3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

3rd Sunday Ordinary Time Year B 21 JAN 18

Spirit of Hope Tenth Anniversary Celebration


In some ways I think many of us have a somewhat romanticized notion of God’s call in our lives.

Somehow we are often lured into believing that the experience of

God’s call is

Laced with peace,

Charged with happiness

And lived with unencumbered joy.

But my friends I think if we are honest with each other and if we look seriously at Sacred Scripture and the lives of the Saints and even our own lives…such rose colored glasses are soon shattered by the stones of reality!

Most everyone of the prophets,

most every one of the saints,

most every vocation,

most every relationship,

is not and has not been a bed of roses,

a plethora of unencumbered joy

or a garden of peace.

In fact, I would venture to say that if Simon and Andrew and James and John had any clue of the journey that lay ahead of them and the toils, troubles, struggles, mixed with the triumphs, joys and ecstatic visions they may well have decided that a life fishing on the sea of Galilee with their family might not be such a bad deal!!!



There is something about God’s call that tends to turn our lives upside down…even when we try our best to just let God only have a little effect in our lives.

Lets be honest, I think most of us approach the journey of the Spiritaul life a bit like opening the front door of our homes to a person whom we may not really know.

You know what I mean…..we hesitate to answer the knock at the door…we peer through the peep hole or through the side window….try to see if we recognize the person…we judge, analyze and we stand behind the door, open it just a little and we begin to engage in the conversation.

You see I think that is how often God works in our lives as well.  And much like we say in AA, nothing ruins a good drunk more than having gone to an AA meeting before!

What I mean to say,  is once God knocks and we answer the call, we are kind of in for it.

We can’t ever close the door again….we might try…but no matter what, that first experience will never let us forget.

Kind of like Jonah….we can try to run….we can try to pretend we don’t hear God’s call….my experience has taught me God will have us swallowed up by love, and puke us out on the shore of life where ever that is so that we can knock on someone else’s door!

That is the challenge we all face every day of our lives….are we spending our days running away from God’s call or are we answering the door and letting ourselves be transformed by the experience of God.

You see my friends that transformation is not always a joy ride.  Sometimes it makes us face some very challenging parts of our lives.

Sometimes God’s call forces us to look at our own selfishness, or our ego.

Sometimes God’s call affirms one of our gifts, our desire for justice or our love for our fellow human.

But no matter what the experience of God will leave us changed.

There is no way that we can answer God’s call with out it having an effect in our lives


Most often that effect is probably something we never, ever planned for or thought about, or maybe even wanted.

God has a way of putting us in places we never imagined!  Just like Jonah and the whale!

So here is our challenge….are we going to answer the door?

I have a secret to share….just being here means you already have….I wonder what’s in store for our future?

Maybe you do too!

Bishop Marty Shanahan