Here at St. Maria Goretti, we’ve had many brothers and sisters move away over the years. And it is always hard to say ‘Goodbye’ to good friends. In the United States, the rate at which people move varies greatly from year to year. 10 to 25 percent of us can move in one year’s time. On average, 14.19 percent of us move every year. That’s a lot of us. Right now, that’s over 40 million people moving somewhere every year. Now, 23 million move within the same county. Another 8 million move within the same state. But another 8 million people every year, move to another state. And just over a million people every year move to another country. I was a little surprised at those last figures.
And people move for all kinds of reasons. Some people move for work. Some people move for family reasons. Some people move for better weather. Don’t even think about it. It will be over soon. And remember, there are plenty of places, like North Dakota and Minnesota, where it is worse and lasts even longer.
We don’t know why Jesus moved. Was it just time for Him to get His own place? Did Mary kick Him out? Did He know, that to fulfill the prophesies of Isaiah, that He was going to need to go to Galilee? Was there a need for carpenters in Galilee? For whatever reason, Jesus moves to this beautiful little seaside town of Capernaum, and starts His ministry.
Today we hear the calling of the first Apostles, the fishermen, Andrew, Peter, James, and John. Certainly, if Jesus hadn’t moved to Capernaum, He most likely would not have ever met these four future Apostles. The fishermen had spent their entire lives on a very small stretch of coastline there on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus wouldn’t have ever met them in Nazareth, or Bethlehem, or even Jerusalem. These fishermen were tied to their work. They didn’t take trips or vacations. They went fishing every day.
And that’s what makes their willingness to leave and follow Jesus so amazing! They are leaving behind every thing that they know. Certainly they don’t know a lot about Jesus at this point. But there is a trust and confidence, and the Gospel makes it pretty clear, that they go, they leave, right away. In fact, with James and John, the Gospel says that they left immediately. Immediately! I wonder how Zebedee felt about that!
All of this, reminds all of us today, that we too have to be constantly listening to God’s call. And we have to be prepared to move, to talk, to go to work, to leave our comfort zones, to do whatever we need to do to answer God’s call. Just like Jesus and the Apostles in our Gospel today, ALL OF US also have work to do for God. And we’re not ever going to be able to do that work, if we don’t listen and respond to God’s call and challenge. Nobody is supposed to get too comfortable here. We’ve all got to be constantly moving towards where God wants us to be. And of course, ultimately, this journey of life is moving all of us home to Heaven. We’ve got to remember, we’re headed towards that ultimate move every day. We can’t get too comfortable in this world. We’re not going to be here forever.
And so, we must be prepared! We must keep listening and following Jesus. Like James and John, we must be willing to answer His call immediately, if we have to. And we can never get so stuck, so attached to where we are at, that we stop believing that God, can take all of us to places that are even better!
+ May God bless all of us as we follow Him every day, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!