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3rd Sunday

From the vocation ad of a Catholic radio program, I’ll try to paraphrase an exchange: “Hello, friend,” said a woman, “it’s been a long time since I saw you. So you are now a nun?” The nun replied: “Yes I have been in religious life for two years now. Are you also thinking of serving the Lord?” The woman said: “Is it still possible? I’m married now.” The nun said: “Yes, we can serve God in various ways.” The woman answered: “I remember that was what they told us during our marriage preparation. Even married people can serve the Lord!”

We, each one of us, are called to follow and serve the Lord. There are various ways of doing this. The important thing is to be aware that God is calling us. Once we hear his call, then we must be ready to make adjustments, to make changes in our lives.

In the gospel, we see Jesus becoming conscious of His Father’s call to start proclaiming the Kingdom. He leaves behind his home, departing from Nazareth to take up residence in Capernaum. This is a significant decision because now, Jesus leaves behind his family, relatives and friends and would never return to live in Nazareth again. Jesus was going through changes in order to follow the Father.

The disciples too, experienced change, as the gospel relates. The brothers Simon and Andrew, and James and John were fishermen. Once Jesus called them, they abandoned their trade, left their nets and followed Jesus. They gave up being fishermen to become fishers of men.

God calls us everyday. We become aware of this when we listen. We hear the call when we allow God to speak to our hearts. And then, the call becomes active when we become ready to allow change to happen in our lives.

As a priest, I have had so many changes of assignments these past 14 years. Each change of location meant new challenges, new people, new responsibilities. Though many people are not priests, I am sure the experience of change is also multiple and rapid – transfer of homes, different jobs, new schools, new people and challenges along the way.

The most important change though involves not the environment, but the heart. Married people are called to follow the Lord and to change from being immature and dependent to being strong and determined. Young people must change into mature individuals to take charge of their future. As sinners we must be willing to leave behind our sins to live in grace again.

A young man sent me a text message one day: Dear Father, I’m sorry to disappoint you and my parents. I will try my best to change the course of my life. I promise you, the mistakes of the past will not happen again.

Jesus is calling you to follow him. In what ways is He calling you to change and transformation. Jesus give me the courage to….