Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. National Bible Sunday
January 25, 2009
Today would have been the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, but since it is a Sunday, the Mass of Sunday takes liturgical precedence. However, because the Church is celebrating the Year of St. Paul, it is allowed to celebrate the Mass of the feast, with readings from the third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The Gospel brings to our consideration Jesus calling His apostles: “Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.” (Mk 1:17) Jesus called them to evangelize, to spread the Good News of salvation. After his conversion, St. Paul spread the faith with the same zeal with which he had persecuted Christians. When people want something good or interesting to be known, they say, “Spread the word around.” We have also been called like the apostles to be fishers of men. Therefore, we need to “spread the Word”, that is, the knowledge of Jesus. “The Church forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful…to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 133; Dei Verbum, no. 25; Phil 3:8 and St. Jerome, Commentariorum in Isaiam libri)