Homily for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C (2)

Theme: Incarnate the Good News in You!
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Sunday January 23 2022
Lk 1:1-4,4:14-21
The month of January is proclaimed National Bible Month. The last week of January is National Bible Week, and every last Monday of January, our country celebrates the National Bible Day. During this month, therefore, we are given the opportunity to reflect on the essential importance of the Word of God in our lives and in the life of the world.
The Word of God cannot in any way be likened to the word of man. It is infinitely beyond the concept and realm of human words. The Letter to the Hebrews said, “Indeed, the Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart” (4:12).
Why is the Word of God so powerful and effective? It is because it is not just a spoken word. Rather, it is a Being, a Person, and indeed, it is God Himself. This is expressed in the opening words of St. John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God. And the Word was God” (Jn 1:1). The Word is God Himself. And the Word did not remain abstract and distant from us: “And the Word was made flesh and made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. He is a real historical Person. The Apostle John testifies to this: “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life… we proclaim now to you” (1Jn 1:1,3).
In the Gospel this Sunday, Jesus proclaimed to His listeners in the synagogue: “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing” (Lk 4:21). He is the fulfillment of Sacred Scriptures for He is Himself the Word of God. He has come to fulfill the Good News of salvation: to proclaim the good news to the poor; to give freedom to the captives and slaves; to heal the sick, and to come to the aid of those in need.
And before going back to His Heavenly Father, Jesus gave a very important instruction to all His followers: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)
Jesus is the Incarnate Word of God. But He does not stop there. He wishes that the Word of God be also incarnated in His followers. This is where the problem lies. Many people think that the Word of God is just something we talk about and listen to. They do not realize that it must be lived and acted upon. Jesus is emphatic on this: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Mt 7:21). In other words, salvation does not depend on saying our prayers, reading the Bible or talking about the Word of God. It depends entirely on doing the will of God, obeying His commands and instructions.
Indeed, Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is very much alive and powerful in the world today. He continues to proclaim the good news to the poor, liberty to captives, comfort to the suffering and salvation to all. And the best part of this is: He does all these through the hearts and hands of His faithful followers who receive and live the Word of God. He uses them as His instruments for the salvation of the world.
In the midst of all forms of human suffering and tragedy, the Word of God challenges us to do something, to respond in charity, generosity, and compassion. In short, God’s Word must be incarnated in our lives so that we ourselves become the living Gospel, the Good News today.
Through a life completely permeated by the Word of God, may we make Jesus truly alive and active in this troubled world. As followers of Jesus, it is our mission to proclaim the good news to the poor, liberty to captives, comfort to the suffering and salvation to all – not only in words but more so in deeds. This is the “New Evangelization” that the world needs today.
In closing, let us reflect on the words of an anonymous writer:
“You are writing a Gospel, a chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do, and the words that you say.
Men read what you write, if it’s false or it’s true.
Now what is the Gospel according to you?” (A. Castle, Quotes and Anecdotes, p. 152)
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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