We enter the third ordinary Sunday with this theme of conversion and mission. Very often we begin our Lenten season with this theme. We have in the first reading the conversion of Jonah and also the people of Nineveh. Jonah did not want to go, yet he will accept God's plan and he will announce the Good News of life and death. The people have chosen life and the whole country is committed. Not only was Jonah saved by his obedience, but by him the whole country was saved.
Today's Gospel tells us 'after the death of John the Baptist' and that afterwards brings us to another event around Jesus, the Good News, the Kingdom of God is close at hand, which will bring us to his Father. To enter the house of the Father we need Jesus as a Door and to have access to Jesus we need John the Baptist, the conversion of the heart. This conversion of heart is the foundation of our spiritual journey. Without this no spiritual journey should be undertaken.
There are four elements in the divine call. Firstly, it is God who takes the initiative, it is He who calls us. The second element is that when we hear this call, we do not feel ready and the third God makes us worthy and finally our commitment. On the contrary in the gospel, we have the impression that the Lord's disciples responded immediately. In truth, it is today that they hear this call and their hesitation we will see after the death and resurrection of the Lord and the feast of Pentecost will affirm them and the fourth element of their commitment is our salvation history. My brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, do you understand why this conversion is the foundation of our salvation? If we respond positively to this divine call, we will be saved and through us others will be saved. The story of Nineveh is our example.
Is it really possible to leave everything and follow the Lord? It is St. Paul who gives us the practicability of this concept of leaving everything and following Christ, responding positively to this divine call. A detachment from the carnal aspect so that we can cling to the spiritual elements. If you are married, you will live a spiritual one with your wife, as the one sent by the Father, so that you may taste the love of a woman and be a true witness of God's love. In her see God and in her you express your love for the Lord. In this way, even in your carnal life, you will live a purely spiritual life, a life for the Lord and through the Lord. That is, living a heavenly life on earth. In our humanity, even if it is purely carnal, let us see the divine presence and learn to express our love for the Lord, through our spouses, children, brothers and sisters, etc. That we become aware of our belonging to the Lord and live a life worthy of this belonging.
By gathering in church on this Sunday, we have responded positively to this divine call and we recognize through this celebration our belonging to God. May this Eucharistic celebration give us strength and courage for the mission he entrusts to us. I invite you to pray together.
Lord, teach me your ways,
let me know your route.
Lead me by your truth, teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.