Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 21, 2024

On this third Sunday of ordinary time, the church reminds us of the shortness of our time in this world. This is the theme that runs through the three readings of this Sunday. Hence, if our time is short, we must believe the good news and live for the kingdom of God.

In the first reading, Jonah lamented and warned the Ninevites saying in “forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The people of Nineveh heard the message, and repented, so that God had mercy on them. Jonah’s message was brief, urgent but effective, so that the people of Nineveh accepted the message from God. From this reading, we have to ask ourselves, how do we receive the signs of God that show an invitation for conversion? Or how available are we to change wrong aspects in our life? We should imitate the attitude of the people of Nineveh in their openness and obedience to God when He calls us to do something for our welfare.

In the second reading, Paul also reminds us that: “the appointed time has grown short.” Paul simply refers to the awareness that our life is short, so that we should be more focused on God and his Kingdom instead of human and material things that this world offers. Paul calls us to reevaluate our relationship with God to serve only Him and to do what He expects from us.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus preached the same urgent message preached by Jonah and John the Baptist, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news.” Like the Ninevites, the disciple of Jesus heard this message and responded to it with urgency, knowing that there was not much time left to obey Him.

We see in this reading that Simon and Andrew, as soon as they heard the words of the master, “Come follow me,” they followed Him without hesitation. Same invitation to follow Jesus is for us today to take part in his mission like those disciples, so that our response to it should be urgent and positive like Simon and Andrew.

Brothers and sisters, being fishers of people, means being members of the kingdom of God. Obviously, God wants us as part of His team of fishers of people. He wants us because He knows we can do many things for His glory and for the benefit of others. Also, it is important to say that all of us have many gifts and talents that are useful for His Kingdom on earth. We have to be aware of all we have received from Him to serve Him.

Let us listen and accept the invitation of Jesus to be his disciples one more time at this Mass with conviction, joy and hope. May the Holy Spirit give us the strength to say yes to Jesus.

Peace be with You!