God’s Relentless Faithfulness

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading 1 – JON 3:1-5, 10
Responsorial Psalm – PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
Reading 2 – 1 COR 7:29-31
Gospel – MK 1:14-20

In his faithfulness, God cannot help but warn us when we are in peril of losing our souls. This is the reason why He always sends his prophets to get our attention, as when he sent the prophet Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you” (JON 3:2).

God did likewise with the disciple Paul who warned the Corinthians “I tell you, brothers, the time is running out…For the world in its present form is passing away
(1 COR 7:29, 31).

Of course, no other prophet embodies God’s faithfulness as His Son does. Unlike Jonah, Christ never said no to God. Unlike Paul, He never persecuted Christians. Christ’s whole human existence was a bright light to point us to salvation. It was through that light that He worked wonders as He did for Paul on the road to Damascus – the conversion we celebrate today.

In His Son, we get a glimpse of God’s mercy and fidelity. These are the same graces Christ sought from the disciples when He called them to join Him “Come after me”
(MK 1:17).

By being relentlessly faithful, God is always willing to give us mercy if we ask “Teach me your ways, O Lord” (PS 25:4a). When we do so as the Ninevites did, His hearts bursts with forgiveness “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to the them, he did not carry it out”
(JON 3:10).

It is up to us now to listen to God’s words so we, too, like the Ninevites, the Corinthians, and the apostles cannot only heed the words of God, but also imitate His faithful deeds.

His Invitation

Reading 1 1 SM 3:3B-10, 19
Responsorial Psalm PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
Reading 2 1 COR 6:13C-15A, 17-20
Gospel JN 1:35-42

When the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel, He extended an invitation to all of us to hear His words. By answering “Speak, for your servant is listening” (1SM 3:10), Samuel accepted God’s will for us, to serve Him (cf. PS 40:8a-9a).

The invitation was extended and reaffirmed once more when His Son said to Andrew and John “Come, and you will see” (JN 1:39) and they announced to Peter “We have found the Messiah” (JN 1:41).

God wants to reveal Himself to us just as He did to Samuel and the first disciples. The extent of our participation, however, will be determined by how well we heed, pray and discern His calling and our willingness to seek spiritual direction (cf. 1SM 3:9, JN 1:35).

With His invitation, God asserts that our “bodies are members of Christ” (1 COR 6:15). By accepting his bid, we uphold God’s ownership of what His Son “purchased at a price”       (1 COR 6:20), the “temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God”            (1 COR 6:19).