January 24, 2021
Today, we celebrate the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. Like last Sunday, the scriptures tell the stories of people being called to participate in God’s plan of salvation. In our first reading we have the famous Jonah, of being swallowed up by the whale fame. God calls Jonah to set out for the wicked city of Ninevah and call the people to repentance. In our short version of the story today there is no mention of Jonah’s reluctance and his attempt to flee from the Lord. Here we’re told, “So Jonah made ready and went to Ninevah, according to the Lord’s bidding.” We’re reminded here of God’s mercy and compassion for all those He has created. Jonah’s message is a call to turn from their wickedness and embrace God. Our Gospel this week is Mark’s version of the call of Andrew and Peter. Jesus has begun His ministry in earnest and is forming His core team of disciples. He has a message and a mission and will need others to help get the word out; “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” The word that connects our readings today is ‘repentance.’ We are called to turn away from whatever prevents God from being our top priority. Why? Because in Jesus, God’s promise of salvation is being fulfilled. His Kingdom is worth more than anything this world can offer. Like the Ninevites, or the people of that day Jesus called four of His disciples, will we let His invitation reach not only our ears, but our minds and hearts as well?
The next phase of recipients for the Covid vaccines was announced last week. It continues to be made available to the most vulnerable despite a few bumps in the road. Pope Francis and Pope-emeritus Benedict both received the vaccine last week, as did our own Archbishop, Mitchell Rozanski. I sure hope we will ALL take the vaccine when offered. Won’t it be a great day when we can have a sense of ‘normal’ again? I plan to get my vaccine as soon as I am able and encourage all of you to do the same.
February 3rd is the Feast of St. Blasé, Bishop and Martyr. It is customary to bless throats on this day in commemoration of the miracle Blasé performed on a boy choking on a fish bone lodged in his throat. I mistakenly announced that we would be having the blessing this weekend, but it will be given after Mass NEXT weekend at both the 5pm and 10am Masses. In the prayer that is given we ask the intercession of St. Blasé to deliver us from all diseases of the throat and from every other illness. This is a perfect time to ask for deliverance from Covid.
Finally today, a reminder that the Parish Council will be meeting this coming Tuesday, January 26th, at 7:00pm in the St. Joseph Room. Meetings of the Council are open to any parishioner to attend, but to be able to share ideas or concerns, please contact one of the Parish Council members in advance. There is time in the monthly agenda for parishioners to participate; the Open Forum. Ideas, concerns, etc. are always welcome.
God Bless! Make it a great week!
Please continue praying 3 Hail Marys.