Today’s Thoughts: The two things that caught my attention in our scriptures today are – how quickly the people of Nineveh respond to Jonah’s preaching and how quickly the Simon, Andrew, James and John respond to Jesus’ invitation. If I didn’t know better, I might think that all of them had read the section of St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians that we did today and figured that they were running out of time!
I am always a little concerned when we encounter such profound responses in the scripture like the ones today because I know from my own life experience that responding to God is not always easy. Sometimes I have to be hit over the head several times before God’s message, invitation or call sinks in.
I mean just take Jonah’s situation as an example. Think of yourself walking through any big city in the United States, New York, Chicago, Los Angles or any other large city and you are proclaiming the Word of God. What would you expect to happen? Imagine yourself standing in the middle of Times Square proclaiming the Good News. What would you expect to happen? Not what happened to Jonah is my guess!
Now imagine yourself in the midst of your daily life. Perhaps you are getting ready to walk out the door to work. Perhaps you are busy getting your children ready to head off to school. Perhaps you are sitting in front of your computer working to support your family. Perhaps you are sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for your appointment. Perhaps you are at Starbucks waiting for your morning coffee. A man approaches you. A man you have never met before and he says, “Follow me!” Would you go? My guess is no. However, that is exactly what happens in the Gospel today and Simon, Andrew, James and John say yes!
Our scriptures today tell us that God’s Word, the Good News is very powerful. It can change peoples’ perspective, it can change peoples’ lives in an instant if they let it. The Good News can awaken us from the tedium of life. It can give us a new perspective. The Good News can be something new and wonderful if we let it into our lives.
Perhaps the people of Nineveh were just waiting for a new message, a new chance, a new perspective on life. Perhaps Simon, Andrew, James and John were waiting for a new opportunity to love life. Pope Francis has told us that – “Instead of imposing new obligations, (Christians) should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet.” Perhaps that is exactly how Jonah appeared to the people of Nineveh and how Jesus appeared Simon, Andrew, James and John.
Our scriptures challenge us to bring the joy, beauty, the delicious banquet of God’s kingdom, God’s love, God’s presence to the world. They challenge us to proclaim the Good News with our words but more importantly with our life!
Have a great Sunday everyone!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...