The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Monday, January 23, 2012

Call to conversion

"Come after me,
and I will make you fishers of men."
Mark 1:17


NOTE: My apologies for neglecting to post my customary commentary on Sunday's Mass readings. Other duties prevailed this past week. However, below, I offer an excerpt of the fine homily delivered Sunday in our Archabbey Church by Fr. Joseph Cox, O.S.B. -- Br. Francis

Sunday, January 22, 2012
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time—B


Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” -- Mark 1:14-15
St. Mark’s Gospel begins the account of the work and ministry of Jesus with these key verses. These are the first recorded words of the Lord. They are important. In a sense they set the program for the gospel and summarize what Jesus proclaims as gospel, as good news, which is fulfillment, the nearness of the kingdom, and therefore the need for repentance and for faith. First he calls for repentance, and then he calls the first disciples to himself.

Repentance means a change of heart and conduct, a turning of one’s life. It is a choice to trust and to make a personal commitment to live God’s way in the world. Jesus tells us, “The kingdom is a hand. Repent and believe this, and act like you believe.” It is a choice to put God first in our lives.

Conversion is an effort we make throughout our lives. We need the desire to change. We have to want conversion. It also depends on God’s grace. We cannot advance at all without God’s help.

The disciples called by Jesus knew this. They were in continual need of conversion, and so are we. Our goal is nothing less than a faithful pilgrimage to God. When our journey through life begins to go in any direction other than to God, then it’s time for renewed repentance and conversion.

Blessed Mother Teresa said that success is not in succeeding. Success is not giving up trying. This is what God asks us to do.

-- Fr. Joseph Cox, O.S.B.

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