Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 363 – Time for a Call – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 21st, 2018, by Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

Fishers of MenThe word “vocation” comes the Latin word vocare, meaning “to call.” A vocation is a calling. When we hear the word vocation in the Church, we often think of religious vocations, such as being a priest or consecrated person. Yet we are all called by God. Have you heard God calling lately?

In today’s homily I consider three key aspects of a call from God and what it might mean for each of our lives.

  • First, God tends to call us from right where we’re at. You shouldn’t expect some “special” time when you think you would be “ready” for God’s call. He’s like to find you in the middle of your normal life, like how he called the apostles while fishing.
  • Second, although Jesus might call you from where you’re at, he’s likely to want you to change some things. The word “repent” that we hear in the readings is rendered in the Greek as metanoeite, literally meaning, “Change your mind.” God wants to offer you a new path in life that starts with a change, repentance.
  • Finally, the call of God has a time limit. God was very specific in the first reading; Nineveh had 40 days to change their minds. All of us are limited by the finite length of our lives. Yet, when we recognize a call from God, the time to answer is now. The apostles left their nets and followed right away. What’s holding you back?

In the first reading, Jonah seems to respond immediately to God’s call. The truth is that the reading left out the first part of the story where Jonah runs away from God’s call. God famously has to send a big fish to transport Jonah to where he was supposed to go. So, on the one hand, don’t worry if you don’t answer God’s call perfectly… but don’t make him send a big fish to eat you either.

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