3rd Sunday, 1st in Ordinary Time January 21, 2024

Fr. Rick’s Two-Minute Homily for 3rd Sunday, 1st in Ordinary Time
January 21, 2024, Mark 1:15-20


We really must give a hand to our firefighters. They find themselves in the most dangerous situations. I watched on TV a rattlesnake handler teaching firefighters how to manage snakes when they come across them.

They wanted to learn the technique of handling snakes, especially venomous snakes. One thing they must do is focus because a snake can bite in the blink of an eye.

Driving in a fog or a snowstorm demands our complete attention as well. Pileups can occur in a flash of a second. Even paying attention, you can become a victim very quickly. Alertness and safety features, like wearing your seatbelt, can minimize injury and harm.

In today’s gospel, Jesus called his first disciples. Jesus got their full attention and did something no one else could do for them. He spoke to their heart. He cleared out the fog in their lives and relationships. They weren’t afraid to face their sins.

He taught them how to handle difficult situations in their relationships so they didn’t get worse but got better. With the mercy they received from Jesus, they could give to others and be at peace. And their peace remained even when people didn’t accept their mercy.

So, what got their attention? Was it his charism? Many people have charisms. They often heard Jesus pleading with people to repent and believe the Good News.

They could leave their nets and father to follow Jesus when they repented and believed. The whole repentance worked and opened the door for them to have a personal relationship with the Lord.

Gospel Challenge:
Is there something about you that you do not like and keeps getting in the way? Are there difficult situations that quickly lead you into sin’s misery?

Like the firefighters, we must focus because we can get bitten by our sins in a second. Jesus said, “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand, staring you in the face. Listen to Jesus speak to your heart, “Repent.”

“Consider how sad your sins make you miserable and how sad others are when you sin. “Believe in the Gospel. Get rid of the fog in your mind and heart and start seeing how beautiful life can be with Me leading and directing you. You don’t have to follow every impulse you think will make you happy. Drop that net.

“Spend some time with Me and My Word, and we can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of all you love so I can enrich everything you do. It’s life eternal.

“So, drop those nets, now! They do not have to tangle up your life anymore. The heartache and the sadness are not worth it. In a word, “Follow Me!”

Love Your Neighbor:
Please join me in praying for all baptized Catholics to be faithful to Jesus in the Holy Mass every weekend. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Mother Mary, “I am yours now and forever. Through you and with you, I always want to belong completely to Jesus.” The Surrender Novena – InHeartland. https://inheartland.com/pages/the-surrender-novena

Peace be with you.

Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.
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