In Partnership with

St Agatha’s Parish

North William Street, Dublin D01N7F6

St Laurence O’Toole Parish

Seville Place, North Wall, Dublin D01KN73

21st January 2024. Third Sunday in Ordinarty Time. MAKE REPARATION BY CONFESSING OUR SINS

Today’s Gospel (Mark 1:14-20) is a vocation story for everyone to respond after listening to it. We are all to see ourselves in Simon, Andrew, James and John as Disciples of Christ, in that our time has come and Jesus is calling us serve Him, in order to get everyone to heaven. The disciples were in the boats, which prefigures the Church, as a boat sailing through the stormy and calm seas of life. Some were casting their nets in the lake and others were mending their nets. We are all called to transmit the faith by casting the net of love and peace wherever we go as opposed to casting a net of anger or hatred. To mend is to repair. We are called to repair the damage our sins cause the Church and the world. We make reparation for our sins by confessing them before the Lord in the sacrament of confession and by making up with those we have fallen out with. To do this takes courage, humility and a conversion of heart. We are called to go before each other and our Creator and say ‘sorry’. St. Paul tells us (1 Cor 7:29-31), that the world is passing and that we are not to become completely engrossed in it. Personal attachments that may appear permanent can disappear at a moment’s notice. The call of Jesus is to attach ourselves to an everlasting relationship (an Eternal Covenant) with God, through Jesus. This journey to heaven begins now on earth.
Salvation is a gift and cannot be taken for granted. To access heaven, we must respond to Jesus’ call for conversion and repentance. The Church is a taste of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth. This call is non-negotiable. It entails a change of mentality towards the philosophy of the world and to attentively listen and act on the Good News, brought to us by Jesus. When Jesus passes by and presents Himself to us, we have to respond, if we are serious about going to heaven. Practicing our faith and going to Sunday Mass is our response to Jesus’ call to follow Him. To glorify Him is to obey Him. Our vocation is an immediate call that comes with a duty to cast the net of mercy out to all who trespass against us. The kingdom of sin cannot co-exist with the Kingdom of Heaven. We must repent now, as we cannot do it beyond the grave. In the First Reading (Jonah 3:1-5 10), the Nineveh citizens repented and God forgave their offences (sins) against Him. Same happens when we go to confessions. Jesus casts out the evilness of sin in our lives. Practiced faith will save us from ending up in hell. God bless, Fr. Brendan.