Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The reluctant prophet Jonah, having learned that he could not run away from God (chapters 1 and 2), now follows the Lord’s desire that he go and call the people of Nineveh to turn away from their evil deeds. The entire city hears the word of God from Jonah and repents, and they are saved from destruction.
Saint Paul, in his letter to Corinth, shares the view of the first generation of Christians that the world order as we know it was going to be replaced within their lifetime by the final coming Kingdom of God. This creates an exceptional urgency that overrides their ordinary priorities. As the time is now short to prepare for The Lord’s coming, good but lesser commitments must take second place to an alert attention to the call of the Lord upon us.
Mark’s Gospel tells us of Jesus calling ordinary fisherman to be his disciples. They drop what they are doing and follow him. A disciple of that day would be expected to attach themselves to their master/rabbi in a complete way: to go where he goes, learn by memory what he teaches, do what he does, and bring others into the same kind of disciple relationship. So it is that these fisherman are told they will now seek to catch up people into the way of Jesus.
Comment: Most of us can identify more easily with the reluctant Jonah who avoided God’s call than with the fishermen who dropped their nets to follow Jesus. Jesus wants every one of us to be caught up in God’s great project that every man, woman and child know the love of his Father and be drawn to know, trust, and serve our God. But I am always distracted from this, getting caught up in the many demands and details of my daily life that are good and necessary. In the midst of this “stuff” of my life, I’m challenged to never forget to also be “caught up” in the call of God in Jesus. I need the reminder that the very daily and ordinary events of my life are the “arena” where I am called to honor God and display to others the life Jesus gives to me!