3rd Sunday in Ordinary time, 22 Jan 2017

From the Dean’s desk

There is hardly a commodity which we buy that does not come with some form of guarantee. From products that allow us to control our weight through to materials that can easily make our way of living more enjoyable and attractive. Whenever we buy any food products we look at the nutritional guarantees that each product advertises, in order for us to receive the right amount of healthy ingredients.

Today’s liturgy makes some assertions and guarantees about our spiritual lives. Isaiah [8:23-9:3] tells us that a great light has shone in our lives and that this light is a reason for us to rejoice and be happy. The deeper reason for this joy is the fact that Jesus, the Light of nations has shattered the gloom and darkness of the world together with the yoke of sin. Jesus has brought us out of the darkness of sin and into his marvelous Light through our Baptism. For this we should be thankful and rejoice. This is the guarantee that Jesus makes for us: abide in his presence, break from sin and eternal life and light is ours.

We can ask ourselves why then is there still gloom and darkness in our world? As we analyse the experiences and situations that we find in our world, it becomes obvious that some people have chosen the darkness over the Light of Jesus. Nonetheless, this becomes for us a means not of despair but of challenge. This fact allows us to assert more readily and faithfully the Light of Jesus that has been given to us through Baptism. It is important that the Light of Christ be present in our lives so that we can bring it into our world through our actions and words – essentially through our presence. We do this through our daily living – the way we reach out to others offers us an opportunity to bring the Light of Jesus into their lives. Our honesty, our caring, our compassion and our willingness to bring forgiveness into our broken relationships (as Paul mentions in today’s second reading from 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.17), is a way for us to bring Light into the darkness of others.

The Gospel [Matthew 4:12-23] tells the story of the calling of the first disciples – Peter and Andrew, James and John. They were called to leave behind the stability of a known existence and to travel with Jesus into paths unknown. They were called to continue his ministry – to preach, teach, to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom and to bring healing and wholeness to those who are sick. The living out of this call is for us a means of allowing the Light of Christ to shine in our world. Like those first disciples we too have been called to follow in the ways of Jesus in and through our baptismal vocation. How will I be a source of this Light in the coming weeks? In the course of this year? Our Baptism is our call to follow Jesus. Am I prepared and ready to answer and renew my Baptismal call and to follow where Jesus asks me to go?

Fr Robert Bossini
Dean and Parish Priest