Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.

Upgrading of the heating and lighting in the Cathedral is underway. The Cathedral is open for Masses and Confessions at the weekend, but is closed at all other times (including between Masses). Weekday Masses are now celebrated in the James Room, but note that there is currently no access to the upper car parks. Thank you for your understanding and support during this project.

 

Sunday 21st January 2018
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Jonah 3: 1-5, 10     1 Corinthians 7: 29-31     Mark 1: 14-20

I’ll Get Round To It.

The reluctant student was asked what the difference was between ignorance and apathy. He replied that he didn’t know and he didn’t care. That’s almost as bad as the man who said he’d decided to find out tomorrow what ‘procrastination’ meant.

I expect that most of us have a certain sympathy with people who put things off. We’ve all done it: going to the dentist, doing that pile of ironing, weeding the garden etc. Usually when we put something off, it is either because we are afraid of it, or because we prefer to think that our present situation is better than the new one would be.

Jonah, the comic character of the bible, put off going to preach in Nineveh probably because he was afraid of the reception he would get. Yet he could not resist the hand of God. Eventually the message of repentance he preached was accepted by the Ninevites, and God spared them.

Contrast that with the reaction of Simon and Andrew, and the response of James and John when they were invited by Jesus to follow him. The Gospels tell us that they all did this “at once”. If we really have heard the message of Jesus, then we would not think of putting off our decision until tomorrow.

What Jesus promises us is far better than what we have now. It’s not as if we have to think about it before signing on the dotted line. And if we were afraid of the consequences, then we’ve not been listening. To repent is not to commit oneself to bad news but to the Good News which is the Gospel.

In his early days St Augustine had a famous prayer which asked that God make him a saint – tomorrow. But once he had committed himself fully to Christ, repented of his past, he bemoaned the fact that he had come so late to love God. If there are areas in our lives which need attention or fine-tuning, then surely we can put it off until tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or…

 

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Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2018