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Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Homily for the Third (3rd) Sunday in Ordinary Time of the Year C (January 24 2016)



Theme: The Power of God’s Unchanging Word in Man’s Changing World
Today’s readings present us with the centrality and significance of the Word of God among believers. The first reading (Nehemiah 8:2-4.5-6.8-10) traces this centrality and significance back to the ancient Jewish community. Ezrah the priest and great scribe was asked to read the Word of God to the hearing of the Jews who had gathered. He read the sacred text devoutly before them, they prayed and the Levites explained the Word.

In the gospel reading (Luke 1:1-4.4:14-21), the evangelist narrates how Jesus visited the Jewish community in the synagogue and read the Word of God to their hearing. The most significant thing about this event was Jesus’ proclamation of His mission statement “to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy”.


We observe that all Jesus came to do were concerned with the proclamation of the gospel and that was why He told them that the passage from the prophet Isaiah which He just read has been fulfilled as they listened to Him. Thus, He revealed Himself as the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among men. This was not only confirmed by the words He spoke but also by the signs and actions that He performed.

The Word of God should increase our joy and liberate us from darkness each time we encounter it. The Word of God is the revelation of the will of God for us made concrete in signs and symbols comprehensible to us. These signs and symbols contain in themselves the power to effect what they represent and symbolize. Over and above all, in it Jesus who is the eternal Word is made manifest.

In the first reading, the Israelites experienced great joy when they encountered the Word of God from the mouth of Ezra. In the gospel reading also, the Jews were marveled after listening to Jesus. What is your response each time you hear the Word of God? We observe that in our Churches today, we are gradually losing sight of the value of the Word of God. So many of us are uncomfortable with the Word of God while others are allergic to preaching. As a sign to prove this, so many come to Church late after the homily while others simply sleep during the homily.

However, as Christians, it is our duty to bring Christ to others by way of proclaiming Him to them just as Ezra did. We live in a changing world of man that needs the unchanging Word of God. The poor and the sorrowful need the consoling Word of God. The ignorant in our midst needs the enlightening Word of God, while the sick needs the healing Word of God. That is why today, we are called to be ministers of the Word of God bringing it to the frontiers of the human environment.

For this reason, St Paul compares the Christian community in need of the Word of God to the human body. Though made up of various parts, each part performs a unique duty for the good of the entire body. As one single body – Christians, we have diverse interests and fields of endeavour. These interests and fields of endeavour also require to be evangelized with the spiritual gifts we have received from God. 

Therefore, where is your area of interest or field of endeavour? Are you always on the internet? You can disseminate the Word of God there especially on the social networks. Are you in the business world? You can also build up the Christian community there. Are you in the lecture hall? You can also teach Christ to your students. Are you in the entertainment industry? Then you can also bring Christ into the industry. So let us be resolved today to make Christ the Word of God known in the world of man. God loves you. Happy Sunday!

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