22nd January – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Arrived without incident in Hythe yesterday. Have been busy renewing old acquaintances with parishioners and visiting SOLT members from the US as well as preparing for Sr Trinity’s funeral on Tuesday. There is a viewing tomorrow from 9-5.

This is a commentary on today’s gospel from Youth 2000.

Repent and Believe in the Kingdom – (Matthew 4:12-23)

padre pioAnd He said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. There is a great film produced on the life of St Pio of Pietrelcino called; “The Miracle Man”. One scene in it shows a young friar meeting Padre Pio in his final days. Naturally he is very sad as he knows death is close for the great priest. Padre Pio, however, looks firmly into his eyes with a piercing look and says; “You know what St Francis’ greatest miracle is… it is that despite everything young men like yourself still hear God calling them, calling them to; “Follow me”. Today despite the new age practices in many places, the accessibility of fortune tellers, all the evil the internet brings, still young people want to adore the Lord. I would suggest this is the greater miracle that God is still working in the world.

We often think of miracles happening when a person is restored to health, or the likes of the multiplication of the loaves and fish.  However, the call of the first disciples, which we hear in today’s gospel, is the first miracle St. Matthew records. There are two things we can notice about the call of Christ; He calls them personally to follow Him, and they follow Him because they know they can trust Him. Firstly, we hear the name of each of those who are being called, you can say it’s a personal and individual call to each one, Christ doesn’t just call people in general, it’s always a personal call. Secondly, to leave behind everything, we know the apostles must have known Christ, because the call required them to leave behind their former lives, to begin a new life with Him and they were able to trust Him.

Isn’t it fair to say that many things today demand our attention, they call us to put our trust in the lastest technology, or some new age practice desires to speak to our emotions. However, people can be so much let down from these passing things, then it becomes more difficult to trust anymore. Like the miraculous call of the first disciples, Christ is still calling us by name.  With great love He continues to call each of us by name, yet the only real way to hear His call is by listening in the silence. He does have the personal touch for each. When we think of miracles we often think of the more major dramatic, but such simple events can also be of the miraculous nature. Therefore like Padre Pio said; today maybe its those people who still want to come close to God, who want to put their trust in Him.  I would suggest that is the greater miracle we have today. Like the first disciples hearing God’s call, miraculously people still are happy to experience God’s gentle touch.

Fr. Seán Crowley