Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, and today’s gospel reading though it reminds us of the call of the first four disciples of Christ, tells us to begin the new year in a holy and spiritual way. As we begin this New Year 2023, we have written down our new year resolutions, and we have set all these expectations for ourselves. All these resolutions and expectations are great and wonderful, but Jesus teaches us the best way to achieve them.

Repentance, which is the act of repenting or sincere regret or remorse, is the simplest and the best way to better ourselves spiritually this year, as we journey back to God. This is why Jesus said, “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” So in order to fulfill these our new year resolutions and expectations, we have to first of all, repent from our sins and be remorseful of them.

So what do you need to repent from today, that will help you be a better Christian this year? What are you most remorseful for in your life today as a child of God? Do you have a deep regret or guilt for all your sins, and sincerely want to change your life for good this year? What do you need to do better this year in order to come closer to God as a true Christian or disciple of Christ? Please pay attention to the example shown us by the first four disciples of Christ, when Jesus called them in today’s gospel reading. Like the first four disciples, in order to follow Jesus Christ,

Firstly, we have to hear Him calling us. This is our reality today because we have failed to hear the voice of God calling us. We have in fact, let the distractions of the world divert our attention away from Him. Secondly, we have to answer Jesus’s call to follow Him. We have not truly answered Jesus’s call to be His disciples, because we have doubts about our faith and our belief in God, and we have turned our backs on God by rejecting Him, His Church and His teachings. Thirdly, we have to let go of everything holding us back from God. We have held on tightly to the things of this world and our sins, and this has made it impossible for us to answer our call to discipleship. So it is time to let go of them, go back to God and sincerely follow Him.

My brothers and sisters, as you begin this new year 2023, pay attention to Jesus’s call in today’s gospel reading to repent, by hearing and answering His call to be His disciple; by letting go of the things of the world and your past sins, and by truly following Him.