Weekly Homily from Fr Jim Hogan, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 25, 2015

An “explanation”…a polite way of saying an excuse….for the delay in posting this.  It has to do with the email of the sender, the email of the recipient, and the unawareness of the recipient.  Fr Jim’s email failed to send, my email received it a day later than it was sent, and I was not paying attention to my email for a variety of excuses.  Sorry about all of that but better late than never…..Reyanna

•Jonah 3:1-5, 10 • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 • Mark 1:14-20•

Scripture Readings: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

I was in Pasadena, California on New Year’s Day to watch the Rose Bowl Parade. On the
evening of December 31st, the parade route was filled with people camped out in anticipation.  Very early in the morning I traveled for more than an hour by train and on foot to reach my seat in the bleachers. In spite of the bitter cold, an enormous crowd lined the parade route. I watched the crowds around me, huddled under blankets, and wondered why were all of us there?

Mark is the oldest and simplest of the written gospels. His introduction of John the Baptist is brief. Mark’s intent is for us to know that, “after John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching.” His message: “time’s up!” does not refer to chronological time but to “kairos” – God’s time. He announced that, “God’s kingdom is here,” meaning a “new reality” of justice, harmony and peace is emerging. He called his peers to “repent,” meaning change the way you think and behave so you are in sync with that “new reality.” Then Mark tells us “Jesus walked along a beach” and encountered two sets of brothers. To each of them he said, “Come, follow me!”

That invitation is directed to us as well. “Come, follow me; come and see” is neither an invitation to ordination and ministry as priest nor an invitation to go live in a monastery. It is not an invitation to maintain or repeat the way things have always been. There is eternal significance to everything we do or have done. Although Mark’s Jesus is not simply asking us to pass on traditions or doctrines from yesterday, it is our hope that nothing good of the past is lost and that all of our good actions are preserved in God who enables them.

Mark’s Jesus is inviting us to an unknown future to which that Gracious Mystery has been calling all of us in the human family since the very beginning. Our vocation now, since the historical Jesus walked along that beach in Galilee, is to be intentional in enabling “God’s new reality” to emerge.

Climate change, the long trains transporting coal from Montana to China and the continuing push to approve the X-L pipeline symbolize the complexity of our world. Such complexity is an essential part of all evolutionary process.

The world in which Simon, Andrew, James and John lived, and all of our ancestors before us, was complex in its own way. It is in this complex world of today that we are on an evolutionary journey of becoming the Living Body of Christ. Slowly, but certainly the fullest potential of our lives, of one another and of the entire Earth is emerging.

I find it most helpful to continuously remind myself that whatever is needed at this time in history to enable “God’s kingdom” – “God’s new reality” to emerge in our world is within us. We need not rely on science, technology, government or formal religion to make that possible.

We intuitively know that possibility is within us! I think enormous crowds are attracted to things like the Rose Bowl Parade because the creativity, beauty and pageantry of such events symbolize that an ever-better world is emerging through our efforts. This better world is not simply about faster computers, more things and more material resources. It is about people becoming more fully alive and more fully human. It is about an expanding circle surrounding this planet — a circle of people whose love is universal and unconditional.

We are reminded again today that our vocation is to use our human creativity in ways that enable an ever-better world to emerge. Trust the Spirit of Christ gifting and empowering you. Do all you are capable of doing to live, walk and be in harmony with people and the community of Earth. Be Christ in such ways that “God’s kingdom” – “God’s new reality” will become ever more evident among us. That is the invitation spoken to us by Mark’s Jesus today in these simple words

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