Jonah 3:1-5, 10 (Psalm 62:5-12); 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 4:12-23
If it were me, I would have stayed in the fishing boat or dithered about what to do until Jesus was just a speck on the horizon.
Light is light. And only light can bring our fragmented darkness into proper perspective and allow us to see things whole.
He was not the young man they had known before. They were sizing him up, as people in small towns will do, when he stood up in the synagogue to read from the prophet Isaiah. He read a fantastic and otherworldly passage, plainly not about Nazareth, but about some other place. And then he startled them all: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Was he talking about them? Or himself? And what did he mean by proclaiming right there, in his hometown, “the acceptable year of the Lord”?
When fairy tales begin with the familiar phrase “Once upon a time,” they signal a mythical point of departure: the beginning of a great adventure. If Matthew had known this phrase, he might have employed it to introduce the calling of the first disciples, since his version of this story begins with the breathless anticipation of a fairy tale.
The opening scene of Jesus’ public ministry left no doubt: a commitment to Jesus involves a commitment to build communities of peace and justice. But first comes the calling.
Jonah is prophetic minimalism gone amok.
In the United States, it is rare to hear someone define herself as belonging to someone else. Here, we belong to ourselves.