1 Corinthians 7:29-31
The Book of Jonah tells about the reluctant preacher Jonah, who preaches to the people of Nineveh. These are a notoriously wicked people, who hear the word of God and repent. The good news of salvation is intended for all people. The Epistle to the Corinthians also reminds us that time is limited so we must embrace the Gospel and be converted. The Gospel of Mark recounts the call of four of the disciples. Peter and Andrew are apparently older men, successful in that they owned their own boat. James and John are younger men, who are still apprenticed to their father, who has a successful fishing business because he even has hired hands. The Book of Jonah and the Gospel of Mark, are forceful reminders that God’s call is a summons, one we can’t refuse, as Jonah tried. God calls us whenever it pleases him, when we are young or when we are older. We are all summoned when it is God’s pleasure.
Today’s reading tells us that God finds us where we are and invites us to: 1. Reform our life. 2. Believe in the Gospel and 3. Follow Jesus. In return God makes these promises: "I will make you fishers of people. I will give you rest. The reign of God will be yours’. You will be consoled. You will inherit the land. You shall have your fill of holiness. Your reward will be great. You will be the light of the world. You will be the salt of the earth. God who sees in secret will repay you. God will forgive you. Ask and you will receive. You will be great in the Reign of God. You shall be called "children of God." You shall see God."
Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi reminds us: Evangelists must be worthy. Have no doubt or fear. Be unremitting. Be faithful. Bring a new creation. Bring unity to community. Bring sincerity and authenticity: Holiness of life nourished by prayer and love of the Eucharist. Simplicity of life. Love for all, especially the poor and lowly.
Obedience and humility. Self-forgetfulness and renunciation. Reverence for truth. Share the truth.
Fr.Kenneth O’Malley, C.P. is the archivist for Catholic Theological Union and lives with the Passionist formation community in Chicago, Illinois.