When you see a car on the street with a revolving red light on its roof, you know that the car is an ambulance or a police car. The flashing red light atop a vehicle tells you to move aside and make way. It is an emergency signal.

In your medicine cabinet when you find a bottle marked with a picture of a skull and two crossed bones, you know that that bottle contains poison. It signifies danger.

Today, the red light is on. The skull with crossed bones is being presented to us. In the gospel and in the first two readings, God is calling all of us to follow Him. It is very dangerous. It is very risky to follow the Lord. Jonah saw that in the first reading. That is why, when he was called to be a prophet and a disciple of God, he said: “No way! You cannot fool me. I will not do that. Jonah tried to escape but the Lord pursued him. Jonah continued to escape but the Lord continued to pursue him some more. Then, in a raging storm, a big fish swallowed Jonah and before he knew it, the big fish expelled him. Where did Jonah land? Right in front of the island where he is supposed to preach. It is very dangerous to follow the Lord. Jonah realized that and that is why he was afraid.

People who preach repentance eventually ask their listeners to hurt themselves. In the gospel,Simon, Andrew, John and James were called by the Lord. They were sent to preach repentance. They were sent to proclaim: “People, you are in sin and you must turn away from sin.” Look what happened to Peter – he was crucifled upside down. Andrew was also crucifled on an X-cross. James was also killed in Jerusalem. John was not killed but he lived till a ripe old age of 95. Lonely, Alone. It ls dangerous to follow the Lord!

From the world’s point of view, it could be very dangerous to follow the Lord because you could be asked to do a difficult mission. It is dangerous because you have to give up the glitter of popular acclamation. It is dangerous to follow the Lord because you have to give up the
selfishness of your own ambitions. You have to give up being popular. When the Lord calls, He does not ask us to be successful. He asks us only to be faithful.

From the point of view of God, it is only by living a dangerous life that we can discover the meaning of life. If you are ready to live a difficult and dangerous life, a holy and pious life with a cross on your shoulders, then you will see the fulfillment of God’s promise in your life. The promise of the Lord is that you will discover peace, joy and happiness.

On the other hand, we could live a life of leisure and pleas-ure. We could stuff ourselves sick with food. We could also make ourselves really famous. Yet, after all of these are done, we find our lives worthless and meaningless.

So, what is our choice today? Is it a life that is difficult but meaningful or a life full of the world’s pleasures but utterly meaningless?

Jonah 2:1/Mt 4:18-20
Jesus In My Heart

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