January 1825 2015 - 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
When we hear the call of the Prophet Jonah by the Lord God or the call of Simon and Andrew by the Lord Jesus, I suspect that we think to ourselves that this kind of call only happens to special people.
We convince ourselves that we could not possibly receive this type of call. We say to ourselves, “ah priests, nuns, the pope but not me.”
Maybe we failed to read on.
The Prophet Jonah is sent by the Lord God to call ALL the people of Ninevah to repentance.
Jonah speaks on the Lord God’s behalf and calls the people of Ninevah to change their lives.
And what does Jesus do? He announces that the Kingdom of God is near and he also calls ALL the people to repentance.
Then he goes further. He says to Simon and Andrew, James and John, “Now you will be fishers of men,” or in some translations, “you will now go fish for people.” They, in turn, are to call others.
So you see, we cannot escape the call from God. It is not just for some special, holy elite. It is for all and it comes at us from every conceivable direction.
In each case, it is the Lord God who takes the initiative. God calls us and it’s up to us to response to that call.
Are we open to hearing God’s call? How do we respond to God’s call? The scriptures tell us that the response to the Lord’s call is repentance.
Repentance is a turning from sin to turn toward God.
Repentance is a changing of one’s mind.
Repentance is a changing of direction, we are called to turn from bad to choose to do good.
The call to repentance is a call to change the way our lives are heading, to change the way we think and act, to change our attitudes and behaviors.
The pagans of Nineveh believed the words of the Prophet Jonah. They responded to the call for repentance. They dropped everything and changed their ways.
Simon and Andrew, James and John also left everything and immediately followed Jesus.
It is evident by their actions that they have all responded to the call.
Does God see our repentance? Is it evident by our actions that we have responded to God’s call?
The Word of the Lord came to Jonah, “Set out for the great city of Nineveh and announce the message I will tell you.” Jonah responded.
The people of Nineveh were called by the Prophet Jonah to repentance. The people of Nineveh responded.
Jesus said to Simon and Andrew, James and John, “Come after me and I will make you fishes of men.” They left everything and followed him.
When the Lord Jesus or his duly appointed prophet walks onto the shores of our lives and says to us as I’m saying to you now,
“The time is at hand. The Kingdom of God has drawn near. Repent and believe in the gospel,” how do we respond?