First Reading Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel Mark 1:14-20
On this Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, the readings are all about changing course and making choices.
In the first reading, Jonah implores the Ninevites to repent, but when they did so and received forgiveness, Jonah became resentful that the same forgiveness has not been afforded to him. He had much to learn about how one journeys towards salvation. Measuring one’s faults against another’s is not God’s way. Instead, we need to pray Psalm 25- “Teach me your ways, O God.”
The second reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians reminds us today that the world is ever-changing, and we need to be prepared for a new way of being. This new way of being calls us to reexamine our priorities and always be in a stance of preparation for and moving towards something beyond this life, namely the Kindom of God.
Thus, in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus takes on His preaching ministry after John baptizes Him. He recognizes His path and announces, “This is the time of fulfillment, The Kindom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” As He travels to Galilee, he encounters His first disciples casting their nets as fishermen. Did they know who Jesus was? Did they hear Jesus preach? Or were they moved by Jesus’s invitation to “Come follow me” by an inner awareness of the God within calling them to something new. Although the future was not clear, each disciple that was called to follow Jesus, let go of literally everything and trusted in a new vision. Following Jesus was an act of faith, walking with Jesus was an act of courage and a commitment to the unknown. In this ordinary and not so ordinary time in our lives, are we willing to continue to follow Jesus and preach the Good News that the Kindom of God is at hand? Let us pray for one another that we too have the courage and commitment as we follow in faith. Let us strive to bring to reality the hopes and dreams of John Lewis by giving birth to a “beloved community” of justice, love, and peace.
Sr. Joan Agro, OP