Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

What is it that you need to “let go” of? “Letting go” is a phrase all of us should reflect upon daily, what are the things, relationships, attitudes that need to be “let go?”

Peter and Andrew “let go” of their fishing nets; James and John “let go” of their father, the hired hands and their livelihood. These four individuals became the first of Jesus’ followers to “let go” of everything that truly mattered in their lives, embracing a new way of living. To live the life God meant for them meant a dramatic change in their lifestyle that clearly had an impact on parents, siblings, and friends.

Most of us will not be called to such a dramatic change in how life is lived. But we are all summoned to a continual process of conversion, an oftentimes painful cutting back, eliminating and letting go of realities and ways of seeing God and the world that are holding us back. Have you ever felt like you're stuck, unable to move forward? That life is going by so quickly and you're missing something? Clearly, something needs to be changed, we need to “let go” of whatever is that’s blocking us.

In this time of pandemic I’ve had the time to reflect on what I need to get go of. What surfaced in these reflections will certainly resonate with many of you: letting go of pessimistic attitudes, fear of growing older, wanting to please everyone, unhealthy eating/drinking habits, addiction to anything having to do with internet or media websites, expecting too much from the Church.

However, the most important thing I need to let go of is discouragement. With everything that’s happening in the world and in the Church, it's so tempting to surrender to giving up, rather than letting go. The “net” of discouragement is one that we can easily get tangled up in, which is why the evil one lives for us to be discouraged. The Kingdom of Jesus, a world of justice leading to peace will never happen with dis-couraged people. Courage is the gift that allows us to rise up in the Spirit, shedding the horrible web/net of discouragement, giving birth to Hope.

Fr. Frank