Sunday, January 25, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, January 25, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Jonah 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. 10 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.

P S A L M - Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.(R) 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) Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. (R)

2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29 I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, 30 those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, 31 those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.

The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Mark 1:14-20
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. 19 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. 20 Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.



There are some hard lessons to learn in life. Some mistakes and missteps don’t lead to happy endings but to grief. Certain acts done impulsively don’t produce desirable results. But, as they say, the tragedy is not in falling but in not getting up after the fall.

        Jonah is a regular guy, like you and me. A bit stubborn, he refused to obey the command of the Lord to prophesy against Nineveh. He knew what was coming. He predicted rightly that Assyria would be used by God to punish Israel. He trusted his feelings.

       As a counselor, one of the things I learned is to be in touch with my feelings — to define them, label them, and accept them. I sympathize with Jonah for feeling what he felt and I don’t judge him for that. But although feelings have a role in discerning what is best thing to do, and that no decision can be made without factoring in feelings, in the end, the will, aided by the mind and heart, needs to come up with a decision. And this is where Jonah was sorely lacking — deciding to do as God would have him do, feelings or no feelings.

       God knows how many times I was told to do things I didn’t want to do. My first assignment as a 21-year-old religious, fresh from philosophical and college studies, was in a place everyone was wary of. My feelings told me to rebel, to dislike, to refuse, to reject — exactly like Jonah did.
Thankfully, there was no whale anywhere near to swallow me whole. But I was swallowed whole by sadness and self-pity, and I didn’t know which among the two possibilities was worse. But I did learn one lesson the hard way. And that lesson is “God knows best!”

        Teach me Your ways, O Lord! Doing a Jonah, refusing and rebelling, would lead to grief, not greatness. Instead, listening, obeying and doing as told leads to wisdom. Is there anything wiser than learn sooner, not later, that “the world in its present form is passing  away”? Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: When asked to do something that you don’t want, how do you respond?

Give me a humble and obedient heart, Lord, that I may follow Your leading, even if it’s hard for me to do.

St. Peter Thomas, pray for us.

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