Sunday Readings

Mission of light. Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Joseph Evans comments on the readings for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time and Luis Herrera offers a short video homily.

Joseph Evans-January 19, 2023-Reading time: 2 minutes

"Once the Lord humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but then He has filled with glory the way of the sea, the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles."we read in today's first reading from the prophet Isaiah.

But how did God humble Galilee, and how did He glorify it afterwards? He humbled it by allowing it to be razed to the ground by the brutal Assyrian invaders in the eighth century B.C. And he gave it temporary glory under the pious king of Judah, Hezekiah, who reconquered it, so that for a time it regained its splendor.

However, this brief glory was only a foreshadowing of the much greater glory that would come to Galilee when God himself, "the light of the world," would later become incarnate and live in the Galilean city of Nazareth.

Although veiled while walking the earth, Jesus Christ, "the true light, which enlightens every man."came into the world in Galilee (Jn 1:9), so that John could write later: "We have beheld his glory, glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father." (Jn 1:14).

Thus, in today's Gospel, Matthew appropriately applies to Jesus the words of Isaiah: "The people who walked in darkness saw a great light; they dwelt in earth and shadows of death, and a light shone on them"..

Christ then begins his "mission of light" by calling for repentance, teaching and proclaiming the kingdom and healing sickness. Turning away from sin - the deepest form of darkness - and returning to truth brings light to the world, as well as tender care for those experiencing suffering.

But, for this mission Christ sought the cooperation of men, particularly through his Church, and thus we see him call his first disciples. He says to them: "Come after me and I will make you fishers of men."

In other words, you will be my instruments to bring people out of the darkness of the sea - which symbolizes chaos and death - to the light of day and to dry land, which symbolizes life and security in God.

We see some apostles casting their nets into the sea, and others mending them. The work of evangelization, of bringing light to the world, must be a constantly renewed effort, with frequent reviews, evaluations and, when necessary, rectification, to correct what has gone wrong.

Today is also Word of God Sunday. The Word of God in the Writing is light for the world and light for our souls, and we must try to bring it to others in new and creative ways.

As St. Paul says to the Corinthians, it is far greater than mere human "wisdom," however eloquent it may be, because it contains within itself the power of the cross of Christ (1 Cor 1:17).

The more we plunge into the depths of God's Word, the more inspired we will be to launch ourselves into the work of evangelization.

Homily on the readings of Sunday, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa brief one-minute reflection for this Sunday's readings

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