January 25, 2015 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jonah 3:1-5,10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
Fr Fernando Torres, CMF
Sometimes our own history is similar to that of Jonah. Of course we have not been swallowed by a whale, but we might have the experience—perhaps even more than once—of trying to run away from a mission or a task that we think is too difficult or even risky. Deep down, we often know full well what we must do, but we would rather be somewhere else and in other circumstances. We try to evade the situation. Deep down we also know that running away could bring many uncomfortable consequences: we might have to lie to excuse ourselves; a lie usually brings more lies, and soon we find ourselves in a complicated situation. Or perhaps we eventually find that we created more work for ourselves by leaving things undone in the first place. That is, we run away only to find ourselves in the belly of the whale, that is, in greater trouble.
Going where God wants us to go sometimes is not easy or comfortable because it might mean great sacrifices. But God knows well why he is asking us to go to those places. The message today is that it is better to listen to God’s voice than to ignore it, not only out of fear of consequences but also out of love for God.
In the gospel of today, some fishermen leave their nets behind to follow Jesus. It seems like the wrong, risky, and perhaps even foolish choice. Jesus’ friends could justifiably say they could not do that. And yet they leave everything behind and follow Jesus because God with his love has called them to a mission: spreading the Good News to others. That mission might be even more difficult than the one entrusted to Jonah. They go because they have met Jesus and his attraction is greater than any possible difficulty.
- What are the difficulties you find in doing what God asks of you?
- In what ways do you try to escape?
- When have you ever felt such a strong attraction to God that you felt you wouldn’t be able to refuse to do what he asked of you, even if that demanded great sacrifices and efforts on your part?