This week we begin with hearing a reading from one of the most popular short books of the Old Testament, Jonah. Jonah and his whale (big fish) are not featured in the reading at all. The story goes that the Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh and “preach the message that I will tell you” but Jonah doesn’t do this he gets on a boat and runs from the Lord. Jonah gets swallowed by a big fish and when we reach chapter three Jonah is finally listening to the Lord and goes to Nineveh. Jonah went through the city announcing that in 40 days Nineveh will be destroyed. The people of the city when they heard the message repented proclaiming a fast and putting on sackcloth. Now the Lord saw this and did not carry out the plan. The big thing in Jonah is all about how no matter how far we run from the Lord, we will always be found. As we hear in the reading as well even if we are about to be destroyed the Lord is always looking for repentance.
Turning to the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians we hear Paul go on about how the world is going to end, Parousia is coming and we must be ready. The Impressions and a handful of other artist echo Paul’s words in song saying People get ready. Sure the world didn’t end with Paul but he makes a good point as the world as we know it is passing away and will be replaced by a new creation, the Kingdom of God here on Earth. Our main goal in this lifetime is to build the kingdom here on earth. Also if we want to look at this as each and every day in a new creation each day and hopefully the world is getting better over time.
In the Gospel this week we have another account of Jesus calling the apostles this time from Mark. John the Baptist has been arrested and Jesus comes on the scene saying “This is the time of fulfillment; the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel” Jesus passes by the sea of Galilee and sees Simon and Andrew casting nets into the sea and Jesus says to them “Come and I will make you fishers of men.” They left their nets and followed. A little down the say they saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Jesus called them and they followed. Andrew, Simon, James and John unlike Jonah get up and follow the Lord leaving everything behind to do the will of the Lord where they are needed. So all three of the reading tells us to repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand, and believe in the Gospel. Let us listen to the Lord this week and see what we are being called to do and help us be able to be like the apostles and be able to leave everything behind but if we struggle like Jonah help us to recognize that the Lord is directing us to where we need to be.