Thoughts on the Readings for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) 2017

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and past it into your browser.  https://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/012217.cfm 

In our Gospel this Sunday we read Matthew’s account of the call of the first disciples.   We are told that: “As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting their nets into the sea; …………He said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.’  At once they left their nets and followed him.  He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the Son of Zebedee, and his brother John,………..He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.”   

There are two things to note in the call of these disciples. First, notice the immediacy of the disciples’ response.  There was no hesitancy or questions.   Such must have been the power of Jesus’ presence that they responded without hesitation to his call.   Second, notice that they left everything behind to follow Jesus.   Now despite the immediacy of the disciples initial response to Jesus, we know that later they did have some questions and reservations.  In this, they serve as a reminder that for most of us the decision to follow Jesus is seldom made once and for all, but needs to be made again and again and again.  

Our first reading this Sunday is taken from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah.   It was chosen because it contains a prophecy about the restoration of the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali.  These lands are also referenced in the opening verses of today’s Gospel.   We believe that Jesus is the fulfillment of this prophecy of Isaiah.  

For the next several weeks our second reading will be taken from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.   In the section we read today, Paul pleads for unity among the people of Corinth “so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.”    

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. When have you heard the call of God in your life?
  2. Looking back, can you see where you were too preoccupied or busy, and may have missed God’s call? 
  3. Why is unity (not uniformity) so important in the Christian community? 
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