3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 24, 2021

3A21.    Jonah 3:1-5, 10.   When the people of Nineveh heard from Jonah that God would destroy Nineveh in forty days, they believed God.  They turned from their evil way and repented.  God saw their actions of repentance and did not do as he had threatened.  In doing God’s will rather than their own sinful will, they were saying by their actions that God was the ruler and king over their lives, and nothing and no one else.

Mark 1:21-28.     Jesus began his public ministry “after John had been arrested,” “proclaiming the gospel of God: ‘This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.’”  Those who belong to the kingdom of this world come under Satan, the ruler of this world. (John 15:19 & 16:11)  In John 18: 36b, Jesus said to Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.”    Jesus called Simon and Andrew, James and John to follow him.”  Those who follow Jesus abandon the call of the devil and this world to follow them.  Empowered by the grace of the Holy Spirit those who follow Jesus have chosen to belong to God and God’s Will. (John 17:6)  By his very presence in our lives, Jesus conquers the world for those who follow him. (John 16:33d)  Jesus enables us to be safe from the evil one even though we remain in this world.  (John 17:12) We live in the time of fulfillment in that we have been enabled by the Holy Spirit to have God as our life and not this world as our life.  God is our King and not Satan.

1 Corinthians 7:29-31.   Paul writes, “The time is running out; and then he writes: “For the world in its present form is passing away.”  When we look at our present time on this earth from the perspective that our life after leaving this earth is for an eternity, then we can envision that “time is running out,” and that “the world in its present form is passing away” for us.  People of this world live with the mindset that their life is from ‘cradle to grave’.  As followers of Jesus we always live in eternity, now and forever.