20 Jan 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
Our readings today are all a call to “repentance” and we are reminded that the time is NOW. In our first reading, Jonah is sent to what was at the time one of the largest cities in the known world. Actually Jonah was sent to preach destruction, not repentance. They were given 40 days “or else”. The king demanded penance and the people responded so quickly that God, so to speak, changed His mind. What we don’t see in this reading is the fact that Jonah was not a willing messenger. Jonah was downright angry when God withdrew His threat of destruction.
St. Paul in Corinthians continued the theme that “time is running out”. Paul’s examples need to be explained in terms of “this earth is not our home.” Everyone’s time is running out. Studies show that the death rate has stayed the same in the U.S. since the Declaration of Independence. It’s still 100 percent. “You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin
In Mark, the opening lines of the Gospel are “After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: this is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” The underlying message is that God calls for conversion while there is still time to change our ways. It is not a threat but an undying expression of God’s love for us and His desire for us to follow Him – to be with Him.
Just as God called Jonah in Old Testament times and James and John in New Testament times He calls us. When we speak of “”God’s call to people to be God’s prophets or of Jesus’ call to people to be His disciples, we frequently speak of it as a vocation. God calls each and every one of us to follow Him. God is calling both men and women, young and old to consider the Priesthood or Religious Life. If we are parents, have we ever talked to our children about praying for guidance when it comes to choosing their life’s work? Have we ourselves ever prayed to God that one of our children might be called to serve the Church in a ministerial way?
If we are a single man or woman – in our teens, our twenties, or our thirties – are we praying for guidance, asking God for guidance in choosing the right life’s work in the future? Have we ever prayed to God, offering to serve the Church in a ministerial way? Have we ever thought of volunteering a year of our lives to serve the Church? If not, why not? God wants us to be happy and fulfilled. God is indeed calling people in our times, just as God called them in biblical times. God is calling both men and women, young and old. Consider the following prayer by Cardinal Newman: “God has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have a mission… Therefore, I will trust Him…He does nothing in vain….He know what he is about. O my God, I put myself without reserve into your hands.”
May God bless, preserve and keep you!