Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario

Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 28, 2024

On this 4th Sunday of Ordinary time, the Church continues to encourage us to listen attentively to Christ. He is our Teacher who speaks with authority. Also, The Church reminds us of the consequences of speaking falsely in the Lord’s name.

Our first reading from Deuteronomy is one of those passages in the Bible known as the messianic prophesies. Through this prophecy from Moses, God promised us the Messiah. This promise was fulfilled in Christ. Then, Christ called authentic ministers to be his prophets to announce His Gospel. These prophets are The Apostles, The Pope, the Bishops, and other religious and lay leaders in the Church. So, we need to pay attention to those authentic prophets as God commands us to do in this reading: “anyone who does not heed the words that He shall speak in my name, I myself will hold him accountable.”

Unfortunately, today there are some who claim to be God’s prophets in the Catholic Church or in other Christian denominations, but they are not. God knew this beforehand that such false prophets will arise. He was clear about this problem. We must avoid listening to those false prophets who do not teach the truth. Those false prophets are not usually in Communion with the Church, they teach their own ideas or interpretations of the Sacred Scriptures, and they do not have a good Christian life.

In today’s second reading, Paul gave wonderful advice to some of us who live in celibacy or in marriage. His advice is to be free from anxieties. Anxiety is a feeling of worry or nervousness about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. A Cristian who struggles with this issue cannot serve God freely and completely. So that, this Christian should seek help to solve this issue.

In today’s Gospel, we see Jesus’ teaching with authority to His people. He does not deceive them or make false affirmations. In contrast to the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus teaches with words and deeds. Jesus’s authority was not based on worldly credentials or human power. His authority came from The Father. Hence, a true prophet or leader in the Church should rely principally on The Father like Jesus.

Today is a good day to pray for all our leaders in our Church to speak like Jesus Christ. They need to be faithful to the Sacred Scriptures, to the teachings of the Church, they need to respect and obey the hierarchy of the Church and they need to be good examples of Christian life. Let’s keep them in our prayers and let us continue listening to Jesus and our leaders, as the psalmist says. “O that today you would listen to the voice of The Lord. Do not harden your hearts.”

Peace be with You!