3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

January 22, 2023


Click on video above to listen to homily; rewind/fast forward to other parts of liturgy

Sunday Mass

Homilist: Rev. Andrew Fisher
Guest Choir: Saint John Paul II Seminary Choir, Washington, D.C.
Archive Date: January 26, 2020

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Follow Me, and I will Make You Fishers of Men

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Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him.



3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)


Priest’s Introduction to the Mass

Today we hear titles given to Jesus, who is called the Son of God, the Lamb, and the true Servant who brings salvation to the whole world. His role is completely based on his relationship to God, whom he calls his Father. Our role is based on our relationship to Jesus, when we begin to know him as he is and what he is called to do. Like him, our task is to continually deepen the relationship that leads us to know who we are and what we are called to do. That noble work is never finished.


Follow Me

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Peter and Andrew and said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They left their nets. A little further down the way he saw James and John and called them. They, too, left their boat and their father and followed him. What was happening on that seashore? How can anybody explain the fact that four grown men simply left behind everything they had worked for to follow Jesus. What did their wives say?

Many will read the story of the fishermen as a pious tale, an exaggeration that doesn’t reflect the details of any real event. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor executed by the Nazis, would tell us that’s heresy, an example of cheap grace, a degradation of the Gospel. Bonhoeffer, with strong backup from Matthew and Mark, insists that when Jesus said “Follow me,” the disciples did just that. He says in The Cost of Discipleship: “Until that day … they could remain in obscurity, pursuing their work …observing the law and waiting for the coming of the Messiah.” But, he says, with Jesus’ call they had to get up and go. They could have stayed as they were, and Jesus could have been their friend, even their consoler, but he would not have been their Lord.


Planning this Sunday’s Mass

It is easy this week to see epiphany connections again. The first reading speaks of people who walked in darkness now seeing a great light, which leads to great rejoicing. The psalm picks up the theme of light: “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” St. Paul challenges the Corinthians (and us) to avoid divisions, since Christ died on the cross for all people. The Gospel quotes the first reading as Jesus begins preaching and calling disciples to help him proclaim the kingdom of God. Do you recognize epiphany themes of manifestation and worldwide mission in these texts?

SOURCE: Excerpts taken from the Cycle A Sunday Resources feature series of Celebration, the pastoral and worship planning resource (1972-2019). View the full series. Click on links to read all the content.

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

Isaiah 8:23-9:3

  • In the first reading, Isaiah preaches to people who are discouraged by war and oppression.
  • Among the first regions taken in the war were three sections of the northern Kingdom.
  • The prophet promises that God will again restore the land.

Let there be no factions among you

1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

  • In today’s second reading Paul gives his reaction to the divisions among the Corinthians.
  • The factions in the Corinthian church were dividing Christ’s Body.
  • Paul insists that through Baptism all become members of one body, the Body of Christ.

Come with me

Matthew 4:12-23

  • Because a majority of Matthew’s audience seems to have been Jewish Christians, the passage from Isaiah is used in today’s Gospel to explain the fact that Jesus’ ministry began in Galilee, not Jerusalem.
  • The substance of Jesus’ preaching is summarized, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
  • Jesus’ preaching calls for a radical change, the old way of living must be abandoned and a new way embraced.

SOURCES: Content adapted from OUR SUNDAY VISITOR  The clipart is from the archive of Father Richard Lonsdale © 2000. The clipart may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.

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