3rd Sunday of the ordinary time (Sunday of the Word of God)
Readings: Jonah 3:1-5.10 1Corinthians 7:29-31 Gospel Mark 1:14-20
Theme: A call to Action
Today is the 3rd Sunday of the ordinary time of the year B, and it is also known as the Sunday of the word of God. Pope Francis instituted the Sunday of the Word of God to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of the ordinary time on the 30th of September 2019. This Sunday is dedicated specially for the Word of God. A day of reawakening the Word of God in our lives. Dedicating time to study, reflect and live out the Word of God in our daily lives. The readings we have for this Sunday points out the fact that those who listen to the Word of God and put them into practice in their daily life, attracts the mercy and blessings of God to themselves.
In the 1st reading, we see the encounter between Jonah and the people of Nineveh. It was a call to repentance! In 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed. The people was deeply touched by the message of Jonah, and there was sincere repentance from the greatest to the least person in Nineveh. They were greatly sorry for their sins and begged for the mercy of God. The sincerity in their action attracted the mercy of God and they were not destroyed. The people acted promptly on the Word of God that the prophet Jonah brought to them. In the same way, the church invites us in a very special way on this Sunday to reflect on the Word of God and put it into practice in our daily life. No one acts on the Word of God and end up been disappointed by God. It may give rise to challenges and difficulties just like Jesus and his Apostles had, but the good news is that at the end of it all God will take all the glory; simply put, victory is assured.
In the Gospel reading from St Mark, we see the call of the first four Apostles of Jesus, Simon and Andrew, and also James and John. Jesus told them, “follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. They took the word of Jesus seriously and followed him and their lives never remained the same. They left everything and followed him and they never regretted making that decision. In the same way, dear friends in Christ, is there anything that is stopping us from taking that bold step to listen to the Word of God and put it into practice in our daily lives? Today is an opportunity for us to present it to God and beg for his mercy and the grace to retrace our steps and follow the Word of God. The Ninehvites acted and had no reason to regret, and also the Apostles of Jesus. Make that decision today and your own will not be different.
St Paul in the 2nd reading in his first letter to the Corinthians, gives us a good reason why we should put into practice the Word of God that we hear and read in our daily lives. We live in a world that is passing and not permanent, so we need to do the needful, so that the coming of that day will not be like a thief in the night. Our positive response to the Word of God in our daily life will prepare us for whatever happens. It is never too late for us to retrace our step and go back to God, just like the people of Nineveh did and God forgave them. May God grant us the grace to practice the Word of God in our daily life. Peace be with you. Amen.