Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

He called them (James and John), and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. (Mt. 4)

Ordinary time for Jesus is the time for doing the work of God: calling people to repentance, inviting them to follow him; teaching the way of God and curing people of their illnesses. The ministry of Jesus continues today through his church, through the ordained ministers (priests and deacons) and through all of us. Through the ordained ministry, the word of God is preached and calls people to repentance and to follow Jesus more closely; the ministry of healing continues as well, especially in the sacrament of the anointing of the sick and Confession (Reconciliation).

In ordinary time we are all reminded of our need to ongoing conversion, to be listening to Jesus speak to us through the Word of God and in the events of our daily lives, and to follow Jesus more closely. Sometimes following Jesus means to leave behind our nets – the things that are contrary to a life in Christ, or more profoundly: to leave our way of life behind in order to follow Jesus as a priest, deacon, or religious, missionary, or other special calling.

As Jesus called the first disciples, we can also be an important part in someone’s life journey by helping them hear and respond to the call to discipleship. By our words and example, and even more, by an explicit invitation to come to church or to seek a deeper relationship with him, we help others take the next step of faith in following Jesus.