Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

One of the great spiritual leaders of our time is the Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello. Anthony D’Mello said he felt God’s call in his teens. When he asked his father for permission to become a priest, Tony’s dad said no. He had only two other children, both daughters. It was Tony’s duty to carry on the family name. Then, after a span of 14 years of having no children, Tony’s mother became pregnant. When she was taken to the hospital for the birth of the baby, Tony ran the entire four-mile distance on foot. Arriving breathlessly, he asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?’’ When his father said it was a boy, Tony said, “Great! Now I can become a priest.’’ The movie actress Delores Hart gave Elvis his first screen kiss in the movie King Creole, and years later, in 1963, she stunned the film industry by entering a convent and becoming a nun. The mayor of a large city in the USA went to visit the Discalced Carmelites (similar to the Poor Clare’s) in Connecticut and when speaking to one of the nuns behind the grating, he asked her; ‘sister do you see that large house up on the hill which is set in beautiful surroundings, if this was yours, would you still enter this convent’. The nun answered: ‘that house was mine’. That brings us to a question that people often ask, why do men and women give up everything to follow Christ. Jesus still calls people today to a special relationship with him – just as he called Simon and Andrew and James and John in today’s Gospel. I wonder what did Zebedee, the father of James and John) say to his wife when he arrived home? Something like this maybe? “Hello dear, sorry we didn’t catch any fish today because we didn’t get the nets fixed, the lads up and left me. Oh and by the way, we lost two of our sons to a wandering preacher!” Being followers of Christ does not exclusively mean in the priesthood or religious life. In our own parish and community we are blessed with so many volunteers who are following the call of Christ to serve in the community. We all have the responsibility by virtue of our Baptism to take ownership of our Church and in particular of our parish. How did the Faith in Ireland survive during Penal Law times with a few priests on the run? It was the faith of the people and they themselves took up the call to be the Fishers of Men and Women. God is calling all of us to serve in his church is some way today. What is your response? Today the Lord calls us all to be Fishers of People! Have we the courage to leave our nets and follow him?