First Reading: Jon 3:1-5, 10
Second Reading: 1 Cor 7:29-31
Gospel: Mk 1:14-20
The gospel this Sunday is all about the call of God. We are too familiar with the word ‘calling’. It points automatically to the vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life (which by the way, we celebrate this year). We seldom hear it as a calling in the ordinary life, or a call to mission without the clerical state. Yes, God is calling all of us! He calls each one of us by name. He calls us to holiness and love in our very places in society and life. This call is an invitation to a loving relationship to discover God’s love in Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, drawing us to a new life.
The first reading, we find God calling Jonah a second time – and this time he proceeds with obedience. Previously, we found him inside a big fish for hanging up with God. For God so loved not only the Jews but also all people, salvation is at stake! The people of Nineveh after hearing what Jonah has to preach about the impending destruction of their city, repented and received God’s forgiveness, mission accomplished!
This challenges us to learn that God is constantly calling us, like the experience of Jonah who tried to escape but heard God’s call again. In our lives in today’s world, do we still have time to pray and remain still just for fifteen minutes? Do we still find silence everyday to fill our souls with God’s Word and presence? Do we still pay attention to our conscience? What is our concept of good and evil? Is it based from what is convenient for us? God is calling us let us answer Him!
The second reading, a bit confusing in its place in the readings today but if we take it from its original context; to follow Christ means commitment in discipleship. Married, single, or as a priest or religious brother or nun, we are called to continue Christ’s mission. Time is borrowed, and it demands that we use it properly. God is calling us to mission, it might be for your spouse, children or someone close who needs help, let us listen to them and do God’s errand here on earth!
The Gospel summarizes the two previous readings. The Call of Christ means immediacy, generosity, and conversion. It is immediate because the fullness of time is now. God has revealed to us His love and self in Jesus. Jesus offers it now, and demands response and conversion. When we respond to God’s call, our yes is a sign of generosity. The only thing God asks from us, He cannot force us. As such, when we give our will to God’s call, we open endless surprises, and we acknowledge God’s faithfulness.
They who responded and lived a life of Faith is an adventure that ends in love as we read from the saints and holy people of the Scriptures. Related to this generosity of responding to God’s call, a call to conversion is at sight. A new life awaits us, a departure from what we know, feel, and dream from our previous selves. After responding To His call and have not left the previous life, we are just doing a lip service and our hearts are far from God. Check your life, probably you have a call waiting...from God ^_^
Father in Heaven, thank you for calling us to your Divine Love, we praise your glorious will in showing us Jesus and calling us through Him. Make our hearts docile as we respond to your call to holiness. Make our will like that of your Son. We know you are the God of surprises, surprise us by your grace and make us do great things for your greater glory, Amen.