Date: Sunday, January 26, 2020
Without looking above the Ambo and to the right, what are the words carved into stone? -- Word, Life and Light! We see these three words every time we come into Church. How often do we notice them and fail to ponder their significance? They describe the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry in the Gospel according to Matthew.
After Jesus hears of the arrest of John the Baptist, he returns to Galilee and makes his home not at Nazareth but at Capernaum (Kup-PER-nee-m). A fishing village on the Sea of Galilee. For Matthew the Evangelist, the coming and return of Jesus to Galilee fulfills the Word of God, the prophesy of Isaiah: “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light.” On those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death, in Jesus, there is new life.
As Jesus walks along the Sea of Galilee, he calls Simon and his brother Andrew who are casting their net into the water: “Come after me…” Then Jesus calls James and John who are mending their nets. They leave their father and way of living behind to be with Jesus. They will discover that Jesus is God’s Word, God’s light and God’s life.
Jesus proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom beginning in synagogues. Synagogues are local places of learning. The service includes prayer, readings from the Torah and Prophets, and teachings. A respected person attending the service would be invited to speak. We should see in the synagogue service our Liturgy of the Word.
Pope Francis has declared the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time to be Sunday of the Word of God. The Pope is reminding Catholics of how important Sacred Scripture is for all of us who desire to come to know Jesus. We are blessed with Lectors/Readers who proclaim the Word of God at Mass. We have close to 100 parishioners who gather regularly in small groups to Break Open the Word. We have Bible Study in the morning and in the evening to nourish people hungry for a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture. We have Msgr. Rich Siepka and our Deacons Joe, Dennis and Jim who always preach on Sacred Scripture. Today, at Eucharist, we have a Blessing for our Readers to honor their ministry to underscore how important the Word of God is for us – a beacon of light and source of life. Let us commemorate the Sunday of the Word of God!