THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, 22-01-2017
There are different ways and means to recruit new employees. One of the methods of recruitment is executive search or headhunting by which they look for the best individual for the role and approach them directly, rather than waiting for them to approach the recruiter. In today’s gospel we see Jesus making his first attempt to recruit the first batch of apostles using the method of headhunting. He chose fishermen not to catch fish but to draw people to God. They were trained for three years by Jesus and equipped them to continue His mission after his departure. Why did Jesus choose or recruit fishermen but not some intellectuals? It was because Jesus judged them to be humble and simple people. Simplicity and humility have magnetic power to attract people to God. It is easier to transform humble and simple people to be effective missionaries. God elected humble and simple people like Abraham, Moses, Joseph of the Old Testament, King David, Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus to implement his divine plan. The Jewish teachers always compare the word of God to water for just as water only runs downhill, never uphill; the word of God can only be heard in a humble heart. The proud and arrogant people cannot respond to God because their hearts are not receptive to His Word. The world judges the quality of a person in terms of the power or the wealth of that person but God judges the quality of a person in terms of his humility and simplicity. Humility is the benchmark for Christian discipleship.
Christian Discipleship is no easy task but a challenging One. Having called them at the sea beach, he takes them to the top of a mountain to deliver them the charter for their discipleship. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus sets before them the demands of true discipleship. He simply asks them; can you love an enemy? Can you truly forgive someone who has hurt you? Can you bless someone who has cursed you? Can you be good to those who have done you harm? Can you forgive a murderer? Jesus simply means here that only those who can meet these demands are eligible to be called his disciples. Although initially the disciples did not understand fully what Jesus demanded from them, all of them except one lived as true Disciples of Christ even facing death.
A Christian with a humble heart can love an enemy, he can truly forgive those who have hurt, he can bless those who curse and can show goodness to those who have done harm to his life or self-image. This way we prove our Christian discipleship here on earth.
Let us not forget the fact that we too have become Disciples of Christ by virtue of our baptism. Jesus wants also to be fishers of men and women especially those who have given up their faith in God and left the Church. This is what we call New Evangelization. Among them are our children, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends. In this Eucharistic celebration let us specially pray for their conversion and also ask the Lord to give us the courage to approach them with a humble and understanding heart in order to bring them back to the true faith and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I am confident that our humility, love and patience will melt their hearts and enable them to turn back to God. This is the responsibility that Jesus gives you and me today.