Readings for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany

Mark 1:14-20; 1 Corinthians 7:29-35; Jonah 3:1-5,10


Yes, we are living in the age of capital letters. Every day we are bombarded by emails, voicemails, and online ads that are “so important” they expect our immediate attention. With all that competing noise, it can be difficult to discern which messages are truly urgent as opposed to those we can safely ignore.

All three of Sunday’s readings speak to the urgency of matters that pertain to the Kingdom of God. These are truly urgent because they are about our eternal welfare. As we reflect these readings, they can help us keep our priorities in order and avoid needless huffing and puffing over stuff that has no eternal weight.

In the Old Testament, the LORD sends his reluctant prophet, Jonah, with an urgent message for Nineveh. His call to repentance is proof that He loves those people (Jo 3).

In the Epistle, Paul offers good advice about the  blessings of the single life, where a person can devote themselves to the LORD in a single-minded way. This advice grew out of Paul’s conviction that the return of Christ was close at hand (1 Cor 7).

In the Gospel, Jesus issues an urgent call to his first disciples. There was a pressing need for the good news about Jesus to reach as many people as possible. The disciples answered that call in faith – they dropped everything and went (Mk 1).