Jump to content

Pastor's Letter 20240121 - 21 January 2024 - Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Recommended Posts


January 21st, 2024

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Message from Father Michael


Today’s Theme:  “Repent, and Believe The Good News”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Jonah 3:1-5)  Written ca 400-200 B.C, this tale of Jonah’s preaching was met with an immediate response in the city of Nineveh, and Israel was chided into an awareness of itself and its shortcomings.  


(1 Corinthians 7:29-31)  Paul counseled an attitude of detachment from the things of this world, as he believed the return of the Lord was imminent.  Besides reordering heart and affection, purposes and goals, the true disciple must reorient all their activities, ideas, loves and loyalties to God’s present, future and eternal reign.


(Mark 1:14-20)  Mark relates the story of Jesus’ call to His first disciples.  Discipleship, as a way of life, is a premium value, costing not less than everything!  Repentance and belief are contingent realities; one who feels no need for repentance probably does not truly believe.


The Call to Repentance

The theme of repentance is highlighted in today’s Readings.  We hear how the prophet, Jonah, preached repentance to the pagan city of Nineveh, and met with an immediate, and whole-hearted response.  And, then, Jesus also began His public mission with the call: “Repent, and believe the Good News.”  Unfortunately, He didn’t meet with the same kind of response as Jonah.  

Many people find the idea of atonement to be disturbing.  To repent means to change one’s outlook on life, and adjust one’s behavior, accordingly.  It means an amendment of heart and a transformation (perhaps even a complete reversal,) of life….  It is bound to be painful, so  that is why many people are slow to embrace it, and simply want to be “left alone.”  

A dramatic example of transformation—turning away from things that are manifestly evil…such as drunkenness, dishonesty, adultery—is only one kind of makeover.  There is also a conversion to goodness—where change is not necessarily so drastic or radical.  It may entail rejecting a completely selfish life and adopting one more loving and caring.  But this kind of change also hurts.  Who wants to be shaken out of a life of sensuality, comfort-seeking and self-indulgence?

However, repentance is essentially positive.  True, it means to admit that everything is not right with oneself, but it is also to discover something completely wonderful.  It’s a realization of potential of which you were unaware; acquisition of a new vision; assumption of a new direction; establishment of more worthwhile goals; and living by better values.  Simply put, it means embracing a new life!

But a new life cannot be achieved quickly and painlessly, otherwise everyone would opt for one.  Rather, it involves embarking on a journey of discovery and a struggle, in which the victory, most likely, will not be completely achieved.  

Unlike regret, repentance opens the way to rebirth.  Understood like this, repentance is exciting, and always leads to joy.  It means that we have heard the Good News, and we have embraced it!

Through our Blessed Lord, Jesus, we have learned that God wants each of us to be witnesses and servants of His Kingdom.  No matter how well-educated or how dedicated we may be, the Father’s call will challenge us!  It may be as dramatic as it was for the disciples, or for Jonah; or, it may occur gradually, over many months or years.  

If we seek to be faithful to God in the little things we must do each day, we will find ourselves transformed over time.  He will form us into His disciples, capable of making a difference in the world; just as He formed the apostles and prophets of which we read in Scripture.  All He is seeking is that we be humble, and open our hearts.

Jesus showed us that we are surrounded by God’s love.  He has filled us with His Holy Spirit, and thereby, incorporated us into His very life.  As His beloved disciples, may we joyfully take up the call, and know that He is with us in all that we do.  God wants us to know the joy and the adventure of being His servants.

May God Richly Bless You!


Believer's Prayer.docx

View a recording of today's Holy Mass, here:

Edited by Father Michael
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...