Today’s Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23 – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
How do we react to bad news? Often, our immediate reaction is negative – to be afraid, to be disappointed, angry. How does Jesus react to the bad news of John’s arrest? He withdraws to Galilee. Is he running away?
From darkness comes a great light, which is Jesus himself, calling us to repent; which is to say – leave behind your old ways and follow him instead. Follow him? He’s in the land of darkness. Yet it is here he calls the first disciples. Peter and Andrew, James and John, leave their nets, their boats, their family, and follow him.
Not now, Jesus. I’m in the middle of something, can’t you see? It’s not that I don’t want to follow you, it’s just that I have so much to do right now. Maybe when I get through these chores, and have a chance to rest a bit, then maybe I can give you some attention.
Why did you go to Galilee, Lord, when John the Baptist had just been arrested? Shouldn’t you have confronted the authorities, and called them out for their injustice? You never seem to react in a way that makes sense.
And can we talk about your timing? Why do you always seem to call us at the worst possible moment? Also, you never let us know ahead of time that you plan to stop by – it’s kind of rude, actually.
Light is invisible, yet it is impossible not to see without looking away, or covering it with something.
How can I respond like the first disciples to God’s call to me in the ordinary events of my daily life?
Father in heaven, help me to recognize that you make all things visible, no matter how covered in darkness, through the light of your Son, Jesus Christ.
Copyright 2017 Kiernan O’Connor