Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

All three of this Sunday’s readings present let us say an urgent call. Jonah preach to the people of Nineveh about repentance and conversion. St. Paul tells the Corinthians that time is running out, and Jesus begins his preaching by proclaiming The time of fulfillment is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel and He then calls his first disciples, Simon and Andrew, James and John.

Last weekend we talked about morality, in particular sexual morality, today I would like to reflect on the Faith, because faith demands consequences, in other words: we cannot be people of faith if we do not speak out against immorality. We cannot be people of faith, if we allow our government to continue any immoral practice. Today we American Catholics remember the horrible anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the decision of the Supreme Court to allow abortion. Those who march and protest throughout the country do so because they are people of faith and people who deeply love their country. They cannot sit back and allow lies and evil and death to continue.

It is the same for every issue: as Catholics we cannot sit back and be non committal to evil around us. Where and when we see evil, we have to react against it. Why? Well, because faith demands consequences, demands action.

When Jesus called Simon and Andrew, James and John, you and me, He did call us to do something and to be something. He called us to be disciples, to give testimony. Why do you train your children in the faith? Why do you guard against immorality in your home? Why do you worship God daily in your homes and weekly here at St. Vincent de Paul? We do what we do because this is who we are, we are Catholics and even though we are a minority in this country, it is necessary that we give witness to our faith, our beliefs.

That is why we feel so disjointed when our human limitations take over and we give in to evil. We lose our sincerity, our integrity, when what we do is opposed to whom we are. But when we respond to that call of Christ within us to be Christian in all our actions, then our actions reflect our inner life, the life of Jesus Christ we have been called to embrace. Then we become whom He created us to be.

People who are determined to live the truth of whom they are, people who are determined to live vocationally, are the most dynamic force in history. Their lives don’t just become history; they become His Story, the story of God at work in the world. And that is what Catholicism is about. We want to change the world into God’s world. We are willing to do what we need to do to be whom we have been called to be.

The call of Faith, or vocation as Christians is urgent, just as the call to faith was urgent for the first disciples, for the people of Corinth, for the people of Nineveh. Faith has consequences. Faith is dynamic. Faith is counter cultural. Faith changes the world. Faith is manifested in the integrity of men and women who live who they are.

May we have the courage to be people of faith ■

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris