Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

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From The Pastor

A year ago at Christmas, I received a present of a pair of socks. On them was printed, “Selective Hearing Expert.” In a world awash with chatter, we tend only to listen to the messages we want to hear and filter out the rest. That is why I like the story about Franklin Roosevelt. He often endured long receiving lines at the White House. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment.

To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured,
"I murdered my grandmother this morning." The guests responded with phrases like ”Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir." It was not till the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed the ambassador leaned over and whispered, "I'm sure she had it coming.”
Samuel, in the first reading had to listen and discern who was calling him. So also the disciple were given time to listen and discern when invited by Jesus: “Come, and you will see......they stayed with him that day.”

The disciple may have been simple fishermen but they possessed the singular gift of being open to something new. Their minds were not closed. It took courage to listen to something different than what they heard all their life from family and friends. The authorities believed Jesus was a misguided troublemaker and closed their minds. Their hearts were stony! What Jesus was teaching was not merely for the head but the heart. He wasn’t presenting arguments to convince but stories to change. His is a kingdom not of this world but of the heart. Maybe today we need the courage to turn down the volume of our own righteousness and listen to others with a sensitive heart.

– Fr. Joe

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