It is 26th January 2020. We are in the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. In Zimbabwe we celebrate it as the Sunday of Prayer for Peace while His Holiness Pope Francis has established it as the ‘Sunday of the Word of God’. Pope Francis has proclaimed “a Sunday entirely dedicated to the Word of God, in order to grasp the inexhaustible riches which, flow from the constant dialogue between God and his people” (Misericordia et Misera, 7). It is a day devoted to the celebration, study, and spreading of the Word of God. We all lag behind in reading, reflecting and rediscovering the truths of the Word of God that nourishes our being. It is the Sacred Scripture enriches our prayer and liturgy; enhances our relationship with one another and to have unbiased world view. In His address to the Catholic Biblical Federation in April 2019. Pope Francis highlighted it in following words. “In a time where some speak of a ‘post-truth’ society, one in which ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ are the order of the day, we know “that ‘the word of God is alive’ (Heb 4:12): it does not die nor does it age; it abides for ever. It stays young in the presence of all that passes away (Matt 24:35), and protects from interior aging those who put it into practice. It is alive and it is life-giving.” Words do play a vital role in our life. How much the Word of God play a role in shaping our living and destiny? Either we are liberated or imprisoned by the words we speak and listen. Human words could be misleading and seductive at times. But “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Ps.119:105). The readings are from Isaiah 8:23-9:3 the second reading is from 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17 and the Gospel from Matthew 4:12-23. Light and liberation from any oppression comes by adhering to the Word of God is the lesson from the first reading. The responsorial Psalm praises, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.” (Ps.27:1). In the second reading, St. Paul challenges us all to live in harmony and respect for one another avoiding all kinds of divisions. Let us not empty the valuable sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross by our petty fights and power-mongering attitudes. The power of the Word of God cannot be ignited in the ash heap of divisive minds. The Gospel presents Jesus, the light of the world as the prophet Isaiah envisioned in the first reading. We who have received the light of Christ in Baptism are called to live a radical life filled with conversion and conversation that enlivens our life with God and one another. To be missionary disciples, we all need to untie the knots we have in our lives, the entanglements in our personal life, and to leave the attachments we all treasure secretly. The Church is not in short of preachers but the witnesses. May we truly become the witnesses of love, mercy, and forgiveness. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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