3rd Sunday of the Year (b)
Ordinary Time of the Year. (B)
Weekdays – Year 2
Sunday 21st January: Third Sunday of the Year. (B)
Repentance is one of the main themes running through the readings of today’s Mass.
The first reading from the prophet Jonah, tells how the preaching of Jonah met with an immediate response from the people of Nineveh. It stresses the mercy and forgiveness of God and how this is available and freely given to all people not just the people of Israel.
Even though we know that the second coming of Christ was not as close at St. Paul expected, the message he gives is important. He reminds us that, ultimately, we are called to live in the next world. The things of this world should not distract us from that calling and should not affect the way we live our lives.
The Gospel shows the prompt response of the first disciples to Jesus’ call to follow him. It is complete and total.
Monday 22nd January: Weekday of the third week of the year.
We move in to the second Book of Samuel. David had become King of the southern kingdom (Judah) and now there was an internal struggle for control of the northern kingdom (Judah and Israel). Eventually David manages to overcome the tribes from there and unite the two kingdoms, based on Jerusalem.
The scribes as usual are trying to discredit Jesus and what he is saying and doing. The claim he is an agent of the devil. Jesus turns this back on them. He reminds them they will be forgiven if they repent.
Tuesday 23rd January: Weekday of the third week of the year.
The Philistines were finally defeated. King David brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem where it was received with great celebration.
In the Gospel, Jesus reminds his listeners, in response to the people telling him that his mother was waiting outsider to see him, that anyone who does ther will of God can become his brother, sister and mother.
Wednesday 24th January: Memorial of St. Francis de Sales.
Francis was born near Savoy, France, in 1567. As he grew up, he became very religious and wished to consecrate himself to God. His father was not keen on this but he persisted and after studying law at university, he began his studies for the priesthood and was ordained. He spent much of his time working as a missionary near Lake Geneva. At first, he met a lot of hostility but his determination and excellent preaching bought great numbers into the Church. Later he became a Bishop and was much in demand as a preacher all over France. He set himself to show that the lives of ordinary people who are not priests or religious could and should be made holy. He is patron saint of writers, editors and journalists.
Thursday 25th January: Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle.
Today we celebrate an event of great consequence for the life of the Church: the conversion of St. Paul. It was sudden and dramatic. From being a persecutor of the Church, he is transformed into an apostle of Christ. This was a turning point in the life of the early Christian community.
Friday 26th January: Memorial of St. Timothy & St. Titus.
These two men were two of St. Paul’s most ardent followers. Timothy accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, leaving him at Ephesus. He is regarded as the first Bishop of Ephesus. Titus was put in charge of the Church at Crete. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy and one to Titus that are often called the pastoral letters.
Saturday 27th January: Weekday of the third week of the year.
David has sinned. Nathan the prophet talks with him about the seriousness of his situation. David acknowledges his guilt and repents he is pardoned but is punished with drastic responses including the death of his son.
Jesus calms the waters in the Gospel. The disciples were trying to get away for some quiet reflection and prayer. Having faith is essential. With faith, Jesus can calm our deepest fears and anxieties.