Homily Third Sunday Year A Following the light

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Homily: Third Sunday Year A


Reading 1: The Church continues its reflection on Isaiah with a familiar theme we have seen during the Christmas season. There is darkness in the world and a light shines forth to dispel the darkness. The darkness is sin and the light is the person of Christ. Darkness is the absence of light. It is hard to see in total darkness, but with light we have some visibility.


The land of Zebulum and Neptalie were in gloom and distress because of the law of sin, which existed in the lives of the people. But when the light comes, which is the forgiveness of Christ—grace--, anguish gives way and distressed is lifted. Joy returns for the yoke of sin has been destroyed by the death and resurrection of Jesus.


How aware are we of the prevailing darkness as a result of sin. Life is not is sacred. But in today’s world it is treated less than sarcred. Abortion, murders, violence, bombings, lawlessness happen regularly. Darkness engenders fear and insecurity and revenge and retaliation. Only forgiveness and hope, love and trust in the Lord brings light into our heart and lives.


Gospel: Matthew ties us to the first reading indicating that Jesus is the light prophesied by Isaiah in his Galilean ministry. To respond to Jesus is first to repent of sin, recognizing that the life Jesus gives us will enable us to live now and forever in the kingdom of God, if we remain in the light and not live in darkness.


The second step is to follow him, to make and live a daily decision to follow him, to be discipled by him, to stay in the light. We have been baptized in Christ. Are we now children of the light or have we returned to darkness of sin and remained there? In that state we cannot freely follow Jesus.


We can become overwhelmed by the social darkness all around us that seeks to extinguish the light of the truth revealed by Jesus. That darkness is like a fog, slowly creeping in and enveloping us in it, unless we choose to stay in the light, which is Jesus.


Are we more moral or as moral or less moral as a nation today in comparison to fifty years ago? Sexual darkness is in our face twenty-four seven. Twenty years ago the media industry leaders made a public commitment to change the morals of this country and they are succeeding unfortunately.


The good news is that Jesus has defeated the power of darkness and his light will not be extinguished. We are called to choose each day to live in the light of Christ, so that the darkness cannot permanently overtake us.


Reading 2: Paul identifies one of the effects of the darkness of sin in the life of the Corinthian community. Though they had received the light of the message of the Gospel through Paul’s preaching and ministry, they allowed darkness to come back—the darkness that comes from division and separation, of pride and self-importance.


Paul reminds them that they were baptized by and in Jesus, not by the human instrument used by Jesus. Jesus is the one who set them free and united them to himself and to the community of believers. By their division and disunity they were not living in full relationship with Jesus, whose prayer is for unity among his followers.

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