Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

January 22, A.D. 2006

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:

Just two weeks ago we celebrated the great Feast of the Epiphany. Then, almost too abruptly, the Church plunges us into Ordinary Time which really marks the beginning of the ministry of "Epiphany Catholics" , light bearers and star gazers for the Messiah-King. In todayıs readings, we find out what Jesus has really gotten us into! He gives us the example of Jonah, an Old Testament prophet, and a reluctant one at that. God has given him a dangerous mission--to go to convert the Assyrians, sworn enemies of Israel.

Our first reading passes right over Jonah's bad moments ‹ running away from his God's command, getting swallowed by a whale, until he is forced to preach in the big city. He converts over 100,000 inhabitants in one day!

Then, just when youıd think he would be smug and happy with success, he sulks under a tree, embarrassed at the Assyrians being more obedient to Godıs warning than the Israelites would ever be! These traditional enemies of the Jews repented big-time, even forcing their animals to do penance with them. God was pleased, even if Jonah was not! The lesson: don't question God's orders. Just follow them, whether we like them or not! Let God take care of the consequences.

Today's Gospel is all about Jesus launching his Great Mission in earnest. We notice that Jesus is not a "Lone Ranger" Messiah. He involves many others in the enterprise. To his invitation,"³Come, follow me", Peter, Andrew, James and John all respond with shocking speed. For all their faults, the new apostles are destined to become top leaders in the new Church. What power Jesusı personality and speech carried with it! Would that the Gospel could affect every one of us with the same dynamic results, as well as moving our listeners to reform!

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(smartins at frontiernet dot net)

Lives of the saints:

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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