Sunday JANUARY 21
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus is calling
  • Jonah 3:1-5,10
  • Psalm 25:4-9
  • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
  • Mark 1:14-20

In today’s first reading and the Gospel proclamation, we hear a sense of urgency. Even though each narration belongs to different time frames, we notice a similar sort of response from each audience.
In both instances, the Word of God brought the people to immediate action. No questions asked, no objection or resistance shown but they simply heeded the call and sprang to action. It sounds so simple but looking closely at each situation we see that there were many reasons that could have stopped each audience from following the Word of God. If we put ourselves in their shoes what will be our response?
Imagine being a Ninevite, a pagan, belonging to a nation of wealth and prestige, having no knowledge of the God of Israel, yet readily listening to some stranger’s warning and turning away from the evil ways to win the favour of God, in turn averting the danger of destruction.
We can safely assume that it was not Jonah’s personality or his way of delivering God’s Word that affected the Ninevites, since this mission was forced upon Jonah and he was simply a reluctant messenger of God.
Therefore the transforming effect of Jonah’s warning can be attributed to God alone. It was the plan of God for the Ninevites to be totally captivated by an unknown, yet powerful God, regardless of external circumstances.
Would our hearts be easily moved when we hear the Word of God guiding us to repentance? What excuses would we have to justify our stance?
Similarly, imagine being in the place of the disciples, Peter, Andrew, James and John minding their own business, doing what they are really good at. When Jesus, a practical stranger to the disciples at that time said: “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men”, what might have gone in their minds?
As Mark puts it so simply, what enabled the disciples to leave everything and follow Jesus? It may be the curiosity that got the best of the disciples to go after Jesus with no questions. I feel that it is the purpose and the plan of God for their lives that made the choice so obvious for them. Would that be any different if it was you and I then, at the Sea of Galilee?
God takes the first step, by calling us to him, away from whatever we are holding on to. People who say ‘yes’, will be victorious. What is our Lord telling us?

Abba Father, speak your Word over our lives and help us be attuned to your leading. Amen.

View All