Preaching The Word

January 24, 2021
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jonah 3:1-5, 10 + 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 + Mark 1:14-20

Reflection by: Mary E. Lanni, OPA

The first reading by Jonah about Jonah and the Gospel puts before us images of how people respond to God when they are called. Jonah got angry with the Lord for forgiving people (very amusing) and just ran away. In the Gospel, we see four fishermen being so taken with Jesus’ invitation to follow Him that their positive response seems almost instantaneous. When we feel the promptings of the Spirit asking us to make choices or take certain actions that may be difficult or foreign to us, how do we respond?

Our openness to God’s promptings may sometimes be clouded by fear of change or hesitancy because of self-interest, and we develop excuses to counter what we are asked to do. Between the hesitancy of Jonah and the immediate acceptance of the fishermen, there is a spectrum of answers to God’s requests of us. We can promise to think about it, or we can promise it will be done except not at this time, or we will research it. These are all ways to put off something that we really don’t want to do.

As with Jonah and the fishermen called to do God’s will, we will eventually see that our choice to do what is being asked will become a source of good in our lives. We should always pray for the ability to discern the voice of God in making decisions.

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