Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 1:14-20

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Bernadette Turgeon

Published: January 25, 2015

As I read the Gospel for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, I had a sense of being called. Jesus said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

It is probably easy for Sisters and Associates to remember when they were called to be a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur or an Associate of Notre Dame. We minister in so many different ways and accept the many challenges to which we are called. Perhaps, our sisters and brothers who are laity find it more difficult to think of being called! Yet, calls from God come to all of us.

Let me share a recent experience for me at a Christmas Social for Sisters and Associates. In catching up with Sisters with whom I lived or with whom I taught, I realized what a support and blessing were so many of these Sisters in my life. So many elder Sisters are unaware of how much they have given to others and how much they have shared by their teaching in classrooms or by their example, in following the call and enabling others to live good lives. We need only to listen to the many alumni/alumnae from the schools where these Sisters have educated many for life. This is an experience for many individuals internationally who have lived Christian values, inspired in them through their education in schools or colleges directed by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

In following the educational ideals of St. Julie Billiart, our Sisters have realized and have educated students as Julie directed us. She said: “The beginnings will perhaps be a little tiresome; but remember that all depends on the beginnings.” So, the Sisters built strong foundations and passed on these Christian values to students of earliest years through adulthood.

Jesus called Simon and his brother Andrew as they were fishing. He called James and John as they were mending their nets. Without knowing what their new lives would be, they walked with Jesus on his journey. All of us are being called in so many different directions in this 21st century and at different times in life. Sisters of Notre Dame, with our Associates and co-workers are called today to advocate for the poor, to found safe houses, to offer alternative education, to serve in parish ministry, to work with the handicapped, and to give support to people through a ministry of prayer.

In the past, many Sisters left all that they had and gave their all. Today, many laity hear the call and work hand in hand with our Sisters to help people wherever they are in need. Needs in our society seem greater and laborers are fewer. The Sisters call upon co-workers, former students, friends and family to join with them in facing the challenges to be peacemakers “in the midst of inequality and violence of our world.” With the assistance of those who are called to follow Jesus in service to others, the daughters of Julie can sing today with confidence:

The Lord has blessed the mustard seed,
And high in the sky the tree has grown.
Ah, how good is the Good God!
The earth and heavens proclaim
From one end of the earth to the other.
May our Apostolic cry be heard.

— Composed by Sr. Cecile-Marie Pirot, SND


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