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常年期第三主日. Homily 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time January 22, 2023


Homily 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

January 22, 2023

Franklin Fong, OFM


So where are we in the liturgical year? During Advent we prepared for Jesus’ coming to be born. Then we celebrated his birth and epiphany. Now we are attentive to what Jesus says and does in his public ministry. What he says and does are meant for us today as well as his followers then. So, in todays readings Jesus tells us that he is the light of the world!



Today’s first reading starts with the reference to “the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali” and “Galilee of the nations” or Gentiles. This particular reading is also used at the Midnight Mass at Christmas. The big difference between the midnight mass reading and that if today’s reading is that light of Christ is in the form of the baby Jesus at Christmas and that light of Christ of today’s readings is in the form of the light of Christ at the beginning of his public ministries. 


Christianity is about light. Just as Jesus is light to the world, so his church is to be light in a world of darkness. Light enables the beauty of things to be seen, and we are called to make the beauty of the world shine. But we are not to call attention to ourselves: if you are aware of the light in a room, it is too bright. Rather, our vocation is for others, not ourselves. The darkness of the Gentile world which hadn’t heard the Good News of the graces of God’s gifts through Christ is where the light of Christ is needed !


This reading should encourage those who feel they are living in the dark. They will soon see the light. The Lord will soon intervene in their lives. Sadness is not the last word as God is good and God speaks through the prophets and the people who cheer you up.


Psalm 27 is about us acknowledging that God is our light. That we must know our priority is to seek God and to dwell in his place and must believe that one day God will pour out his blessings upon us. We don’t give despair even the slightest chance in our life.


The Second Reading, from Paul to the Corinthians, suggests another kind of unfinished apostolic business—healing divisions within the Church. The Corinthians are indulging in rivalries that threaten the unity of the body of Christ. Having been unified by baptism and faith, they are now allowing factions to pull them apart. The gathered people are allowing themselves to be scattered. Paul answers by reminding them that this motley crowd were first gathered into unity by their discovery of the power and wisdom of God in Christ crucified and in the life of mutual service to which that discovery drew them. 


So we now see that the darkness may be about the conflict and rivalries in the world, We need not look far to find analogies to Paul's Corinthian community in our Church today. Look at how many different branches and forms of the Christian church exist from protestant, orthodox, reformed, Catholic, Episcopal organizations. In the secular world we only have to look at political conflicts and rivalries such as the refugees showing up at our borders, and as the war in Ukraine.  


Our baptism in Christ should unite us, regardless of who baptized, catechized, or helped us in our faith. Divisions and rivalries have no place in the Christian communities.


In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus leaves Nazareth for Capernaum to fulfill the promise of bringing light to the Jordan. He preached that the Kingdom of God requires reform. Indeed it does. So it was for the church of Peter and Paul. So it is for us today.


In the “always reforming” life of the church, at least two principles seem important. First, every one of us, from pope to pauper, from theologian to activist, from grandparent to child, stands humbly before God as a sinner called to conversion and salvation in Jesus Christ. There can be no other ground or principle from which we can approach our various gifts or deficiencies.


Second, it is good to recall the kinds of people Jesus chose for Apostles: from the fishermen brothers, Simon and Andrew, to Matthew and John, they were all flawed yet graced. They would go on to heal and preach a kingdom that would draw millions to Christ. And what always helped them overcome their differences was the sure knowledge that it was in Christ’s name they were fishing, not their own.


Now is the time to be out and about, to be seen and heard, to pursue group interests. Such group orientation or connectedness permeates this reading as it does the entire Bible. The lives of the Baptizer, the disciples, and healed clients are entirely intertwined with Jesus.


 Jesus’ group-oriented culture lived by second nature by the founders of our American roots. Their values of Organize! Build your network! It’s the only way you can win have been deeply entrenched in our American ways of life. We see it today in all the discussion about how the two major political parties are trying to walk together in building a better USA !  


The universality of the gospel is intended for all. We in faith do not deny the present darkness of evil, but we find help to cope with threatening despair, We can look through and BEYOND present crises because the purposes of God are worked out in the long run. 


So take some time to reflect on the different ways that the Chinese Catholic Community has come together over these past 45 years. In what ways has this community shown its strength by being a community and simply a group . Let us especially pray in thanksgiving for the way the Holy Spirit has guided us to bring that light of Christ to the world !


Brothers and sisters of the Chinese Catholic Community 

of St Leander Parish, that is

 the Good News for this 3rd Sunday of ordinary Time.

Alleluia Alleluia !






讀經一: 依撒意亞先知書 8:23 - 9:3
讀經二: 聖保祿宗徒致格林多人前書 1:10-13, 17
瑪竇福音: 4:12 - 23


聖詠第 27 篇是關於我們承認天主是我們的光。我們必須知道我們的首要任務是尋求上主並住在他內,並且必須相信有一天上主會把他的祝福傾注在我們身上,我們不要給絕望絲毫機會。
在讀經二,從聖保祿給格林多人的書信中,提出了另一種未完成的使徒工作 -- 醫治教會內部的分歧。格林多人縱容分裂對抗,對教會合一構成威脅。他們因洗禮和信仰而合而為一,但卻允許派系分裂。保祿提醒他們,這群不同背景的群體之所以聚集一起,是因為他們發現了被釘十字架的基督的能力和智慧,這發現吸引了他們過著互相服務的生活。

聖利安達堂區華人天主教會的弟兄姊妹們, 這就是常年期第三主日的好消息。