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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2020

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 26, 2020


Isaiah 8:23-9:3

Psalm 27

First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

Matthew 4:12-23

Several years ago I read a study that suggested that if Jesus had sent His twelve disciples for psychological testing prior to calling them to follow Him during His public ministry the test results may have sounded something like this:

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have chosen for managerial positions in your new organization.  All of them have taken our battery of tests and have been interviewed extensively by our staff.  We have run the results through our computer.  After arranged personality interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant, it is the opinion of our staff that most of your nominees are lacking in education, vocational aptitude, and experience for the positions they are applying for.  They have no idea of “team concept.”  Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper.  Andrew has no qualities for leadership.  The two brothers, James and John place personal interest above company loyalty.  Thomas shows a skeptical attitude that would tend to undermine the morale of the entire group.  Matthew has been blacklisted by the Jerusalem “Better Business Bureau.”  James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, definitely has radical leanings, and registered a high score on the “manic-depressive scale.  However, one of the candidates shows real potential.  He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets well with people, and has contacts in high places.  He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible.  We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man.

This assessment of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus gives us hope because if these simple men could go on to accomplish great things for the Lord then so can we.  We are each called by Jesus at our baptism and confirmation to be His witnesses.  No one can say they were not suitable for their calling.  If Jesus could use the apostles with their obvious weaknesses, He can also use you and me to advance to His kingdom.  God calls us to make a difference to the world.  God wants us in His plan for the salvation of the world.

We can all agree that the men Jesus called to be His apostles were unlikely candidates.  Their weaknesses are obvious as we read and learn more about them in Sacred Scripture.  But our Lord knew their hearts and their potential and knew what they could become.  Jesus knows our hearts and our potential as well. 

Sisters and brothers, today Jesus calls all of us to discipleship.  However, like Peter we sometimes lack faith.  Like Andrew we have much to learn.  Like James and John we are, at times, selfish.  Like Matthew we have a past.  Like Thomas we sometimes doubt.  And so on with the others.

If Jesus could use these men to help create His Church he could certainly use all of us to carry on their work.  The best part about discipleship is that we don’t have to apply for the job.  It’s right here – waiting for us to come on board and join Jesus’ staff. 

Question of the Day:  Can you identify your strengths in order to become a disciple of Jesus? 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, grant that my life may be a sacred service of discipleship to You.  May I always bring honor to You, and draw down Your blessings upon me.


Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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