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Gospel reflection

January 26, 2020: Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading: Matthew 4:18-22

(taken from “The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version”)

Then walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea — for they were fishers. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Jesus. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets and he called them. Immediately they followed Jesus.


The word alacrity comes to mind. Its definition is brisk and cheerful readiness. It’s a word I haven’t used lately; I haven’t even thought of it. (It must be too long a word for WordScapes — my latest game addiction. This is beside the point — so back to the reflection.)

Could it be that if I haven’t thought of the word alacrity, I haven’t responded with a brisk and cheerful readiness either?

Simon, Andrew, James and John certainly responded to Jesus’ invitation with astounding alacrity. “Immediately they left their nets…immediately they left the boat and their father.” Jesus didn’t cajole, command, coerce; he simply invited. Briskly, cheerfully, they followed Jesus through towns and villages as he preached the good news, healed the sick, mended the brokenhearted and welcomed the outcasts. What a difference their response made to the rest of their lives — and ours.  Alacrity! A brisk and cheerful readiness!


Brother David Stendahl-Rast recommends posting sticky notes in several places to remind us to be grateful. Perhaps we could adapt his idea of posting sticky notes in places we will see them each day — only these will remind us to respond with alacrity. Get some sticky notes. Write the words: alacrity: a brisk and cheerful readiness. Notice one or more notes each day this week. Then let’s see what happens.

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Sister Denise Wilkinson

Sister Denise was the general superior of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods from 2006-2016. She previously served as a high school teacher, college administrator, postulant/novice director and director of advancement and communications for the Congregation. Currently, Sister Denise serves the Congregation in various volunteer positions.

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