For this Sunday’s readings, click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.
In the opening lines of our Gospel this Sunday we hear Jesus proclaim: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand.” Now there is an old joke in clerical circles that “Jesus came to proclaim the Kingdom of God, and we ended up with the Church.” I’m not quite sure how that happened, but for weal or woe we (all of us) are the Church and we (all of us) are called to continue the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.
It is the idea of being called that is at the heart of this weekend’s Gospel. I say this, because further along in the Gospel for this Sunday, we read of the call of the first disciples: “Simon and his brother Andrew; and James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.” There are two things in particular that I would like to point out in regard to the call of these first disciples. First, notice that Jesus doesn’t give a lot of details. He merely says “follow me.” Second, notice that Jesus calls these men to be his disciples while they are going about their everyday lives. They are not a prayer or in the synagogue. They are simply going about their ordinary activities. I think these two things tell us a great deal about how God calls women and men to follow him.
Our first reading this Sunday, from the book of the prophet Jonah, tells us of Jonah’s mission to the people of Nineveh, calling them to repent because: “forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed.” This reading continues and expands on the message of the Gospel. It reminds us that not only are we called by God, but we are also sent by God to do something.
Our second reading this Sunday does not follow the theme of the first reading and the Gospel. Rather it taken from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians and reflects his belief that the end of the world was near. Paul reminds his original audience and us that we are not be attached to this world, but instead to live so as to be ready to greet the Lord when he comes.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Being chosen by God for a special role/responsibility can be exciting and but also perhaps a bit frightening. What do you think God has chosen you to do in the world?
- Where have you experienced God’s call in your life ---- at church, while at prayer, alone, with others?
- Why do you think people are so interested in trying to predict/anticipate the end of the world?