HOMILY 3RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
THEME: SUNDAY OF THE WORD OF GOD.
BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya
1 Corinthians 1:10-13. 17
On this third Sunday in ordinary time, now dedicated as the Sunday of the Word of God, the gospel text of today talks about the call of the first four apostles: Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. Jesus came to the region of Zebulun and Naphtali bringing the light of the Good news to the people who sit in darkens, preaching repentance and the nearness of God’s kingdom to them.
In order to be able to reach out to many other regions where people were still in darkness, Jesus called to follow him four fishermen as disciples. It is surprising to note that Jesus encounters them in their work-places, not in a place of worship! And it is Jesus who goes out to meet and invite them.
Is it possible that Jesus could be coming out to meet us too as we are immersed in our own daily activities? Secondly, Jesus’ first disciples were hard-working, not a bunch of poor or lazy men! They may be illiterates though, but definitely not poor or lazy.
As professional fishermen, their occupation was to capture and bring death to fish (as fish cannot survive outside water). But as fishers-of-men, it becomes their occupation to capture men out of the ocean of darkness, sin and death, thereby, bringing life to men (unlike death to fish. The ocean of darkness is not man’s natural habitat, so we can actually survive outside of it).
Jesus continues to call us too today, in our various working places. But do we respond by following him with the same urgency with which the four fishermen did? We shouldn’t think it was easy for them to abandon their means of livelihood.
Christ is calling out to us too today. His call is a whisper and many of us don’t hear it because we are distracted doing our own things. The call of Jesus is the same one that compelled the disciple in the gospel to leave everything and follow him. That same call has inspired countless men and women of each generation to get up from what they were doing and dedicate their lives to following him.
He’s calling us to help bring the light of the Good news to men and women of our time who still sit in darkness. But we ourselves first have a lot to leave behind to follow Him. We have to leave behind our own sinfulness (sinning is like an occupation for many of us).
So let us this week examine the foundations of our Catholic faith, ask ourselves whether everything we do is a reflection of those beliefs, and whether the things we do follow the pattern set forth for us by Jesus. We see through Matthew today that salvation was a long process but that our Covenant is a continuation and fulfilment of the Hebrew Covenant, and that, too, is all about the Messiah and the saving grace of God. Christ is indeed the new Adam, the healer, the giver of grace, and he went around proclaiming the Good News of God’s kingdom.
He’s calling us too, to join in the task of bringing men out of darkness by letting our light (the light of Christ) shine unto them. Don’t say “who am I” Just make yourself AVAILABLE and Christ who calls you will make you CAPABLE!
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