Sermon and homily for the third sunday in ordinary time year a

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 67
Reading 1 IS 8:23-9:3

First the Lord degraded the land of Zebulun
and the land of Naphtali;
but in the end he has glorified the seaward road,
the land west of the Jordan,
the District of the Gentiles.

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom
a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy
and great rejoicing,
as they rejoice before you as at the harvest,
as people make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
Responsorial Psalm PS 27:1, 4, 13-14

R/ (1a) The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R/ The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Reading 2 1 COR 1:10-13, 17

I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that all of you agree in what you say,
and that there be no divisions among you,
but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.
For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers and sisters,
by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you.
I mean that each of you is saying,
“I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,”
or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.”
Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel,
and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,
so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

Gospel MT 4:12-23

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness among the people.

Or MT 4:12-17

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested,
he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali,
that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet
might be fulfilled:
Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

———————————————————————————————

Sermon will be updated Soon

The mission of Jesus begins according to the prophet Isaiah

Prophet Isaiah has already prophesied about the mission of Jesus before many years. According to the prophet Isaiah the messiah will begin his ministry in  the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali.

In today’s Gospel passage, according to St. Mathew Jesus begins his ministry  in Capernaum by the sea,
in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.

This is the very clear indication  that Jesus is the promised messiah whom all the prophets have spoken about in the  Scripture.

Whoever familiar with the scripture especially with the Old Testament will understand that Jesus is the promised messiah who will redeem many people from their sins.

My resolution

If you want to know fully about Jesus, you must familiar with the scriptures. Everyday at home you have to read bible both the Old Testament and the New Testament to understand how God has been working in the history to redeem his people. The more you read the Bible the more God will reveal many things  to you.

Jesus is the  great light according to prophet Isaiah.

The prophet Isaiah sees messiah as the great light. When messiah comes the people of nations will see a great light. whoever lives in darkness will see the great light. whoever lives in bondage will experience freedom.

In today’s Gospel passage  as Jesus begins his ministry the whole mission of Jesus summarized in few words.

“the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.” Mt  12.16

As prophet Isaiah mentioned about the  coming messiah before years the mission of Jesus also to show light  to those who are in darkness and redemption from all the bondage.

You will find more Bible verses about light here  to enrich  you sermon. 

My resolution

Sometime you may not know that you are living in darkness. If you live in sins you live in darkness and bondage. You will not have light in your soul. Your soul has died already. If you want redemption from all the bondage in your life you need to accept Jesus. The moment you accept Jesus  you will see the great light in your soul and  and there won’t be any anxiety or bondage in your life. Jesus is the great light and the devil is the great darkness

The first sermon of Jesus is “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

When I was studying my theology in the seminary  my Scripture professor, now he is the bishop of a diocese, told me  like this,

“Do not preach what people like to hear,

but preach what people need to hear”

I think this beautiful quote might have come from the life of Jesus.

This sentence is the first  sermon of Jesus as he begins his ministry.. Jesus did not preach long sermons  with lots  of attractive words works. Jesus did not preach what people like to hear, rather he preached what people need to hear.

Jesus has not come to this world to give more earthly blessings. or to heal  the sick or to perform marvelous works.  Today many introduce Jesus to others as the healer or giver of earthly wealth.

Jesus has come to this world  to redeem your soul from sins and darkness. In every miracles and sermons of Jesus , he wanted to heal the soul from darkness. Jesus wanted to give you new life and not  the earthly material things.

Jesus also has promised that, “But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”

The message  of Jesus to all is to repent from sins. There are more bible verses about repentance  here.

My resolution

Do not search for Jesus as wealth giver or wonder workers.  Jesus is inviting us to repent from our sinful life.  If we carefully listen to the message of Jesus  nothing than the repentance of life. Jesus has given the beautiful statement for discipleship, Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

A Truly Inspiring Story of Repentance

This is an extremely beautiful and moving story that I found in the book RETURN: Repentance and Confession, Return to God and to His Church, by Arch. Nektarios Antonopoulos, and published by Akritas Publications. It is originally from the New Anthology of St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite. We can clearly see that, though there is imminent danger to our souls if we remain unrepentant, Christ always receives back those who desire to return to Him.

“St. Germanos of Constantinople, in one of his works on repentance, writes that a certain Christian who was overcome by the demon of fornication, fell into this sin every day, and every day confessed it again with tears, saying: ‘Lord, have mercy on me and take this temptation from me, because I am overcome by sensual pleasure and there is no person in whose face I am capable of seeing your pure image and of taking joy in your most sweet countenance.’ He went out of the church and again fell into sin. However he did not despair but, repentant, ran straight back to church. And this went on for many years – it must have been more than ten. And God, in his love for man, patiently awaited and sought his repentance.”

“So one day, having sinned yet again, he ran back into church, fell on the ground and, sighing from the depth of his heart, lamented and wailed, compelling God in his mercy and love to take pity on him and help him, so that he could be set free from the mire of his sin. The devil, however, seeing that he was being defeated through his repentance, become insolent and, making himself visible, appeared before the door of the church and, turning away his gaze, cried out: 

“‘Damn and blast it! Why do you pursue me so, Jesus, Son of God? Your infinite compassion defeats me. Why do you accept back this impure fornicator who lies to you and spurns you every day? Why don’t you reduce him to a cinder with a thunderbolt instead of showering forbearance and waiting for him to return? You are not just, therefore, but you judge unjustly and overlook man’s sins whenever it suits you. As for me, you cast me down from heaven and didn’t take pity on me at all, just because I showed a little pride. And yet, how is it that just because he howls before you, this liar and fornicator, you have compassion on him and heed him so you can show him mercy? Why are you called just then? For I see that you accept people and in your great love for them you overlook what is just.’ And saying all this with much bitterness, he puffed out flames from his nostrils.”

“At once a voice from the holy altar was heard saying: ‘You evil and destructive dragon, you who are not satisfied with swallowing up the whole world, but rush to seize this man also, who has fallen on my infinite mercy. Can you show me enough of his sins which would be equal to the blood I shed for the salvation of sinners? My sacrifice and death atoned for his sins. When he comes to you with his sins why do you receive him with glee, hoping to gain him, and not turn him away? And I, who am merciful and good, and commanded my apostle Peter to forgive his brother seventy times seven a day, or four hundred and ninety times, that is without measure, why should I not forgive him? Yes, I will forgive him and because he hastens to me I will not turn him away until I have won him; because I was crucified for the sake of sinners and I laid out my hands on the cross in order that whoever desires to be saved might find refuge in me. In my kindness I do not turn anyone away, even if that person comes to me countless times a day and then leaves me again; for I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentence.'”

“And all the while the devil stood trembling, unable to move from the spot. Then the voice was heard again saying: ‘Listen, you deceiver and enemy of truth, as to what you accuse me of: since I am indeed just, as I find man so shall I judge him. And since this man humbles himself before me in repentance, confessing his sins and pleading for mercy, I will take his soul now and I will give him a crown like that of a saint; for he endured for so many years trusting in my goodness and did not despair of his salvation. As for you, O tormentor, see how much honour his soul will be granted.'”

“And then the brother, prostrate on the floor of the church before the icon of Christ the Saviour and lamenting and wailing, gave up his spirit. And immediately a company of angels appeared and took up his soul with much glory and rejoicing and brought it to a place of rest. Then the wrath of God fell upon Satan like a tongue of flame.”

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