January 26, 2020

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness, there is no gloom.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing (Isaiah 8).

There is a joy to be experienced in today’s liturgy. The gospel alerts us to the shift taking place in the life of Jesus. The epiphany of his baptism as the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” begins his public ministry to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom, heal the afflicted, and reconcile sinners. John has been arrested. Jesus takes on the task of calling forth disciples.

There is an immediacy in the call, “come follow me.” They abandon the life they knew, left it all to walk with Jesus into an unknown future. This itinerant rabbi had a forceful presence that drew crowds to listen to him preach. They witnessed the miracles of his touch.

Saint Peter Julian had a similar vocation call to leave everything without delay to call disciples to place the Eucharist at the center of their lives for the transformation of the world. He saw the grace of a eucharistic vocation as the greatest gift God offers to the church. In adoration, he prayed, “Grant us the grace and mission of your holy love so that we may be able to extend your eucharistic kingdom everywhere effectively and realize the desire you expressed: “I have come to cast fire on the earth; and what would I, but that it be kindled?” Oh! That we might be the incendiaries of this heavenly fire!

Christ continues to walk among us. He is often hidden as a stranger or person still unknown. Vocations to marriage and ministries are at an all-time low today. The culture does not support permanent commitments, it seems. Our task is to shine the light of the Eucharist and the joy that it brings to attract people to encounter God’s love as their life choice. There is no time to delay the call.

Let us pray:

Spirit of the Living God, awaken in us the sense of your call. Encourage and affirm young men and women to follow Saint Peter Julian Eymard. May we serve you and your people, making known the mystery of the Eucharist! May your eucharistic kingdom come! Amen.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About William Fickel, SSS