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Mark 1:14-20 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time National Bible Sunday

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jonah 3:1-5
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20

A. Text/Context
• We have just heard from the gospel of Mark that Jesus has already began his ministry
• During this period of time John the Baptist was already in prison waiting for his death
• As John is about to finish and fulfill his ministry of preparing the people for the Messiah, Jesus started to emerge in the picture
• When John the Baptist has made an exit Jesus came into the scene to begin his entrance into his ministry of salvation and so there is a continuity
• John the Baptist is the last prophet in the NT telling, teaching the people that the kingdom of God is at hand
• Nobody comes after John because Jesus the Messiah has already arrived
• Jesus is now preaching about repentance, forgiveness, he performs healings and exorcisms, doing awesome miracles that leave a lasting impression upon the believers

B. Human Situation
• In the history of the bible the Jews constantly violated the commandments of God and every time that the people begin to forget God, he would always send them a prophet to remind them to go back to God
• In the 1st reading in in the prophet Jonah was sent by God to the city of Niniveh to remind the people to repent and go back to God
• Jonah told the people that 40 days more and Niniveh shall be destroyed. What was the response of the People?
• They proclaimed a fast and all the people great and small put on sackcloth as a sign of repentance and God relented and did not destroy Niniveh
• In the gospel, John has finished his ministry and as a consequence is now incarcerated in prison because some people did not believe in what John the Baptist has proclaimed about repentance
• He told the people that one greater than me shall come and now Jesus has arrived recruiting his first disciples
• John now makes a graceful exit to allow Jesus to fulfill his ministry
• John is the last prophet to come on record, but it does not mean that God has stopped sending men and women to proclaim his kingdom
• And so God also send very charismatic saints like St. Francis of Assisi to tell us that simplicity and humility is better than riches and fame
• The world is never lacking when it comes to the intervention of God in our lives to become better Christians
• They may not be priests or religious but also different lay people from all walks of life teaching us the values of the kingdom
• Until today, God continues to send prophets to the world including the sincere politicians, journalists, patriots, honest servants in the government and the private sectors, the faithful workers working in the Lord’s vineyard giving us the example how live the values of the kingdom here on earth
• The greatest modern prophet of our day is of course the BVM who continues to give messages all over the world that we must repent and go back to her son
• As the 2nd reading says in 1st Corinthians that time is running out because the world in its present form is passing away

C. Challenge
• Even in our daily life we have to accept the fact that we cannot remain in our juicy positions or remain popular forever, time will also come to make an exit in order to give room for others
• The prophets do make a graceful exit. The others must increase because God has also given them a mission to fulfill
• Today maybe, we are very popular, and somebody will always open up a door for you when you enter
• Somebody will greet you when you meet people along your path. People will come to you for consultation, for advice for counsel, for different needs and you feel elated because you feel you have given the help they need
• But all these things are very temporary, they will also end and this is some kind of a reminder to us
• Be ready for that there will come a time that nobody will come to you anymore for advice because God is also raising up new breed of people who will fit with the times that we live
• Many people grow old and grumpy because they cannot accept the fact that the others have already increased in their wisdom and popularity
• God gives them wisdom because they also have a prophetic role to play
• We should not be a hindrance to the progress of others as exemplified by John the Baptist
• John gave way to the new preacher Jesus whom John himself believed as greater than him as Jesus said that: this is the time of fulfilment, the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel
• When we give room for others, when we give a free hand to others, we give room to the will of God
• Like the people of Niniveh we are all called to respond to the daily call of repentance and conversion even if our lives remain difficult to live
• The more that we need to trust in the provident God that we believe because he will rescue us from the slavery of spiritual and economic bondage
• We will preach to others the goodness of God similar to what the disciples did when they left their nets and they became fishers of men

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Mark 1 verse 14-20

Mark 1 verse 14-20

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