Sunday 21 January 2018

Feast of Saint Agnes Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018 A Reflection

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time 2018 
And Memorial of Saint Agnes Virgin and Martyr
A Reflection

Lent begins in three and a half weeks. The church has returned to Green vestments. But already I am thinking head to lent. This year Ash Wednesday is also Saint valentine’s day February 14th, and Easter is April first, or April Fools day. We begin our Focus on the gospel of Mark this week. The majority of the Gospel readings this year will be from Mark, and as such today we beginning with Mark’s account of Jesus calling his first disciples.

First Reading Jonah 3:1-5,10
Responsorial Psalm 25:4-9 Response 9
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel Mark1:14-20

The first reading is the second calling of Jonah. Not the story that all kids love about his being swallowed by the whale. It is the second time that God calls upon him. But what really catches my attention is:

“And the People of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.”
But one of the verses that we skip is about it starting with the King. Leadership began with the head, and spread down from there. I think there are considerations around this passage in our own day. Would a prophet be recognized if he appeared today? Would Jesus be recognized if he were to come back? Muck like in the Joshua books by father Joseph F. Girzone. And would the repentance start at the top, our prime minister’s, our premier’s, and our presidents? Or would it be a more grass roots movement.

The responsorial Psalm this week was an interesting passage:

From the United States Liturgy it is:

R. (4a) 
Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice
and teaches the humble his way.

R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

From the Canadian liturgy the the response is 'Lord, Make Me know your ways.' I much prefer the translation the US uses. There is a big difference between'teach' and 'make' but there are times that I need God to make his will known to me. So maybe the language that makes me uncomfortable is the one I need most. 

I pray this every day for my children and for myself. I want to grow in His ways. To learn to love Him more and through that to love and server others more. And from today’s gospel the fact that both pairs of men immediately left what they were doing and followed Jesus. We see the calling of Simon, Andrew, James, and John. They began a lifelong response to follow Jesus, just as we are on a life long journey to follow Jesus, to be his disciples, to live for him.

But today is also the feat of Saint Agnes Virgin and Martyr. And the readings for that mass are:

First Reading Hebrews 5:1010
Responsorial Psalm 110:1-4 Response 4B

Gospel Mark 2:18-22.

Saint Agnes is the patron saint of my parish.She was killed at a young age for her faith. Blessings on you and yours this week.

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