Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Gospel Reading:
Extracted from the holy Gospel according to Saint Mark 1:14-20
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.
It was the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time on 25 January 2015.
The Readings that were read in the Eucharistic Celebrations all over the world on the same day are shown in the previous page and above:
1st Reading: Jonah 3:1-5, 10,
Responsorial: Psalm 25:4-6, 7-9,
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 &
Gospel Reading: Mark 1:14-20.
We have extracted the Homilies of Blessed Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I based on the aforesaid Readings to share with you, so that you could similarly be encouraged:
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 26 January 1997
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Many people, reflecting on the state of our world, show dismay and sometimes even anxiety. They are overwhelmed at the way individuals and groups behave, for it reveals a disconcerting absence of values. And our thoughts naturally turn to recent news reports that cause a chilling sense of emptiness in those who watch them attentively.
How can we fail to ask ourselves about their causes; how can we not feel the need for someone to help us decipher the mystery of life and enable us to look to the future with hope?
In the Bible, those who have this mission are prophets. They are people moved by the Spirit, who do not speak in their own name but in God’s.
To his contemporaries, Jesus also appeared as a prophet; impressed, they recognized him as a “prophet mighty in deed and word” (Luke 24:19). By his life and especially by his Death and Resurrection, he was accredited as the prophet par excellence, being the Son of God himself. This is what the Letter to the Hebrews says: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
2. The mystery of the Prophet of Nazareth continues to call for our response. With the passing of the centuries and millenniums, his message, contained in the Gospels, is always timely. He himself said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Mark 13:31). In Jesus, his incarnate Son, God spoke the definitive word about man and about history, and the Church repeats it with ever new trust, knowing that it is the only word that can give man’s life its full meaning.
Jesus' prophetic message can often seem disturbing, but it is always salutary! Christ is a sign of contradiction (Luke 2:34), precisely because he touches the depths of the soul, he obliges those who hear him to question themselves, he demands conversion of heart.
3. May the journey towards the Jubilee be for believers a continual rediscovery of Christ. This is an urgent need which I have wished to emphasize by giving Mark’s Gospel to every Roman family. I hope that this initiative and others like it will increase in the Church.
May the Blessed Virgin help us to docilely hear the word of Jesus and to be its courageous, enthusiastic messengers and witnesses.
After praying the Angelus the Holy Father said:
Today we are celebrating World Leprosy Day. Leprosy is a painful social scourge which, on the threshold of the Year 2000, has unfortunately not been eliminated yet. I would like to extend a special blessing to all those affected by this disease, and particularly those who live in situations of greater hardship. I greet the members of the Friends of Raoul Follereau Association, named after a great champion of the fight against leprosy who died 20 years ago, and I exhort them to continue in this humanitarian work which I hope will always be backed by the international community’s institutions.
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 23 January 2000
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. I vividly recall the emotion I felt last Tuesday as we opened the Holy Door at the Basilica of St Paul-Outside-the-Walls during a solemn ecumenical celebration with Orthodox Metropolitan Athanasios, Anglican Archbishop George Carey and the representatives of many Churches and Ecclesial Communities. I wanted this event to coincide with the beginning of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, with the intention of showing how the restoration of Christian unity is a commitment we share and must inspire the great prayer being offered to the Lord in every part of the world during this Jubilee Year.
The act of opening together that Door, which is a symbol of Christ, was an eloquent sign encouraging us to continue on the path that still lies before us and for which we must above all continue to pray. I thank the Churches and Ecclesial Communities for sending their representatives, making it possible to give the world this sign of hope, and I assure them once again of my intention to support every action that will make our longing for unity ever more genuine and effective.
The day after tomorrow, the feast of the Conversion of St Paul, the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will be celebrated in the very basilica dedicated to him, with Cardinal Roger Etchegaray presiding.
2. Almost a month has passed since the beginning of the Great Jubilee, and throughout the Church there is a great ferment of spiritual and charitable initiatives. Today I would like to mention one of them: the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health-Care Workers has organized in Rome a series of prayer meetings for the sick at the Basilica of St Mary Major. This will take place on the last Tuesday of every month during the Jubilee Year.
