Categories: HomiliesPublished On: January 24th, 2021Tags: , 619 words18.8 min read

Here are links to our readings for the day:

In Preparation

The Book of Jonah makes for a good book of prose. It was written at a particular time for a particular people. For example, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was written in England at a time when the enlightenment was happening, and people were moving away from celebrating Christmas. Dickens was writing an interesting story but was also reminding people of their Christian upbringing and the importance of God in their lives.

In Jonah, the author was writing to the Israelite people to remind them that God wanted all people to be saved. The Israelite people had come to understand that they were the Chosen People and only they were to be saved. They neglected and ostracized their neighbors. And if this was not bad enough, they condemned the same immoral and illegal acts they were committing. As the Chosen People they did not hold themselves accountable or responsible for their actions. The author of Jonah points out to the Israelites that God wants all people by saving Nineveh.

Nineveh was known as an unbelievably bad place. Any Israelite would be shocked that God would want to save a people other than themselves. That is why Jonah is so reluctant to answer God’s call. This does not make sense that God would want to save such a worthless group of people. So, when Jonah’s warning is announced, Israelites would be shocked that the Ninevites would fast and wear sack cloth and repent. Why? Because that is what the Israelites should have been doing! Asking God for forgiveness of their sins. And Jonah grew in faith.

Last week we listened to John the Baptist at the Jordan River proclaim Jesus as “The Lamb of God” and directed his disciples to follow Jesus. One of those disciples was Andrew. And as he listened to the teaching of Jesus, he realized he had found the Messiah. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother, Simon, and introduce him to Jesus. In that short introduction, Jesus gave Simon a new name, Peter.

Jesus’ words had an impact on these men. Have you ever noticed, not everyone followed Jesus? Preaching is not always effective in reaching all people. Everyone learns in a different way. Jesus is now up at the Sea of Galilee, about a three day walk from where He was at the Jordan. He again finds Simon and Andrew and also James and John. I find it interesting that the Bible tells us they are doing their everyday normal jobs. Flinging the nets into the sea to catch fish. Or sitting and mending their nets. Nothing great or exciting but rather boring things you do every day. Then suddenly God walks into your life. And then everything is turned upside down. You know something of God and have listened to His Words. They sound attractive to you. You are extremely interested. And suddenly you are dropping everything to follow Him. What happened?

Just as in life, we continue to learn. We learn little things to make our work easier. We learn little things to make life easier. We always continue to learn. In spiritual matters we learn and grow in the same way. From the first time we memorized the Our Father to how we pray now. God has been preparing us for His call. And when He calls us, we too will drop everything to follow Him. Little by little we are learning to be holy.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen