Preparing for Sunday
Meditating and Praying on this Coming
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jan 21, 2018
Time Is Short. Abandon Yourselves to God.
In the Gospel, the Galilean fishermen had to make a quick decision whether to follow Christ, or go on about their lives without him. In the first reading, the Ninevites had to repent and abandon their sinful ways to avoid being destroyed in forty days. And in the second reading, Paul urges the Corinthians, while there’s still time, to abandon their attachments to this world and live more inwardly in the age to come.
Time was short for all of them, as it also is for us, right now.
Jonah… Though Jonah obeyed God to deliver his message of Nineveh’s likely destruction, it was never in his heart to do it. Like many Jews who hated the Assyrians, Jonah was reluctant to help them be redeemed of their sinfulness.
Have we been a Jonah at times in our lives? What keeps us from doing something we believe God is calling us to do? What were the times in our lives when we were reluctant to help sinful people whom we didn't think deserved God's mercy?
May we always pray for the strength not to have the smallness of vision, like Jonah, to wish ill on those we don’t like or whom we perceive as enemies.
Where God used a heartless messenger in Jonah to pull off a miracle of getting obstinate people to turn from their evil ways, we also may be called one day to go where we’re uncomfortable or unwilling to do God’s work.
Corinthians… It is far more common to heed this message of St. Paul’s as we age closer to our final days. To have a “holy indifference” to our world of today and inwardly live in the age to come is absurd to those who are too attached to the world’s temporary treasures and pleasures.
So let us pray for them and for ourselves, to see world’s many opportunities to serve and glorify our Lord, and use the world as oil for the wheels of obedience instead of as fuel for lust.
No matter what state of life we are in; married or alone, young or old, happy or sad, in pastures green or brown; may we always remember that the world is a temporary show and will soon be gone forever, and treasure the hope of our magnificent life to come under the wing of our mighty Savior.
With a short reading as this, there’s plenty of time to patiently transfer your feelings of this reality to your listeners.