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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - January 24, 2021

Dear friends,

On this Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, the readings are putting forward the call to repentance or conversion. From the message of Jonah to the people of Nineveh to Jesus’ inaugural message and call of his first disciples, everything turns around changing one’s heart and embracing the kingdom of God which is at hand.

Repentance and conversion as the key concepts in today’s readings bear a heavier meaning than what one could imagine. The word metanoia which is central today is much more than a simple return or change of mind. Rather, it is the radical transformation that should take place in our life and within us once we encounter Christ. Metanoia means departing completely from our old and previous ways of life contrary to the will of God to shine of the new light of Christ. The people of Nineveh are given to us as example of that kind of transformation God expects from us when we hear His voice and listen to it. Insistence here is less on hearing than on listening to the message, which means to pay attention to, to abide by, to live up to the expectations which flow from these words and leading to the commitment to changing one’s own life.

The Gospel puts in front of us the transforming time and the conversion that takes place in the life of those fishermen. They hear the call and leave everything to follow Christ and to strive to be like Him. Like them, the word of God found us in certain circumstances. But no matter where we were and what we are doing, it cannot leave us indifferent. We are called to be fishers of men, which means messengers of the Kingdom based on our own transformative experience of the encounter with Christ. Today, more than ever we are invited to listen to the “Come after me, and I will make fishers of men” call and abandon everything else that distracts us for the sake of the kingdom. We are meant to go out of our comfort zones to find solace but in and with Christ in the process of bring others to Him.

So, brothers and sisters, think today about responding to the following questions: What does metanoia mean for me today? How do I intend to embrace the transformation Christ expects from me? What is still in there in me, within my heart and my life that refrains me from becoming a true “fisher of men”?

Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family as we strive to follow the example of the surrendering commitment to the will of God in light of St. Joseph whose year we celebrate.

Fr. Emery


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