Sermons

January 24: Wake-Up Time (3 B)

“This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-20)

After John the Baptist’s arrest, Mark’s gospel turns to Jesus and the beginning of his missionary journey.

Here is a specific time, known in Greek, as the “Kairos” or the dramatic turn of events that lead to action, conversion, and transformation. Also, it is a time for discernment: Which road to take? Who will accompany us?  How does our story intensify? Looking for a “Kairos” moment? See below.

About these early events, Pope Francis writes:

“Jesus is always on the road! His first missionary appearances occur along Galilee’s lake, in contact with the multitude and a particular fisherman. There Jesus does not only proclaim the Kingdom of God but seeks companions to join his salvific mission.”

Inviting his apostles and preaching the kingdom of God become Jesus’s mission, and like Jonah of old, he shouts: “Repent and believe in the gospel.”

This signal is the wake-up or “Kairos” moment for all believers, so much so that these fishermen – Peter, Andrew, James, and John abandoned their nets and their way of life to follow him.

One month from now, on Ash Wednesday, we will hear these very words that launch the season of Lent. Are we ready to listen and accept the call of Jesus Christ in our own lives?

Pope Francis has designated this Sunday’s celebration as the “Sunday of the Word of God.” He invites each of us to deepen our appreciation and witness to God and His Word. Francis calls the bible “God’s ‘love letter’ to all humanity.” He adds:

“To listen to sacred Scripture and then to practice mercy: this the great challenge before us in life. God’s word has the power to open our eyes and to enable us to renounce a stifling and barren individualism and instead to embark on a new path of sharing and solidarity.”

The practice of mercy is so much on our minds today, as our country renews its national calling and the very commitment to democratic governance.

How prepared are we to forward the Lord’s enduring message of faith, hope, and love?  Such is a time when the everyday little things that frustrate us might evaporate to see more clearly a vision of the Kairos, that distinctive time of healing and grace.

Rosary Chapel, Santa Catalina School, Monterey, CA.

If you are looking for a Kairos moment, here’s a glimpse from President Biden’s inauguration.

Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” goes into the anthology of American poetry as a hymn of national character, struggle, and healing. Gorman is 22 years old, a 2020 Harvard graduate, a native of Los Angeles, and a parishioner at Saint Bridget’s Church.

Her brilliant yellow suit, youthful voice, and command of the inaugural stage make her the perfect “vessel for the poem.”

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Listen to James Cordon’s interview with Amanda Gorman. She presents her “best self” in a conversation about poetry, art, and her contribution to the inauguration.

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