The choice of St Mary Major as the place for these meetings is significant: prayer for the successful outcome of the Jubilee and for the physical and spiritual health of the suffering will be entrusted to the intercession of the Mother of God. I invite all the sick and those who care for them to keep this initiative in mind and to join it in spirit from their homes or nursing facilities.
3. Let us now turn to the Blessed Virgin, who in welcoming the Angel's announcement became the docile co-operator in the mystery of the Incarnation of God's Son. Let us learn from her to live each day of this Holy Year as a time of grace which awaits our personal response. May Mary help us to foster unity, beginning with the family, the parish and the workplace. And may she obtain for us a generous heart that is sensitive to the needs of our brothers and sisters.
After praying the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted various pilgrim groups and condemned the bomb explosion in Madrid, Spain, that claimed the life of an army officer on 21 January.
In cordially greeting the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, I would like to express my deep sorrow at the news of the recent terrorist attack last Friday in the capital of Spain which claimed the life of a public servant and violently ended the 15 months that had raised hopes of peace.
I strongly deplore this detestable act which seriously endangers the efforts of those who seek just and peaceful solutions for coexistence. I ask the Lord for the conversion of those who use or create terror to impose their ideas, and for harmony among all the citizens of the beloved Spanish nation.
"The future of humanity passes by way of the family" I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation "Familiaris consortio" (n. 86). This affirmation is more important than ever. But, what family is it referring to? Certainly not the inauthentic one based on individual egotisms. Experience show such a "caricature" of the family has no future and cannot ensure the future of any society.
Instead, the family is "good news" to the extent to which it accepts and makes its own the perennial vocation that God gave it at the beginning of humanity. Thanks be to God, this original plan of life is also shared by many non-Christian couples. Thus in our day the family appears as the privileged way of dialogue among different religions and cultures, and of reconciliation and peace. - Saint John Paul II
JOHN PAUL II
Sunday, 26 January 2003
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. In these last days the 4th World Meeting of Families was held in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and it was concluded a few hours ago with a solemn Eucharistic celebration by Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and my Legate for such an important ecclesial event.
The theme of the Meeting is important: "The Christian Family: Good News for the Third Millennium". Yes. The faithful and fruitful union of man and woman, blessed by the grace of Christ, is a genuine Gospel of life and hope for humanity. This joyful message was proclaimed, together with so many Philippine families, by the thousands of families of every race and nation, gathered in Manila for such an important religious meeting. Together they renewed their dedication to being exponents of the new evangelization.
2. "The future of humanity passes by way of the family" I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation "Familiaris consortio" (n. 86). This affirmation is more important than ever. But, what family is it referring to? Certainly not the inauthentic one based on individual egotisms. Experience show such a "caricature" of the family has no future and cannot ensure the future of any society.
Instead, the family is "good news" to the extent to which it accepts and makes its own the perennial vocation that God gave it at the beginning of humanity. Thanks be to God, this original plan of life is also shared by many non-Christian couples. Thus in our day the family appears as the privileged way of dialogue among different religions and cultures, and of reconciliation and peace.
3. We entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of the family, the spiritual fruit of the great gathering in Manila, and, already from now on, the next world meeting of families, that will be held in 2006 in Valencia, Spain.
Let us pray that every family, an authentic "domestic church", "good news" of love and life, also be a sign of hope for the ecclesial community and for the whole world.
After the Angelus:
Today we observe the World Day of those Sick with Leprosy, that has now reached its 50th observance. This year we mark the centenary of the birth of its famous originator, Raoul Follereau, whose name is forever linked with the struggle against leprosy, severe poverty and marginalization.
How timely is his appeal, inviting the world to allocate resources not to arsenals for war but to combat severe poverty and illness. I feel close to the brothers and sisters who unfortunately still continue to suffer from Hansen's disease. And I encourage the multiplication of initiatives to wipe it out both at the level of health care and at the level of society.
1 March 2015