Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

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An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, 
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. 
I love You above all things, 
and I desire to receive You into my soul. 
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart. 
I embrace You as if You were already there 
and unite myself wholly to You. 
Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Fr. Matt’s Message – Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

A Leap of Faith  

A lot of decisions we make in life are leaps of faith.  We can’t be sure it will pan out in the long run, but when it feels right, we often do it anyway.  During the week of Prayer for Christian Unity, all Christians are invited to set aside their differences in order to celebrate their common faith in Jesus Christ.  Monday brings to a close the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  This week of prayer has a history of over 100 years in which Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity.  By annually observing this week of intentional prayer, Christians move toward the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper “that they all may be one.”   (cf. John 17:21)  
The 2021 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit” (based on John 15:1-17).  
Fr. James Loughran, SA, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute noted that “as we gather annually throughout the world to pray for the unity of Christians we are reminded of the importance of need for “unusual kindness” in the dialogue that leads to growth in unity. We do this in a world where separation and division hinder the quest for Christian Unity. We, a Christian people, are being called to show unusual kindness towards one another.”  As Paul recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, it was through their unusual kindness that a divided people were drawn closer together (Acts 27:18 – 28:10).  
The traditional period for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18-25. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Servant of God, Fr. Paul Wattson, SA, Founder of the Society of the Atonement (Franciscans of the Atonement), to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), and therefore have a symbolic significance.   
In our readings on this Third Sunday in Ordinary Time we hear the invitation to have faith over and over again.  The Ninevites believe and repent (Jonah 3:15,10).  The Psalmist trusts in God’s goodness (Psalm 25).  Paul asks the Corinthians to look beyond this world (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).  And Jesus asks some ordinary fishermen to abandon all that is familiar (Mark 1:14-20). There are many things that can get in the way, but Christ wants to bring wholeness into our lives, and through us, into the lives of others.  This week we might explore the ways that Christ is inviting us to move beyond our comfort zones, to take that leap of faith and to take risks in reaching out and ministering to someone.   
May God bless your work and ministry,  
Fr. Matt