January 22, 2023 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Yr. I)

Community Word: The Father’s love makes us joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ.
Theme: We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ when we respond to His call to mission.
Promise: “…I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Ps 27:13)
Jesus’ call to the first disciples, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt.4:19) marks the beginning of His apostolate, ensuring that His mission to bring His light to all nations will continue in all places and for all generations. The invitation of Jesus drew a quick response from the four fishermen when they immediately abandoned their boats and family, and became His followers. As our Church leaders call the Catholic lay faithful to a deeper awareness of our role in the life and mission of the church, how should we respond? Like the first disciples, are we willing to give up our usual way of life and attachments and be a part of such mission?
Despite our busyness, we should recognize God’s voice when He calls. Being baptized Catholics, we are called to continue Jesus’ mission on earth and be sensitive to the challenge in responding to a greater mission. We cannot excuse ourselves by saying that our knowledge is insufficient and that we are not prepared to accept the magnitude of such responsibility to awaken a sleeping soul. We should be like the first disciples who obediently responded to Jesus’ invitation. They followed Jesus despite their insignificance and probably were the least qualified to be workers for the Kingdom. And we all know what became of them later and what they did to promote God’s kingdom.
Jesus’ choice of ordinary people to share in His gigantic mission of “making disciples of all nations” is God’s way of showing that it is in their powerlessness where God’s might can be evidently recognized. “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God,” (1Cor 1:27-29).
When God passes by, He may chance upon you and me with an invitation to help Him build His Kingdom. He does not impose nor pressure us, but gives us the freedom to respond. He respects our choice and free-will. Though we might fear and be anxious about our insignificance and lack of knowledge and wisdom, let us listen to Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians: “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning” (1Cor 1:17). We should bear in mind that whatever is our choice, it could mean the turning point in our lives. And we will reap this promise of eternal reward: “…I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living” (Ps 27:13).
Fittingly, as true Christian disciples, we face our life’s ultimate challenge – to rise up for Jesus with a life changing slogan: Called to be bold to share in Christ’s mission on earth!
Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to respond joyfully to Your command to be an evangelizer of the Good News of Salvation. Allow me to be an instrument of peace and love so that people who are walking in darkness will see Your light of goodness and righteousness. Give me the courage and fortitude to overcome all trials in life so that as I walk in my journey of faith, I will be able to lead others in hope towards the purpose for which we are all created – to know, love and serve God. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions

  1. How can I meet the challenge of showing the Light of Christ to others through my thoughts, attitudes and actions?
  2. In what ways can I be bold to rise up for Jesus?
    This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
    January 22, 2023 (Sun) – Is 8:23-9:3/ Ps 27:1, 4, 13, 14/ 1Cor 1:10-13, 17/ Mt 4:12-23
    January 23, 2023 (Mon) – Heb 9:15, 24-28/ Ps 98:1,-6/ Mk 3:22-30
    January 24, 2023 (Tue) – Heb 10:1-10/ Ps 40:2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11/ Mk 3:31-35
    January 25, 2023 (Wed) – Acts 22:3-16/ Ps 117:1, 2/ Mk16:15-18
    January 26, 2023 (Thu) – 2 Tm 1:1-8/ Ps 96:1-3, 7, 8, 10/ Lk 101-9
    January 27, 2023 (Fri) – Heb 10:32-39/ Ps 37:3-6, 23, 24, 39, 40/ Mk 4:26-34
    January 28, 2023 (Sat) – Heb 11:1-2, 8-19/ Lk 1:69-70-75/ Mk 4:35-41
    “Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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