CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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  • Deacon Bob Fishman

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

This week’s readings follow up on what we have been learning about the call of God in our lives. In our first reading, Jonah the reluctant prophet has been sent again to Nineveh to tell them to repent. Remember that previously Jonah had not done what the Lord told him to do. He hated the Ninevites and was not anxious for God to forgive them. So, instead he exited stage left, in the other direction. This led to him being thrown overboard, swallowed by a great fish, and vomited up on the beach. Needless to say this experience changed his tune, and now he was ready to preach to Nineveh.

The people of Nineveh listened and repented, and destruction did not come to the people.


Sometimes we can let our own personal feelings stand in the way of what God is calling us to do. Often we have our own agenda. St. Paul captures the urgency of this message telling the Corinthians that the world is passing away and we must share Christ’s message regardless of personal feelings and even personal relationships. Eternity is too important to let worldly things and attitudes get in our way.



Finally we have our Lord and Savior Jesus telling James, John, Andrew and Simon all of whom were fisherman by trade, that He would make them “fishers of Men”. This is our call too. It may not be easy. We may have family members who have left the Church. We may know people we love who don’t believe in anything. The time is now to share with them.


I tell people to start by sharing their own story. What do you love about being Catholic? Let people know that you will pray for them if they are going through something difficult. You will bring more people to the Faith by being real with them and sharing your own story then by quoting Genesis to Revelation.


Finally, remember to fill up your own cup. You cannot give the thirsty world a drink if your cup is empty (or cracked). Go to Mass often, go to confession and most of all pray, pray, pray. It worked for Nineveh, it will work for you. The time is at hand. How will you respond to God’s call? Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!

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