(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, January 22, 2017)
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time A
Our readings this weekend provide us with a timely warning. They speak loudly of the importance of "unity" and "light." How important for us who live in a world and in nation overshadowed by darkness and division!
Our Holy Father is most concerned about different faces of war against moral values and fellow Christians in the world. In the middle-East, there is a concerted effort to drive out natives in those lands who have worshipped in their churches for thousands of years. Burnings of churches and murder of parishioners have caused an exodus of thousands of those who were among the first to follow the light of Christ.
Into the households divided comes the clear warning from this week's readings: Christ is the true light for the darkness. His message of love for all peoples is the true source of unity. The marvellous prophecy of Isaiah concerns the land of Zebulun and Naphtali which is in northern Galilee where Jesus lived and worked. Here will be a restoration of light with the coming of Jesus. In this week's Gospel, Matthew clearly refers to Isaiah's prophecy that "the people who lived in darkness have seen a great light."
Just as the people in Capharnaum sat in darkness until Jesus came, so too do those in our time and in our culture, await a new evangelization. Only recently in St. Peter's Square, our Holy Father strongly af- firmed that we bear the responsibility of being light-bearers to a world in crisis. To be light-bearers, we must also be unifiers.
Each year in January, both Catholics and Protestants seek to mend fences. Much good is done through these celebrations. But we must also strive harder for unity within our own Catholic communities. Both clergy and people committed to their care need to be united. Working for unity is ongoing. It means strug- gling to let go of suspicions and false assumptions. It means prayer and discussion. When we are unified, we stand a much better chance of influencing the society in which we live.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor