First Reading | Jonah 3:1-5, 10

Jonah is a reluctant prophet called by a merciful God. He fears being made a fool of but God wants him to help save people even at the price of his minor discomfort. Jonah sails to Nineveh on a ship that goes in the wrong direction. Then Jonah ends up in the belly of a whale. But he eventually arrives at Nineveh and does what he is told to do. The people repent at Jonah’s bidding and God shows them His mercy.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, saying: 2 ” Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” 3 So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord’s bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began his journey through the city and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” 5 when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. 10 When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R: Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God, my savior. (R) 6 Remember that your compassion, O Lord, and your love are from of old. 7 In your kindness, remember me, because of your goodness, O Lord. (R) 8 Good and upright is the Lord; thus he shows sinners the way. 9 He guides the humble to justice and teaches the humble his way. (R)

Second Reading | 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Paul has a one-track mind. He wants people to give everything—their time, talent, and treasure—to the service of God’s Kingdom to the point of forgoing marriage. He thinks the end is coming soon and getting the Gospel message out in the world is more important than marriage. He eventually realizes that the Second Coming is going to take longer than he originally thought. The pastoral epistles show Paul taking time to set up structures for the communities he established.

29 I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out. From now on, let those having wives act as not having them, 30 those weeping as not weeping, those rejoicing as not rejoicing, those buying as not owning, 31 those using the world as not using it fully. For the world in its present form is passing away.

Gospel | Mark 1:14-20

John’s arrest is a sign for Jesus to begin His ministry. Like Jesus, we need to read the signs of the times and go to where the Holy Spirit leads us. This requires attentiveness to God’s Word and His Spirit. If we have a regular prayer time and are devoted to reading His Word, we can never go wrong.

Gospel Acclamation

The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

14 After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: 15 “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16 As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 18 Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. 19 He walked along with a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. 20 Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.