This weekend, the Church celebrates the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Today’s Gospel comes from Mark 1:14-20, where Jesus announces the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven and calls for repentance and belief in the Gospel. The Apostles quickly gave up everything to follow Jesus, like Peter and Andrew who gave up their fishing nets, James and John who left their father. Perhaps the things we leave may differ but what is important is that we abandon those obstacles on our way to follow God’s will, and use them instead to serve Him. January 18 to 25 is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, while January 24 is the Feast of St. Francis de Sales. This saint’s mission was simple: to bring those Catholics who had left the Church back home. He laboured in a French village for three years without producing a single convert. Nonetheless, he laboured on and, thinking that the villagers might not have heard his preaching, decided to slip in his pamphlets under their doors. He used his warmth and generosity to win souls. If the adults were unwilling to listen, he would play with their children. Once their parents saw how loving he was up close, their prejudices would disappear. After he left the village, forty thousand people converted to the Catholic faith. During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we ought to pray for non-Catholic Christians to strengthen our mutual understanding and spread Christian values across the world. If we imitate St. Francis, we must use both words and actions to open people’s hearts.
“Spiritual Talk” – The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho
by Kenny Cheng