Sunday 24 January 2021
Jonah 3:1-5, 10. Teach me your ways, O Lord – Psalm 24(25):4-9. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. Mark 1:14-20.
Having something to hope for is powerful
Today’s Gospel reading is a short one. It reminds me of a homily from a priest in my old parish one Sunday when the temperature was 40 degrees outside.
‘It’s hot today, so I’ll keep it short’, he began. ‘It’s even hotter in hell.’ Then he sat down.
As amusing as this homily was, I didn’t leave church feeling all that nourished. It focused all its energy on the consequences of failing to follow God, rather than the hope that fulfilment would bring. It was like taking out all of Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel other than the word ‘Repent’.
We repent because this is the ‘time of fulfilment’. We repent because we believe that the ‘kingdom of God is at hand’. Having something to hope for is much more powerful than only having something to fear.
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