3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 26, 2014 – Year A
Readings: Is 8:23-9:3; Psalm 27; I Cor 1:10-13, 17; Mt 4:12-23
by Rev. Louis J. Canino, ofm
- The year was 1960 and the month was September. My Classmate from High School was entering the seminary and his mom drove both of us to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. to begin our first day in this Franciscan seminary. It was an awesome sight as 215 young men all dressed in black suits and white shirts were greeted by about 20 Franciscans Friars dressed in brown habits. The Seminary was filled to capacity and the overflow of 15 sems had to temporarily sleep in makeshift quarters in the attic. It was the largest body of seminarians that our Franciscan Province had ever had. I’m sure at least 99 % or more of these young students were there because they heard God’s calling to follow after Him. Maybe 1 % or fewer were there because of the food.
- I don’t want all those young people in today’s congregation to get uneasy now thinking that I’m going to talk about vocations to the priesthood and religious life. This is not the case. What I want to talk about is how we are all called to follow Christ. The apostles very often are critiqued by not being better. They were human just like us. They tried their best. They probably went to the temple weekly to pray and they probably gave what they could as far as the temple offering. But Christ wanted more from them. He reminds His listeners in today’s gospel that they must repent. In other words, they need to change – they need to reform. They needed to be more.
- So what is this more they needed to be to follow Christ, and what is the more we need to be and do to mirror Christ? Reflecting on this theme, I have listed the following which I hope will help you and me. Christ, I believe is saying to us:
- “I want you to see the Mass / the Eucharistic celebration as a time that you come together with your faith community to praise me with joy and gladness and not with an obligation mind-set.” (As you know – some people leave Mass early because they feel they have fulfilled their obligation – why stay longer?)
- “I want you to stop leveling negative criticism at your spouse and children and be the loving Christ to them.”
- “I want you to fill your mind and heart with kind thoughts and not with evil, revengeful, lustful, and petty arts.”
- “I want you to take care of yourself and to love yourself but not at the expense of ignoring those who face discrimination, poverty, and deep insecurity.”
- “I want you to cultivate a better prayer life. Why not consider just talking to me and I would appreciate if you take time to listen to what I have to say now and then. “[ Even when it comes to praying, some us have the talking disease.]
- “I want you to stop justifying doing those things that you know perfectly well I don’t approve of doing.”
- ”I want you, in spite of your possible busyness, to take the time to make a difference in at least one other person’s life.”
- “I want you to live your live as if today was your last day her on earth.”
- ”I want you to realize that the world doesn’t evolve around you and therefore you may no longer want to monopolize every conversation.”
- “I want you to see the good in others even though your brilliant mind and exceptional intuition skills can name every character flaw in them.”
I want you to love-not hate.
I want you to forgive not forget.
I want you just for a moment to be all mine.