Monday, January 20, 2020

January 26, 2020 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Times

Reading I: Isaiah 8:19-9:3     
Psalm 27
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

On September 30 of last year, Pope Francis issued a letter declaring that the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time was to be set aside every year as the "Sunday of the Word of God." The Holy Father longs for us to listen attentively to the Words of Scripture, so we may hear God’s voice speaking to our hearts.   

Today’s Gospel tells of the account of Jesus inviting Simon, Andrew, James and John to join Him in teaching and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom. Jesus says to them “Follow after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately follow Him, trusting His word, spreading the light of hope to all who struggle with the circumstances of life. Do we trust God’s Word as written in the Bible, or do we view the Bible as a story to be read?

With every encounter with Scripture we are encouraged to begin with inviting the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to God’s Living Word. In doing this, we will receive God’s personal message for our life that will inspire us to spread His Word within our community. We, like the apostles, are asked to join Jesus in shining His light within our community, to be encourages for all those who are suffering.

Everyone at Mass will hear the same readings. Then the work of the Holy Spirit lies in the personal message each of us will encounter. When these deeply personal messages are revealed through the Scripture readings at Mass, our hearts will long for more. The desire for an intimate relationship with Jesus will lead us to daily Scripture meditation. By opening our hearts and minds, we will understand God’s plan for our daily lives.

When we are healed by His Word, we will be inclined to spread His Good News through the Scriptures. In sharing our personal encounters with the Living Word, we will draw others to Him. In the busyness of our daily lives, do we take the time to sit in silence with the Scriptures, calling on the Holy Spirit to bring to life God’s personal message to us through His Word?

By accepting Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, our lives are forever changed. We are made new by His Word, and sharing the Good News of Christ becomes our mission.

Reflection Question: In what ways do we share the Good News of Christ that have transformed our lives?  How do we bring hope to those who seek Him?

~Michele Ann Konicki – ASBS Emerita

Spanish Translation

Reading I: Isaiah 8:19-9:3     
Psalm 27
Reading II: 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23

El 30 de septiembre del año pasado, el Papa Francisco emitió una carta declarando que el Tercer Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario se reservaría cada año como el "Domingo de la Palabra de Dios". El Santo Padre anhela que escuchemos atentamente las palabras de las Escrituras, para que podamos escuchar la voz de Dios que habla a nuestros corazones.

El Evangelio de hoy habla del relato de Jesús invitando a Simón, Andrés, Santiago y Juan a unirse a Él para enseñar y proclamar el Evangelio del reino. Jesús les dice: "Síganme, y los haré pescadores de hombres". Ellos inmediatamente lo siguen, confiando en su palabra, extendiendo la luz de la esperanza a todos los que luchan con las circunstancias de la vida. ¿Confiamos en la Palabra de Dios como está escrita en la Biblia, o vemos la Biblia como una historia para ser leída?

Con cada encuentro con la Escritura, se nos anima a comenzar invitando al Espíritu Santo a abrir nuestros corazones y mentes a la Palabra Viva de Dios. Al hacer esto, recibiremos el mensaje personal de Dios para nuestra vida que nos inspirará a difundir Su Palabra dentro de nuestra comunidad. A nosotros, como los apóstoles, se nos pide que nos unamos a Jesús para iluminar Su luz dentro de nuestra comunidad, para alentar a todos los que sufren.

Todos en la misa escucharán las mismas lecturas. Entonces la obra del Espíritu Santo yace en el mensaje personal que cada uno de nosotros encontraremos. Cuando estos mensajes profundamente personales se revelen a través de las lecturas de las Escrituras en la misa, nuestros corazones anhelarán más. El deseo de una relación íntima con Jesús nos llevará a la meditación diaria de las Escrituras. Al abrir nuestros corazones y mentes, entenderemos el plan de Dios para nuestra vida diaria.

Cuando seamos sanados por Su Palabra, estaremos inclinados a difundir Sus Buenas Nuevas a través de las Escrituras. Al compartir nuestros encuentros personales con la Palabra Viviente, atraeremos a otros hacia Él. En el ajetreo de nuestra vida cotidiana, ¿nos tomamos el tiempo para sentarnos en silencio con las Escrituras, invocando al Espíritu Santo para dar vida al mensaje personal de Dios a través de Su Palabra?

Al aceptar la invitación de Jesús para seguirlo, nuestras vidas cambian para siempre. Su Palabra nos hace nuevos, y compartir las Buenas Nuevas de Cristo se convierte en nuestra misión.

Pregunta de reflexión: ¿De qué maneras compartimos las Buenas Nuevas de Cristo que han transformado nuestras vidas? ¿Cómo traemos esperanza a quienes lo buscan?

Pat Chiaffa - ASBS Emerita
I am always amazed at how the disciples were able to follow Jesus immediately. What about their “To-Do” lists? They were probably expected to pick up bread and wine on the way home to go with their fish dinner. What would their family do without them?

My silly musing reveals just how attached, and possibly chained, I am to my lists and the things of this world. I ask myself if I make sufficient time in my day for reflective, uninterrupted time with God.I think that the spirits of these chosen men were yearning for more, and they recognized the “more” that Jesus was inviting them to experience.

The hopeful message contained in this reading for me is that Christ speaks to us in the midst of ordinary activities of daily living. The more in-tune I am to His Word, the more apt I am to be open and receptive to following His invitation to move beyond my usual routines and notice opportunities to extend His love to others. It could be as simple as sharing a smile, a gentle touch or a conversation. Heart to heart contact – that is what Jesus’ mission is all about. I see such dynamics routinely when I walk through Paul’s Run. I see Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS) heading toward some destination and halting their steps to

acknowledge residents along the way. I’ve seen simple caring gestures such as hugs, hands held, and whispers into ears, produce smiles as well as tears. Someone’s dull day was brightened and made extraordinary because a SBS chose to share the presence of Christ with them. Many of the Sisters who are less mobile, due to health issues, take time to write notes and send cards to individuals to remind them that they are thinking of them and that they are loved by God. All the Sisters pray for us, our country, and our world. Sharing the Good News of Christ is their mission. It’s my mission too.

Today’s Gospel is a reminder to recommit to listening attentively to God’s Word and actively listening to hear His loving message to discern what is mine to do to spread His Word throughout my community. 

Thank you, Michele, for your beautifully crafted reflection.

Sr. Annette Marie O’Donnell, SBS

I regret that it is necessary for me to discontinue the weekly blog due to the need for time to attend to other commitments and my chronic health issues. I wish to thank Cheri Wenger, Sr. Therese Mary Warner, SBS, Stephanie Morris, ASBS, Emerita, Pat Chiaffa, ASBS Emerita, Michele Konicki, ASBS Emerita, and Kristen Keane for your contributions through the years. There are other on-line weekly blogs containing reflections on the Sunday Gospel readings available. 

I shall continue with a monthly blog beginning on February 23rd, "Preparing for Lent."

Blessings on you and yours,
Sr. Annette Marie O’Donnell, SBS

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