A HOMILY FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE “A” – 1/26/2020 – SMG
+ Pax et Bonum! Peace and goodness to you this day!
Any time, any of us, are putting together a team, to do anything, we try and get the best group of people together that we can, to accomplish whatever the goal of the team is. As adults, we’ve seen this at work, on different projects, when you want people to be able to use their gifts and talents to the best of their abilities. You want the team to work together, and to complement each other’s gifts and personalities. And you want everybody on the team to have the same, clear goal, that everyone can commit to working towards achieving together. Students and our young people know all about this same thing, as they have to work together for a science projects, or on a sport’s team, or some school committee. You want your best people, to make up the best team that you can pull together. When I was in college, a buddy of mine and myself, put together a bicycle racing team, and we looked for bike racers who rode for endurance, and we looked for a couple of guys who were good at riding on hills, and mostly we were looking for guys who loved to race bicycles, who had fun doing it, and who would work together to win races. You get the right combination of people on your team, and whatever you want to accomplish, is going to be that much easier. You pick the right guys for your bicycle racing team, and you’re going to win lots of races! You pick the right Apostles to start your Church, well hopefully that Church is going to last a long time.
As we hear Jesus call the first Apostles today, we are asked to reflect about our own call to be on Jesus’ team, the Church. Today, we are asked to bring our best talents, our best ideas, our best gifts, to the team, for the sake of building up the Kingdom of God. And how important it is for us bring God our best. If there’s ever a time, if there’s ever a situation, to put our very best foot forward, it’s NOW in the Church. The Team needs us at our very best!
And just as St. Paul wrote to us about in our Second Reading today, from 1st Corinthians, we need unity in the Team, in the Church. The time for divisions and arguing within our own ranks is over. We must work together, as a Team, to be doing the work of God in our world today. Unity was not easy for the early Church. We know that Peter and Paul didn’t always see eye to eye. We know well that there were arguments and disagreements constantly. But we also know is that unity in the early Catholic Church was an absolute priority! The early Church Fathers wrote that the greatest sin that a Christian could commit was to disrupt or break the unity of the Church. That’s how important the Team was! You didn’t quit. You worked to make it better. You didn’t gripe and complain, you got that much more involved and more committed, to keep it on track or get it back on track. You did whatever you needed to do, to keep working together as Church, so that Jesus’s message, His Light, could continue to infiltrate our world, in even its darkest places! The calling today of Andrew and Peter, and James and John, has even more significance for our calls, our vocations. This Gospel text is a direct reminder to all of us that today the Light of the Gospel is entrusted to US! Not Andrew. Not Peter. Not James. Not John. Not Mary Magdalen. US! All of us! By virtue of our Baptisms, we are the new Apostles! And we are the Church entrusted today with bringing Jesus’ message to every person that we come in contact with. We need to be at our best. We need all of us using our individual gifts and blessing to make Church happen, and to make Church/ Faith/ God, the number one priority in our lives. Unfortunately, we live in a world where some people are more concerned about what brand of cat litter they are going to use, than they are their souls! Our world’s priorities are so messed up! You know that, and I know that. We rescue puppies and we abort children. We argue about who’s the best dressed and the worst-dressed at an award’s show, and we’ve got thousands living on the street a few blocks away. Our kids will kill each other over the latest phone, but they have no idea who Jesus is. The Church, US, we have a huge job to do today. And we’ve got the Holy Spirit to help us to do it. But we’re not doing so well. Talk about “Land of Darkness and Land of Gloom”. And it’s going to take ALL of us working together WITH God, to make things better.
Let us hear God’s call today. Let us take seriously our responsibilities as Catholic Christians, and let us be Light for our world today!
+ May God bless us, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!