The Word of God not only consoles and enlightens us but it also helps us to remain restless, always seeking. After announcing that the kingdom is near, Jesus adds: “Repent” (Mk 1:15). The Word of God invites us to examine in all seriousness our ways of thinking and acting; it gives us the strength to strip ourselves of everything that is preventing us from experiencing life in all its fullness. Conversion means removing the obstacles that prevent us from being close to God. To convert is to renounce the logic of selfishness, power, wealth, and violence in order to adopt the logic of compassion, fraternity, service, and love, which is the logic of the kingdom of God.
The Word of God assures us that the world can be different. It doesn’t mean that we are condemned to be enslaved to our sins, locked up in a dark and meaningless life. It’s possible to free ourselves from the evil that dominates us and experience the joy of the forgiveness that God offers us. It isn’t true that human beings have to be enemies in order to survive, and that people can’t speak to each other and help each other unselfishly. We can be brothers and sisters to one another, we can give up seeing life as a competition, and we can serve and help one another. It doesn’t mean that history has to be built on lies and injustice: that isn’t the truth. It’s possible to build a peaceful and just society, in which the freedom and dignity of people are respected. The new world that God’s closeness brings about may seem like a dream. Yet God makes it possible. He is only waiting for us to accept his love, to trust in him, and to cast aside the obstacles that keep us from being close to him.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily for the Sunday of the Word of God (excerpts)
24 January 2021