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Yesterday in the UK we did not have St. Paul conversion

But we may have had it in the sermon that was preaches which was  all about daily converssion of heart to God.  I was struck by the challnege of daily conversion. Whenever I fail on it  GOd tkes me back only if I have the right heart for God

The readings we had in the UK were

First reading Jonah 3:1-5,10
The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.
God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour. And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.
Second reading 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.
 Gospel  Mark 1:14-20
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

Yesterday we had the parish  priest who is also a monk from the abbey and his sermon was captured by the little bulitin  articale he write every week.  So I thought I would share it with you.      

“We all  make decision  to follow the Lord in various ways during our lives. Some of us resemble Jonah, who took  a little longer than most but God did not give up on him and the second time arounf he answered the call. One of the most famous stories in the bible is this tale of Jonah, the reluctant prophet, who was singled out by God for a make or break mission to the great  city of Nineveh to denounce thier evil and repent.

In complete contrast to Jonah, the response made by Andrew and Simon Peter  to the call ‘follow me and I will make you fishers of men’ was instantaneous. Without any hesitation and with no idea of the consequences, this identical response was made by James and John, another pair of brothers.  All four were fishermen and following Jesus meant  abandoning thier boats, leaving thier net behind,  renouncing family ties and satepping out into an unkown  future. The apostles  were ordinary people of goodwill engaged in doing  an honest days work and no different from our selves. Like them we are called to spread  the Good News that Gods kingdom is close at hand, make it known by the chnage in our life style and , by our example, to attract other to Christ.

The kingdom of God is to be found wherever in daily life people follow th teaching of Jesus. Everyone is faced with the choice of saying yes or no to Jesus. Our desire to follow him must be a comitted response and not a half – heart gesture . To promote his kingdom we must start with ourselves and begin an inward journey, which requires us to repent, leave the past behind  and radically change our out look.

Fr. Benedict  Thompson OSB


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