Year B – Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, January 24, 2021

By Sr Cynthia Hruby ND

God Is Watching Us

1st Reading: Jonah 3: 1-5       
Jonah “…took three days to go through it.”
He “…had gone but a single day’s walk…”
“When God saw by their actions…”

2nd Reading: I Corinthians 7:29-31
“I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.”

Gospel: Mark 1: 14-20
After Jesus had passed by, “he saw…”
“He walked along a little farther and saw…”
“Then he called them.”

The characters in the reading this weekend feature Jonah and Jesus. They walk and they see. God was watching his prophet Jonah and “saw by their actions” that the people listened. Jesus had been baptized by John and was returning from the desert. As he walked along he saw the fishermen and God was watching the fishermen from the heart of Jesus. Filled by the Spirit, Jesus saw, knew what to do, and “he called them.”

As I entered Jonah’s experience, I doubted that I could have kept up with him. Such may have been possible when I was younger and “walked the beans” and went out to the pasture to bring the cattle home. With the help of internet (, I studied Jonah’s walking.

  • Untrained walkers can enjoy a two-hour 6-mile walk at an easy pace.
  • Trained walkers can finish 26-miles in about 7 hours.
  • Well-trained walkers taking breaks and a meal stop can finish 20-miles in a day.

Physical walking takes four major muscles working together (rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and vastus intermedius). In addition, the action of such movement requires coordination with the nervous system, skeletal system, muscular system, respiratory system and the circulatory system.

At times in life, these major “workers” need individual attention, especially after injury or the effects of the aging process. In addition, as social beings living in a variety of systems, we need to take time to assess, repent, applaud, adjust, and then to recommit to the values we hold and want in our legacy.

As I imagined walking near Jesus who had just returned from the desert where he pondered what had happened at the baptism by John, I pictured him with an intense gaze looking at the fishermen. I think he was listening to the Spirit and seeing the fisherman in action working together with the fish and the catch.  His heart was moved to call them to “Come, follow me.”

ACTION:  Pause again and ask about the recent hours, days, maybe my week:  Where did I experience walking? What did I see? How did I listen for the Spirit? What action did I choose? Look ahead to the week and ask: Where can I proclaim that the path was prepared? There’s a story here to tell!

Responsorial Psalm 25: 4-9: 

Teach me your ways, O Lord.

[The Lord] shows sinners the way and

guides the humble to justice and teaches the humble the way.

Song:  “From a Distance” Bette Midler, Official Music Video