Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, January 21, 2018

God Is Calling Out to Each One of Us

One of the many amazing things about Christianity is where it starts. There are many religions in the world, and most of them express mankind's search for God. But Christianity is all about God's search for mankind: it starts with God, not with us.

That's what happens in today's First Reading. The people of Nineveh, a metropolis in the ancient Middle East, are living sinful lives: lives full of pleasures and noise, and maybe even full of popularity and great achievements, but empty of meaning and lasting happiness. That’s what always happens when people rebel against God’s plans and the moral law that he built into human nature.

And God's heart is moved with pity for those sinful people. So he sends a prophet, Jonah, to wake them up, to put them back on the path of God's plan for human happiness - the only plan that will truly work. Through Jonah, God went in search of the Ninevites, because he cared so deeply about their happiness.

And the same thing happens in today's Gospel passage. In this passage, St. Mark shows Jesus doing what he came to earth to do: calling people into a personal relationship with God. That’s really the core of what Christianity is all about. Notice how he calls his first Apostles by name - Peter, Andrew, James, John... He had met all these men before, as we read in John's Gospel, but now he calls them to follow him more closely. He calls them, because he wants to give them more meaning, purpose, and, ultimately, happiness. He wants to bring them into his Kingdom.

This is what the God of Christianity, the one true God, is all about: he comes in search of every human heart, calling us into everlasting friendship with him.

God Bless! Fr. Elmer