Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


Third Sunday In Ordinary Time

Deacon Blaine Barclay

‘’ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near….Come follow me”.

After the arrest of his cousin John the Baptist, Jesus withdraws to Galilee, to the periphery, the margins of Herod’s empire.  He does not move back to his home town of Nazareth, but chooses the seaport, fishing village of Capernaum as his base of operations for his mission of evangelization.  Why did he choose Capernaum?  The Sea of Galilee was like a highway, it gave him quick access to lots of synagogues where he could proclaim the good news of the kingdom, it also gave him ready access to the wilderness, and the prayerful solitude, that he would need in order to recharge his batteries, so to speak. Capernaum is also a fishing village and Jesus is now casting his net, ’’fishing for people’’, who will in turn cast the net of the good news of the kingdom, fishing for the other, spreading the joy of the gospel.

‘’Come follow me’’, he says to these first disciples, he calls them, as he does to each one of us.  We know from John’s gospel that he had already met Peter and Andrew.  And Andrew at least had been a disciple of John the Baptist.  He was the one who asked Jesus where he lived, and Jesus said to him, ’’Come and see’’.  Andrew was one of the first evangelists because he went right away to tell his brother Peter that he had met Jesus. He says, “We have found the Messiah, (which means Christ)”. But that’s John’s gospel, it does however set the stage for the drama that unfolds later in Capernaum.  This is another reason he set up shop in Capernaum rather than Nazareth. He had friends who lived there, a ready core of future missionary disciples. It also explains why these first disciples were so quick to answer the call to cast a different net, a net for souls, ’’fishing for people’’.  They had already came to Jesus, they had already seen who he was, ‘Him of whom Moses in the law and also the Prophets spoke”.  They had already crossed the bridge of decision, to leave their old nets, in need of repair, their old life, their livelihood, to risk everything in this new adventure with Jesus.  To “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’’ To ’’proclaim the good news of the kingdom’’.  We too, each one of us, are invited into this same adventure of missionary discipleship, and our gospel today gives us a kind of road map on how to do this, three keys that will unlock this missional door for us.  Three key terms.

The first term is “good news”, glad tidings, in Greek, ‘evangellion’, literally ‘good message’.  Like a blind person receiving their sight, a lame person walking, a prisoner getting amnesty, winning the cosmic lottery, the best of all good news, Jesus coming into my life.  Do I really experience the gospel as the good news that is?  And if not, why not? How can I be a ‘sourpuss’ if the gospel is ‘good news’? How can I lay hold of the joy of the gospel?

The second term is ‘kingdom’, or, reign of God, in Greek, ‘Basileia’. That state of affairs were God’s will is sovereign.  As we pray in the ‘Our Father. ’Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ The kingdom is not yet, it is still something ahead of us, coming to us from the future.  Our gospel today speaks of the good news of the kingdom being near, at hand, upon us.  Indeed, it has already arrived in embryonic form in the person and mission of Jesus. Am I ready, with the help of God’s grace to commit myself to the task of the kingdom?  As one author puts it, ’’There must be a decision, it is necessary to be converted, to embrace the demands of the kingdom in order to be a disciple of Jesus.’’

The third term is ‘repent, in Greek, ‘metanoia’, literally to change one’s understanding, not simply sorrow or remorse but a change in the direction of one’s life, as in, ’turn around you’re going in the wrong direction.’ The book of Job, chapter 28 says, ’’the fear of the Lord that is wisdom, to depart from evil, that is understanding.’’ To repent is a commitment to conversion of life and lifestyle. The kingdom is near, the reign of God is breaking into our lives in the person and mission of Jesus, and this is such good news that we need to open our hearts and lives, and turn our lives around by joining the Jesus revolution of fidelity and tenderness.

‘’Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near…. Come follow me”.

The Chief medical Health Officer of Kingston has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
Please read and observe the six key principles outlined below.

