St. Edmund Campion Parish, Maidenhead

3rd Sunday, Year A (22 Jan 2017)

A Light Has Shone

Today the liturgy suggests that everything changes in life when we begin to have contact with God. To explain this the liturgy uses the image of the light. The first reading says:

"The people that walked in darkness

has seen a great light;

on those who live in a land of deep shadow

a light has shone."

Things are the same during the night andunder the daylight. A tree is the same tree day and night. But it is not the same. With light we are able to enjoy the tree.

The psalm explains that under light there is nofear. While walking at night time, the branch of a tree in our way can scare us. But during the day, why should we fear it?

"The Lord is my light and my help;

whom shall I fear?"

The gospel explains how this light works in our life: "As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they left their nets at once and followed him."

So Jesus comes to us and invites us to be His friends. Today, He makes exactly the same thing happen, by putting one or more of His friends in front of us, someone who is already His friend, and invites us to enter into a relationship with Him through that person. Someone who seems to say: 'stay with me and so we will follow the Lord together.'

One of the consequences of such a decision to follow Him is that our differences fade. We can still have different opinions, but we belong together:

"I appeal to you, brothers, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to make up the differences between you, and instead of disagreeing among yourselves, to be united again in your belief and practice. From what Chloe’s people have been telling me, my dear brothers, it is clear that there are serious differences among you."

I hear sometimes of differences among us. If we turn to make a journey to follow Christ we will surprise ourselves, becoming more benevolent witheach other and not exaggerating small differences of opinion. By being partakers of the same joy, the unity will shine and so others will join the community.

The antiphon before Holy Communion reminds us all of this:

"I am the light of the world, says the Lord;

whoever follows me will not walk in darkness,

but will have the light of life."