May the voice of Christ lead you to peace!
This weekend we travel with Jonah, the reluctant prophet, who announces that God is about to allow the people to experience the consequences of their sins! But before he passes through the city of Nineveh, the people turn their hearts to God in faith (repentance). In this story, God’s call to repentance is met by the people who call back to God for mercy. If the prophet had not announced the warning message, the people would not have turned their hearts and come to know that God is loving and merciful.
St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians calls the community to rise above earthly desires and concerns. This short reading packs a lot of punch and opens the door to understand what happens in the Gospel.
Jesus announces the Good News that God is not vengeful but merciful. All that one needs to do is turn to God and away from sin. In this repentance, God’s love and mercy is encountered as a value far beyond anything the world has to offer. When Jesus invited Andrew, Peter, James and John, they followed him because they found in Jesus the fulfillment of their deepest hopes and desires. For them, the proclamation of the Gospel became the focus of their lives because it was more important to them than anything else. Jesus’ invitation reaches men and women of every time and place and way of life. Some receive it when they are very young and some receive it when they are older—like the fishermen in the story. Please continue to pray for vocations and let us continue to make known our knowledge of the Gospel by the way we live our lives.
Not everyone is called to a religious vocation. Sometimes the Lord calls people to different ministries and forms of service to the community of faith. These invitations from God are not just nice things that happen along the way; they are vital to the Church’s mission in the world and ministry leads to holiness. Is the Lord inviting you to a ministry? Remember, if God calls you, he will also equip you for whatever it may be. God bless you! +++ Fr. Peter