WITH ST. MARY'S
THE THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Listen to your calling and be the disciple you were meant to be.
THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
The influence and power of Christ’s presence was enough to cause some men to leave all they knew behind just so that they could follow him. Unlike us, the words of Christ were perfect in their expression of the thoughts and desires of God - Christ wasn’t just the Son of God, he was the Word of God, the fullest expression of divinity according to our senses. This Word was far more powerful, far more appealing, and far more meaningful than what other humans can express in their speech. As we celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God this weekend, we must remind ourselves that the story of Christ, his life as expressed in the Gospels and the proclamation of this Word at Mass, is the real and true presence of God among us.
READ THIS SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
The message of Christ’s public ministry was not just mercy and compassion; it was love expressed through the warning words of a prophet. John the Baptist went throughout Israel, baptizing people and preaching that the Kingdom of God was near. When John the Baptist was arrested and his public ministry was put on hold, Christ began to go out more openly, preaching a similar message. However, Christ was the Kingdom of God that John was warning people about and preparing the way for. As Matthew tells us in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The Kingdom was finally here because God, out of love, gave it to us. In order to participate in His Kingdom, though, we need to repent for our sins. This is what Christ, and John the Baptist before him, so desperately wanted the people to hear. Some heard it and followed it, but others didn’t . Some continue to hear the words of the Gospel today but actively reject them. Christ and the morality and spirituality he preached are inseparable; unlike us sinful humans who may say one thing and think another, this did not exist in Christ. His Word was perfect and precisely expressed what it was he wanted the world to know about him, His Father, and their love for us. For those who kept their hearts open to the Word of God, hearing it as it spoke to them was a direct encounter with the divine. The Word said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once, they left their entire livelihoods behind so that they could follow him and serve him. When we read the Gospel or when we experience the Word of God at Mass, are our hearts stirred in the same way as those Apostles? It should. If not, we are keeping our hearts only slightly ajar in the case there is something else we want to pursue. Christ cannot enter into our hearts if we are not entirely open like the Apostles. If you treat the Word of God as divinity itself expressed perfectly through Christ, you will find that this is the way to communicate to God. This is how we speak to Him, which all of us so desperately want to do. Through His Word, He speaks back to us. Listen to Him. Read the Scriptures and find out what God is trying to express to you.
Family activity to do at home: The Bible is often called the Word of God because it expresses to us what God desires to tell us. If this is true, we can go to the Bible and know exactly what God is speaking to us, whether that is through answers to our prayers or if it is just a piece of advice we need to hear. As Catholics, it is also important for us to recognize that the Mass is deeply biblical. It would not make any sense without Scripture, which means that we can also communicate with God and listen to what He has to say to us by participating in the Mass. Read the activity below to better understand the relationship between the Bible and the Mass, both as full expressions of the Word of God.