From the Pastor's Desk
ORDINARY TIME THIRD WEEK
Describing the humble beginning of the public ministry of Jesus, today’s Scripture readings teach us that Christ has brought us from darkness of sin into the Light (4:16) by calling us to repentance (4:17) and the acceptance of God’s rule.
The first reading contains the prophetic reference to Christ as the Light that dispels darkness. Matthew wanted his readers to recognize that the Light Isaiah spoke of had finally appeared with the coming of Jesus.
The second reading advises the Corinthians to live as children of the Light, avoiding divisions and rivalries, because several factions had arisen among the Corinthian Christians, each claiming allegiance to its first Christian teacher or to a particular Apostle.
In today’s Gospel passage (Mt 4:12-23), Matthew explains that what had been prophesied by Isaiah had been fulfilled through the preaching and healing ministry of Jesus. By his ministry of inviting people to the Kingdom of God through repentance, Jesus brought Light to peoples living in darkness, thus fulfilling God’s original promise. In addition, the Gospel describes the call of the first disciples (4:18-22), and Jesus’ own teaching and healing ministry, inviting people to repent of their sins and accept the Good News of God’s rule (Kingdom of God), which he was preaching. Ordinary fishermen with no formal training in Mosaic Law were chosen to preach the Good News. They were to be very effective instruments in the hands of Jesus to continue His mission.
1) We need to appreciate our call to be Christ’s disciples: Every one of us is called by God, both individually and collectively. The call is both a privilege and responsibility. The mission of preaching, teaching and healing which Jesus began in Galilee is now the responsibility of the Church and of each individual Christian. Our response to the call begins with our Baptism and the other Sacraments of Initiation. That response is strengthened through the years by the Eucharist and Reconciliation and is made manifest in Matrimony or Holy Orders. We are healed and consoled in the Anointing which also prepares us for death. As we respond to Christ’s call we gain spiritual strength through our personal and family prayers, our Sacramental life and our faithful study of the Bible and Church’s teachings.
2) We need to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom: When we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are sent forth to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom and to defend the Catholic faith. Each Christian has received a unique call to preach the Good News of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation through his or her daily life. This call challenges us to rebuild our lives, homes and communities in the justice and peace that Jesus proclaims. As we continue with the celebration of the Holy Mass, let us ask the Lord Jesus to give us the strength and perseverance to answer his calling, so that we may faithfully serve the Lord, doing his Divine will as best as we can by cooperating with his grace.