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Friday, 20 January 2012

A Reflection on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time (B) January 22 2012

Peter and Robinson were two good business associates. One day they travelled to a far away land to buy some goods as usual. This time they bought more than usual because they wanted to maximize profits. On their way back they remembered their lorry would not pass through the tunnel on the road because of the height of the goods loaded on it. When they got to the tunnel, it was about to rain and they were confused on what to do. They lessened the tyres to reduce the height of the lorry but it couldn’t work. As they were thinking of what to do, a little boy approached them and said: “it is about to rain and it is better to lose a part than to lose the whole”. They read meaning into this and decided to remove the excess and less profitable goods, lost it to the rain and the lorry was able to pass through the tunnel.

This little boy could be regarded as the Prophet Jonah we saw in the first reading and the businessmen, as the people of Nineveh. The Ninevites were thrown into confusion and 

impending destruction on account of their sins as the business men were on account of their greed and selfishness. In this hopeless situation, Prophet Jonah appeared just as the little boy did. Jonah only warned them of the impending danger of God’s wrath as the boy warned them of the approaching rain. The Ninevites on their own decided to repent as the businessmen repented of their selfishness and greed. God’s wrath did not befall them again as the goods of the businessmen were not destroyed again.

All these were possible because of the power of detachment. Detaching especially from something one loves is one of the most difficult things to do. These people were saved because they detached from those things that would bring them destruction. In our heavenly journey, we are called not only to detach from sin and evil but from all those things that will distract our focus or lead us to doom. We have to repent from all actual and potential or incoming sins and avoid them too. The Church, the Bible, this reflection, etc serve as the Jonah warning us to detach from sin by repenting.

It is important to note that there are things not evil in themselves but require that we detach ourselves from them. The reason is not because they pose actual dangers but because of the potential or impending dangers they may pose when we attach ourselves to them. That is why in the second reading, St. Paul advices “those who have wives to live as though they had none, those who mourn, who enjoy life and who engage in business as though they do not”. St Paul wants us never to attach ourselves to any of these and more because they are not eternal realities, they are the things of the world which according to him, is passing away. Therefore, we should not take pride in them.

We must detach ourselves from sin and the things of this world so that we become more attached to Christ our model with an undivided heart. That is why in the Gospel reading, Jesus invites us to follow him. He wants us to detach ourselves from the dangers that will arise from our professions and family engagements and allow him to do great things in and through us. Detachment does not mean dispossessing the good things we have but paying less attention to them so that we may pay more attention to Christ who has redeemed us by his blood. Have you identified those things you should pay less attention to? They could mean your friendship with the world, your job, your family commitments and the natural pleasures you delight in. Do not lessen your tyres as the businessmen in our story did otherwise you will be crippled, but remove those excess and less profitable things that will prevent you from passing through the tunnel of eternity. You must do this as Simon, Andrew, James and John did in the gospel pericope. Are you ready to follow Christ this way?

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1 comment:

  1. Please share this reflection with your friends. God bless you.


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