January 22nd 2023
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
It is only by being with Jesus that God is known; he is just listening.
Today’s lectionary presents the beginnings of Jesus’ preaching and the calling of the first disciples. Illuminated by Christ, the light of the people, the Christian community is invited to be a credible witness of good news of the Kingdom. Factions and divisions within it would make the unique Cross of Christ into a vain foundation of salvation and unity among all the baptized. The reduction of a Christian community to a mass of groups dominated by various leaders means reducing the Body of Christ to a body of broken bones. The new nature of the Kingdom that Jesus inaugurates implies the urgency of conversion, which is not just a moral change of life (from bad to good). The evangelical conversion has a theological meaning. What man must change is his image of God. Jesus, starting from the Sermon on the Mount, will in fact reveal an unprecedented face of God. What then makes this change possible is the following of Jesus. It is only by being with him that God is known; it is only by hearing his word that one acquires a new world view. Whoever follows Jesus faithfully is introduced by him into the mysteries of the Kingdom. Finally, it should not be forgotten that the bond with Christ does not separate the disciple from men. Indeed, Jesus says to them: “I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). If it is true that in the case of fish, catching it means making it die, to fish a man is, on the contrary, to remove him from what makes him a prisoner of evil and sin, means, in one word, make it live. This is the mission of the disciples: to make man live by giving him hope.
Commentary by b. Sandro Carotta, osb Abbazia di Santa Maria – Praglia (Italy)
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey