PS: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Each week, a Dominican member of the Province of St. Joseph’s Preaching Advisory Board prepares this Preacher’s Sketchbook in anticipation of the upcoming Sunday Mass. The idea of the Preacher’s Sketchbook is to take quotations from the authority of the Church–the Pope, the Fathers of the Church, documents of the Councils, the saints–that can help spark ideas for the Sunday homily. Just as an artist’s sketchbook preserves ideas for later elaboration, so we hope the Preacher’s Sketchbook will provide some ideas for homiletical elaboration.


St. Augustine, Homilies on the First Epistle of John

Man has eaten the bread of angels. Life itself was manifested in flesh so that, by being manifested, the thing which can be seen by the heart alone may also be seen by the eyes, so that it may heal hearts. For the Word is seen by the heart alone, but flesh is also seen by bodily eyes. We were able to see flesh, but we were unable to see the Word. The Word was made flesh, which we would be unable to see, so that what was in us—whereby we might see the Word—would be healed.

St. Augustine, Homilies on the First Epistle of John

When the members love each other, the body loves itself… But, if you love your brother, perhaps you love your brother and don’t love Christ? How can that be, when you love Christ’s members? When you love Christ’s members, then, you love Christ; when you love Christ, you love the Son of God; when you love the Son of God, you also love his Father. Love, then, cannot be separated. Choose for yourself what to love; other things come to you as a result… if you love the head, you also love the members; but, if you don’t love the members, neither do you love the head.

St. Augustine, Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Charity

When a mind is filled with the beginning of that faith which works through love, it progresses by a good life even toward vision, in which holy and perfect hearts know that unspeakable beauty, the full vision of which is the highest happiness. This is without doubt what you are seeking, what we must hold first and last, beginning with faith and ending with vision. This is what the whole body of doctrine amounts to.

Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions—One Covenant

Jews and Christians must bear witness to the one God, to the Creator of heaven and earth, and do this in that entirety which Psalm 19 formulates in an exemplary way: the light o the physical creation, the sun, and the spiritual light, the commandment of God, belong inextricably together. In the radiance of the Word of God that same God speaks to the world who attests to himself in the sun, moon, and stars, in the beauty and fullness of creation… The sun is heaven’s pride, yet your law, Lord, much more besides.

Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions—One Covenant

God in the Law does not appear… in opposition to himself. In tradition, it was never a case of dialectics, but rather of analogy, development in inner correspondence following the felicitous phrase of Saint Augustine: “The New Testament lies hidden in the Old; the Old is made explicit in the New.”

Pope Benedict XVI, Many Religions—One Covenant

Jesus did not act as a liberal reformer recommending and presenting a more understanding interpretation of the Law. In Jesus’ exchange with the Jewish authorities of his time, we are not dealing with a confrontation between a liberal reformer and an ossified traditionalist hierarchy…. Rather Jesus opened up the Law quite theologically conscious of, and claiming to be, acting as Son, with the authority of God himself, in innermost unity with God the Father. Only God himself could fundamentally reinterpret the Law and manifest that its broadening transformation and conservation is its actually intended meaning.

Fr Pius Pietrzyk, OP