for Sunday, January 22, 2012
Today's Gospel has Jesus setting out and preaching after the death of
Saint John the Baptist. He is preaching John's message at this time:
Repent and believe in the Good News. The Kingdom of God is at hand.
For Jesus the Kingdom of God is always at hand, just as it is in our
lives. We have a choice to live in the Kingdom or to ignore the Kingdom.
Perhaps we can be indifferent to the Kingdom, but in time that means that
we ignore the Kingdom.
Everything that Jesus does is important to help us understand Him. He is
surely the One who comes in the name of the Lord. He preaches repentance
but later He also preaches love. These two preachings are not exclusive of
one another. Real love requires us to repent all within us that is not of
In contrast to the preaching of Jesus, the first reading today gives us
Jonah, who did not want the people of Nineveh to repent. In the short
passage we are given today, we are given only the preaching of Jonah and
the response of the Ninevites. They do repent and God changes his attitude
towards them. We know that God does not change and that these descriptions
are simply telling us that the Ninevites turns to God and were faithful
after the preaching of Jonah. God always loves us and in some way our
conversion brings glory to the Lord and we describe that as God being happy
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Corinthians today,
reminds us that this present world is passing away. We can look at this
reading and tell ourselves that the world is still here. Or we can realize
that our world is always changing and that the more we live in Christ, the
more this world passes away because we are moving from dark to light, from
despair to hope, from resistance to God towards the love of God.
For our Ordinary Time Spirituality we can look at all three readings as
inviting us to change, to repent, to live in a new way. The choice is ours
each day in our ordinary lives. We can respond to the Lord and allow Him
to change us or we can resist the Lord. Today again the choice is ours.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jonah 3.1-5, 10
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7.29-31
Gospel: Mark 1.14-20
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: