Third Sunday of Ordinary Time (NAB Translation)
Welcome to the Sunday Says podcast for January 25, 2015, the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time. We’re glad that you have joined us as we break open the Word of God in preparation for Mass. This week we continue the theme of “hearing” what God has to say and acting upon it. Our readings, as always, are taken from the Jerusalem translation for copyright purposes. Let’s get started.
In our first reading we hear a familiar story about Jonah who is given an assignment that doesn’t excite him very much. He is told to go to the pagan city of Nineveh and tell them to repent from their sins so that they might be saved from destruction. Surpringly, they listen, and they do repent and are saved. This story speaks to the mercy of God which is extended to all people, that they turn away from sin and toward the Lord. It also challenges us to listen closely to God and to have the courage to accept our own duty to help bring salvation to others. We don’t know for sure whether Jonah’s reluctance to follow God’s commandment was because he didn’t want to go or because he felt that he couldn’t do the job. What this passage shows us is that regardless of our reasons, God will provide what is needed if we will open ourselves up to His power. This story speaks to God’s overwhelming mercy even for the Gentiles and serves to remind us that we must follow God by likewise showing His mercy and sharing the gospel. This is our mission and the mission of the Church. It is also the task of the laity. Lives will be changed as a result.
The response for the responsorial psalm is,
“Teach me your ways, O Lord.” This should be our constant prayer. Are we teachable? Can we learn to evangelize as Christ and his early Church did?
The second reading from Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians is a reminder that life is uncertain and that our time to do good is running out. Rather than spending so much time concerning ourselves with things that will only pass away, we rather should realize that we may have just a blink of time to do good. It speaks to the value of good time management and how we must manage our time in a way that gives glory to God There’s no time to look back and no time to waste. The time is now to give everything to God. We can’t do this if we have divided loyalties.
Our Gospel reading from the Gospel of Mark shows Jesus initiating his ministry with same word Jonah had used: “Repent”!. But this time He adds something more. He says “Believe the Good News.” Repent and believe the GOOD news. Now is the time.
By combining the words “repent” and “believe” Jesus shows us that God’s ultimate motivation is to show mercy to His people. We may also recall that in Matthew Chapter 28, Jesus gave His followers a Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them…’
In this passage from St. Mark’s gospel, Jesus shows us what to do by calling his first disciples and making them “fishers of men.” If we want be like Jesus and obey His commandments, then we too will have to do the same. We ourselves will have to repent, then get out of our comfort zones and go fishing for the lost. As believers, we are on the hook to do this. This is the will of the Father and the mission of the Church. When we are listening to this word being read to us at Mass this weekend, let’s be reminded that this passage is addressed to us personally. Perhaps as we reflect in silence, we can seek God’s guidance on how to act on it.
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