January 26, 2020: Reflection for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Phyllis Chandler, Notre Dame Associate

The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

In the second reading this Sunday, from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he says, “I urge you . . . that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.”  It appears that even among the early Christians there was divisiveness and bickering about whose “camp” they belonged to.

The same is true today.  Our country is torn apart by partisanship, name-calling, and animosity.  Instead of uniting to achieve our shared goals, we are deeply divided and accomplishing little that will bring about peace and the common good.

Surely we can do better.  Issues are seldom as clear-cut as they appear.  The more we study them with an open mind, the more aware of this we become.  For example, we are called to respect life.  Yet, individuals who are adamantly opposed to abortion strongly support the death penalty.  Many people express concern about climate change, but are wasteful of our natural resources.  On a personal level, I recently had to question to what extent my love of chocolate contributes to the forced labor of children on the cocoa plantations!

Perhaps we should listen to St. Paul’s exhortation to follow the gospel of Jesus “so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.”

During the coming week, let us more closely examine our own beliefs and biases and pray that the light of Christ will illumine us to work with each other toward a shared vision of God’s will in our lives.