3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 25th January 2015

Teach me Your Path

In today's gospel Jesus begins his public ministry. He has come to bring people back from wrong paths to the ways of God. 'Repent and believe the Good News.' Our response should be that of the psalmist: Lord, make me know your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.

The good news of the gospel is that God calls us, in and through Jesus, to an ever-growing participation in divine life. This is a central truth of our faith. However it demands of us full repentance, a complete about-turn.

To us, repentance denotes guilt and regret. The word Jesus uses means that but much more. It means to have a change of mind, to think differently, to look at life, the world, and ourselves in a whole new way. That's what it means to believe in the good news. It means taking Jesus at his word, believing that God is the kind of God Jesus told us about and that God loves the world so much he will make any sacrifice to bring us back. It means believing that what sounds too good to be true is really true.

When we look around us, we see despair, economic disaster, war, death, and destruction. We can easily become part of this culture. That's why believing really calls for a change of mind and, even more, for a change of heart.

Repentance is, ultimately, about action; it calls for a whole new way of life. Instead of being selfish, we strive to be generous. Rather than seek revenge, we try to forgive. In the face of hatred, we respond with love. Instead of always taking, we also give. When tempted to lie, we tell the truth. Surrounded by a culture of death, we choose life. It's hard to live this way, but it would be a lot harder if we didn't believe the good news.

Jonah was asked to share the good news with the Ninevites. He knew what to do but ran, and running brought its own trouble. Instead of facing the call in his heart, his turning away affected his life, his work. Sometimes we know in the depth of our being what is right, what we should do, but we choose to run. Yet in running we bring unease into our life.

Responding to God brings peace, walking away or excluding God brings disaster. Each one of us is called, we are personally called to this joyful, peaceful way. Will we trust our God? Can we afford not to?

Lord, make me know your truth and teach me; for you are God my Saviour.

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.