The Word This Week ~ 25 January 2015
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First Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Jonah repents and obeys God. In doing so he brings about a tremendously positive outcome for the Ninevites. Jonah’s repentance says something of the nature of all repentance – a change of mind and behaviour often involving an openness – here to go to a place of fear and avoidance. It is
only in this open and ready state that we can discern the will of God for ourselves, decide to enact it in our lives and become true disciple.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
In this passage we read of Paul’s conviction that the time of Christ’s return, the Day of Judgement, and the fulfilment of salvation draws near. To prepare for that time, Paul exhorts all Christians to holy indifference toward the world. All worldly things are fleeting; everything will pass away. Concern about worldly interests must be kept in proportion; to be full of worry, to have anxious and perplexing care, is a distraction that keeps us from what is really important.
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:14-20
Today we begin to read the account of Jesus’ ministry as told by Mark. Following his baptism in the River Jordan and preparation in the wilderness, Jesus takes up his ministry.
‘The time’, a decisive moment appointed by God, ‘is fulfilled’ (Mark 1:14)
The reading consists of two main parts – a summary of Jesus’ teaching and the first response to it. Jesus begins his ministry by proclaiming the Gospel, the Good News, of God. The good news is that the Kingdom of God is now at hand for all who are ready to receive it. There is something so
compelling about both messenger and message that those who hear it – here the fishermen – leave their nets and become disciples.