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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
O sing a new song to the Lord;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
In his presence are majesty and splendor,
strength and honor in his holy place. Ps 96 (95):1, 6
(When it is prescribed, this hymn is either said or sung:)
Glory to God in the highest,
Daily Meditation: Mark 1:14-20
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming. . . . “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14, 15)
Today, as we near the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Church also celebrates the Sunday of God’s Word. How fitting, then, that the readings today look at two proclaimers of God’s word: Jonah and Jesus. Both proclaimed God’s word, and both witnessed the power of that word to unite the people who heard it.
Although Jesus and Jonah were similar, their differences are even more significant. Unlike Jonah, Jesus was no reluctant prophet. On the contrary, he moved with determination from village to village in his desire to preach God’s word (Mark 1:38-39). Also unlike Jonah, Jesus didn’t preach only repentance. He also announced that God’s time of redemption had finally come. In Jesus, we see the Word of God himself breaking into history and gathering all God’s children into one. As Jesus would later say, “Something greater than Jonah [is] here” (Matthew 12:41).
How amazing it must have been to see and hear Jesus, the Word of God, walking this earth! But our celebration of God’s word today reminds us that we have that same powerful Word available to us every time we read the Scriptures or hear them proclaimed at Mass. Jesus is always speaking to us.
So just as God’s word touched the hearts of people in Nineveh and Galilee, it can move us to repentance and faith. Just as Jesus’ words moved Simon and Andrew to leave their nets and follow him, they can move us to reorder our priorities and follow Jesus more closely. And just as Jesus’ words called both Jews and Gentiles into one Church, God’s word can bring us to unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ. As Pope Francis said when instituting Word of God Sunday, “The word of God unites believers and makes them one people” (Aperuit Illis, 4).
“Lord, change us by your word, and make us one so that the world might believe.”
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
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