Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men."Then they abandoned their nets and followed him." (Mk 1:14-20)
Now, in our new government's genesis with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, are we ready to abandon our "nets with our mess" the hateful talk of who won the election? Are we going to continue for the next four years bickering and chattering that they are wrong and we are right? Are we prepared to control that untamable member of our body, the tongue, which lashes out in anger because we do not get our way?
In a recent video, Fr. Jeffrey Kirby shouted from the top of his lungs, "What have you done?" He was angry over the now new government administration. The venom from his words pierced my soul. What is it going to take for us, the Church, to be bipartisan? Modeling the wisdom of our ancestors is imperative as they sang the spiritual hymn, "Walk together children, don't get weary, there is a great camp meeting in the promised land." The prophet Amos's prophetic words asked, "Do two journey together unless they have agreed?" (Am. 3:3) To deny the wisdom in Amos' oracle would be a travesty for the Church today. St. Paul told the Ephesian's community that Christ desires a Church, "in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:22). For this reason, the Holy Spirit is calling us to tame our tongues. Our language must ignite unity within the Body of Christ. When we tear down one another with "our mess in the nets," we leave the Sunday Mass wondering if we heard a message of hope or discord. Undoubtedly, the disciples did not agree on everything that Jesus did or said. However, they all decided to follow Jesus, which was the best thing for them; they abandoned their nets along with the mess in them. Therefore, for us today, we must follow Jesus and be fishers of men and women. As the scriptures called the disciples today to "abandon their nets," we must shake out the mess in our nets and focus on doing goodwill for all creation. St. Francis of Assis prayed, "where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy." These prayerful words by St. Francis help us to walk together as children of God. We will indeed be disciples of Jesus with St. Francis of Assis' spiritual direction, as they make us ready to usher in a new spirit in this country, a song of hope. No one would say that being a disciple would be easy. However, if you empty your nets and follow Jesus, you will profoundly affect your family, neighborhood, and country. But are you ready to abandon your mess in the net to follow Jesus?
Authored: Evangelist, Michael P. Howard, MACS