ADJUSTMENTS-3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
In human life we are generally prepared to go with and work with a number of different plans to carry out some work, as long as the overall objective is able to be reached. In a single day we may make a number of changes in the order in which we go about the course of a day, as we see a better way, or as we meet an unforeseen obstacle, or have an unforeseen opportunity. We make changes as we see or find it better to do something at 2 p.m. rather than at 4 p.m.
We adjust to others where possible. And even within what looks like the best plan to follow there are often many adjustments and changes as we go along, to deal with unforeseen consequences. A lot of those changes are determined by the responses of others, and other events to which we have to make some response. Life is filled with so many such experiences we almost take them for granted. The saying “change is the only constant” is true!
Now if there are so many events in the normal run of human life demanding changes and adjustments, we can imagine the many adjustments the Lord is continually making in His plans for us. Since the original plan for humans was not followed by people, the Lord has been constantly working His plan in different ways in order to achieve His objectives and goals for the human race.
The Lord announces His best plans for us. If we follow the Lord’s plan, we have the best of outcomes. If we ignore His plan and Word for us, the Lord makes adjustments. The Lord sent Jonah to the sinful city of Nineveh. His message was intended to alter the plans of the Ninevites. “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed.” This unexpected word from the Lord created a new set of conditions for them. They made a good response. The people “believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small put on sackcloth”. Their response changed the Lord’s plan. “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil ways, He repented of the evil that He had threatened to do to them; He did not carry it out.”
It’s rather amazing, and even frightening, how much the Lord allows us to respond to His Word or not. A little reflection on the decisions and responses in our life to the Lord tells us that some of these were vitally important, and have determined where we are today in our life. Hopefully, we can say we are so glad we responded to some grace or call at the time we did. How important it is to know and seek to respond to the Lord’s more perfect will for us rather than just His permissive will. Many parents have good plans for their children, which they hope they will follow for their own good. If they don’t, the parents are sometimes willing to permit another course of action, even if they see it’s not the best one for them, but at least still a good one.
Praying to know and follow the Lord’s will and plan for us is vitally important. “Teach me your ways, O Lord. Your ways, O Lord make known to me; teach me your paths, guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.”
Different circumstances and events in human life alter responses and plans. Faith events and graces can make us aware of how important it is to follow the Lord’s will and ways in our life. Paul was always stressing the urgency of responding to the Lord. “I tell you…the time is running out…For the world in its present form is passing away.”
How different the lives of the fishermen, Simon and Andrew, would have been if they were not able to change and make the necessary adjustments in their life in light of the call of Jesus. “As He passed by…He saw Simon and Andrew casting their nets. Jesus said to them, come after Me and I will make you fishers of men.” They were free, they could have decided not to follow Jesus. No doubt many others did, and we haven’t heard of them.
Many today hear the Lord calling, and don’t respond. Simon and Andrew and all those who have responded to the Lord’s call have never regretted it. “Then they abandoned their nets and followed Him.” We do best to adjust our life and plans to the Lord’s!