January 22, Third Sunday (A) in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: Isaiah 8:23b–9:3, 1 Corinthians 1:10-13.17, Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23
As Jesus walked by the lake of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, casting a net into the lake. He said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” At once, they left their nets and followed him. He went on from there and saw two other brothers, James and John, in a boat with their father Zebedee.
In today’s Gospel, we have heard Jesus calling Simon and Andrew, James and John. At once, they left everything and followed Jesus.
At once or immediately, means not postponing or delaying. Unwavering and fearlessly, without excuses to postpone apostolic activity for "tomorrow." "Tomorrow" is the adverb of the defeated, they say. St. Josemaria said, "Here is a recipe to make your apostolic spirit effective: make definite plans, not for the whole week but for the day ahead, for this moment and the next." It is not easy to respond to Jesus’ call immediately.
Jesus works with others. He called us to collaborate with him. We answer that call by obeying by His commandments and his Church's teachings. In order to respond to His call, we practice regular prayer and receiving the sacraments. In response, we seek chances to share Christ with people through our bold yet polite words and by setting a constant example of humility, faith, and unselfish care for others. We pay attention to the daily inspirations that the Holy Spirit gives us. These inspirations almost always push us beyond our comfort zones for the benefit of our neighbors.
When Jesus calls us, we must answer by renouncing our beloved boat and our dependable nets as the apostles left the boats and fishing nets and followed Jesus Christ. The decision to answer Christ's call is not always easy. To passionately carry out God's plan, to be virtuous in every setting, and to follow our well-formed conscience requires power and vigor because the risk of cravenness is great. Life is already challenging. We want to hesitate or rebel when Jesus asks for more of us. Sometimes, we even tend to say that we will follow you, Jesus, but let me follow you from afar. At that point, we must bear in mind the reasons Jesus continues calling. He calls us out of love for us. He wants us to be with him. That's why He calls us. He calls us because he knows we can only find the meaning and purpose of life in Him alone. He calls us for our sake. When we respond, He always remains with us. We can have the chance to receive God personally at Holy Communion because he asked us to be his disciples.
Let us give thanks to Jesus for not giving up on us and for calling us repeatedly. We will try to respond to Jesus’ call at once without postponing until tomorrow. We will respond to His call by obeying His commandments and the Church’s teaching. Let us try to be with Him always by responding to His call. Let us make a commitment to give him our undivided hearts this coming week.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.