3rd Sunday of Epiphany – January 22, 2023

Theme: “Go and Proclaim the Gospel of Christ as Fishers of Men”

First Reading: Isaiah 8:20-9:2

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27:1,5,8-9,11-13

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:12-23

Homily by Fr. Romie-Jun Peñalosa

The season of Epiphany talks about the light of Jesus in our life. The light reveals, and so, we can notice that the previous gospel readings speak about the revelations of Christ. The first was on His birth where the three wise men reveal about the baby. The second was on His baptism, where John the Baptist reveals Him as the voice in the wilderness. And third, was at the wedding in Cana, where He was revealed as the Son of God.

Today, our gospel reading reveals the calling of Christ in our lives. The imprisonment of John the Baptist has become the beginning of Jesus’ transformation; from living (His transfer from Nazareth to Galilee) to preaching and teaching, and to calling out of disciples. Once called by God, oftentimes, circumstances of being forced to go out come along. Going out, not just physically from one place to another, also means moving out of our comfort zone.

In his homily, Fr. Jun shares a story about an eagle. This eagle lives and thinks like a chicken for it grew up in a community of chickens, having been adopted after being lost from its family. But when finally finding and following someone like his identity, the eagle lives up to what is expected of him. Moral lesson? “Come, follow me.”

In our gospel reading, Jesus calls Peter and Andrew to come and follow Him. So with James and John. Here, we can notice that Jesus often calls people of relations (for they are siblings) and people who are working (for they are casting and fixing their nets). Father Jun wants us to see the principle from here, “Jesus, calls us in the midst of our work.” He calls people who are working. And the call of Jesus is not just to “come” but to “follow”. Yes, we can come to Him as our Friend, as our Savior, as our Provider; but unless we follow Him, He cannot be our Lord. Many come to Him, but few only follow. For Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we must follow Him. His invitation to us is not just to “come”, but also to “follow”.

The Lordship of Christ in our life is one thing that changes us. He promised us, that when we follow Him, He will see to it that we will truly become and live our life to the fullness of its potential. Like the eagle, who once thought he was a chicken, we often think and live the life we used to. We forgot that we were created in the image and likeness of God. We identify ourselves in the life of the world, we forgot our potential – that we were designed to shine brilliantly so that other people can come to Christ. Let us bear in mind and keep reminding others as well, to continually follow Christ so that we can be the person living the life that God wanted us to be.

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