1) The key principle is that we come to Mass to worship God. Out of justice and exercising the virtue of religion we must give God what is God’s due. That quite simply is worship, adoration and praise. Thus, the absolute essentials of Mass will be included so that the Sacramental praise of God will take place and we will be exposed to one another for as brief a time as possible.

2) The second key principle is that the health and safety of parishioners, staff and clergy here at St. Mary’s are essential and require our utmost concern and attention. Therefore, the dispensation from the obligation to come to Sunday Mass by Archbishop Mulhall continues to be in effect. Those who are sick, elderly or have other critical health concerns should not come at this time. However, that is left to your discretion. Should you make the choice to come, knowing the risks, you are most welcome.

3) The underlying principle of all of our restrictions in isolating, physically distancing, wearing masks etc. is the common good as we live out the Lord’s commission to “love one another.” We are to care for each other and at this time we are called to be as prudent and careful as we can to protect the health of everyone else and ourselves.
4) The principle for the next few weeks will be brevity. The received scientific wisdom is that the virus spreads within groups who spend a prolonged period of time together. Therefore, we will be reducing the Mass to the bare essentials.
5) Singing is considered more dangerous than speaking so you are asked to please not sing at all throughout the Mass. I will not be singing either.
6) If you have any sickness, are elderly or have a critical illness you should remain at home. The dispensation from the obligation to come to Mass continues through this time of 30% capacity. Of course, if you choose to come you will not be turned away. We will continue to live- stream the Masses until we are back to a more normal arrangement.

The Chief medical Health Officer has ordered that Masks must be worn at all places we gather indoors. That includes us here at the cathedral. We can’t supply everyone with a mask so please come with one. We would have a limited supply available for a loonie at the entrance of the cathedral.
We will pray a shorter Penitential Rite.
The Gloria will be said not sung. There is to be no singing by the congregation during the Mass. Only by a cantor or as we have today a physically distanced choir in the choir loft…3 metres apart.
We will only have one reading followed by the Psalm
The second reading will be omitted.
The choir will sing the Alleluia on Sundays. During the week it will be omitted. Please do not join in.
The Gospel.
A very brief (3-4 minute) homily will follow.
The Creed will not be prayed.
There will be no petitions. Please prepare your own petitions and offer them in your heart during the Mass.
There will be no procession of the gifts.
There will be no regular collections at this time in the Masses. It will happen later. Ushers will be at the doors to receive your offering as you leave.
The Eucharistic Prayer will be prayed. This is the Most Important Part of the Mass.
The Our Father
Sign of Peace. This is a time when we won’t shake hands. Please do not wave to each other or give the two finger sign of peace. Neither of these reflect what is the intention here…You are recognizing the presence of God in the other person and praying they know God’s peace. The most appropriate gesture is a slight bow or nod of the head to the other person. You have seen me do this at the sign of peace to all of you at every Sunday Liturgy.
Please be seated.
Then the ushers will direct you to the place where you will receive Holy Communion. Please do not leave your pew until an usher has indicated you should do so.
Another usher will be close to the Communion Station to receive your Sunday Offering.
When it is your turn to receive Holy Communion. You will stand 6 feet away on the red line. The person distributing Holy Communion will say “The Body of Christ”. You will say “Amen”. Then move forward within arms length and receive the Host. Once you have received go straight out the nearest exit and make your Thanksgiving on your way home.
Aisles 1 & 5 will come forward to receive Holy Communion and leave by the side doors.
Aisles 2, 3 & 4 will go to the back to receive Holy Communion.
Aisle 2 will exit by the exit closest to the rectory.
Aisle 3 will exit out the centre door which you came in
Aisle 4 will exit out the door by the washrooms.
You are strongly encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand. Receiving on the tongue endangers the person giving Holy Communion and yourself, the person receiving Holy Communion. If you wish to insist on receiving on the tongue please wait until the very end as the person giving Holy Communion should sanitize their hands after each communicant. The usher will pass you by and will come back to you after everyone else has received. Please don’t leave your pew until that has taken place.