To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
Today our Gospel writer Matthew signals the beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, “From this time forward, Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’”
Jesus was preaching Metanoia – which we translate into “repent”, but Metanoia is nothing short of a revolutionary change of outlook.
Maybe one of the best images of Metanoia would be St. Paul’s mind blowing transformation on the road to Damascus. In that incident, Paul, the persecuting preacher of the Christians… becomes the missionary and martyr for the faith of his former Christian victims.
However, a more common image of Metanoia happened to the disciples Jesus invited to leave their nets and boats to follow him. They dropped everything at his invitation, but from that moment until his resurrection, Jesus had to cajole, tutor, and sometimes outright denounce their behavior in his efforts to transform them into disciples who would carry forth his mission. Their Metanoia was a process, not a one and done miracle.
Truth is we are probably a lot more like the disciples, than like St. Paul. And, even so, the majority of us are not called to leave everything behind, rather to let our daily life go through gradual transformations that can turn every profession, every job, and all our relationships into experiences of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The call for Metanoia, nothing short of a revolutionary change of outlook, at present comes from our planet Earth and all its inhabitants.
A few years ago, Pope Francis in his letter (Encyclical) entitled, “Laudato Si” (English: On Care for Our Common Home) called us to Metanoia grounded in the convictions of our faith that can motivate us to a more passionate concern for the protection of our world.
Our faith calls us to discern as Christians to ask what actions on behalf of the Kingdom of Heaven and the protection of our world, are needed today and tomorrow.
As people of faith, what way or ways can we begin to make a positive difference in the “Care of our Common Home”…
In an email I received from friend of mine in Honduras, she mentioned their efforts in their Parish to stop using styrofoam cups and to stop littering.
Might we begin with, recycling a bit more, donating used clothing and furniture, picking up litter and not littering; using water responsibility, using less plastic and paper bags and using re-usable bags…
We all are able to do something – as person, family and Parish.
As my friend in Honduras shared, it is about adopting new lifestyles. It is about Metanoia as Jesus invites us to undertake for the good of the Kingdom of God – here on Earth.