Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday Mass - Jan 22, 2023 - Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fr. James Wallace
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Homily Video

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily Transcript

>>The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light. Jesus walked into the land of Zebulon and Neftali along the Sea of Galilee. Walking. Walking is something I really enjoyed doing and I’m sure many of you as well. Maybe not in this weather lately, but when I walk I just feel like I’m getting exercise. But I’m able to take in my surroundings and walking is to me is more prayerful than running, even though I run more.   

I don’t know why, but I could sense the Lord by my side when we’re walking and we’re not necessarily walking to a specific place unless I’m walking to a Dairy Queen down the street, but more just walking to enjoy. And like I said, to get some exercise. And it’s a form of prayer. And I obviously Christ did this as well. He walked he walked miles, hundreds of miles, thousands of miles throughout Capernaum. And the same verb for walking that we get in this gospel here at Matthew is the same verb for walking that we read in the book of Genesis.   

When God walked in the garden right after the fall of Adam and Eve, if you remember that scene, Adam and Eve have eaten the apple. Their eyes are open, they’re ashamed, they hide, and now God is walking. But it’s not like a leisurely walk – if there happens to be Dairy Queen, so I’ll stop in. But he’s on the lookout. He’s going after Adam and Eve, but he doesn’t necessarily want to condemn them or at that moment in time actually cast them out that they do that to themselves because they don’t ask for forgiveness for repentance, which is why Jesus says repent and believe in the gospel. But He wants to meet them and he wants to bring them back into his heart and ultimately forgive them.   

So, he’s walking with purpose now, Jesus doing the same thing. He’s walking with purpose. The light of the world, Christ the light of the world. Just like God created light. He walked down into the Garden of Eden and brought light and Adam and Eve and then walked to refine them. Here is Christ walking with a purpose.   

And the first people are the group of people, or the brothers, I should say, who wants to encounter who’s got to he’s on a mission for is Peter, and Andrew, James and John. They’re fishing along the Sea of Galilee. They’re fishing. They’re living their lives, but they’re not fulfilled. They’ve, in a way, experienced their own fall, like Adam and Eve had experienced their fall.  

Jesus doesn’t want to condemn them or cast them out of the new Garden of Eden, but he wants to invite them into something meaningful, something beautiful. And they’ll accept that invitation like Adam and Eve were unable to do. And they’ll drop their nets and they’ll walk alongside Jesus throughout this mission, taking in their surroundings, conversing with him, praying and ultimately inviting others to do the same thing. So walking. And what Jesus also will do is to give Peter and Andrew, James and John the ability to get rid of those burdens on their life. So that’s like when I go for a walk, I kind of forget about what maybe some burdens are, what I’m doing in the office. I’m just out there with the Lord. He smashed their burdens like the day of Midian. We read in the Prophet Isaiah.   

Just real quick, Gideon was a judge in Israel and they went to attack the Midianites and he had only 100 men and he was going against thousands and thousands of the enemy forces. And what they did, he had his hundred men smash a clay pot, release a light, and then shout out for the Lord and for Gideon. And what happens is the enemy is freaked out by this. And they all, they run away and they actually run in circles and they destroy themselves. And then Gideon and the Israelites simply walk in to the city, walk in to paradise into their homeland. It’s an invitation for us as well, for Christ to walk alongside of us, for us to smash that clay pot, whatever our burden might be.  

The beautiful thing about walking, too, is you can do it with people. You know, running, there’s a disparity. So, like when I run with Father Scott, Father Scott always runs ahead of me because he’s so fast versus walking. We can walk side by side and we can talk and enjoy each other’s company. So maybe we accept that invitation to walk by the side of Lord this day and ultimately walk with him into paradise. Amen. 


First Reading:

Is 8:23—9:3

Second Reading:

1 Cor 1:10-13, 17


Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17 (67)

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