Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 21, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Jon 3:1-5, 10 / Ps 25 / 1 Cor 7:29-31 / Mk 1:14-20
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
A little child who is lost in a big crowd experiences fear and helplessness – more than we could ever imagine. But the voice of his father, mother, grandfather or grandmother will not only bring him relief, but he will respond with joy to that call. Sometime in the past we all must have experienced being called in some way or another.
In today’s first reading from the prophet Jonah we hear that the Lord God called Jonah for a mission. This is the second time God called Jonah; the first time Jonah didn’t listen. In fact, he tried to avoid doing what God wanted him to do. Perhaps he believed that the people of Nineveh would not listen to him and even stone him to death for telling them to repent. After he was swallowed by the big fish though, he changed his mind. He finally decided to obey God’s call, and to his surprise the people of Nineveh listened to him.
In the gospel reading taken from the first chapter of Mark, we hear about Jesus calling Simon, Andrew, James and John. These fishermen responded – not only because Jesus spoke their language by saying he would make them fishers of men – but they also must have felt the love, power and authority of Jesus. They followed him.
In the gospels we notice that the Lord Jesus did not call a vast majority of His followers to leave father, mother and family to follow him full time like he did Simon, Andrew, James and John. He called most of them to live and give witness to their faith in their own place. Many disciples like Lazarus, Martha, Mary, Zacchaeus and other people whom He cured of their infirmities remained in their own villages.
In the same way, many Christians today have a calling for a full-time ministry in the Church. But most Christians are being called to give witness to their faith in the town or city where they work and in the place where they live. All of us without exception are being called by God to do something for Him and His people. The Lord Jesus is surely asking us to proclaim the Gospel and help people understand that Christianity is not just a set of rules and commandments. Christianity is primarily a response to God’s call.
There are millions of people today whose lives have no sense of direction. They are lonely, depressed or just plain angry. Sometimes they don’t even know the reason why. They should be sure of one thing. Just like the little child lost in a big crowd, they feel helpless and alone. Our Savior and our God needs us to remind them of the Good News that the Lord Jesus continues to call us to go to Him, for He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Those who follow Him will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.