Now we are at the third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Jan 22, 2012). Duing the coming year the, Sunday gospel readings will be going through Mark. This Sunday, the gospel reading relates the immediate response to Jesus call by Andrew, Simon, James and John. The first reading is from Jonah (3:1-5) who finds himself preaching to Nineveh (a city in what is now Iraq.) He went against his will, not doubt remembering the slaughter Israel suffered at he hands of Nineveh. To his surprise, the Ninehvites responded. Maybe they felt as Paul did in the second reading 1 Cor 7:29-31( "…the time is running out.") Today we are little more relaxed, we don't feel that the end of the world is near - unless we believe those who think that the Mayan's predicted the end in December 2012.
Does this mean that there is no urgency for us to respond? None of us knows for sure when our own end will come. Even if it is decades away, the life of the Spirit is one of joy, peace and escape from despair. Some people live in terrible circumstances and yet find serenity and joy. It is available to everyone - but like the Ninehvites, we have to respond!