3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (4a)
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20
January 21, 2024

You can see near the end of this homily, I did something different to help people understanding the Bible shapes how we celebrate Mass and what we say. This is not easy to capture in typed words. So here’s a video.

The word of the LORD came to Jonah.”  Jonah was given a message from the Lord to share with Nineveh.  What was the message?  “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed.

Why would Nineveh be destroyed?  Because they had sinned.  The people reacted to the message Jonah delivered as God wants us to react when we sin.  They repented.

Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God.”  What did He proclaim as the gospel of God?  “Repent and believe in the gospel.”  To believe it, you need to read it.  You need to be taught.

In Psalm 25, the psalmist says, “Your ways, O LORD, make known to me, teach me, your path, guide me…” 

How does the Lord make known his ways to us?  How does He guide and teach us?  We find God’s instructions to us in the Bible and He guides us to fulfill them through the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps you’ve heard televangelists and/or Evangelical Protestants say you need to join a Bible-based church.

I agree with them. 

We need to belong to a Bible-based church.  Let me tell you the name of the best Bible-based church I know, The Roman Catholic Church.

Yes, I know that as Catholics, we don’t have a good reputation for knowing the Bible.  Some people think we have replaced the Bible with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  We have not.  The Catechism flows from the Bible.  In fact, if you look at the first 100 footnotes in the Catechism, at least forty of them point us to specific Bible verses on what the Catechism helps us understand.  That’s Bible-based.

At every Sunday Mass, we hear a reading from the Old Testament (or the Acts of the Apostles during Easter), a psalm, a reading from a New Testament, and a gospel reading.  The first half of every Mass focuses on God’s Word.  That’s Bible-based.

Today is the Sunday of the Word of God as set by Pope Francis in 2019.  Pope Francis set this because he wants us to understand the importance of the Word of God in our lives.

From what I said about the readings, it should be clear that the Bible is important at Mass and I encourage you to read it at home.

The more we read it, the more we will realize how important it is for us as Catholics.  Do you realize how many of the prayers we say at Mass are based on Bible verses?  Do you realize how the way we celebrate Mass is shaped by what we find in the Bible?

When you get home and read your bulletin, you will find an insert I made showing how parts of the Mass come from the Bible.  It is not a complete list and I’m not going to go through every one but I do want to go over some of it now.

St. Mary’s of the Lake/St. Benedict’s How the Catholic Mass follows the Bible (This is not a complete list of Bible verses used at Mass) (quoted Bible verses in italics are from the New American Bible Revised Edition)
Mass includes The Liturgy of the Word   Liturgy of the Eucharist    Luke 24:13-35 – The Road to Emmaus Jesus shared what the scriptures said about him (v.26-27).Then He broke bread with them (v.30-32).   John 6:63 – “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”  – Jesus says his words are important as He offers the Bread of Life Discourse. à His Word and the Eucharist work together.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.Jesus instructs us to baptize “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” in Matthew 28:19
Why sing?Exodus 15 – after parting Red Sea, Moses and the others sang2 Samuel 6:5 – as the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem they sang
The Book of Psalms
Colossians 3:16
Greeting by the Priest, Option 1
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
  2 Corinthians 13:13
Last lines of Collect (Opening Prayer) Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.Whatever you ask in my name (see various passages John chapters 14-16)
HomilyOn the road to Emmaus, Jesus broke open the words of the scriptures
CreedChapters 14-16 of the Gospel of John speaks of the relationship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Prayers of the Faithful
(aka General Intercessions)
1 Timothy 6:1-3 – “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior.
“The Lord be with You”Ruth 2:4 – “The Lord be with you,” and they replied, “The Lord bless you.”
“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts”     “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”Isaiah 6:3Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!  All the earth is filled with his glory!”   Psalm 118:26, along with Matthew 21:923:39Mark11:9Luke 13:35;  19:38, and John 12:13  
“So that from the rising of the sun till its setting.” (Eucharistic Prayer III)Psalm 50:1
Psalm 113:3
Isaiah 45:6
Malachi 1:11
Our belief in the Real Presence of Jesus: Institution Narratives – Jesus says this is my Body…this is my bloodBread of Life Discoursesee Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:14-20, & 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
John 6:22-71 – You must eat my flesh and drink my blood
“Do this in memory of me.”Luke 22:19
1 Corinthians 11:24
Memorial Acclamation, Option 2 “When we eat this bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.”
1 Corinthians 11:26
“You willed to reconcile us to yourself” (Eucharistic Prayer III)John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
“and with all the Saints, on whose constant intercession in your presence we rely for unfailing help.” (Eucharistic Prayer III)Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Revelation 5:8 & 8:3 – “the prayers of the holy ones
Our FatherMatthew 6:9-13
Sign of Peace “Peace I leave you, my peace I give you.”John 14:27
“Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.John 1:29b, cf. Exodus 12
“Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”Luke 7:6, Matthew 8:8
(To View/Print this Table in a PDF click here)

I hope this helps you realize how important the Bible is to us.  I encourage you to read the Bible at home.

Now, I leave you with a question.  I’ve tried to help you understand how important the Word of God in the Bible is to us.  The question?  How has the Word of God changed you?