Ordinary time “B”: Third Sunday

by Fr Wandile M. Dlamini OSM

Theme: The Lord Jesus call each one of us to be fishers of people to his Father’s Kingdom

First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5
The book of Jonah was written after the Jew’s exile. Some of them were quite nationalistic, and filled with a smug sense of superiority over the other nations. Like Jonah, they wished God would destroy the nations perceived as enemies. The story of Jonah is meant to rebuke their smallness and teach them that God has care for other people as well as for them.
Therefore, the truth is that, God can evoke repentance even from unlikely people. Jonah,s message was vengeance: “Nineveh shall be destroyed!” and  that all of the Ninevites repented, all of them, great and small.

Second Reading: 1Cor 7: 29-31

There were many reasons why St. Paul had to be strict and detailed in his moral teaching to the people to the Christians in Corinth. Amongst the many reasons were:

  • Corinth was a bowdy seaport were many visitors from all over and the locals who would accommodate there had a typical seaport,s set of ethics.
  • Corinth was a center  of philosophical and religious ferment; new and
    bizarre ideas were constantly in the air. Christianity seemed  to be at least an ambitious development of old Judaism, if not an entirely new religion, with plenty of yet unanswered questions.
  • Christians were made to believe that Jesus was soon to return in glory, bringing the world to an end. These are the reasons which made Paul to focus on marriage and sexual morality.

Gospel of Mark 1:14-20

The first thing we notice is that the two stories, last week’s and this week’s are very different. Neither John nor Mark was writing history. They were both writing theology in a narrative form. Each had a different purpose in the way they structured the story. John’s story commenced on the bank of the Jordan. In Mark’s account Jesus is walking along the sea of Galilee. It was right in this sea that Jesus observed the activities of the fishers. Two men, Andrew and Simon are casting circular nets into the sea. He begins to call them inviting to use  their skills in different, but  similar, line of work. He say to them; “Come I will make you fishers of the people”.