Dear People of God,
I would like to write some reflections on the basis of this third Sunday’s readings as usually. These readings encourage us to re-examine and change our ways in order to avoid the imminent wrath of God, and to enjoy his mercy. They equally remind us of its urgency (in relation to time), which is one theme that runs through and unifies the three readings of this Sunday.
In today's first reading Jonah laments, “Only forty days, and Nineveh will be destroyed”, Paul reminds us in today's second reading that: “Our time is growing short”, while Jesus Christ proclaims in today's: “The time has come…the kingdom of God is close at hand.” So, we must not hold tenaciously to this passing world. Finally, it encourages us to collaborate with Jesus as: “Fishers of Men,” in order to transform and save our world.
The first reading is a proof that God is indeed a very merciful father. Even though his anger boils so hard, all he wants is that we turn away from our unhealthy ways. The inhabitants of Nineveh heard the message, believed it, repented and God had mercy on them and their city. The story of Nineveh is simply a sign that God loves mercifully and that history is in His hands. This mercy and love are what He wishes to use us to communicate to our world. Jonah gave a message of repentance to the people of Nineveh. They believed in God, repented and fasted with sack cloths. Like the people of Nineveh, let us heed the good news of today with urgency because “our time is growing short.” The best sign that we have accepted the good news is conversion, repentance and living it daily.
In the second reading, Paul also reminds us that: “Our time is growing short…for the world is passing away!” Paul simply, refers to the notion of sensitivity and urgency that should mark our lives and actions. He draws our attention to the signs of the time. Unfortunately, many of us ignore these signs. we all must be ready because Paul’s warning affects everyone; the married, the single, those mourning, those rejoicing, the rich and the poor, leaders and followers, etc. This warning comes at the appropriate time. Through it, Paul calls us to reevaluate our relationship with God and our world. It is a call to accept the good news and to bear witness to it.
In today’s gospel, Christ preached the same urgent message “the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news.” Like the Ninevites, the disciple of Christ, heard this message responded to it with urgency, each being sensitive, and knowing that there was no more time to waste. The Disciples heard the word of the master: “Follow me,” and they simply obeyed, and followed Him.
So, Jesus continues to invite us to participate in his mission: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This is a life transforming invitation and mission. Our response to it should be urgent and positive. this is because, it is for our good, and that of others. Fishers of Men simply means partners in the kingdom. They are those who are willing to go extra mile in order to help others. They are those ready to collaborate with Christ in his ministry.
Finally my dear friends, if our time is short, if our world is passing away, and if the kingdom of God is close at hand, why waste the little time we have hating, sinning, and running only after material things? We must use it to seek and worship our God, to live in peace and love with others, to affect others positively. We must use our time to “seek what is good and pure, what is noble and true” (Phil 4:8).
Have a Happy and Blessed Sunday!!
Yours in Christ,
Jesus Fr. Doss