THIRD SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B.
21st January 2018
Jonah 3:1-5,10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20.
We need to look beyond the call of the first disciples of Jesus Christ in order to picture the task of witnessing to the gospel. We must overcome these obstacles to make progress in this regard. The obstacles echo in today’s readings. In the first reading, the prophet Jonah is to contend with the great city Nineveh; in the second reading time is of essence; in the gospel, the arrest of John the Baptist is a supposed deterrence for the movement of the gospel. Jesus Christ is resolute; the time has come!
It took three days to travel across the great city Nineveh. The prophet Jonah must travel round this great city to announce the impending doom. He is encouraged by the weight of his message to save the great city and the people within it. His joy and motivation is in the message he bears: ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ His message bore results as the city repented of their evil deeds.
The second reading is mindful of time. From a realistic point of view, there is never a right time. The gospel and its demand are timeless. Thus anytime, especially now is the right time. From the tone of the reading it is clear that detachment is what will enable us make us of the time on our hand. To avoid procrastination will require some form of detachment from the things that tie down our will to making changes.
In the gospel, Jesus Christ shuns by the arrest of John the Baptist. He was embolden by it and he went out to look for men with simple background to work with him. The simple background of these men will enable them work selflessly for the kingdom of God. He will make them into fishers of men. They will travel with him through the Galilean region witnessing to the Good news.
Witnessing is a Christian duty. Time is of essence. Events intended to halt our efforts should be overlooked. The simplicity of life as seen in the first apostles should motivate us; above all the content of witnessing is more rewarding and fulfilling.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.