Catechism Conection
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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A 2017


Catechism Connections
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A
Isaiah 8:23—9:3; Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17; 
Matthew 4:12-23
 
Ordinary time continues with the Third Week.  We recall the early days of Jesus’ public ministry, which began with a call to conversion.  Just as John the Baptist had been calling people to “Repent,” Jesus reiterates that call, for the kingdom of God is now at hand.  The first reading from Isaiah describes how different the land of Zebulun and Napthali appeared once they had seen the great light, and Jesus in the Gospel goes to the same area of Zebulun and Napthali to announce that the kingdom has indeed arrived, the time for repentance and conversion is at hand.  He is the light, as he goes forth calling disciples to come and follow him.  Paul cautions new disciples to stay unified and stay on point to the message of the Good News: we belong to Jesus Christ now, not to Cephas or to Paul or to this leader or that; we belong to Jesus, and the cross is testimony to that.  Psalm 27 acknowledges that the light has come.  With its verses comes a deep tranquility and peace: 
One thing I ask of the LORD’
this I seek;
to dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 1989, reminds us of that conversion, or turning of our hearts.  It is only by God’s grace that we turn, but the time has come to open ourselves to this grace, and to renew our interior selves.
 
From the Catechism:
 
1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high.  “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.”