3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - January 26, 2020
Jan 24, 2020
At the heart of today’s readings is the eternal challenge that faces every community and family: the devil of division and “thirst for power.” We remember what St. Peter declared last week: “God shows no partiality.” He calls all and everyone to participate in the work of transforming the world, the work of bettering the world and making of it the true kingdom of God.
Then and still now, the disciples have faced the devil of division. In Corinth, as is shown in today’s second reading, the issue is at hand. Paul’s invitation, to have one mind and purpose in the fulfillment of the ministry and work of evangelization, is a reminder of the unity that should characterize the new family of God’s children born in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He highlights the truth that the common identity that we share, as Christians and disciples, is far more important to respond to the call to unity than the individual interests and calculus. As he points it out, division among members of the community is the work of the devil who never accepts to let God triumph. Like in Corinth, we sadly experience partitions and different allegiances within our ministries; and people claim to belong to one person at the expenses of or/and in opposition to another. Sadly again, a deep regard on the causes of such wounds within the Body of Christ shows that these wounds are mainly related to thirst of power, the desire for recognition and the impulse of self-centeredness. Everyone would like to be the center of attention and Jesus whom we are called to serve is left behind, removed from the front raw and pushed aside or behind.
The gospel comes to hammer at home the undeniable truth: discipleship is and requires ongoing self-denial and self-sacrifice for the sake of others. Jesus calls the first disciples without mentioning the kingdom. All seems well among them, and the mission of following the Master seems perfect. However, their views change further on when Jesus talks about his kingdom. Thirst for power and position of leadership for their own sake arouse in their hearts, and they started discussing about the greatest among them. The Lord has to remind them that a person’s true worth is not a function of how much they realized for their own fulfillment and self-satisfaction, but rather how much of a difference they made in the lives of people for the sake of God’s own glory. This truth is eternal and unshakeable. We are all called to subdue our ego in the fulfillment of the mission of evangelization as we strive to courageously live the gospel.
Paul puts one question to all and each one of us: “Is Christ divided?” In whose name were you baptized? As we conclude the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we are given the material to nurture our daily reflection and meditation, and strive to answer to the following question: to what extent am I either instrument of unity or cause of division in our ministry, our home and our community?
Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.