Commentary to the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year B
Jesus inaugurated a New Era
Christians believe that the Messiah has already come. The Jews claim that he is yet to come. Who is right?
No doubt, the Jews. We too tacitly admit to the fact that each year we dedicate four weeks to prepare ourselves for his coming.
We anxiously wait for the Messiah, because we are told that “justice will flower in his days and peace abounds till the moon be no more. He delivers the needy who call on him, the afficted with no one to help them. May grain abound throughout the land” (Ps 72:7.12.16). We have not yet seen these prophecies realized, so we keep waiting.
The Messiah is yet to come, but when he arrives, everyone, including the Jews, will recognize him: it is Jesus. His birth into the world is a slow and gradual; the new times, the last, have already started, but have not come to fruition.
One day they reported to Jesus that his mother and brothers were looking for him; he “looking around at those who sat there, said: Here are my mother and my brothers!” (Mk 3:34). Yes, the community of those who listen to his word, trust him and follow him. It is his mother, she is the one who in pain gives birth to him every day, until God’s plan is fully realized: “To unite all in Christ everything in heaven and on earth” (Eph 1:10).
Immediacy, generosity, decision in detachment from what is old and incompatible with the future world, characterize the response of those who, answering to the call of Jesus, commit themselves to God’s plans.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Show me, O Lord, your ways and give me the strength to follow you.”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
This is not what Paul means. He wants Christians to give earthly things their true importance. They are important all right, but will not last forever. Like all good things, marriage, the family, property can seduce and turn into absolutes. They become idols, totally absorb the human heart and make them lose the meaning of life.
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
The passage opens with a brief introduction wherein Jesus goes in the villages of the Galilean mountains and preaches the gospel. “The time is fulfilled—he said—and the kingdom of God has come; Repent and believe the gospel” (vv. 14-15).
This is the first sentence he says and it is the synthesis of all his message.