1-24-21 Reflection

Reflection for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20

Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.

Did mom or dad ever say to you? “Don’t eat before dinner, or you will spoil your appetite?” God gives us an appetite, so we can nourish our bodies with food and water, which are vital for our existence. Did you know that God also gave us a spiritual appetite? What’s that? – you may be thinking. We spend our life preparing for the banquet of eternal life, the wedding feast of the Lamb (as described in the Book of Revelation). At the highest level, this is our vocation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 356) tells us that all human beings are called by God to share in God’s divine life. As mentioned in last week’s reflection, the word vocation comes from the Latin, meaning, “a calling” or “a summoning”.

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out…For the world in its present form is passing away. St. Paul is telling us to not be deceived by the ways of the world. There are many distractions that can affect our calling…sometimes it can be influenced the lure of money, possessions, power or fame…or too much of something that consumes our time and we lose our focus on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you remember the story of Jonah, in which we have a portion of in today’s first reading? The word of the Lord came to Jonah saying: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” Jonah was prophet, called by God. He didn’t think that he had a vocation though and ran from it. God wanted him to preach the message of repentance to the City of Nineveh…but he refused and ran away. Jonah’s attitude ruined his appetite for God’s love and nurturing care. God was patient with Jonah. Through the experience of being in the belly of a whale, Jonah had a change of heart. God is patient with us too… and awaits our change of heart to turn to Him.

Fundamental to the idea of vocation is that Jesus calls people today to a special relationship with Him – just as Simon, Andrew, James and John were called. Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men. Our call may not be as dramatic and life- changing, as it was for these apostles or St. Paul, for example

Jesus’s call may come to us at any time, just like the first apostles. We might be in the middle of doing something during the day, when suddenly the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray for someone. Jesus calls us into a loving personal relationship with Him…are we listening…and how will we respond?

May God bless us always!
Deacon Mike