Reflection for 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B (21st January 2024)
First reading: Jonah 3:1-5,10
Second reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
This weekend missal reading theme is ‘The Lord Who Teachers Us His Ways’
The 1st reading tells us the story how God sent Jonah to inform the people of Nineveh how God will destroy the city of Nineveh for her sins. Jonah was told to warn the people to repent which they did. God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, therefore God did not inflict the destruction on the city. God honours the people’s repentance and reserve the punishment intended because He is forgiving and loving.
In the 2nd reading St Paul reminded the believers in Corinthians that their lives were not taking care of the worldly affairs but to put attention to God’s call to live out according to God’s will. For the world may pass, but God does not. We too are invited today to place our focus in life to be faithful to God in all that we do, be it at home, workplace or our social network. Many times, we faltered short putting God as the centre of our lives but instead engrossed too much of what the world can offer and forget to realize that life is short. In actual fact, the only thing that remains forever is God and His kingdom will never pass and He always wants us to repent and return to Him.
The gospel reading from Mark tells us how God used St John the Baptist to prepare the Israelites for the coming of Jesus by first repenting. Jesus Christ came to continue the mission of St John the Baptist, by bringing the Good News of salvation to the people. When Jesus called the earliest disciples namely Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John to follow him, they immediately left their fishing nets and join Him. These disciples left everything and transform their lives from focusing self, to focusing on their call and their mission to spread the Good News, by similarly follow the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus led His life with important essence of close relationship with the Father, always communicate through prayer and offer his time or even life according to the Father’s will. Jesus’ life was focused on pleasing God and obedience to the will of the Father even unto death.
As we reflect this weekend reading, we must acknowledge God’s never-ending invitation for us to repent of our sins of neglecting to honour God by obeying His commandment and living in close relationship with Him. We are also reminded of God’s Almighty undying love can set us free again from the bondage of sins and of this world offerings, so that we can have yet again a closer relationship with Him. May we remain faithful to God and set our lives focusing on what can last forever and non-perishable, so that we can attain what God has intended for us. May we remain steadfast and persevere in our daily lives until one day be united with God eternally.
Prepared by Fredie