January 21, 2024, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Episode 16 January 19, 2024 00:10:30
January 21, 2024, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sundays with Bishop Ken
January 21, 2024, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jan 19 2024 | 00:10:30


Hosted By

Little Books of the Diocese of Saginaw

Show Notes

Today, Bishop Ken will guide us through the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 1, verses 14-20 (Mark 1:14-20)


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Episode Transcript

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then Jesus called them. So, they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.” The Gospel of the Lord. I once gave a retreat for some Chicago priests, and one of them, old Andy McDonough, a tall, tough-looking but kindly priest, told a story. He and a couple of his cronies were on their day off, and were at a rectory playing cards in the evening when a young priest happened by. He asked these veteran priests, "If you had it to do over again, and you knew what you know now, would you become a priest?" Andy thought about it for a moment and then said, "Yes. Yes, I would. You probably expected that answer. But the big thing is why I would. "It's not so much that the bishops I've had were supportive, although I can't complain. And it's not so much that the people were always good to me, although I'd have to say that they were. But that's not the reason. “Nor is it because I did everything so well. I did my best, but I made some mistakes. “Because it's an easy life? No. It's a good life, but not always easy. “Here's the reason. It's because, as I look back, God worked through me. God was able to “use” me to do some good. For example, there were times when my homily wasn't so good, but I believed what I said and God let my faith show through to some people, and it helped them. There were times when my words of advice were fumbling but, by God, they helped some people. As I look back, I can see the hand of God in my life. God managed to use me to do some good. That's why I'd do it over." We can ask that question of ourselves. If you had it to do over again, would you take up the kind of profession, the kind of work you've done most of your life? Or would have stayed in this part of the world? Or would you marry the person you married? Why? Or, why not? It makes for some interesting reflection. Here's a question we might not think of asking ourselves. If you had it to do over again, would you be a Christian? Would you let yourself be baptized? Which is to say, would you be a disciple of Jesus? If the answer is yes, the next question is: Why? Some might say, "I didn't have a choice. My parents decided that for me." Well, at some point you still had a choice. A lot of people were baptized as infants and never followed through. Some might say, "The only other option was to die and go to hell!" But that's not really true. Church teaching is very clear and explicit: Non-Christians can get to heaven. Maybe it would help if we think about why Peter, Andrew, James and John became disciples. They made this choice as adults. And they weren't out looking for something to do. They were businessmen. To become disciples of Jesus, they had to leave some things behind. What would they say if we asked them years later whether they'd do it again? I can picture them saying something like this: "We heard Jesus speak a few times. He'd been up our way in Galilee for a while. He was, as they say, ‘proclaiming the good news of God.' And it was good news. Jesus was talking about a "God-project" that was called "the kingdom of God." It was a new way of seeing things - an earth with a future, a human race with a future. We wanted to be part of this ... part of making the earth and all creation what it is meant to be - not a place of tyrants, war, starvation, people living in hovels. Something new was underway, and Jesus was heading it up, and he said that his work involved other people, and Jesus wanted us to be part of it. And we wanted to be part of it. We were drawn to Jesus and what he was doing. That's why we did it. And that's why we'd do it again." What do you think Mary would have said if asked toward the end of her life, "Would you say, ‘yes' if, when you were visited by the Angel Gabriel, you knew then what you know now?" Mary would say, "Of course. You can talk (if you like) about my ‘seven sorrows,' but look at what I was part of! I wouldn't miss that for the world." But we don't have to go back 2000 years. What do you think Mother Teresa would have said toward the end of her life? She'd do it over. And why? Because she was forced? Because she didn't want to go to hell? No. Because this "God-project" (helping to build the reign of God) struck a beautiful chord in her heart, and she wanted to be part of it. It would be interesting, wouldn't it, to be in a small group of people that we trust, and talk about whether we'd do it over - be baptized, be disciples of the Lord. It would be interesting, even without a group, to talk it over with the Lord. Maybe you or I can do that sometime today, or sometime this week. I wonder what I'd say - not the "yes" or the "no". The interesting part would be the "why". Do it. You might surprise yourself.

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