OMELIE / Omelie EN

22/01/2017 – 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time –year A

22/01/2017 – 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time –year A

Octave  for the unity of the Christians

1st reading Is 8,23b - 9,3 * from Psalm 26/27 * 2 reading 1Cor 1,10-13.17 * Gospel Mt 4,12-23

We are living days of intense prayer for a particular intention: the Church for many centuries suffers not only for the divisions of its own members, but also for the schisms and heresies. The temptation of division has always been present among the disciples of Jesus: Jesus had warned his disciples, when James and John had asked Him to be among those who command! Thus, he too prayed with intensity so that the one who divides (devil) will never win on his disciples’ lives. In this way he has indicated it is necessary to pray to have enough discernment and strength to be able to resist to the tempter. To pray for the unity of the Christians means entering in Jesus’ heart to join Him in asking the Father to protect us from devil. The divisions are multiple: those which originate from the avidity and egoism present in us, those which come from the diversity in expressing faith and in understanding the truths of faith, those of rebellion against the service of who carries out duties of authority and responsibility in the Church. Every division is disobedience to Jesus, is refusing His teaching, refusing to recognize His importance in our life.

Today the Lord repeats us the word which we have heard from John the Baptist on the second Sunday of Advent: “Convert yourself because the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand”. The closeness of the Kingdom announces the closeness of the King: He has arrived, and His arrival will bring a lot of changes to our life. The presence of the King of the Kingdom means that we stop doing what we think is good or what we judge to be the best thing to do, it means that we now only have to listen to Him.

“Convert”: this is Jesus speaking, therefore it is not only important but necessary. What does repentance-conversion mean? The word used by the evangelists involves a change in the way of thinking, and thus of reasoning and as a consequence also of living. Those who listened to Jesus were used to think that, yes, the Messiah will be coming as announced by the prophets, but who knows when!

And thus they were living as they have always lived. They were thinking that nothing would ever change and the Messiah would come in some centuries, when they will be already dead: in the same way we are waiting the end of the world! “Convert yourself” because the Kingdom is among us, means put yourself in the clothes of those who know the King is with us: the King has come, one needs to look for Him and recognize Him, because is possible already start following and serving Him. The King is with us, thus, let us look for His voice, His words and live His teachings. There is no need to discuss among us on what is good, better or the best, convenient or reasonable, but we need to listen to what He, or those who have been sent by Him, are telling us.

Simon and Andrew and the sons of Zebedee give us a first example. They take Jesus seriously, they listen to Him and they will continue to do so. They lived in the darkness, they were entangled by the things of the world, dragged by thoughts and worries of the world. Now they walk in the light: Jesus is always walking before them. They do not have fear and must not have fear. As the prophet says, “they rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest time and as exult when they are dividing the spoils”. Seeking, finding and listening to Jesus it is a great joy as it means to have finally accomplished the reason of life. With Him we have really the impression to be in the center of God’ Kingdom and that there is nothing more to be waiting or looking for. All we need is already with us.

We will fulfill then with joy and with decision our conversion. Conversion is necessary to be part of the Church, to be part of the Christian community. San Paul exhorts us with clearness: temptations do and will always exist, and they will always lead to discord. How can we overcome them? Being close to each other, the apostle says, starting with the way we talk to each other. For this reason it is necessary learn to listen, learn to stop and listen to the brothers, trying to understand and appreciate their love for the Lord. In the name of Lord Jesus’ love we can give importance to what He does in their lives and in their hearts. They too can be dominated by the temptations; before correcting them it is necessary to love them. However we always have to remind that Jesus saved us with his cross and therefore we also have to accept the cross of tolerance and patience, trying to consider others as better than us. We cannot presume that our love for Lord is more intense than others’ love. Furthermore we can not rule out the possibility that maybe the Lord is trying to talk to us just using that brother we are tempted to refuse. Jesus should always be in the center of our heart, instead of the dependence to the way of doing things, habits, words that can always be changed. There would not be discord and factions among us Christians, if we were always oriented to our Lord Jesus Christ.

We will then pray Him to give us and all our brothers the grace to continue and fulfill our conversion to Him!