Third Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr D. Mazibuko OSM
Click here for Sunday’s readings

1st reading: Isaiah 8:23-9:3
2nd reading: I Cor 1:10-13.17
Gospel: Matt 4:12-23

We conclude this month with the Sunday of the Word of God as decreed by Pope Francis in the Apostolic Letter Aperuit Illis. The Holy Father implores and encourages all Christians to give themselves a moment to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in the dialogue between the
Lord and his people as contained in Sacred Scripture. We want to ponder on the Word and its riches for our souls.

The Word of God is a major pillar for our discipleship, for through the proclamation of the word, we hear God speaking to us through the Sacred Scriptures. We hear of His closeness to our plight. And so this Sunday we give thanks to God for the Word and his presence in the Word.

The readings for this Sunday present a plethora of richness for our souls. The first reading and the gospel present pregnant themes for our spirituality. It has always been an interesting observation in my reflection that the moment God is not present in one’s journey or project, there is no light and definitely no progress. Unless God is present and is the pillar, darkness will engulf that one’s journey. The people who live in darkness see no light. They live in darkness, because they are engulfed by darkness.

In the first reading, we hear how people walked in darkness before seeing the great light. Life without God in it is filled with darkness and emptiness. Allowing God to be of our life brings light and true life. In the gospel, Jesus ushers a new era, an era of light. This comes through repentance. When we repent we allow the light of Christ to permeate our life. Darkness will be a thing of the past. Heeding to the call to repentance is the first step of inviting the light of Christ into our life. This will be possible if we give ourselves time to ponder on the richness of the word that Pope Francis calls to.

In the gospel, we see a generous response an immediate response from and of the first disciples in that at that instance, ’they left everything and followed him’. Are we different from them? Is our response going to be different from theirs? Are we going to cling on to the era prior to Christ and his call? The inviting and call to leave the era engulfed with darkness calls for an immediate response. The call to repentance calls for an immediate response for the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Our moment of living and bearing witness to the light is close at hand. Our moment of living out our Baptism is now, the true light which is Jesus himself has arrived. Listening to the Word calls for our response. Like the first disciples, Jesus awaits for our response to follow him. Indeed the Scriptures contains so much richness for our own good. A new era with Jesus awaits us, an era filled with grace and truth which is Jesus himself. It is therefore up to us once again this Sunday to respond generously to the invitation. ‘Follow me’