3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B

Published on 18 Jan 2021
A fishing boat on a lake

‘Lord, teach me your paths’

Almighty ever-living God,

direct our actions according to your good pleasure,

that in the name of your beloved Son

we may abound in good works.

The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time marks the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’, instituted by Pope Francis in 2019 as an annual celebration of the gift of Scripture. It encourages us to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, shaping how we are called to live and to relate to each other.

In the same way, the readings for this Sunday call us to follow the Lord’s ways. This may involve some change of priorities and direction for us as we seek to move towards the kingdom of God ourselves.

In the First Reading, we see God show mercy to the people of Nineveh. They renounce their evil ways in response to Jonah preaching the word of God.

The Psalmist recognises the Lord as his saviour, a God full of goodness and mercy, who has always loved him. He asks the Lord, his teacher, to show him the true path.

At the beginning of St Mark’s Gospel, again we hear of people changing their ways. Jesus begins his ministry by finding and inviting the first disciples to leave their work as fishermen and follow him for greater things.

Though the Second Reading sounds challenging, its intention is to encourage us to live in a way that is guided by the love of Christ, and shows our faith and hope in the kingdom of God. We are called to live in open freedom and detachment – it is who we are, not what we have, that counts.

Perhaps during this coming week, I can pray for the grace to be open to any change the Lord asks me to make, so that I can respond better to his call and be ready to go wherever he is asking me.

‘Lord, make me know your ways Lord, teach me your paths.’     Responsorial Psalm

The kingdom of God is close at hand: believe the good news.     Gospel Acclamation

Look towards the Lord and be radiant.     Communion Antiphon

Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.    Pope Francis, ‘Laudato si’

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Jonah 3: 1–5,10; Psalm 24 (25); 1 Corinthians 7: 29–31; Mark 1: 14–20