Sunday, August 18, 2019

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 68

1st Reading – JON 3:1-5, 10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’S bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed, ”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (4a) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

2nd Reading – 1 COR 7:29-31

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

Alleluia – MK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 1:14-20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Jonah, the Man Who Ran From God
Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr – Memorial

The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding. Jonah 3:1-3

Jonah is one of the most beloved Old Testament prophets. Why? Perhaps because of the fascinating story of him being swallowed by a whale. This image lends intrigue to one’s imagination and is somewhat fairytale-like. It’s a good story and a fun story!

But what we may easily forget is why Jonah was swallowed by the whale. It was because he heard God call him to a particular mission in life and he ran as fast as he could the other way. He did all he could to avoid his calling. But God was relentless. In the end, God won and Jonah went to Nineveh to preach. The best part is that the people of Nineveh listened to him and changed their lives! Jonah’s preaching was, in the end, a great success.

Imagine what would have happened if Jonah would have just listened to God from the very beginning. It may have left us with much less of that fairytale-like story but it certainly would have saved Jonah and others a great amount of stress. He would not have had to endure the great storm at sea, the wrath of the crew on that ship, the distress of being thrown over the boat and the experience of being held captive in the belly of the whale for those three days. All this could have been avoided if he would have just listened to God from the very beginning.

With that said, it’s also interesting and insightful to look at the story from another perspective. The truth is that Jonah did endure all of these difficulties. And though we may be tempted to judge him for that and shake our finger at him, we may want to be careful. Why? Because it’s entirely possible that God actually allowed him, by an act of His divine permissive will, to go through these struggles for a reason. It’s entirely possible, and perhaps probable, that it was part of the wisdom of God that Jonah, at first, resisted His will. Why would God do this? Most likely for our sake in that Jonah becomes a great example for us. It seems clear that one of the main lessons from Jonah’s life was that God is relentless in His love for us and is relentless in calling us to embrace His will. So Jonah’s life and actions become prophetic and teach us a great lesson.

God does not give up on us. He does not simply throw us away the moment we turn from Him. Instead, our denial of Him only makes His resolve to pursue us all the greater. He takes our brokenness, our lack of resolve, our failings and weaknesses and uses them for His glory and His perfect plan.

Reflect, today, on whether you are discouraged in life and feel like you have failed in following the will of God for your life. If so, then the message of Jonah is clear. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. God has not given up on His plan for you and He has not lost hope. In the end, you may discover that those parts of your life that seem to be the greatest burden and obstacle for you will be turned upside down by God’s grace and become the very source of the manifestation of His glory!

Lord, You never give up on me. You never lose hope. Give me the grace to change, to listen and to respond. Use my weakness and brokenness and let Your strength and grace shine through.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.