The readings will

be: Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 and Mark

1:14-20.

    This Sunday we hear that John the Baptist is in

prison and that Jesus has appeared in Galilee

“proclaiming God’s good new.” The era of the

prophets has ended; Jesus has arrived to begin the

Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus says, “this is the time

of fulfillment,” and he announces the response that his

message requires: “reform your lives and believe in the

good news.”

     One of the themes of this Sunday’s readings is

“response.” What is a proper response to God’s

message? In the first reading Jonah announces God’s

message to the people of Nineveh and, in response,

they proclaim a fast and put on sackcloth.

In the Gospel reading, Jesus calls to Andrew and

Simon (Peter), James and John. They immediately

abandon their fishing nets, James and John leaving

their father and co-workers, to follow Jesus.

     The letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians also informs

our response to God, although this reading will sound

strange to our ears. St. Paul says, “those with wives

should live as though they have none, those who weep

should live as though they were not weeping and those

who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing,” etc.

     The point of each of these readings is that our

relationship with God should take first place in our

lives and requires our best, timely response. Faith in

Jesus requires a kind of healthy detachment to things

of this world. God has given us many gifts in this

world, but our attachment to these things, and our

feelings and sentiments about them, should not get in

the way of our relationship with God. All of the

important things in our lives - our families, our friends,

our jobs, our hobbies - exist as part of our relationship

with Jesus. God wants us to be actively part of this

world, to love those in this world; we are to help build

up his Kingdom here. But we must remember that this

earthly home is part of our journey to our ultimate

home with God.

     These readings teach us that our response to the

message of Jesus must be action, change,

repentance−not only sorrow but a turning around of

our lives. Each and every day our lives must be

reoriented so that the Lord, and the requirements of

love, are at the center.

By Rose Davis