Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Matthew 4:12-23

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Mary O'Brien

Published: January 26, 2020


‘The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light.’ Is 8
‘There is one thing I ask of the Lord, for this I long, to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.’ Ps. 26

As we move from the days of Christmas into the first weeks of the new year we tend to hear about– and maybe to make – New Year Resolutions.  By this time perhaps those resolutions are feeling something of a burden.  But the liturgy this Sunday is alive with life.  Isaiah tells us about the great light which has made our gladness greater and helps to keep the joy of Christmas as so many of us move into new situations, new tasks, new companions, new responsibilities.  The motive behind that is found in Psalm 26, quoted above.  The Psalm goes on to urge us to: ‘Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.  Hope in the Lord.’  

The Gospel reminds us of the immediate response of Simon and Andrew and then of John and James to the call, the attraction of Jesus.  We have all heard that call and spend our lives learning how to continue to respond in an ever-deeper way to the love of the Lord.  In the Gospel the response is immediate, without any knowledge of the demands of that response.  It echoes Psalm 26 which also reminds us that this response continues to be made and to bring us through many joys and sorrows.  I sometimes wonder what happened to the father of Peter and Andrew and to Zebedee when they stayed at home, still fishermen but without their adult sons.  How did they manage to continue to provide for their families?  Decisions have effects on others which can be life-changing and often not appreciated by those who are off on their new life of service.  We have all seen situations where the adult sons and daughters have become the carers to their own parents – often having to manage their work and their own families at the same time.  Call and sacrifice are connected and our response to call is never complete until the day of our death, the final call.  

At this time of the year we can return with these thoughts to the lines of today’s Psalm:
I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
Hope I him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord.


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