3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (homily)
It is almost coming to a year that I have not preached or proclaimed the Word of God from the pulpit during Mass. To prepare and even to deliver a homily, to date, it is not an easy task for me. It still creates some tension and pressure to prepare for it. After that, the stress will just leave and replaced by immense relief and peace of mind. A little hush hush, it is more difficult especially when it comes to the themes on repentance and forgiveness. However, since it is a part of my priestly ministry, I always prepare a little bit further by spending more time in prayer. It’s always then that God always stretches His hand out to me and gives me the strength, to proclaim His Words, faithfully.
This Sunday’s Gospel speaks about Jesus, beginning His public ministry. He went to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel, inviting people to repent and believe in the Gospel. Repentance is not just about being feeling sorry, regret, shame, penitence or remorse, but it is also about accepting or responding to the Word of God, ponder them in our hearts and act on conversations that we have with God. When we faithfully accept these Word of God, it opens and patiently transforms our hearts and, in His time, changes our outlook. It constantly renew our commitments in our words, thoughts and actions in our lives.
We celebrate the annual observance of the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time as “Sunday of the Word of God,” a Sunday that we focus our hearts and minds in reading and studying, reflecting and putting into practice the Word of God in our daily lives. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his Apostolic Letter, “Aperuit Illis”, no.2, suggests to us, “a day devoted to the Bible should not be as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scripture and of the Risen Lord…” who reveals His Mystery of Salvation in His words, sacraments and all events in our lives.
When we turn away from sinning, then the way we think about God and the way of our lives will fall naturally in a right way, in the correct way, i.e. towards God. The Word of God has the power to change our minds and save us from destruction, as the Word of God truly let us know God, our Father, better. The coming of Christ is at hand, we pray that the Holy Spirit continue to empower us to live the life of Jesus and to carry out His mission to the world.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy