Third Sunday of the Year 2020 – Within the Year of the Word

This Sunday will be the third Sunday of the Year. We also come to the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which concludes with the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle. Our prayer this week comes from St John XXIII (Pope), who did so much in the early 1960’s to build relations within the Church and the wider Christian and other religious communities.

As he (Jesus) walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.”  Matthew 4:18-22

This week our Gospel readings continue to be taken from St Matthew’s Gospel as we focus on the calling of some of the first disciples; Simon (who later became Peter), his brother Andrew, James and his brother John.  Jesus calls these humble fishermen who will become the ambassadors for Christ and the future pillars of the Church and he says ‘Come, follow me.’  Jesus tells them that when they stay close to Him then from now on they will be catching fish no longer but will be ‘catching people’ instead.  They will be drawing others to Jesus so He can transform their lives.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, when he was inaugurated as Pope on 19th March 2013, received his Papal ring which he will wear until death which is known as ‘The Fisherman’s Ring’.  It bears the image of the first Pope, St Peter, and the crossed keys to the Kingdom of Heaven which symbolise Pope Francis’ authority on earth over the whole Universal Church.

St Pope John Paul II wrote in his letter “Novo Millennio Inuente” Guidance for the New Millennium that we are to “…..put out into the deep” and let down our nets of faith for a catch.   If we stay close to Jesus in our day to day lives by regular prayer, reading of scripture, going to Mass and giving our lives to serve and care for others then we shall be able to help others to come to meet Jesus for themselves.  If we remain close to Jesus then we shall bear much spiritual fruit in our lives which is attractive and may draw others to come to know Jesus personally.

Is our faith deep, personal, real and attractive? Or do we feel the opposite? Over this next week, let us ask the Holy Spirit to lead us into a deeper, closer personal relationship with the Lord and give us the boldness to let down our nets in unfamiliar waters and allow Him to bring forth results.

Lord,

renew in our own days your miracles like a second Pentecost.  Grant that the church, re-united in prayer may extend the Kingdom of Jesus – a Kingdom of truth and justice, of love and peace.  Amen.

 May the Life of the Lord Jesus, and the Love of God the Father, and the Companionship of the Holy Spirit be with us all for evermore.  Amen.

(Based on 2 Cor 13:13)

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