Reflection: Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Jon 3:1-5,10; Ps.24; 2nd Reading – 1Cor 7:29-31; Gospel – Mk.1:14-20]


John the Baptist had accomplished what he had come to do. The Lord’s way was prepared and it was now Jesus’ time to show himself in public. It seems that Jesus took John’s place. He in fact repeated what John used to say: something which was said in the past by the Prophets of old – “…Repent and Believe…”. A Prophet is one who speaks in the name of God. We know that John spoke in the name of God (as it was said of him), and that is how he had to prepare the way of the Lord. Jesus not only speaks in the name of God (as John and the prophets) but He also calls people to Himself, as God used to do in old times. In other words, Jesus acts as God because He is God.

The Gospel today is presenting Jesus who calls his first four disciples, whom he later called Apostles. He calls them two by two, not one by one. They had in fact to be witnesses of what had to happen to Jesus’ life and to their own life. That is why they were two, because only the witness of two people was valid.

Furthermore, it seems that they all knew Jesus because as soon as He called them, they left everything and followed him, without hesitation. We know that Andrew who was a disciple of John, but who was now without a Master, was the one who introduced Jesus to Simon… Andrew was the one who “went to see where Jesus lived” and had stayed with Jesus for some time when John the Baptist was still with them. Thus Andrew and the other disciple had become a witness to Jesus.

Furthermore, when Jesus called them to follow Him, He did not change what they were doing. They were fishermen, and remained so, even when they followed Jesus.  Jesus did not change them, but he changed the way they were seeing things. Fishermen not of fish, but of men. Jesus changed the substance of what they were doing while they stayed and remained what they were – fishermen.

Jesus still calls us to repent (from our ways and return to Him). He asks us to believe in Him as well. At the same time He is calling us to be His witnesses and to follow Him. This “follow Him” means to take his word seriously and practice it in our life. Are we ready to leave behind whatever hinders us from taking seriously His invitation?

“Lord, through your word you quite often invite us to return to you. Sometimes we do not even acknowledge that we went astray from you. Give us the humility Lord to know where we stand and the courage to be witnesses of your presence in our life so that we can truly be your followers.  Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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