Today is the 3rd Sunday of the year in ordinary time, and the Pope has instituted in his Apostolic letter (Motu Proprio) called “Aperuit Illis” that it should be celebrated annually as the “Sunday of the word of God”. This is wonderful, taking into consideration the fact that this is the year of the word of God. It is an opportunity for us as Catholics to devote more of our time to the studying of the word of God. This will serve as a reminder to everyone as they go about their daily activities. The word of God needs to be activated in our life, family and in our society. This is an invitation for us to enthrone the word of God in our world and allow God to guide our every action.
The prophet Isaiah in the 1st reading of last Sunday, talked about the coming of one who will be a light to the nations, and the prophecy is fulfilled by Jesus himself. Also in today’s 1st reading, he continues to give the Israelites hope. The Lord has not forsaken them, there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel. At the beginning things were not right, but the future will bring forth good tidings. This is made manifest because Jesus inaugurated his public ministry in Galilee. Thus, becoming a light to all those who live in darkness and the shadow of death. By so doing bringing forth liberation, joy and happiness to people’s lives. The light that he is coming with, will bring about transformation and also change the narrative of the people of Israel.
In the 2nd reading from St. Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth, he admonishes them about the need to remain focused on Jesus, instead of belonging to different groups. These groups will bring about conflicts and divisions amongst the people. Coincidentally, we are also invited to pray for the unity of the church. This brings us to a very important question, what role are you playing towards the building of the body of Christ? We all have a role to play towards this great task. Unfortunately some of us thrive when there is disunity and confusion and we form groups that help to propagate our personal interests that are detrimental to the common good; let us try to guide against such situations. The good of all should always come first before our personal interests; lest we begin to fight against God.
In the gospel reading, the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled as Jesus withdraws into the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali. His presence brought great light to the people. He is the light that dispels darkness and restores hope to those who are in the shadow of death. His presence brought forth good tidings in the lives of the people. Things changed for the better and the presence of God was enthroned amongst the people. He preached about repentance to the people. In the same way he is also preaching repentance to all his children. Let us make effort and turn away from things that do not build up the body of Christ, but rather promote disunity and dissention among the people. Let us all embrace the word of God that we celebrate in a special way today, that promotes peace, joy, unity, happiness, charity and selflessness.
Dear friends in Christ, when Jesus called the Apostles they left everything and followed him. In the same way we are encouraged to leave everything that does not promote the kingdom of God and embrace those that promotes the kingdom. The more we contribute towards the building of the body of Christ, the more we will experience the blessings of God in our life, family, education, business and all that concerns us. It is my prayer that God will grant us the grace to enthrone his word in our life. Peace be with you. Amen.